Scarpa SL Activ (2012)

The classic Scarpa SL has been updated to this ‘Activ’ version, which brings improvements in terms of fit, comfort and precision of movement. But the general design still holds true to the Scarpa SL heritage by providing all the features you need for walking over summer rock and winter snow. So you get a one-piece leather upper with an extra panel at the ankle flex point to allow this boot to be comfortable while maintaining stiffness and support. As there is virtually no stitching in the upper the boot won’t leak easily and so there is no waterproof lining, but this means you will need to apply waterproofing treatments to maintain its performance. For added durability there is also a rubber rand. The outsole is very aggressive with deep, well-spaced lugs and a good heel breast for grip on a variety of terrain. The flex is stiffer than some other 3-4 season boots, and this makes the Scarpa SL Activ more capable of tackling snow-covered terrain than most. Sadly there is no women’s version but what is offered is the Scarpa Mythos Tech GTX women’s 3-4 season boot, which has a synthetic tongue area and is priced at £220.

Upper materials Sherpa leather
Waterproof lining no
Sole unit Vibram Biometric
Women’s sizes 37-42 (Mythos Tech £220)
Men’s sizes 41-48
Weight 2148g (pair, size 11)


The verdict
The Scarpa SL has always been the quintessential 3-4 season boot for mixed mountain walking, and this new Activ version maintains that standard. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2012