Scarpa Zen Pro Hiking Shoe Review

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First, let us introduce where the name Scarpa comes from. The name SCARPA is actually an acronym for “Societa Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anomina” (Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of the Asolo Mountain Area).  

SCARPA is a family-owned company as several generations of the family have owned the business. They pride themselves on producing high-quality outdoors gear and do not fail to deliver on this promise.

Its headquarters and manufacturing services are both located in the same part of Northern Italy as when it was founded in 1938.   This being said, you can understand why the Scarpa name strives for such a quality made shoe for hiking. 

The Scarpa Zen Pro hiking shoe for men combines the passionately trendy Zen of days gone by with an EVA midsole, that’s been upgraded with an injection model for longer life. The Vibram sole on these shoes has been improved to the Spyder 2. This advancement permits the sole to have an outstanding stick ability without collecting sand and pebbles. 

These shoes also have PU injected leather on the sides which gives added reinforcement and advanced resistance to abrasion. These are only a few of the excellent features assigned to this hiking shoe. The following review will cover all you need to know about the Scarpa Zen Pro, and if it's right for you.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Shoes have heftiness of a hiking boot/fit & comfort of a running shoe

Soles have excellent grip on rocks

Well-designed fits like a second skin

Shoes are a little stiff, but comfortable

Heavy, but offer extreme support and cushioning


Sizes run rather small

Shoes are too narrow for some wearers

Wears out in some of the key climbing areas—such as toes

Breathability is not what it should be

Sole Composition

The Vibram-2 Spyder outsoles of these shoes are exceedingly sturdy and defensive. The Scarpa Zen Pro is not your ordinary hiking shoe. You will not find this type of outsole on any other shoes in its class.

The rubberized sole has all the gripping strength, stability, and overall thickness that one would expect from a lightweight hiking shoe. It is a bit bulkier and heavy, but it offers an extreme amount of protection against rocks, dirt, and another debris one might pick up while hiking a trail.

There is nothing extremely remarkable about the midsole. They feature an EVA framework that is injected with a reasonable sum of backing without the addition of excessive weight to this shoe.

The other thing about the Zen Pro is the unbelievable amount of weight distribution that it offers. This distribution of weight will prove to be outstanding assistance, particularly when hiking long hikes and comfort is what you are seeking.


This is a hiking shoe that has the aptitude to subsist and flourish in any terrain you may wear them in. The Zen Pro offers a combination of wide-lug trails, a weight that is well-adjusted, and the overall flexibility of a simple motion that is both rugged and user-friendly. These shoes allow for excellence in comfort and moving confidence.

It is the most efficient shoe one can use for climbing and hiking. Although, as good as it is, there does seem to be a bit left to be desired for in regard to its responsiveness, grip, and traction abilities. It is not very efficient for crack climbing, smearing, or climbing with anything involving technical or extreme flexibility.

However, if you are into a light, technical climbing or bouldering, this shoe will be the best for doing so.


The traction ability of the Zen Pro leads the way in its ability to handle rugged terrain and approaches. The well-placed, wide-lugs allows for the correct amount of weight distribution as well as a solid grip on vertical slopes and even the most minute of inclines.

The tread on your new shoes permits the grip and discharge of the ground beneath them, without the chance of encompassing any debris, grime, or dirt into the actual shoe.

Upper Build

The upper on the Zen Pro has been constructed with suede leather material.

Attached to the upper is a gusseted tongue. This also acts as an effective means of restricting dirt from getting inside the shoe. Hikers with narrow/average feet have raved about how comfortable these shoes are.

On the other hand, those with a wider foot have complained they are tight and a bit restrictive, mostly in the area of the instep. The upper build is a good way to find out if you will have a comfortable fit.

Size & Weight

Weighing in at a little more than a pound, this shoe is relatively lightweight. Not as light as the average shoe made for climbing; but, much more buoyant than some of the larger, hiking shoes being sold. In addition, the sizing of the Zen Pro meets the general expectations of most consumers.

Though there have been instances in which some say this shoe fits a little smaller than expected; for the most part, this is not always the case. The break-in period is much shorter than what some were claiming as well. Whereas the old version of Scarpa Zen had a break-in period that lasted a couple of months, the new version takes only a few days of average use to break-in and provide comfortable wear.

Airflow & Waterproofing

When it comes to airflow or breathability, the Scarpa Zen Pro comes with a blended answer to the case. The upper give hikers an adequate amount of ventilation. However, this ventilation can be significantly decreased should any dirt or grime get on them.

The fabric lining acts as an excellent waterproofing mechanism by extracting any moisture and wicking it to the nearby surroundings. Although this lining does well to remove moisture, it is also very thick - approximately 38 mm. Because of this thickness, the lining may become saturated with time, decreasing the breathability and airflow.

Scarpa recommends using Nikwax Fabric and Leather Proof as a way of providing additional waterproofing to this shoe. However, it may make the leather appear a shade darker; but after wearing it a while and dirt and other debris getting on it this darkness will eventually fade.

Comfort & Cushioning

Do you know what makes a hiking shoe have extreme comfort? The way your foot feels when it lies in the bed of the shoe. If you plan on hiking with a backpack, good torsion ability is a good feature to have.

The Scarpa Zen Pro is made with plenty of roominess in the toe area depending on the width of your feet. The EVA-injected midsoles have a remarkable amount of torsional rigidity. This allows the person wearing these shoes plenty of support to help people carry all their rock-climbing gear with ease. Also, it gives the forefoot comfort and flexibility that a lightweight shoe provides. This forefoot comfort and flexibility makes walking or hiking that much easier.

This shoe has a Cocona cloth lining which works great at drawing away any dampness that may be on the skin. This is to ensure the feet remain comfortably dry while inside the shoe.

Another feature that gives ultimate comfort to these shoes is the padded, gusseted tongue. This gusseted tongue is made from a soft-shell Schoeller fabric –it keeps the small stones and dirt out of the shoe.


The aesthetics of the Zen Pro are nice enough. We wouldn't suggest you expect to win any fashion awards; however, they do have a classic and clean design. They are more pragmatic than fashionable.

When shopping for a shoe to perform effectively in the outdoors, these are an excellent choice. The workmanship is outstanding; particularly when comparing to the competition.

Longevity & Overall Quality

The actual longevity and overall quality of these hiking shoes are superb. These shoes can last for many years if cared for properly. If you are looking for a pair of shoes that are well-designed, then these are for you. Even if not cared for properly, they will still last for several seasons of hiking rugged terrain.

There are also PU-injected reinforcements made to give advanced endurance against any abrasion on the sides. The suede and S-Tech fabric construction of the upper deliver the utmost sturdiness.


Due to an abundance of EVA injected materials, the Scarpa Zen Pro do not have the flexibility of other shoes. They are a little on the stiff side. This is normal when we're talking about hiking shoes, however, you do expect there to be slightly less flexibility in exchange for added protection. There is a flat tread beneath the toe of this shoe which gives it the flexibility of a rock climbing shoe.

Support & Balance

If you are seeking an approach shoe that has overall excellent stability, then the Scarpa Zen Pro is that shoe for you. This shoe has a precise, talon-like grab to the heel area of the foot. In addition, the sole is made from a super thick rubber material. This durable material provides you with all the balance you need to prevent slips, falls, or a loss of balance.

They provide adequate balance and support even when backpacking a load of fifty-pounds or more. They can be worn while shopping, traveling, and virtually all other outdoor activities. The Zen Pro can even be used for indoor rock climbing activities.

Lacing System

The lacing system of the Zen Pro is rather standard, providing a fit that feels customized. However, it does not provide the same molding effect that other climbing shoes do. Its lacing system is known as "to-the-toes"; this method gives additional sensitivity to the shoe.

The lacing system is also known as the “Sock-Fit” system. What this does is it permits the wearer to tighten or loosen the laces to their preference.

Cost & Value

The price of these shoes may seem to be costly at first glance. However, when you see the quality and what they offer, you are going to agree they are worth every penny. You should be able to find a pair of Scarpa Zen Pro hiking shoes for less than you might expect.

The supreme quality these shoes are made with gives justice to the high price. Just one look at how much work has gone into giving the shoes enhanced durability will convince you of their worth.

In addition to the fine workmanship, the warranty offered is spectacular. Scarpa stands behind its products in such a way that they guarantee you will be pleased with these shoes. Should you experience any defects in the material used or the construction of your new Zen Pro hiking shoes, Scarpa will either fix, repair or refund your money.

Scarpa wants the consumer to be able to wear their footwear for a very long time. Should you need them repaired for any reason, they offer shipping/returns free of charge on orders over $100. This adds even more value to this product.

Key Features

Made out of 100% suede material
The shoe has durable rubber soles
EVA injected midsole for added support and comfort
Protection against any obstructions on the trail with a rubber toe rand
Sole has the Vibram Spyder II performance for hiking terrain that is varied.
Constructed with SCARPA Sock-Fit DV allowing for a functional fit
Lining created from a 37.5 material which achieves control of odor and moisture wicking

Bottom Line

Whether you are a beginner or advanced climber; you are going to need a good pair of hiking/climbing shoes. The Scarpa Zen Pro definitely fits the description of a quality shoe for climbing rugged landscapes. These shoes are more than capable, making them the practical choice.

You are going to love how you can use the Zen Pro for day hiking basically anywhere you go. Whether you are hiking the city streets or take them off the trail to the rugged terrain of the backcountry.

The Zen Pro will allow you to handle the many varieties of landscapes and climates you are bound to come across. Wherever your climbing travels take you, having a good pair of hiking shoes like these certainly makes the climb much simpler to master.