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Scarpa Zen Approach Shoe Review

Scarpa Zen Feature Image

Scarpa Zen Feature Image

Quick Take Review

Well, I’ve banged these shoes around for several years now. Bought them originally for a trip to Yellowstone and have loved them ever since. Since then, they’ve accompanied me to Yosemite, on numerous treks to the Sierras, around town, out to dinner and just about everywhere in between.

Out of the box, these approach shoes deliver Italian style in spades. The rubber toe cap provides rugged protection when scrambling up the trail. The two-tone suede upper is understated and natty – all at the same time. The crisscrossed stitching adds to the durability and stylishness. This could pass for an upscale sneaker that you can wear with jeans around town as well as a credible piece of technical gear. The sole if a special Vibram compound that is both sticky and hard wearing. The Scarpa Zen hits everything just about right.

The fit on the Scarpa Zen is fairly tight as you’d expect from a piece of mountaineering gear. I might think twice about these if you have extremely wide feet. I find them extremely comfortable, but I advise buying at least one size up for most people. One other suggestion, spray these down with some waterproofing before you take them on the trail. I was a little reluctant to do so, not knowing how the suede would react (would it darken up too much, for instance). Luckily, the Scarpa Zen showed no such darkening and the waterproofing provides enough extra protection.

If you’re looking for a low-slung and stylish hiker/approach shoe, buy these.

Scarpa Zen approach shoes are available online at Eastern Mountain Sports, Moosejaw and


Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. Written by Matt K.

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