Experts are approachers, 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.
Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.
91 / 100 based on 12 expert reviews
This is the Ground Up preferred approach shoe. This thing is amazing.
Billed as their premium approach shoe, Scarpa’s Mescalito is designed to take a beating on technical alpine terrain, mile after mile.
For hiking on rocky, rugged trails or off-trail scrambling and mountain climbing, when you need superior traction, support, and protection for your feet, the Scarpa Mescalito excels, and its top-quality construction and materials assure hundreds of miles of hard use.
These are definitely built to last.
They’ve been on my feet for short sport-climbing approaches as well as longer treks with knee-crushing bolting loads. The Mescalitos excelled in every situation.
It’s clear that the materials are all top quality and I suspect they’ll last a long time.
-The Scarpa Mescalito is a shoe built for technical approach pursuits. It promises lasting protection against the ruggedness of the terrain with its reinforced construction.
-Its ability to stick to most outdoor surfaces is courtesy of the shoe’s Vibram outsole. Sufficient cushioning underfoot, on the other hand, comes from the hiker’s dual-density midsole.
-The Mescalito’s sole unit (midsole + outsole) comes built with a rockered toe zone for improved walking comfort on level terrain. Its designers engineered it with Activ Impact—a company-owned tech that doubles down on shock absorption while providing enhanced energy transfer.
The Scarpa Mescalito is a low-top approach shoe for men and women. Its fit may be adjusted to the wearer’s preference through the hiker’s traditional lacing. This lockdown system has a to-toe construction, giving owners a bit more freedom in terms of lace-up configurations. The engineers over at Scarpa furnished the shoe with the Autofit collar, translating to a more intimate ankle-to-cuff fit.
Owners can travel across a variety of terrain with adequate grip performance on the Mescalito’s Vibram Litebase outsole. The name its developers gave it—Litebase—is the design technology that makes it as light as possible (being about 40 to 50% thinner than a regular outsole). Since it is based on Vibram’s Megagrip compound, which is made of rubber, it can provide enough slip resistance with every step—whether the surface is dry or wet.
Blocky protrusions (a.k.a lugs) are scattered all around it for a better hold of the ground, especially on slopes and loose soil. The front end of this sticky layer is made extra smooth to help wearers latch on to boulders and similar features with added traction.
The Scarpa Mescalito’s heavy-duty midsole is made of EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate. It has a partly soft, partly rigid construction (dual-density) to deliver a combination of cushioning and footing balance. It comes with a stiff insert made of TPU or thermoplastic polyurethane for additional stability over rough terrain. Right atop it sits a cushy footbed for added underfoot comfort and support.
This Scarpa approach shoe envelops the foot in its 1.8-mm thick water-resistant suede leather upper. Its liner, which grants a comfy in-shoe feel, is made of recycled polyester. This liner works with the footgear’s stretch fabric tongue and collar to give users an even more comfortable ride in the lead-up to their climbing destination. It has a hard-wearing polyurethane rand around its base and a rubber cap reinforcing its front end for 360-degree protection from destructive terrain hazards. To make on and off as easy as possible, Scarpa designers attached a pull loop to the shoe’s heel.
The Mescalito’s to-toe lace-up closure features round lace holes, most of which are non-plated. Configured through these eyelets by default is a synthetic lace.
The Mescalito is one of Scarpa’s high-quality shoes built for the approach. That being said, so is the Zodiac. Choosing which one to get between the two requires knowledge of the aspects that set them apart. The following list will detail the things that differentiate the two.
Price tag. The Scarpa Zodiac takes the cake in this round. Yes, the competing approach shoe is cheaper than the Mescalito by approximately $45.
Weight. Consumers who are quite particular with freedom of movement on the trail might side with the Scarpa Mescalito in this category. Indeed, the featured shoe is lighter than the Zodiac by about 60 g.
Outsole technology. The Mescalito, as previously discussed, sports the Vibram Litebase outsole. Its rival, on the other hand, is armed with a grippy layer called Drumlin (also by Vibram). The one in the featured approach shoe provides traction without the unnecessary heaviness, while the one in the Zodiac puts more emphasis on downhill security with its aggressive heel brake.
Lining. While both Scarpa kicks in this head-to-head are lined on the inside for extra comfort, only the one in the Zodiac promises to keep the foot comfortably warm. Yes, the Zodiac is engineered with a breathable fabric courtesy of 37.5, which as the brand’s name suggests, keeps the temperature of the shoe’s interior at 37.5 degrees Celsius.