Green Gear: Scarpa Epic

Scarpa goes green with recycled materials and a biodegradable midsole
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Scarpa goes green with recycled materials and a biodegradable midsole

Five of Scarpa's new trail runners and light hikers are being built to meet the parameters of their new 'Planet Friendly’ initiative--Scarpa's commitment to using recycled content materials, and seeking and developing cutting edge technology to lessen its carbon footprint. Scarpa's Epic is one of those new hikers. It's got 100 percent recycled webbing and lace, 100 percent recycled lining, 40 percent recycled synthetic leather, 29 percent recycled polyester mesh, 25 percent recycled rubber outside, as well as a midsole that biodegrades in 20 years not a thousand years like standard EVA.

What does Kim Miller, President of Scarpa North America have to say? 

“Sourcing new technologies that help us lessen our impact is an ongoing process, and the Planet Friendly initiative is about letting our customers know in very specific terms how we’re trying to incorporate these emerging technologies into our line, not about ‘another green story’ or about congratulating ourselves. Scarpa Planet Friendly is a continuous effort to reduce our impact on the environment. If we do our job right, we’ll help drive demand for better and better technologies that help us continue to lessen our footprint.”

We had the privilege of testing a sample of the Epic (it won't be available until Spring) and putting it through its paces for the Gear Guide. Regardless of its eco story, testers agreed that Scarpa hit a home run with this low hiker. They loved its rugged construction (the entire forefoot is rubber over leather) with mesh breathability midfoot, nearly to-the-toe lacing that let wearers perfectly mold the shoe around their foot, and a well cushioned, grippy sole. "It's the perfect blend of a runner, hiker and approach shoe," one tester summed up. The tongue is heavily padded, but when laced down it was comfortable not bulky. $95, scarpa.net.

- Berne Broudy