Scarpa Moraine GTX | Tested and reviewed

The Moraine GTX is one of Scarpa's entry-level models, but our testing in Snowdonia reveals it's a bit more than a beginner hiking shoe..

from Scarpa
RRP  £170.00
Closeup of LFTO tester wearing Scarpa Moraine GTX shoes with award star rating

by Matt Jones |
Updated on

The Scarpa Moraine GTX is a family of low and mid-cut trail shoes and walking boots that occupy the lower rungs of the Italian brand’s extensive product range. In terms of design and price point, they’re designed to be accessible, well suited to day hikes and easier treks of varying distance and duration.

A step up from the brand’s classic, traditional leather Cyrus hiking shoe and the suede urban/country crossover Mojito Trail shoe, the Moraine looks to be a solid and sturdy choice for UK hillwalking.

But, as hikers increasingly turn to lightweight trail running-style hiking shoes, can the more classic Moraine GTX still attract a crowd? Our Snowdonia-based gear testers have been testing the Scarpa Moraine GTX in the Welsh mountains alongside a range of competitors to find an answer.


  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Great traction
  • Protective
  • Can be resoled


  • Slightly heavy
  • Not as cushioned as some rivals


Closeup of Scarpa Moraine GTX lacing and upper

The Moraine GTX is constructed from high-quality materials, with uppers built from 1.6 to 1.8mm Idro oiled nubuck leather. This is interspersed with smaller mesh panels for additional comfort and breathability, plus rubberised inserts that add a dash of dynamic detail. More functional rubber bumpers at the heel and toecap add decent levels of protection and durability.

Uppers are also lined with a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, which is bluesign-approved and PFCec-free (Gore’s terminology for ‘perfluorinated compounds of environmental concern’). The collar and tongue are well-padded, ensuring high comfort levels. The lacing system mostly employs a series of webbing lace loops rather than eyelets, with perforated holes only used for the top and bottom sets. This works with the gusseted tongue and Gore-Tex liner to minimise water ingress.

Closeup of Scarpa Moraine GTX toecaps

In terms of fit, the Moraine range is built on Scarpa’s Activ Fit lasts, which are developed separately for men and women, to ensure improved fit for the different anatomies of the typical male and female foot. Both have some similarities though, sharing a roomy forefoot with a broad, blunt toebox. This ensures ample space for toes to splay but feels a bit clumpier and less precise than some trail shoes.

Similarly, at the rear they hug the heel fairly well but aren’t as locked-in as trail shoes that have more of a running shoe-derived fit.

Side profile view of Scarpa Moraine GTX

Unusually, the uppers also feature a built-in RECCO reflector for traceability in the event of an emergency. If you haven’t come across this system before, it’s essentially a hidden passive transponder, which does not require batteries or activation, consisting of a diode and an antenna. Its dimensions are 13mm × 51mm × 1.5mm and it weighs just 4g. Given its low weight and compact dimensions, the tech is increasingly being integrated into a lot of modern outdoor clothing and apparel.

It can be used in conjunction with search and rescue teams’ portable detectors, which bounce a signal back from the reflector. If the wearer is lost in the mountains or even buried in something like an avalanche, this can be a handy additional safety measure. Currently, it’s more useful in Europe than the UK, since most of Britain's Mountain Rescue teams aren’t equipped with the RECCO detectors. So, think of it as a ‘nice to have’ feature rather than an essential safety measure.


Closeup of Scarpa Moraine GTX upper and midsole

The midsole features double density PU foam rubber with a built-up heel to increase walking comfort, plus a medial shank to add a little stiffness and stability. The heel and midfoot are noticeably more structured than many trainer-style hiking shoes, though there is still plenty of flex in the forefoot to ensure a natural and comfortable walking action.

The use of PU foam rubber means the Moraine feels a little more solid underfoot than shoes with EVA foam rubber midsoles, but this also means the midsole is more resistant to long-term compression. It also ensures a stable platform with plenty of lateral stability, reducing torsional twisting that can stress or fatigue the foot.


Scarpa Moraine GTX sole

As is common in the latest generation of Scarpa footwear, the Moraine features an outsole made from the brand’s own Presa Supergum compound. The specific sole unit used for this shoe is the HK-04 pattern, a hiking-focused lug arrangement designed to offer versatile all-round performance on mixed terrain. As a major bonus, this shoe can be resoled too.

On test, the widely spaced lugs cleared out mud well but still gripped competently on sticky mud and slick grass. A pronounced heel brake with blocky, undercut lugs provides reassuring traction when descending. There are enough flat sections of rubber at the edges of the outsole to deliver decent contact grip too. So, it certainly does its job as promised – overall, we were impressed.

Price and performance

Side view of Scarpa Moraine GTX with foot flexed

Scarpa markets the Moraine as the ideal ‘town to trail’ hiking shoe, or a good entry-level shoe for novice and beginner hikers. While that makes sense in the overall profile of the brand’s product range, it undersells the Moraine’s capabilities a little.

After all, this is no flimsy trainer-style hiker. It has the same durable oiled nubuck leather uppers and structured sole unit as many of the brand’s mid-cut boots. So, in terms of stability, structure and protection, it outperforms a lot of lightweight fabric low-cut trail shoes, especially when it comes to more demanding hill and mountain routes. The downside is that the Moraine GTX inevitably feels a bit firmer and heavier to wear.

But more weight is almost always the price you pay for durability, and the Moraine is undoubtedly a solidly built shoe – as you’d expect from Scarpa, which is one of the outdoor industry’s oldest and most highly regarded bootmakers.

Overhead view of Scarpa Moraine GTX

Admittedly, the Moraine’s slightly lower price point compared to other Scarpa trail hiking shoes mean you don’t get some of the fancier on-board tech found in shoes like the Rush, such as Scarpa’s ‘Interactive Kinetic System’, which consists of five concave impact zones (four in the forefoot, one in the middle of the heel) that compress as they touch the ground. The Moraine also lacks the memory foam ankle padding of the pricier Scarpa models. But otherwise, the materials and overall build quality are excellent.

With an RRP of £170, the Moraine competes squarely with other waterproof leather trail shoes like the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Leather GTX. The Ultra Raptor feels a bit more nimble than the Moraine, since it is slightly lighter, but otherwise there’s little to pick between them, and ultimately, the choice should come down to whichever shoe fits you better.


Closeup of LFTO tester wearing Scarpa Moraine GTX shoes with award star rating

Scarpa's Morain GTX is a sturdy and well-built waterproof leather trail shoe that strike a great balance between cushioning, stability and durability.

How we tested

NEMO Hornet Elite OSMO 1 Matt Jones for scale

The author of this review is Matt Jones, and the Scarpa Moraine GTX was tested by Ellie Clewlow in Matt and Ellie's backyard mountains of Snowdonia, alongside a number of other hiking shoes to find out how they perform against one another.

Matt and Ellie are freelance outdoor writers who conducts gear tests and reviews for us on LFTO and our magazine, Trail. Matt is a former magazine editor himself, and is one of the UK's most respected and experienced outdoor writers.

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