Named after the highest summit in the Dolomites the Scarpa Marmolada is billed as a rugged treking/scrambling boot – ideal for a spot of via-ferrata.
Footwear wise I tend to oscillate between the extremes of ultralight trail running shoes in summer, spring and autumn and full on rigid winter boots like the Scarpa Mount Blanc Pros for winter climbing duties. Reviewing the Scarpa Marmolada Trek has been a new departure for me and to begin with I wasn’t sure where they would fit it my footwear wardrobe. I rarely use a boot to walk into a multi-pitch climb unless I’m going to ab back to the base as they are too bulky to bring along for the walk off and outside the winter months I’m happy to sacrifice dry feet for the lightness and comfort of trail shoes.
When the Marmoladas arrived I was struck by their relative lightweight and the rather fetching green colour (shallow I know!). Once I’d put them on they really began to win me over, they were so comfortable! They are actually wider fitting than the Mount Blanc Pros and make use of another version of Scarpa’s Sock-Fit technology, SOCK-FIT XT, with lacing down to the toes and tape ‘speed-lacing’ eyelets it’s a cinch (sorry) to tighten or loosen the boot and achieve a perfect fit. In fact they feel like a slightly overbuilt approach shoe rather than a stiff boot when you lace them up. I’ve worn them with everything from a light cycling sock through to chunky winter climbing socks and been able to achieve a comfortable and secure fit. The boots are constructed with a combination of materials, Schoeller L-Tech with an Outdry lining laminated to it, suede reinforcing and a Cocona 37.5 comfort lining. The combination of the Schoeller L-Tech, Outdry and Cocona 37.5 do seem to add up to a highly breathable and very waterproof combination. The construction also seems to reduce the amount of sodden material after getting an inadvertent ‘boot-full’ and the boots dried noticeably quicker than several similar models in the hut’s drying room.
In use The Marmolada Trek proved to be versatile, comfortable and so far very durable. They are light and flexible enough for casual walks on the moors here in Yorkshire with the bonus of a highly waterproof design so no damp feet from wet peaty paths and long grass. However in more rugged alpine terrain they provide good edging support and underfoot protection. A very wet day in the Ecrin this summer meant an enforced damp day via ferrata and the Marmoladas were perfect, not only performing brilliantly underfoot but keeping my feet dry a real bonus and the Vibram Mulaz S sole coping with the slippery muddy paths linking section along the gorge.
There are no major negatives with the Scarpa Marmolada Treks, they are a versatile boot that can cope with via ferratas, scrambling, mountain or moorland walking and would make an excellent trekking boot especially if you appreciate a broader fit. The Marmoladas are available in continental full sizes so you get fine tuning to around 3/4 of an English size but not the 1/2 continental sizes available with Scarpa’s full on mountain boots. Having said that if you were looking for more mountain orientated performance then the Scarpa Rebel Lite is just a couple of Krabs heavier and provides full B2 crampon compatibility but with a narrower toe fit. You can also find lighter (and cheaper) trekking boots but none that I have seen so far that blend the all round performance, quality and comfort of the Marmolada Trek.
PS Looking at the Scarpa UK website it looks like the green colourway is currently unavailable which is a shame for all us kit co-ordinators out there 😉
Richie is the enthusiastic amateur of the team. Enjoying all aspects of climbing but especially alpine, winter and his local grit . Having managed to survive the vagaries of both fluorescent Koflachs and rainbow tights in the 80s he looks forward to an even more stylish future. A shady past in mountain marathons and adventure races, including the Marathon des Sables, means he’s an advocate of fast and light. Though the former is debatable if you’ve seen him on a tricky lead!