This 3-season boot came first in Trail April 2006 and for my money it is still the best option for the sort of tough mountain walking that most Trail readers like to do. As with all the best boots, the upper is a virtually stitch-free nubuck leather design, to ensure maximum durability after years of abuse on Britain’s highest peaks. To further enhance the durability, there is a rubber rand that extends all the way around the upper, and this makes the boot particularly suitable for scree, scrambles and the rockiest of mountain trips. The toe box is solid, to protect the toes. Like some other Scarpa boots, the Nepal has an articulated ankle cuff to ease comfort when the ankle flexes forward, without reducing lateral support. Underfoot this boot has a very aggressive Vibram sole unit that boasts deeper lugs than most others, are a real advantage for varied mountain trips. Sole stiffness in the Scarpa is ideal for scrambling and scree and rough mountain terrain. The Scarpa has a slightly wider fit at the toe, which you may prefer compared to some other boots. Finally the Scarpa has no Gore-Tex waterproof lining, however with so little stitching I feel that this will be as waterproof as it needs to be for most walkers, if cared for properly. There are no real problems with this boot when used for mountain walking. As the upper is leather and virtually stitch-free it won’t leak easily if cared for. The tongue may not be quite as comfortable under the laces as some other boots, although this may just have been due to my knobbly foot shape. The price is no more than the quality demands, but if this is more than your budget then there are a number of lower-priced options available, but of course you shouldn’t expect the quality of the Nepal if you pay less.
Upper: Nubuck leather
Sole: Vibram Megan
Sizes: 40-48 (men’s); 36-42 (women’s)
Trail fit profile: forefoot 3; heel 2; volume 2; length 2
Weight: 1856g (pair, size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in UK: England 26; Wales 2; Scotland 6; Ireland 1
Verdict: Buy it if you want a quality leather boot for hill and mountain walking, scrambling and backpacking and don’t want a waterproof lining but do want the extra durability provided by a full rubber rand.