The Scarpa SL Activ is the perennial definition of a 3-4 season boot. The model remains unchanged since last year and what sets it apart from most boots is a combination of features that make it ideal for use below and above the snowline when tackling the British mountains throughout the year. It has a one-piece leather upper with minimal stitching, and for extra protection there’s a full rubber rand for long-term durability. The ankle cuff has a good degree of flex, so while it’s able to provide the support needed, it’s also comfortable when walking below the snow. Unlike most boots there’s no Gore-Tex lining, which helps to keep the price down, but it does mean you have to treat the leather upper with waterproof agents (in my experience this is very easy and ensures dry feet). The outsole is aggressive with deep and widely spaced lugs to provide a good grip below and above the snowline. The sole flex is stiffer than some lower-priced alternatives, but this makes the boot ideal for use on snow. The drawback is that at 2148g (size 46) the Scarpa SL Activ isn’t as light as other models. Also, when climbing, other boots offer a more precise feel at the toe.
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 46)
The Scarpa SL Activ remains the definition of the ideal 3-4 season UK hillwalking boot, and performs brilliantly on snow, rock and grass. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.
Review by Graham Thompson
Published in Trail magazine December 2013