The Scarpa Vortex is a shoe with a more aggressive sole unit than most, which gives it instant appeal to those who need something with good grip for walking over muddier ground. A Vibram sole unit provides that extra grip, thanks to a set of lugs that are deeper than others, coupled with a respectably large heel breast for good braking during a descent over soft ground. There’s some good stiffness too, so the Vortex can be used on rockier ground as it’s stiff enough to resist pressure from stones. By contrast, the upper is a slightly more relaxed affair, with a soft suede upper and some reinforcement around the toe box; but this upper isn’t as supportive as some others, except at the heel, which has a good degree of stiffening. On the foot the Scarpa Vortex feels quite comfy, but with the more aggressive sole unit it feels like overkill for hanging out in pubs. Use this for walking, biking and approaching crags and it’s great, but some shoes have more supportive and more robust uppers while others are better for more casual use, while many will be better for running.
Upper material suede leather, synthetic tongue
Waterproof lining Gore-Tex
Sole unit Vibram Dynatech
Men’s sizes 41-48
Women’s sizes 36-42
Weight 1064g (pair, size 46)
The Scarpa Vortex is a good all-rounder for walking over muddy ground, scrambling over rocks and even some biking; but others are better for running and more rugged rocky ground.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2013