Model: Zodiac Plus GTX
Our take For long trips when the trail got rocky, rooty, or simply disappeared, our testers reached for this light yet full-support boot. The winning formula comes from a midsole that combines different densities of EVA and PU. EVA is light and comfy, but breaks down fast. PU has unmatched shock absorption and durability, but can be uncomfortably stiff. In the Zodiac, SCARPA used a midsole that was mostly EVA, but a PU frame in the heel area improves support without affecting weight much. “These are some of the lightest boots I tried that provide this much protection,” says one tester.
The details We appreciated the softer Vibram Drumlin sole when scrambling in the Pacific Northwest. The fit is snug for better control, but internal memory foam adapts to your ankle bones to prevent hot spots. Still, plan on a few break-in hikes.
Trail cred “These things are made for heavy loads,” says our Northwest Field Editor. “They always felt stable, even during a sprightly 2,000-foot climb up Hannegan Pass in the North Cascades. They were steady for sidehilling and kept me dry on stream crossings.”