Gear Evaluation: Scarpa Epic Lite Footwear

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Scarpa Epic Lite shoes.

Scarpa Epic Lite footwear.

Hiking/Method Footwear
Scarpa Epic Lite
$135, 1 lb. 14 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 39-47/US six-13, women’s Euro 36-42/US five-10
moosejaw.com

The hardest footpath to the best of the highest peak east of the Mississippi, North Carolina’s six,684-foot Mount Mitchell, runs you by means of a gauntlet of character-developing trail circumstances lurking in these rough Appalachian Mountains. Hiking the Black Mountain Crest Trail entails climbing a cumulative three,500 vertical feet more than 12 miles on an earthen rollercoaster that traverses 13 summits above six,00 feet, more than ground littered with wet, slick leaves, although hopping the occasional tiny pond of mud and cautiously treading more than slippery roots and granite slabs. I could hardly have believed up a greater spot to attempt out Scarpa’s new Epic Lites. And I’ve worn pretty handful of models of footwear more than the years that manage all types of terrain as nimbly as these.

Scarpa Epic Lite shoes.

Scarpa Epic Lite footwear.

I also tested out the Epic Lite on other dayhikes in the mountains of western North Carolina, although carrying a pack filled with at least 30 pounds of climbing gear, water, and meals at Idaho’s Castle Rocks State Park, and on numerous fitness center workouts. Amongst low-reduce hiking-method footwear, they stand out for style attributes that depart from classic method shoes—stepping out ahead in a current trend toward lighter, much more breathable and comfy styles that tends to make this category of footwear much more sensible for every day hikers.

In the Epic Lites, that starts with board-lasted building—fairly exclusive amongst lightweight footwear, which normally have a significantly less-supportive strobel final or a slip final. Board-lasted footwear are created with a firm board that gives a platform, boosting underfoot assistance and protection. And however, the Epic Lite’s forefoot has a lot of flex for uncomplicated, rapid striding, so they do not really feel stiff, and they’re as light as numerous low-reduce footwear that do not provide as a great deal assistance.

 

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Scarpa’s proprietary Sock-Match DV building makes use of a stretchy, soft-shell material in the tongue, producing a close match that wraps about the best of your foot, although delivering greater breathability than leather or synthetic nylon and lowering bulk. Even on the sweatiest fitness center workouts, my feet stayed dry but they also by no means felt cold even in chilly October temps and practically continuous, robust wind on the Black Mountain Crest Trail. Mesh uppers assistance make them much more breathable, although synthetic leather along the side walls and wrapping the heel, a stout rubber toe bumper, and welded TPU reinforcements more than the mesh make certain against these footwear obtaining shredded when you venture off trail.

 

Hiking the Black Mountain Crest Trail.

Hiking the Black Mountain Crest Trail.

The medium-volume match gave me sufficient wiggle space for toes without having my heel or midfoot ever slipping, although the shoe’s heel gives abundant assistance and cushion for extended miles in rugged terrain, thanks in element to the rubber rand wrapping entirely about it. Likewise, the EVA midsole felt soft carrying upwards of 20 pounds (about half of it photography gear) all through my multi-hour outing on the Black Mountain Crest Trail.

Scarpa Epic Lite shoes.

Scarpa Epic Lite footwear.

The Vibram MegaGrip outsole—with a smooth “climbing” tread beneath the toes, broadly spaced, moderately deep lugs, and a pronounced heel brake—gripped properly on all of the Black Mountain Crest Trail’s terrain. As with other footwear in this category, lacing extends to the toes to let you fine tune the match as necessary more than the course of a extended day.

Scarpa describes the Epic Lite as a crossover hiking-method shoe with a operating influence I’d say it performs very best for hiking and scrambling, and I’d run brief distances at any uncomplicated pace in them, but I wouldn’t advocate them mainly for operating.

They’re not made for hiking in persistently wet, cold circumstances, or for hikers who require the higher assistance of mid-reduce boots with a tiny much more rigidity. But whether or not you like scrambling off-trail to rocky summits on days that involve a lot of miles and vertical feet on and off-trail, or you are a hiker who hardly ever ventures pretty far off trail, or even an ultralight backpacker looking for footwear that are extremely breathable, the Epic Lite footwear excel for their fantastic traction, breathability, and durability.

Purchase IT NOW You can assistance my operate on this weblog by clicking either of these hyperlinks to buy the men’s or women’s Scarpa Epic Lite footwear at moosejaw.com or rei.com.

 

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See all of my testimonials of hiking footwear and backpacking boots that I like, my testimonials of hiking gear and backpacking gear, and my “Pro Recommendations For Acquiring the Proper Boots.”

 

NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Massive Outdoors, I evaluation only what I think about the very best outside gear and apparel. See categorized menus of all of my gear testimonials at The Massive Outdoors.

—Michael Lanza

 

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