Verdict from 9 experts and 75 user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • This over-the-ankle boot received aces from many seasoned reviewers and backpackers for its quality comfort.
  • A large percentage of owners found a true-to-size fit in the R-Evolution GTX.
  • A number of expert reviewers couldn’t help but praise this boot for giving them great ankle support throughout their backpacking adventures.
  • The R-Evolution GTX is an impressive piece of Scarpa hiking gear when it comes to terrain stability, based on numerous expert and user reviews.
  • Many backpackers loyal to the Scarpa brand were not let down by this boot’s amazing traction.
  • A handful of consumers were impressed by the R-Evolution GTX’s lasting durability.
  • Despite this footwear’s rather stout build, some owners still found it lighter than most high-cut backpacking boots.
  • This is a boot with impeccable waterproofing, according to a satisfied few.
  • An expert didn’t hesitate to call the Scarpa R-Evolution GTX a worthy investment in spite of its steep price tag.
  • A professional blogger was quick to commend the gear’s super-protective toe cap.

4 reasons not to buy

  • In a moderate percentage of negative reviews, the R-Evolution GTX was grilled for its thin laces. An expert even considered them confidence-wise uninspiring.
  • Some owners were quite displeased with the boot’s clunky design.
  • A few users strongly criticized the Scarpa R-Evolution GTX’s cramped toe box.
  • Some wearers decried the dyed tongue of this backpacking footwear. They said it bled and stained their socks after getting drenched.

Bottom line

The Scarpa R-Evolution GTX is a highly sought-after backpacking boot despite its lofty price, due largely to its amazing lightness, exorbitant amounts of comfort, and dependable waterproofing. This true-to-size backpacking gear is exceptionally durable, grippy, and supportive. Its ground stability is also nothing short of brilliant. This boot is not without its share of faults, however, as some owners lambasted it for having a gravely restrictive toe box and seemingly unreliable laces. Its unwieldy build and bleeding tongue also caused a few users unnecessary headaches.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Good to know

  • Scarpa aims to give users a protected backpacking experience minus the weight with the R-Evolution GTX by making its upper a combination of suede leather and light, synthetic fabric. This upper is also protected against intrusive wet elements as it is engineered with Gore-Tex’s Performance Comfort liner.
  • The boot has a Sock-Fit tongue. This Scarpa-owned technology gives the tongue a gusseted construction which guards the interior against debris.
  • Giving wearers shock absorption and impact cushioning is the R-Evolution GTX’s midsole. Its tapered construction from the heel to the forefoot zone grants the boot not only a streamlined look but also a decent toe rocker.
  • When it comes to providing backpackers a secure grip over tricky terrain and slippery descents, the R-Evolution GTX has its Vibram outsole to thank. This rubberized layer is engineered with aggressive lugs which enhance the boot’s overall traction.

The Scarpa R-Evolution GTX is a high-cut footgear crafted for both male and female backpackers. The designers made the women’s pair using the WBAG last, a shoe construction device modeled after the natural contours of the female foot. The boot’s lacing system allows for a secure yet convenient lockdown thanks to its set of speed hooks. Adding to the comfort level of the R-Evolution GTX is the Sock-Fit tongue’s memory foam—a cushy material that adapts to the shape of the wearer’s foot.

Thanks to its Vibram-powered outsole, backpackers can get and maintain a secure footing on unpredictable terrain with the Scarpa R-Evolution GTX. Tread patterns and multi-directional lugs are strategically placed all around the outsole to improve the boot’s grip performance. The tip of the sole’s forefoot zone also has ridges which give extra precision, especially during ascents and forefoot maneuvers.

The rubber tip of the boot is the outsole’s extension. This extended part serves as a toe bumper which lessens collision shocks and further reinforces the footwear’s toe box.

The Scarpa R-Evolution GTX is tailored to provide backpacking folks ample shock absorption, stability, and comfort with its rubber midsole. This thick yet cushy layer can bear considerable weight and stay resilient as it is made of ethylene-vinyl acetate or EVA—a copolymer that is sturdy and elastic at the same time. It has a contoured arch section which disperses shock by helping the boot flex as the user’s foot rolls forward. It also has a slightly curved forefoot zone which gives the R-Evolution GTX a rockered toe. A boot with a rockered toe, also called toe rocker, aids wearers during transitions and makes walking relatively easy, particularly on level terrain. The women’s version has a midsole that's marginally thicker than the men's pair, especially around the heel and forefoot zones.

Extra cushioning is provided by the boot’s stock insole. This removable footbed has slightly raised hindfoot borders for added heel support, as well as a perforated upper half for extra breathability.

With its layered upper that is part suede leather and part Gore-Tex Performance Comfort liner, the R-Evolution GTX has strong defenses against abrasive elements and invasive water. The leather overlay around the ankle section has a cut-out design which exposes a portion of the soft liner. This exposed part allows the upper shaft to flex with ease, thereby improving the wearer’s mobility. The boot’s ankle cuff has a padded lining for extra cushioning.

Granting backpackers secure lockdown is the R-Evolution GTX’s closure system which features a combination of open hooks and lace loops. These riveted lace hooks and loops are made of a metallic material which enables the rounded laces to slide right through. They make lace-ups speedy and unhindered.

The boot’s Sock-Fit tongue uses a stretchable and breathable Schoeller fabric. Aside from putting up strict fortification against debris, thanks to its seamless design, this tongue also reduces pressure and prevents rubbing around the user's instep.

The front end of the upper is reinforced with a rubber rand. This toe rand and the outsole’s extension (rubber tip) team up to double down on forefoot protection and prevent toe injuries. The base of the heel, on the other hand, has a sturdy leather covering which adds to the boot’s durability and gives extra heel support.

  • Scarpa's Sock-Fit technology was co-developed by the late Ueli Steck, a world-famous alpinist. This technology saw its debut in the Scarpa Rebel Ultra GTX.
  • Dirty Scarpa boots may be rinsed with clean water. R-Evolution GTX owners may also remove stubborn dirt with the use of a damp cloth, brush, or sponge.


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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.