Scarpa New SL 2010

The Scarpa SL has defined the 3-4 season boot category for many years, thanks to a combination of just the right degree of stiffness coupled with enough of an easy walking action to make it comfortable on easier terrain. The one-piece leather upper is virtually free of stitching so there is nothing to wear out or trap grit. As the upper is 2.8mm thick, it is not going to leak easily either. The ankle cuff is more flexible than a few years ago, which makes it more comfortable to wear. Underfoot there is a very aggressive sole unit that should bite into snow and mud for many years to come as the lugs are deep enough not to wear down after a couple of seasons. I also like the rolling action of the sole unit as it makes walks below the snowline very comfortable. The Scarpa New SL is a superb all-round boot that will last many years if you are prepared to look after the leather. But other boots have Gore-Tex waterproof linings, so you don’t need to look after their uppers so carefully. There is no rubber rand, so if you are an extremely hard user, then you may want a boot with more protection. The tongue design could be slightly more comfortable compared to others. The ankle cuff is lower than some others which may not suit everyone’s desires, as you need to use your ankle strength more on uneven terrain.

Upper 2.8mm Sherpa HS12 leather
Sole Scarpa Vibram M3, Performance Flex midsole
Sizes 40-50 (men’s); 36-42 (women’s) – both in two width fittings
Crampon compatibility B1
Weight 1788g (pair, size 46)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 214

The Scarpa New SL is still what defines the 3-4 season all round durable mountain walking boot, and it deservedly won ‘Best in Test’.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2010