Scarpa R-Evolution GTX

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Scarpa R-Evolution GTX Review Facts

When out on the trails or on mountains the most critical piece of equipment needed is a proper shoe. A proper hiking boot will go a long way in regards to what can be done while out in the wilderness. A good hiking boot will help the wearer grip better on rocks and fallen trees, as well as keep the foot safe from injury. A proper hiking boot usually has a higher back in order to add support to the hiker’s ankle as well as some sort of rubberized toe for the purpose of protecting their toes. The lacing system is also very important because this will keep the foot in place, the cup of the heel also aids with this. The materials used should be of high quality, durable and waterproof. The stitching and construction of the shoe are also very important because they will ultimately dictate if the shoe stays together or not. You want something that will stay dry when out in wet conditions and also breathe when in hot ones. The right hiking boot will make a huge difference in both the comfort and safety of the hikers trip.

This article is a review on the very popular Scarpa R-Evolution hiking boot. This boot has a high back, is made of 100% suede and S-Tech fabric. They are quite attractive in design, with their flat to the shin tongue and narrow design. Some reviewers found that the narrow design was not ideal for fit (they needed to size up) or for those with wider feet. The boots are made by the brand Scarpa. Scarpa started in Italy in 1938, in the Dolomite Mountains. The company was bought out in 1956 and the company spread throughout the world. They are known for making superior products and, more specifically, products that are handcrafted. Scarpa is also known for their superior customer service. All Scarpa boots come with a 1-year limited warranty from the date of purchase. This warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship, and not any wear or accidents, unfortunately. This particular product from them is highly rated by consumers. This is our review of the Scarpa R-Evolution.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great tread/grip
  • Superior lacing system
  • Incredibly versatile 
  • No breaking in period required 
  • Very comfortable
Cons
  • Not true to size (may need to size up)
  • Quite narrow in design 

Breathability

The Sock-Fit DV used with this product is supposed to be quite breathable to keep the foot cool and dry. The liner has Gore-Tex which helps keep the wearer dry but has been known to stop the shoe from breathing a little bit. The sock liner does have some Schoeller fabric included in it which is known as being quite breathable. The upper also has perforated fabric at the top which would encourage airflow as well. There weren't many complaints or compliments about the breathability of this shoe which is probably positive.

Comfort

This product uses Scarpas Sock-Fit DV which essentially hugs the foot and keeps the foot in place better. The product also uses a type of memory foam for not only a more comfortable and form-fitting fit but also for better impact reduction. The product also has a speed lace system which not only offers a quicker application but also a closer fit which, again, will hold the foot in place better helping to avoid any unnecessary rubbing or slipping. The lining of the product is made of a Gore-Tex material which helps with waterproofing but as well as comfort and fit. This sometimes impacts the breathability of the shoe though and may cause some sweating.

Waterproofing

The lining of this shoe, as mentioned, has a Gore-Tex lining which helps protect the wearer from water or moisture seeping in. Gore-Tex absorbs and repels water away from the foot in order to keep the sock and feet dry. Wet feet are not only uncomfortable but can be dangerous. If feet are wet it can encourage both blisters and slipping in the boot which could lead to falls. Additionally, wet feet can lead to odor later on and decrease the life of the boot. This would be particularly uncomfortable for those with existing foot odor issues.

Insole

The insole of this product has memory foam to offer a more comfortable fit as well as some impact reduction. Impact can ultimately lead to joint and muscle issues, so having memory foam can help to decrease the damage that hiking can cause. Memory foam has been known to add some unnecessary weight to a boot though. The midsole of this product is made of a molded EVA which will not only support the foot but also add comfort and a more secure fit. Molded-EVA is a very strong and durable material that gives the shoe a better overall fit but also protection.

Upper

This upper on this product is made of a 1.8 mm suede leather material which is a stronger and yet softer leather that is known for greater durability and flexibility but also for staining which could potentially discolor the shoe (just aesthetic imperfection implications). This type of leather is also great for water resistance and dries a little easier being a non-synthetic material. The toe cap on this product is a TCU toe cap. TCU has a debate going about whether it may be even better for protection over steel toe so the protection shouldn't be a concern when hitting the toe against rocks and fallen trees. The upper also has a full perimeter rubber rand which also helps protect the foot from anything falling as well as helps keep the foot in place.

Sole

The out-sole of this product is made of Vibram. Vibram is a type of rubber material that is commonly used in running shoes and hiking boots. It is commonly used because it is both very durable and light but is supposed to provide superior traction. The sole also has a Fagus Lite sole which is an ultra-lightweight sole which will help decrease foot and leg fatigue. Hiking boots are known as being bulky boots that tend to look clunky. These boots are nice and light, which would allow the hiker to travel further before needing to rest. Reviewers stated that they liked the weight of this product. They said that the boots were lightweight and could be worn all day not only as a hiking boot but also as a work boot (due to the toe of this boot being so strong that it could sub in as a work boot as well). This makes the product a lot more versatile which also helps with the cost of the product which is discussed more below.

Footbed

The footbed of this product is completely removable. It also has a slightly raised back which helps better support the arch and heel of the foot. The footbed also offers a better shock absorption to help protect bones and joints. It is made of a molded EVA as well which provides not only a better support but a more flexible one. The heel is molded in order to hold the hiker or climbers heel in place for better control over movement. As mentioned above, keeping the heel in place will also help stop blisters, calluses, and slips, and therefore ultimately overall comfort and safety of the shoe. The toe of the bed offers a rockered toe which offers better movement and aid of the toes and helps with overall movement and balance which will come in particularly handy when climbing over awkward surfaces (like rocks and streams). The lining of the footbed is a sock lining which is described earlier in this article. Reviewers appreciated the amount of movement offered in this product as well as the overall comfort of the midsole and the footbed.

Traction

As mentioned above, the soles are made of Vibram which is supposed to provide superior traction due to its high degree of abrasion resistance. The first K2 summit was done by a group of Italians that were wearing shoes with Vibram rubber sole shoes. This is Vibrams claim to fame. The advantage to those purchasing shoes with Vibram soles for the purpose of their less intensive hikes is that it is a trusted brand and can handle all types of terrain including wet and muddy ones. This will help with hiking it wetter climates, or through marshes and streams. It will also help get the climber over rocks. Many described the traction as being "sticky". Better traction will not only allow the hiker or climber to go on more intensive journeys but it will also offer a safer and more secure travel. This is very important, especially if on more dangerous trips.

Style

This product is actually quite attractive in design. They aren't big and bulky like you typically find in hiking boots. They are narrow and come in numerous colors. They are offered in both men's and women's options as well. Because they are a little more narrow, they look sleeker. However, the narrowness of the shoe did have some complaints especially with those with wider feet. It can lead to some discomfort, unfortunately. But from an aesthetic perspective, they are quite attractive and can be versatile. They do, however, look quite like a hiking boot so they may not be seen as a fashion statement. Overall, though, for a hiking boot, they are pretty sleek and stylish.

Price

This product sits in the middle as far as price goes, it isn't too expensive but it also isn't cheap. When purchasing a hiking boot it is very important not to cheap out especially if these will be put to good use. For the occasional hike, this may not be the most appropriate product but for people who will be wearing this quite frequently, the price is definitely justified by the quality of the product. The biggest complaint with it is that it fits a bit narrow and so it would make sense to buy a size bigger. The biggest benefit of this boot is that there is a zero break-in period which will be a perk to those that often go through boots. The blister and callus period is the worst, especially on longer hikes. The boot fits snug to the foot, is both waterproof and durable. The only other issue is the feet may get a little hot due to the Geo-Tex lining but at least they will stay dry. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. They aren't overpriced and they are highly rated, you really can't go wrong with that.

The Bottom Line

This product is a pretty good one. Firstly, they are attractive in design which isn't the most important aspect but it definitely is a big perk. Many hiking boots are ugly or bulky in appearance. This product is quite sleek and narrow in design. This, however, was an issue with some wearers because it made the boot a little tighter than they are used to. Additionally, this may make the boot a non-option for those with wider feet, unfortunately. On the plus side, those that can fit into the boot or adjusted to a larger size did say the boot is extremely comfortable and lightweight which would offer more time in the boot before needing to rest. Some found that they were able to both hike and work in the boot making them more versatile. The waterproofing in this product is done with a superior material/product, that said, the Core-Tex is known as inhibiting breathability. However, there weren't many complaints about the breathability so this shouldn't be too big of an issue. Other than the other great features of this product, the price is right. It sits in the middle of the price range. You are getting a comfortable, durable, long lasting and versatile product. Plus you have a decent warranty and exchange period on the boot if they don't work. For those reasons, this product is worth a try!