About 18 months ago I received a pair of the standard Mescalitos to review and it would be fair to say I became a fan. In fact I rate them as the best approach shoes I’ve ever had. I’ve worn the pretty much constantly for everything; walking to the boulders, tramping into trad routes, Alpine AD rock ridges, visits to the weights gym and chilling down the pub. Given this level of use and abuse (especially the miles on concrete) it’s remarkable that the uppers are unscathed and the sole unit still has useful tread left. So when I got the chance to review the new Mescalito Mid version I jumped at it.
As the name suggests this is a mid or demi boot version of the original but there are a few differences beyond the obvious higher cuff a fetching blue colourway. The aesthetics have remained pretty much unaltered and mirror the rest of the Scarpa technical line which is no bad thing. The PU rand and rubber toe box that give protection as well as a bit of grip in jaming cracks is still present but with a lighter orange/yellow stripe detail. The major changes are the addition of a Gore-Tex liner and married to this a bellows tongue. The tongue by itself is a definite improvement – the tongue on the original Mescalito is OK and never caused a problem but it can at times migrate a bit to the side. The new tongue is perfect, remaining locked in position. The Gore-Tex liner works as you would expect but may be a mixed blessing depending on your intended usage. On the plus side you’re guaranteed dry feet (well until the water comes over cuff height!) but this is at the expense of some breathability and so hotter feet for some folk. The sole unit seems unchanged making use of the Litebase Vibram unit which reduces the depth/thickness of the sole between the lugs so you still get full depth lugs but no excess weight between. Judging from my experience over 18 months with the originals there are no issues durability wise. The increase in height at the cuff means some additional protection for the ankle and a smidgen more support but not at the expense of agility. Weight and bulk wise there is an noticeable increase which is worth bearing in mind if you intend to carry them up a route either in a pack or clipped to your harness (there is a heel loop that serves this purpose).
The weight penalty is noticeable but not an issue in actual use and the Mescalito Mids feel equally as agile as their lighter sibling. For hill walking and general UK scrambling they have proved excellent. Days out in the Lakes incorporating the likes of Pinnacle Ridge are ideally suited to these boots. The Goretex lining proves to be a real bonus as the wet grass and damp approach walks of a typical UK summer are shrugged off. My concerns about the Mescalito Mid GTXs being over hot because of the GoreTex lining proved largely unfounded. They are doubtless warmer but even on a hike where the temperature was hitting 30°C I was perfectly comfortable.
A trip to the Alps allowed them to shine in a more mountainous environment with the GoreTex lining shrugged off a very damp approach walk to the Mirror d’Argentine. The boots themselves proved excellent on the the mostly grade 4/5 limestone typical ‘Approach Shoe Alpinism’. The Megagrip rubber proving more than grippy enough for mountaineering type rock routes. There is enough stiffness to edge without the feeling too clunky and you can jam into cracks without your feet suffering or the boot deforming so much you then struggle to get it out! The AUTOFIT COLLAR wraps your ankle securely and with the extra height over the original Mescalito it not only protects more but blocks the ingress of small stones and other debris – this is particularly noticeable on scree descents and significantly better than the standard Mescalito. Stability wise walking I noticed little difference with perhaps a bit more support from the Mid. I didn’t get the opportunity to try thm on any Via Ferratas but they would clearly make an excellent choice for such use – in fact they would make a perfect boot for easy mountaineering and Via Ferratas in the Dolomites. Overall I think the Mescalito Mid is a great complement to the original Mescalitowith a slightly more hiking/mountaineering bent. If you were to choose between them you would need to consider your intended use. The Mid makes for a slightly more capable waterproof hiking/mountaineering boot if you are keeping it on all day. The standard Mescalito is arguably more versatile, lighter, easier to clip to your harness or stash in a pack. Whichever one you go for you’ll not be disappointed.
- Water proof
- Better ankle protection (especially the ingress of debris)
- Heavier/bulkier – especially when clipped to a harness
- A little less versatile
Disclaimer – CGR reviewers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene reasons and more often they’re in no fit state to return!