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86 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews
If you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, primarily on trails, but also wants a shoe that can handle the stress of other fun activities, you need to seriously consider the Zen.
This could pass for an upscale sneaker that you can wear with jeans around town as well as a credible piece of technical gear.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.