My Rating: 4.5/5
Best Place to Buy: Amazon
If you are someone who follows my posts, you will know that I love how Scarpa design their boots. Last month I wrote a post about Scarpa hiking boots and my experience with it on the Malvin Hills. Make sure to check it out because you will find it very interesting. However, in this post, I will be reviewing another type of Scarpa hiking boots and it’s called the Scarpa Sl Activ.
The Scarpa sl activ is designed for three to four season walking and hikes. There has being a lot of improvement on this boot but the version that I will be discussing in this post is the extra-wide version. One of the major changes of the extra-wide version compared with the normal version is how the weight has been reduced drastically due to the use of mono density outsole. Another major change to this hiking boots is how the extra-wide version has an improved BXX last whiles the normal version has a BD last.
The upper of this boot is made with Sherpa HS12 leather. This leather is 2.7mm to 2.9mm which makes the boot a lot thicker than most walking or hiking boots. However, the thickness and strength of the leather make this boot perfect for tougher hills or mountains.
As the leather is made with HS12 tanning, it makes the boots durable and at the same time, it increases the scuff resistant towards wet conditions. This way your feet can stay dry. On top of that, the use of tanning gives the boot a beautiful dark brown colour. It’s best to use the Scarpa’s HS12 cream on the leather to maintain the neatness and shiny surface of the boot.
The lining of the boot, on the other hand, is designed with leather and cocona. Cocona is a privately-held company based in Colorado. They work with Scarpa company in designing the leather of the boots and adding quality fabrics to the boots to make it tough and solid. One of the benefits of using a cocona lining in a boot is how it is environmentally friendly and it stops your boot from getting nasty.
With the Scarpa sl activ, the cocona adds 800% fabric to the surface area of the boots compared with other hiking boots that only use 20% of cool max. I think this is an excellent percent of fabric to have in a hiking boot because it makes the boot more breathable and removes a lot of moisture from each layer of an apparel system.
The cool thing about this ankle protection is how it is covered with a lot of padding. This padding is built with memory foam which is so well-designed that it mold and fit your ankle and leg perfectly. This really gives you extra comfort and make your ankle relax as you hike.
On top of the ankle protection, there is an auto fit collar underneath it which helps protect the areas of your malleus and Achilles heels from getting an injury. For me, that is a wonderful thing to have when you are hiking long distances because it reduces the pain you could experience if you were to break your leg.
Since we are still talking about protection on your feet, the heel tension is another key factor. The heel tension is specifically designed to give you enough support and grip when you are on a rough or steep terrain. This way you don’t end up breaking your leg or ankle.
This boot has the DNA of Scarpa’s speed lacing system. It is very easy and at the same time quick to lace these boots but interesting enough the speed lacing system has got small sizes. The only primarily reason why Scarpa made this decision is to make it easy to get crampons on. This way it gives you the chance to hike in the snow with ease.
When we take a closer look at the Scarpa sl activ lacing system, it seems very straightforward but at the same time very effective. At the bottom of the boot, there are two triangular holes which give you a head start in lacing the boots at a very quick pace. The next six lacing holes look more like round bullet holes. When you manage to pull your laces through these holes and tie them properly, it will give you a firm grip and stability whiles you hike.
There are two loose holes in the middle of the boots which helps shape your feet and position them in the right place. And lastly, there are four rubber black holes at the top of the boot. This is the final touch to the lacing structure because it gives you the chance to tie the lace the way you prefer them.
The toe box of the Scarpa sl activ is similar to the Manta Pro GTX. The toe box has got a rubber that goes around the boot. This is primarily made to protect the joint between the sole unit and the leather. This way the leather and the sole unit can last for a long time.
Secondly, the purpose of this rubberize toe box is to protect your feet from getting any serious injury when you hit your foot on a rock.
The Outsole, Midsole and Insole
Now let’s talk about the outsole, midsole, and insole of the boot. The outsole of the boots is made perfectly and for me it is world-class. The outsole is made aggressive but at the same time technical. This is great to have when hiking on a slippery hill because it gives you a good stability and stops you from rolling.
This way you can be assured of yourself that you are going to be safe and it lowers your chances from falling down and hurting your self. In addition, the outsole has got aggressive lugs at the bottom of the boots which clears debris from the grooves and try to maintain the neatness of the boot.
The midsole of the boot is designed in a smart way to work with the sole. The sole of the boot is made of Vibram biometric trek. The Vibram biometric trek goes through the midsole as well. The Vibram is made of different parts in relationship to this boot.
Firstly, the dynamic TPU shank helps to protect your foot from getting blisters or having a rough time when walking or hiking in these boots. And secondly, it has a PU unit which helps with the cushioning. Furthermore, PU unit has bio-mechanical midsole which is very good at framing and keeping your foot in the right place.
And lastly, the insole of the boot is made of performance flex plus. The performance flex plus makes your feet comfortable when you wear them. However, this is not very comfortable as I expected from Scarpa company. The comfort may decrease as you continue to hike and this can really make the journey miserable if you are hiking long distances or carrying heavy loads. But overall, the insole of the boot is made to normal standards, which is quite fine.
Another feature of this boot is the crampon compatibility. As I mentioned early that this boot is specifically designed to last for three to four seasons. The crampon rating for this boot is B1 and this means that it can cope with different weather conditions such as snow, rain, and sun. Furthermore, the crampon compatibility of this boot makes it easy for people to hike on hills and mountains.
Fit And Size
Since this Scarpa sl activ version is an extra-wide version, it will suit people who have bigger or wider feet. At the same time, it makes sure that the shape of the boot is kept naturally in place and that gives you the extra comfort you deserve.
As we come to the conclusion of this post about Scarpa sl activ. It seems this boot is perfectly good to use for walking or hiking on a hill. On top of that, I believe this boot will be fantastic to use in snow if you are able to put on a high-quality crampon. This will really give you the stability and grip you need to hike on the snow. Furthermore, the outsole of the boot is just world-class. For me, that’s one of the key strengths of this boot. The outsole matches with the rhythm of your walking and this helps to clear the debris and the mud away quickly.
One weakness of this boot is the insole of the boot. For me personally, the insole is not that effective as the outsole and the midsole. It gives you the comfort that you need but it’s not sustainable for a long time. This means the comfortable reduces as you hike for a long time. Despite this weakness from this Scarpa sl activ, the ankle protection could make it a little smooth for you.
I hope you have really enjoyed reading this post on Scarpa sl activ. If you have any questions or thoughts on the Scarpa sl activ review, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!
And as always have a fantastic and wonderful hiking trip. 🙂