Scarpa zen/zen pro stories?


Original Post
Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I'll be going on a road trip vacation next week up into north central PA and to the Great Lakes in NY.  It's a road/light camping and hiking trip.  It's not a climbing trip, so I'm not bringing my shoes or any gear.  But we will be stopping at Jakes Rocks for a day.  So I wanted to have something on me that would scramble better than my Merrel moabs.  I'll be at REI on Saturday, so I can check out fit, but I was wondering if anyone had some experience with Scarpas Zen shoes, and whether they would be ok for my purposes.  Truthfully, if Jakes Rocks isn't that tough, my boots might be enough.  Feel free to tell me so.  But if you have used anything like the zen shoes, I'd love to know how they perform 

Mike McHugh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 450

I use Zen Pros for hiking, scrambling, and trail work. I beat the living hell out of shoes - and the Zens are the first and only approach shoe I've used that goes more than a few months without blowing out. My last pair made it almost a year. I've got stupid wide feet, but if I leave the laces a little loose, they stay pretty comfy. They also seem to handle themselves pretty well when submerged. I can't wear them without socks - the insole bunches up. They stick pretty darn well on rock here at Eldo.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Are the soles that sticky? They aren't listed under scarpa's approach shoe section.  They list them as light hiking shoes.

id be using them for day hikes and a few scrambles.  So not planning on beating them up too much

Dow Williams · · St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 240

I am a full time climber and that is all I wear for approach shoes.  They are as durable as can be expected.  I do not wear conventional rock approach shoes because many approaches I am involved with involve carrying weight and trekking miles.  I do not wear boots of any kind short of snow and glacier travel because I am one of those (almost)  barefoot runners who believe less is more. But I do have perfectly constructed feet and arches.  I also believe climbing shoes and boots have been oversold and over thought in outdoor sports...primarily so the manufacturers and retailers could convince their average customer that he/she needed six different (expensive) pair in their closet.  I have wore the Zen since its origin.  My issue with the pro is weight.  The water proofing adds weight and cost and I do not see the benefit.  On many climbs, even though I have to ford streams and rivers (just take your shoes off and put them back on the other side) and hike miles to get there, I still have to carry my approach shoes on my harness for walk offs, ups and overs, etc.  So the extra weight vs benefit for the pro does not cut it for me.  Strictly a hiker, doing a lot of water, maybe it would but I do think the pro is a bit stiffer as well, more likely to cause heal blisters.

Josh Janes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 8,398

Don't mean to hijack the thread here and don't know if you'd be interested (or anyone else reading this thread), but I have a really nice pair of SCARPA Vitamin's for sale (SCARPA's answer to the Ganda). All leather construction, PU (instead of EVA) midsoles, can be resoled multiple times, climbs well, etc. Brand new, with box, never worn. Size 42.5.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,096

I have a pair of zen pro mid - I use them for approach and scrambling Class 3 or 4 Sierra ridges. I like that they are Gore-tex, especially with the snow up there this year, I use microspikes over them. I personally wouldn't climb Class 5 routes in them, as they are heavy (for what they are) and a tiny bit clunky, also the sole is more geared to trail grip than slab grip. But they fit me perfectly and will last at least 5 seasons probably.

Mike McHugh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 450
Baba Fats wrote:

Are the soles that sticky? They aren't listed under scarpa's approach shoe section.  They list them as light hiking shoes.

id be using them for day hikes and a few scrambles.  So not planning on beating them up too much

All's I know is that they're sticky enough for Eldo scrambling (<= 5.6). The sole is a nice mix of durability and grippiness.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Josh, thanks for the offer, but they'd be too small. And I need them in 4 days, so shipping might be too slow. 

The weight of the pro's probably won't bother me since I'm coming from only hiking in boots.  Merrels aren't crazy heavy, but they have some girth to them.  The waterproofing might be a benefit since I'll be at the PA Grand Canyon for part of our trip.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

So REI didn't carry any Scarpa hiking or approach shoes.  Has anyone owned Scarpa climbing shoes?  How do the sizes compare.  My first pair of climbing shoes were the Helix's in a size 45.5.  My toes were a little more tight than just tapping the front barefoot.  Would a 46.5 or 47 be a good upsize if I'm going to be wearing light hiking socks with them?  I might have to buy them online.  Obviously, I could buy a few pairs and return the ones that don't fit.  But I'd like to start in the right area

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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