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Expert Reviews

Experts are hikers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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85 / 100 based on 2 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 | Gear Guide

    This could pass for an upscale sneaker that you can wear with jeans around town as well as a credible piece of technical gear.

  • 80 / 100 | OutdoorGearLab

    The Scarpa Zen is one of the best approach shoe we tested, IF… your focus is hiking comfort with the durability to handle rough, rocky abuse.

  • First look / Unboxing | Shop Zappos

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Updates to Scarpa Zen

  • With the features of an approach shoe in mind, Scarpa designers bridged the gap between a hiking boot and a trail running shoe in the Zen. Its revamped model still carries an all-leather upper with Vellutina lining for comfort. Aside from providing added protection, the partial toe rand also grants grip on climbs.
  • Previously, Scarpa Zen shoes were equipped with a PU insert and Comfort Flex midsole for cushioning. The current model comes with an injected medium-density EVA midsole and P-Flex insole to cushion and support each step.
  • It now wears a Spyder II outsole (still made of a Vibram compound). Its tread profile renders grip and responsiveness on the trails.

Scarpa Zen size and fit

The Scarpa Zen shoes cater to male hikers. They comes in regular sizes and medium (D) width. Generally, they run true to size.

This gear is shaped using the BH last which feels snug in the heel and spacious in the forefoot. It has a lace-up closure which allows fit customization.

Outsole

The Spyder II outsole of the Scarpa Zen uses Vibram TC4+ compound. It optimizes grip and durability on different ground conditions. Also, the sole has a dedicated climbing zone—found in the toe area—which grants precision and responsiveness, especially on ascents. The lugs are designed to shed off mud which helps maintain traction.

Midsole

This low-cut day hiking shoe employs an injected, medium-density EVA midsole. This lightweight material delivers cushioning and rebound underfoot. Its semi-circle design at the heel area promotes shock absorption. The P-Flex insole (polypropylene with 3.5 mm thickness) is incorporated to amplify comfort.

Upper

The Scarpa Zen has a durable suede leather (1.8 mm) upper. It has a Vellutina lining, a quick-drying material which wicks away moisture and helps maintain comfort. Leather reinforcements wrap the base of the shoe and the heel area for added trail security. It is also designed with a partial rand at the toe area to enhance protection.

To manage fit, the brand’s designers used punched and metal eyelets as part of its lacing system. A lace keeper is attached on the tongue to prevent it from sliding sideways. Lastly, a pull loop at the back of the shoe assists in donning and doffing.


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