Trip Gear Reports

Scarpa SL Active hiking boots reviewed. Walk the outdoors in luxury footwear.

27/02/2024 by .
Scarpa SL Active hiking boots

Andy Mossack enjoys the great outdoors even more with the latest leather Scarpa SL Active hiking boots.

The old saying you get what you pay for could well have been coined for these leather Scarpa SL Active hiking boots. They are right up there in the premium price bracket, but there is no doubting the quality and craftmanship that, with love and attention, will long outlast most lower priced boots. That, more than anything, justifies the price tag.

There is also the ongoing debate of fabric versus leather. Top of the range fabric boots are certainly not cheap, but you could argue they are much lighter than leather boots and carry a waterproof guarantee. I would argue that fabric, even with plenty of spray protection will be far less durable over tough terrain and even tear. Plus, when the sole gets worn, it might not have a re-sole option.

The weight argument might have been valid in earlier Active versions, but the SL part of the model’s name of this 9th generation, stands for Super Light (Super Leggero) and at 806g for a size 42 is the lightest version yet. Mine were 101g each for a size 48, just 40g more than my Merrell fabric boots which is very impressive.

Scarpa SL Active hiking boots

But we shouldn’t be surprised. Scarpa literally pioneered the walking boot industry. The Scarpa legend dates to 1938 Italy in the Asolo foothills of the Dolomites, when it brought together many of the region’s finest bootmakers in a kind of working co-operative. Scarpa is an acronym for Società Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anonima, which essentially translates as Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of Pedemontana. Fast forward to today, and the business remains family-owned and still based in Asolo.

So, what is it about the Scarpa SL Active boots that is so loved? For starters each boot upper is made from one single piece of Scarpa sherpa 2.8mm leather, Scarpa’s most durable and water resistant of any of its leathers. So, with no upper stitching, there’s little chance of water seeping through the boot. The leather comes factory proofed with Scarpa’s own HS12 cream, but regular re-proofing using Scarpa approved products is essential for mainlining a long life.

Then there is the grip.  A thick and sturdy Vibram biometric trek outer sole with a deep self-cleaning tread is tailor made for gripping to all manner of surfaces. This is supported by Scarpa’s built-in heel tension system that offers help avoiding any sudden twists while walking on rough terrain. You can feel the tension working by twisting and bending the sole while holding the heel and toe in each hand.

Scarpa SL Active hiking boots Scarpa SL Active hiking boots

But there’s also a lot more going under the bonnet.  Ankle padding memory foam (lined with soft nubuck leather) moulds itself to the shape of your foot to give you extra support and comfort. As does the rubber boot collar and tongue below which Scarpa’s V-Flex system adapts itself to the movement of your feet. The cut out along the back of the heel is there to supply plenty of Achilles support too.

Finally, the interior front of the boot is lined with cocona fabric (made from coconut shells!) that utilises Scarpa partnering with 37.5 technology to keep your feet at that precise temperature, as well as providing wicking and odour protection.

With so much built-in tech and longevity, I’m left in no doubt the Scarpa SL Active hiking boots justify their luxurious big ticket price tag. That old saying is right on the money and they’re a worthy investment. Treat them like an old friend and you won’t be disappointed.

Other added features

The Scarpa speed lacing system has been improved to allow for bi compartmental upper and lower lacing if needed. The boots are C1 crampon compatible and can be re-soled if and when needed.

Tell me more about the Scarpa SL Active hiking boots.

The Scarpa SL Active hiking boots are available direct from Scarpa for £300. Currently, only colour available is Bordeaux. The WMN version, specifically built around a women’s TML last shape – the Scarpa SL Active WMN – can be found here. Also, at £300.

Scarpa SL Active boots are made with 37.5 Technology. By including 37.5, the boots have better moisture management and temperature regulation than your traditional leather boot made without 37.5.’s sustainable materials


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