Scarpa Epic Pro GTX Review
Scarpa touts their new light-weight, low top Epic Pro GTX as a do-it-all shoe, tackling everything from casual day hikes and alpine approaches to long distance hiking and multi-day backpack outings.
Out of the box, the Scarpa Epic Pro GTX did little to stand out among the crowds of flashy designed and niche-oriented shoes on the market. No one one characteristic of the shoe jumps out to the user and says, “hey, this is what I was made to do.” With a shoe that claims such versatility, the first question is where are these shoes really going to perform.
Rocky Mountain National Park’s Lumpy Ridge, stacked with steep trails and a playground of low-angle granite afforded the perfect testing ground to put the Epic Pro GTX’s to work.
Light and Fast on the Scarpa Epic Pro GTX
Despite carrying a burly appearance compared to other trail and approach shoes, the 13.2oz. Epic Pro GTX carried comfortably at a moderate run pace along the Gem Lake trail’s moderate first couple miles. The Pro GTX is effectively a light hiker built on a trail running chassis. While you’ll look elsewhere for your everyday running shoes, this trail shoe isn’t going to shy away from speed.
As the Gem Lake trail approach steepened and terrain features grew in size and gnarliness, the Epic Pro GTX’s TPU insert stepped up to offer a degree of support and stability one would not have expected from a shoe that moved so nimbly along mellow terrain just a few hundred vertical feet below. With it’s abrasion resistant, low-density/high-elasticity, and flexible properties, TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) applications have become an increasingly effective player in this space, ideal for producing thinner, lighter shoe soles. While you might not recognize the TPU, you’ll certainly experience it. This technology delivers in the Epic Pro GTX.
Going Vertical – the Epic Pro GTX Performs
Throughout steeper, demanding terrain the shoe demonstrated a true blend of versatility and performance. The Epic Pro GTX’s rubber-to-rock feel allows for confidence moving along 3rd, fourth, and even fifth-class terrain for those experienced mountain goers. I was able to comfortably access steep and exposed terrain and easily climb circles around my trail-runner clad cohorts. Just 3 weeks out of collar bone surgery, these shoes served plenty of confidence along the steeps. I found the rubber toe rand to be a valuable addition in performance and protection.
Traditional approach shoes often lack the stability and support for longer hikes, and hiking shoes lack the touch and precision to perform well on technical terrain. If you’re looking for the new crossover solution, the Epic Pro GTX delivers. This hybrid performance comes thanks in part to Scarpa’s introduction of the new Vibram Aronne® sole – a blend of lugs for hiking with a friction platform for off‐trail use and rocky terrain. It came as no surprised to find the Epic Pro GTX is equally at home in wet, muddy spring conditions–snow, roots, and even glacial ice.
If you’re looking for the one do-it-all hiking shoe, the Epic Pro GTX won’t disappoint. By combining virtues of a light hiker with added features of an approach shoe, Scarpa has engineered a true performance hybrid. The one-shoe quiver? This shoe comes close. As an added bonus, these shoes adhere to Scarpa’s Planet Friendly Guidelines, incorporating 30-100% recycled material as well as an EcoPure® EVA midsole formulated to quickly breakdown in landfill conditions.
For more information, visit Scarpa.Com