Scarpa SL M3
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Little brother to the Manta, the Scarpa SL M3 is a three/four season walking boot at a decent price. Durable and grippy, these boots (called the New SL X for 2009) will also take a flexible crampon without any problems.
Both Ladies and XX Wide fit versions are also available.
Official Scarpa SL M3 specification from Scarpa
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Scarpa SL M3 Reviews
Reviewed by Sam Walker (Leeds) on 2005-12-29:
General comments: Bought these boots to replace my old Salomon Pro Trek 6 boots about a year ago, Got them in the sale for £80 so certainly something of a bargain for me. But I also feel that the full price, of £150 though expensive will offer good value for anybody looking for some serious boots. I've walked around 200 miles+ in them at the moment and they are in almost as new condition. The sole is showing very very little wear, at a time when my Salomon boots looked like they were beginning to suffer and the sole was getting thinner and thinner than Victoria Beckham. The sole of the M3 I think is a very nice addition to the boot, in that it's stiff enough to take a C1 crampon for straightforward glacier walking or on short patches of snow. However, these boots are not suitable for climbing, because as stiff as they may feel for walking in, they do bend! Sole is reasonably grippy and seems good scrambling although obviously not brill on wet rock but no worse than any other shoe. Ankle support is good too, what you'd expect from a top of the range boot and feels comfortable and well padded throughout. Weight isn't really a hugh factor, yes they're reasonably heavy, but more reassuring than overweight.
All in all, a well built 3-4 season boot and ideal for 4 season use south of the border. Expensive but good value
Pros: Solid. Stiff
Resolable. No gore-tex liner. One piece constrution. Will last for years
Cons: Erm, maybe a bit expensive and a bit heavy for valley rambles.
Reviewed by Ben Johnson (Bath) on 2006-01-01:
General comments: A magazine shoot out of 3-4 season boots wouldn't be complete without the Scarpa SL M3 coming out on top. No being Gore-Tex lined the SL is 'guaranteed' waterproof but if you look after it will look after you. The upper is made from 2.8 Sherpa leather to which a silicone treatment (HS12) is added during tanning to keep it waterproof. You can top up the waterproofing with a tube of HS12 cream, which also helps softening them up a bit and keeps them nice and shin
ny! No Gore-Tex means a cooler more breathable boot, always nice. Although fairly stiff (they're B1 crampon rated) they needed minimal breaking in and I had these out on a 20 miler within 2 weeks. Anyone looking at a pair of these will notice how little stitching there is on them. Fewer bits tend to mean less chance of bit going wrong. If you ever get to the point where you've worn out the sole but love your old boots you'll be in luck as the Vibram sole can be easily replaced. These boots are heavy but the comfort does make up for that. They are also available in a wide fitting as, being Italian; they do come up a bit on the narrow side. In Spring a new SL is being launched with the same flexible ankle as the new Manta. If you can wait that long you might be lucky and pick up an old model on clearance!
Pros: It's going to last forever, wide fit available.
Cons: Expensive, heavy, too stiff for many.
Reviewed by David Cowan (Aberdeen) on 2006-01-03:
General comments: These boots are quite possibly the best boot of its kind. I have been useing these for the past year and am delighted with them. Friends have had them for years and swear by them they last for ages. They are very comfy right from the start (if you lace them up properly otherwise the tongue can dig in to the front of your ankle).
Pros: They are very warm, comfy and waterproof, they last for ages too. What more could you want? The traction on the sole is excelent sightly slippy on wet rock but name a boot that isn't! There are very few seams therefore very little to go wrong with the boot and less areas for water to seap through. In one word excellent.
Cons: Not for all foot shapes can be slightly short and narrow with next size up being just a bit too big. Try them out round the shop before you buy. Expensive but you get what you pay for.
Reviewed by Thomas Williams (Chester) on 2006-01-17:
General comments: Had these Scarpa M3 boots for about 5 years now and for winter walking and scrambling they are superb Have also used these alot with 10 point walking flexi crampons on easy snow gullys and grade II ice routes and they coped admirably. It really is no wonder that they win Trails award year in year out. When they come out of the box and you first wear them the feel very stiff with very little flex but over time they will loosen up and become more flexible after a good few outings. If you are looking for quality winter walking boots then look no further.
Pros: Very Versitle
Waterproof without the need for a membrane
Cons: Maybe slightly too warm for summer use
Reviewed by Justin Maxwell (Edinburgh) on 2006-01-18:
General comments: Excellent boots. I bought them last year mainly for winter, as they are semi-flexible with a B1 rating, so suitable for occasional crampon use. The Scarpa M3's required no breaking in, though I wore them on a short route the first day. They've never given me blisters, just some chafing which I get normally (2 pairs of wool socks help). The boots are very comfortable with good ankle padding - I didn't find them narrow. I've used them with crampons - one day for over four hours - with no problem. The M3 sole has good chunky vibram lugs as well. When those wear out the M3 unit is replaceable - a bonus if you look after the leather uppers. And the uppers are made to last - quality leather with very little stitching, so I can't see them ever coming apart as has begun to happen to my old Meindl Borneos.
The only downside to the boots is the weight, which I suppose applies to all 4 season boots - they are far heavier then my Borneos. That doesn't mean they're unsuitable as walking boots - I've worn them on 3 longer days of about 30km and really didn't notice the weight even by the end. And hurrying to make the club bus after climbing Mount Keen last March, I ran a good mile or more under a winter sack and in my SLM3s, and had a minute to spare! While I don't like them for multiday trekking, as they're probably too heavy for day in, day out use, they're just fine for summer use if you don't plan to jog along the ridges too much. A full shank means they're kind of stiff.
Pros: Made to last, quality leather with very little stitching and replaceable M3 sole, versatile 4 season boot, quick to break in.
Cons: On the heavy side, to be expected from a 4 season boot.
Reviewed by Kieran (Belfast) on 2006-01-21:
General comments: The SL M3 is a popular boot and it is easy to see why. They are very sturdy, providing great support in the hills. The sole is good quality with great grip. The H12 leather that Scarpa use for the boot is good as long as it is treated regularly.
My boots have only leaked once, though the path I was walking was more like a stream and I had not treated my boots in a while.
The lacing system is good and easy to use. The insides are well padded and comfortable. I have never had blisters from these boots, which is an added bonus.
The Scarpa SL M3's are a little heavy, so not ideal for easy walking on paths and trails, though they are designed for hill walking where extra support is required - for anything less it will always be better to wear trainers. The price is expensive but it's money worth spending if you find these boots comfortable - best to try them before ordering.
Pros: A sturdy, comfortable, long lasting boot with great water proofing.
Cons: The SL M3's are expensive, but the high quality makes up for the price.
Reviewed by Chris Chaddock (Staffordshire) on 2006-01-24:
General comments: The classic 4 season hiking boot that always features near the top in outdoor equipment reviews. Owned a pair of Scarpa M3 boots for nearly 2 years and in that time they have had some pretty heavy use. However, give the laces a wash and get some brown wax into them and they'd be pretty hard to distinguish between them and a pair that were weeks old. This is a testament to the quality of Scarpa footwear and I'm sure that they will give years of fantastic service. Unlike a number of boots on the market they don't have a rubber rand and just have a simple one piece mid and insole bonded to the leather upper, this prevents any leakage. The sole is stiff (B1) and accepts a C1 crampon, although you have to use a crampon with a strapping system as the SL does not have a heal recess for newmatic type designs. This is something to be aware of, as I found to my cost! All in all the SL is a super sturdy 4 season boot and I recommend it to any walker, summer and winter.
Pros: Fantastic build quality. You'd really have to hammer the boot to death to warrant a replacement. Strong laces and a nice padded ankle. The sole is strong and stiff and offers good grip in a variety of under foot conditions. The boot accepts a walking crampon for all round use
Cons: I think the boot is a tad on the heavy side and it is also quite stiff. That is great if you just require a walking boot, but if you want something for scrambles then I would prefer something a little softer and flexible. Sometimes when you're cold and knackered after a day out, the boot is sometimes a little bit hard to remove. Especially if you brush polish your boots and sometimes brush polish into the eyelets. Apart from these minor little points the boots are pretty hard to fault.
Reviewed by Freddie Crowley (Perthshire) on 2006-02-06:
General comments: I have had these Scarpa SL M3 boots for just over a year now and have used them for just about everything imaginable: grade vi icefall climbing-with grivel g12 new classics, gold Duke of Edinburgh in Iceland for ten days, winter mountaineering in glencoe, grouse beating in the southern uplands, you name it, these boots are up for it!
Straght from the box they felt like carpet slippers, and i have never experienced blisters with these boots. the only modification that i felt has been needed to improve comfort, has been thermal footbeds for the winter.
Pros: These boots are able to adapt to just about any situation, although i admit they are not the most comfortable things to go technical icefall climbing in! I would recomend these boots to everyone, especially those just starting out in the world of four season walking and mountaineering. They are comfortable enough for absalute begginers, yet remain up to the task as one progresses in technical difficulty. As for reliability, my pair show no sign of falling apart just yet, the excellent sole unit is still solid, if a little scratched!
Cons: The one problem that comes to mind is the winter performance of these boots. In Scotland especially, i have experienced cold and sometimes damp toes, but i have recently cured this with a pair of berghaus yeti gaiters-(highly recommended!)
Reviewed by S.Harry (Inverness) on 2006-02-27:
General comments: I own seven pairs of boot, mainly Meindl and Scarpa with the odd Zamberlan thrown in. This is only due to me having a job where I get them free as I work outdoors and due to the fact I look after them they all have lasted ages. I have a pair of scarpa SL’s as the boots I use most. They are not as heavy or as stiff as my mantas so these are great for using out and about everyday. The one piece upper gives great weatherproof ness as long as they are treated with Nikwax etc, this I do very regularly with all my boots hence the longevity and the high number of boots. The sole unit is very good and appears the have worn very well considering the use these get and their age (5 years). The lacing system, like all Scarpas, is very good and keeps the boot tight, I did have to change the laces early on as the ones that came with the boot often slipped out of the knot (there is a website you can access which shows lacing knots which will never slip- www.shoeknots.com). The boot has now worn in well and fits like a glove. If you have wide feet the SL’s come in a wide version. These boots, like most Scarpa boots, ooze quality, there are cheaper alternatives but they wont last as long or feel like these….and now there are new versions with the funky heel section
Pros: quality of the design and craftmanship, will last almost a lifetime
Cons: can be a tad narrow for some feet, will nedd some breaking in
Reviewed by Gethin Bridge (Edinburgh) on 2006-03-10:
General comments: If you have narrow feet then this is the boot for you! I have size 10 feet; width fitting B-C and these boots are the first I have got off the shelf to fit me. Out of interest, I went down to Altberg to get some width specific boots and these ones are a far more comfortable fit (Nothing against the people at Altberg, but this is just a better boot). They're easily stiff enough for a walking crampon (I used some cheap Mountain Technology ones that were £25 on the sale in Tisos and they were fine) and I haven't had any problems with the proofing. Being a glorious red, they do look scuffed quite quickly and the leather looks as if it is drying out, but treating them properly after using them a few times sorts that out. The sole is good and grippy, despite being stiff and if all you’re interested in is all year-round walking, with some winter forays, then this is perfect. The sole isn’t stiff enough to take a fixed crampon – for that you need the M4, but personally, I prefer walking in Winter to queuing in snow at the foot of various gullies in the Cairngorms, so I’m not complaining.
Pros: Narrow fit. Very comfortable. Good sole on wet rock.
Cons: None that I've come across yet.
Reviewed by A Robertson (Scotland) on 2006-03-14:
General comments: I got the Scarpa M3s as I needed an all year round walking boot which could be used for afternoon strolls in the summer to long winter days or overnight treks. These boots have served me really well, they are light and flexible enough for warm summer days but rugged enough to handle just about anything thrown at them whilst walking in Scotland through the winter. The Scarpa SL M3's ability to take a strap-on crampon makes them incredibly versatile for sections of snow or ice but it worth bearing in mind that they are not designed for serious winter terrain. I have been impressed with the durability of the boots, they are still going strong after about 5 years of heavy use and remain completely waterproof despite having rarely been reproofed. The vibram soles are grippy in the wet and still have plenty on life in them too. In all, this is a great boot to be used as a rugged, all-terrain hill walking boot but if you’re planning to taking on steep ground in winter a more heavyweight winter boot would be worth considering.
Pros: Comfortable, light but rugged and very durable
Cons: None, other than that the laces can get blocked up with mud which can make them hard to loosen off with cold hands back at the car park.
Reviewed by Craig Wilson (Edinburgh) on 2006-03-15:
General comments: My last pair of boots were Salomon something or others - nubuck uppers and Gore Tex liner. By the time I decided they needed to be replaced I was properly fed up of the sweat soaked socks I experienced at the end of the day when removing my boots. With this in mind I went back to basics and looked for a good pair of full grain leather boots with no waterproof lining and the Scarpa SL M3's came with very high praise from several sources. Provided you are buying these boots for the terrain they are designed for you will not be disapointed ie. they are 4 season mountain boots that will take a C1 crampon, therefor, if you are looking for boots to stroll around the valley floor or campsite then choose something else - everyting thats good about them on the hills will be a hinderence to you!
Pros: Strong and stiff in the right places to give support where it's needed but thanks to the Vibram sole - still flexible enough to give a natural walking action on the flat. Will take a C1 crampon when you fancy a bit of winter walking. Great laces. One piece leather construction.
Cons: The price of £150 is alot for a pair of boots but look at what you are getting for your money: a very robust and well designed boot made from full grain leather that will keep your feet dry - but not sweaty - and will last for many years of hard use of hill walking and scrambling.
Reviewed by Jonathan Watson (Leicestershire) on 2006-04-03:
General comments: I have had these boots for nearly 3 years now. I have done my silver and gold Duke of Edingbough walks in them and now as a leader have been walking all over the UK. These boots make you feel unstoppable, there is no situation that i feel uncomfitable in when wearing them. The stiff sole means that you can get grip and traction over rock even when crossing rivers. The tread pattern is open and deep allowing for grip in thick mud. The open tread also means that the mood is released very quickly so not clogging up and reducing the grip.
I always find putting these boots on a joy, they are so comfitable and supportive. Even after a long days heavy walking the last thing on your mind is not your feet.
I have never had any problems with water leaking in, i clean and wax them every two walks and apart from the odd scuff and scratch from rock scrambling there is no cracking in the leather at all even after 3 years.
Pros: Stiff sole
Open and deep tread pattern
Soft tounge and cuff
Good quality leather upper
Good ankle support
Cons: Not many....the lace eye's make detail cleaning differcult
Not able to take full crampons
Reviewed by Steven McDonald (Glasgow) on 2006-06-06:
General comments: I've owned these Scarpa SL boots for around 6 months. Fit (for my short, broad foot) was the best out of all the boots I tried on. Comfort, straight out of the box was excellent. I did Ben Nevis via the CMD arete a couple of days after buying them and had no problems with blisters or other foot problems. Ankle support is good and the sole has a good stiffness compromise. Comfortable for walking long distances, but stiff enough for a bit of edging when scrambling. Also coped very well with crampons. I used them with Grivel Airtech New Classics with the rigid bar and had no problems with comfort or with the crampon coming off while doing some fairly steep winter scrambling on Ben Lui. I've since bought the flexible bars for the crampons, but haven't seen a need to fit them. Waterproofness (for a boot without a waterproof membrane) hasn't been a problem during a Scottish winter.
Pros: Good support, crampon compatibilty, comfort.
Cons: No rubber rand, so the leather does get scuffed up quite quickly.
Reviewed by George Woods (Co. Down, N. Ireland) on 2007-01-14:
General comments: I bought a pair of Scarpa SL boots about 13 yrs ago. After my first mountain day trip which was through a lot of rough heather I came home to see the leather around the front of the boot was quite ragged with little slices in it. I was very concerned that I had spent so much money on boots that after one trip were damaged, so I wrote a letter to Scarpa explaining what had happened and questioned whether it was a bad batch of leather, they asked me to send them the boots for testing. Within 2 wks a brand new pair arrived on my door, no hassle at all. Since then they have never looked back. These boots have seen many many miles of use on all types of terrain, wet, boggy, snow, rock and scree. They have never yet let water through the boot...who needs gore-tex lined when you have good quality HS12 Sherpe leather. They are very grippy in muddy conditions and also stick to rock. Ankle support is superb and straight from the box are comfortable, I have never had a blister in them. They are 'Blake sewn' which means you can have them re-soled wthout them losing shape. I used mine so much that after 8yrs the edge wore of the Skywalk grips which did affect them so I had them re-soled for around £35 with the Vibram Grinta unit. They came back grippier than ever without losing any comfort or performance. I recommend these to anyone wanting a pair of mountain boots...it pays to spend a bit of money on great quality boots..your feet will thank you for it..
Pros: Very comfortable straight from the box. Great support and grip. Very hard wearing.
Cons: None whatsoever....
Reviewed by Hannah Charnley (Lancashire) on 2007-02-05:
General comments: I'm only 18 so this was only my second pair of serious boots - I had (and still have) a pair of Peter Storm Skiddaws before these. As you'd therefore expect, I was not in the slightest bit used to walking with anything other than a B:0 and on any terrain other than that on Duke of Edinburgh's expeditions and the like on the Yorkshire moors.
The reason I bought the Scarpa M3 SL boots was to go on an expedition to the Cordillera Blanca (the white mountains of Peru). Along with the time spent breaking them in and various other hikes, I trekked around 200 miles with very few problems. I'm certainly not the seasoned walker that many people reading this may be, but I certainly found them extremely comfortable and very good value for money, despite them costing six weeks worth of my wages from my poorly paying saturday job.
Pros: Excellent as far as I'm concerned. I was trekking in temperatures reaching around 36 degrees celsius and, paired with a good quality wicking coolmax sock, these did not prove a problem with regard to getting too hot or sweaty. The ankle support is excellent, much better than anything else I've tried. I have also used these boots with a pair of crampons for both glacier trekking and ice climbing. Although they are B:1 boots I used C:2 crampons and they were fine. Although the boots do not have a gore tex lining, I managed to cross every stream I tried to without getting my feet at all wet. LAcing etc is very easy and they can be tied quickly. Fit is excellent also and I believe that a wider fit is available.
Cons: Very few that I can think of. Expensive and heavy until you get used to them. A very stiff boot compared to what I'm used to but fine when broken in properly.
Reviewed by Craig Howells (Abergavenny) on 2007-06-04:
General comments: I have had these boots now for just about a year and have worn them on the Brecon beacons, Black mountains, cairngorm mountains, Pyrenees Aigüestortes and completed my Mountain leader training course in Snowdonia in them and covered probably about 500 miles in total. They are excellent boots, very waterproof, but I cannot stress you must ensure you get them fitted properly. I bought mine off an internet site thinking I knew the size I needed but they seem to be a bit narrow, I thought this was just the stiffness of the boot and they would be fine but I suffered from some serious blisters on my little toes and heel. I broke them in for about two weeks before using them and have never really suffered from blisters before.
The leather became scuffed and marked quite quickly and looked dry but I have continued to use dubbing on them and they have been fine. I think I would buy these again but would get them fitted properly.
Pros: Good boot long lasting and very waterproof
Cons: Get them fitted properly can be a narrow fit
Reviewed by David Gilbert (Peak District) on 2007-11-19:
General comments: I bought my most recent pair of Scarpa SL boots in February (my third pair of SLs so far). The latest version has a flexible ankle cuff, which is a great improvement, as they need a lot less breaking in before the ankle softens up, and is a good bit lighter than the previous versions I have owned. I walk every weekend in the Peak District, or elsewhere in the UK when I get the chance, usually 20 miles or more, and do at least one 10 - 14 day trek in the Alps in the summer, so I reckon I do about 1000 miles a year.
This year I broke this pair in on the Tour of the Queyras with the very rocky Tour of Monte Viso added on. I'd always go for a stiff midsole and leather uppers - leather for waterproofness, and the midsole because on rocky Alpine treks you are getting a lot of hammer underfoot and scraping on the uppers, so the boot needs to be really strong, which the SL is. In between two pairs of SLs I was persuaded to try Meindl Burmas, which I wore on the GR20 in Corsica, and by the end of the trek they literally fell apart; the uppers seperated completely from the soles. I also tried a Berghaus pair and they similarly didn't stand up to Alpine type walking. Both of these boots had too much flex, and developed cracks where the toe section of the boot flexes. No amount of waxing can really help with this, so my preference is for a boot that isn't going to flex so much that it cracks too quickly. In future I intend to stick with a boot I know I can trust, and this is it. I got mine on the web for under the RRP, so I think they are good value compared to cheaper, less well-made boots, which are a false economy (as I have learned with most equipment, price should never be the main selling point!)
Pros: The stiff midsole and really tough uppers are great for rough Alpine walking - I've used these on GR5, GR11, Alpine Haute Route, Tours de L'Oisans and Queyras, and the WHW in really wet conditions. Really comfortable once you get used to the stiffness of the midsole.
Cons: A little bit of a tendency to blisters on the heel and under the big toe, so you need to experiment with the footbed and sock choice to get the fight right.
Reviewed by Simon (Oxford) on 2008-08-15:
General comments: After the Gore-tex lining of my old Berghaus Storm boots lost the integirty of their waterproofing, I chose a pair of SLs to fulfill the job of all-seasons walking and scrambling. The SLs fitted this objective admirably.
Since purchasing them in 2001, I have had no issues with waterproofing, although they have had to be re-waxed regularly, as recommended in the care instructions. They are the most waterproof boots I have owned thus far. Moreover, they are also the toughest and most durable four seasons boots I have worn, coping with heavy scuffing in scree, extensive scrambling and long walks through heather and boudler fields.
The aggressive Vibram sole has provided excellent grip in all weathers, and good traction on dry rock. The amount of wear they have received, is only now starting to effect their grip, which is testament to their ruggedness. However, the outer sole has had to undergo a minor repair recently, but this is not surprising given the amount of use they have had.
The SLs are B1 rated for a C1 crampon, which means they are semi-rigid. This, however, has not reduced their comfort, and they have always been extremely easy to wear, although somewhat heavy, because of the comprehensive leather construction (I refer to the old model without the articulated ankle cuff). The new model may go some way to alleviate their weight. I have not tested the boots with crampons.
The laces also deserve some mention. Even after seven years of use, they have still not deteriorated, again, evidence of the good workmanship from Scarpa.
Ultimately, I was glad to replace my Gore-tex boots with leather ones, especially ones as a good as the Scarpa SLs. Gore-tex lining, although providing a lightweight alternative to leather, is simply not as effective or long-lasting as leather. They wear out all too quickly and then need replacing or for you to endure long wet tips with soggy socks. Personally, I feel the extra weight and durability of leather, not to mention insulation, if you foray into easy snow routes etc., well outweighs the characteristics of a fabric boot. However, the more you lean towards Alpine, Via Ferrata and technical outings, the less these advantages will be.
I highly recommend the SLs for four seasons British walking and scrambling.
Pros: Extremely durable, highly waterproof, comfortable, excellent grip and traction, good value for money for the long use you will get from them
Cons: Slightly heavy
Reviewed by John (Newcastle) on 2009-08-03:
General comments: My main pair of walking boots. I wear them all year round interchanging during winter trips with a pair of scarpa manta M4s purely to let one pair dry out whilst the other is being worn. Even though they are are rated B1 semi flexible and work well with a pair of Grivel G10's, the walking action roll is easy and more natural than a pair of B2 rated boots. I wore them straight out of the box with no breaking in as they had a glove like fit with excellent ankle support. They are much more comfortable than my previous pair of Meindls which left me with sore feet at the end of a walk.
The only problem I did encounter(my fault entirely because I had them laced up too tightly) was a little bruising on my lower leg. The M3 vibram sole has deep lugs and after two years constant use is only starting to show signs of wearing down. The uppers show no signs of spliting, having been looked after and when the time comes I will have them resoled. I suppose the only down side is the weight which is a trade off between the quality of the materials/water proofness of the leather. On a recent winter trip to Glencoe a friend and I compared the SL's against his pair of fabric boots, his were lighter but mine were dry inside.
Pros: Top quality leather boot
Reviewed by Ben (cumbria) on 2009-10-12:
General comments: These boots are brilliant. I had destroyed Meindl, Zamberlan and Brasher boots before getting a pair of M3's I have walked and climbed in them around the world Andes, Himalaya etc in snow as well and am still amazed how comfortable they are. I am on my second sole unit. The uppers are still excellent. I also have another pair I bought 3 years ago waiting in the wings.
Pros: The best 3-4 season boot on the market bar none
Cons: They are expensive but you get what you pay for
Reviewed by bgm46 (South Queensferry) on 2010-02-25:
General comments: Look good, feel great and very well .
I bought a pair recently to replace my Berghaus GTX boots, the very first thing i noticed is how stiff the sole of this boot is compared to others i have had. The ankle support is excellent.
Pros: Fantstic boot full stop
Reviewed by Fynn Helliscate (Middle East) on 2010-05-18:
General comments: What can I say? My favourite hiking boot ever. 4 seasons are no problem no matter which location, except arctic conditions below -40 Celsius when they get a bit cold. The tongue rots out in the tropics when used daily for more than 8 months and an insufficient supply of Nikwax. While they are not ideal for completely sand deserts, they are far more suitable than carrying a couple of different types of boots. Mountainous regions become more about the views than the blisters, and even when the leather is sliced by razor sharp rocks they still will carry you home when other boots fall by the wayside. My favourite though is fly fishing in remote regions, up to my knees in ice cold mountain rivers miles from anywhere and still having comfortable (although wet) feet... comfortable enough to hike another few hours out of the wilderness without blisters.
Pros: Each pair I have had over the last twenty years have managed about 5,000 km of hard hiking and abuse before them being worn out.
Cons: Once they have been broken in you must wax them regularly if you want them to remain supple and to last.... Oh! and by the way, keep a spare pair of laces in your kit bag... they are worth your weight in gold if you are a long way from everywhere when they break.
Reviewed by Darren (Durham) on 2010-09-19:
General comments: I bought a pair last winter for year round walking and had them fitted, but to this day I am still unable to use them due to heavy blistering at the heel, and discomfort due to the solid insole.
Despite having used zinc oxide tape to reduce blistering, white spirits and everything else I have had suggested or thought of to try and 'break them in', I still cannot wear them for any reasonable period of time walking.
My partner is really not happy at the waste of money as I will have to consider buying something else to see me through this forthcoming winter.
Until now I have say that this is my worst purchase ever, but I will update if I ever get them wearable and have to eat my words.
Pros: Very solid and sturdy and look very hard wearing
Cons: Unable to wear them due to discomfort and very heavy
Reviewed by John Mortimer (Glencoe) on 2011-06-24:
General comments: This is my first pair of New Scarpa SL M3
and I cannot praise them enough. After a brief trial indoors I have used them on four Munro walks in what has been the wettest May/June I can remember. They are extremely comfortable from day one and totally waterproof.
I have boney feet and have always had to use cushioning/plaster with other good brand boots but not the SL M3.
I bought on line from outdoorworldltd.com - excellent service and the best price.
Pros: Comfort -waterproof
Cons: None to date
Reviewed by Steve (West Highlands) on 2011-11-08:
General comments: This boot is much more popular than I thought. I can only agree that it excels in construction, grip and comfort (broken in after one QMD). The fairly narrow sole works extremely well on steep ground, and in all the moss, wet grass, slippery rock and black slime that I've march through, I have not lost my footing once (and I have been pushing it).
Pros: Build quality.
Cons: Don't forget to keep treating them!!