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Gear Guide 2009: Scarpa Barun GTX Boot Review

This boot is the perfect fit from the first lace-up to the top of the tallest, wettest mountain.
gear, hiking boot, gear guide 2009, scarpa, barunScarpa Barun GTX (Julia Vandenoever)

Instant Break-In
In our recent review of big-mountain treads (“Trailblazer,” 6/08), this nubuck and suede boot topped the charts with a rare, near-perfect score. What’s so special? For starters, comfort was superior from the first lace-up–the boots fit all testers well, a rare occurrence. That’s due in part to pivoting loops and hooks that hold laces securely, letting you really dial in fit.

Its stiff midsole gives sufficient stability for 50-pound loads. Ankle support is tops, because of the close-fitting cuff–something testers appreciated on rain-slicked New England rocks. The Gore-Tex membrane and deep lugs make this an all-conditions boot that shrugs off mud and rain. Note: Despite its pronounced rocker, the stiff outsole feels a bit clunky; carrying hefty loads on decent trail is the Barun’s strength. Best for medium- to high-volume feet. $239; 3 lbs. 3 oz.

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