Scarpa New SL 2009

The Scarpa SL has defined the 3-4 season boot category for many years. It is a classic design that is ideal for British conditions with a one-piece leather upper that is virtually free of stitching to fail, and its 2.8mm thickness means it is very water-resistant. Treat this material regularly with proofing products and it will last a lifetime and keep the worst of the water out. The current version has a more flexible ankle support than its forebears, yet it retains the stiff upper and stiff sole unit that give it the performance advantage on scree and snow. The boot is also lighter than the original, and very light for its performance. Underfoot there is a very aggressive sole unit that can bite into snow and mud for many years to come as the lugs are deep enough not to wear down after a couple of seasons. I also like the rolling action of the sole unit as it makes walks below the snow very comfortable.  But the Scarpa New SL has no rubber rand, so if you are mega-hard on your boots then that is a drawback. The tongue design could also be slightly more comfortable. If you like more ankle support then this is not going to give as much as some others (novices in particular may feel they want a little more ankle support on snow). The price is a bit high considering there’s no Gore-Tex lining.

Upper 2.8mm Sherpa HS12 leather
Sole Scarpa Vibram M3, Performance Flex midsole
Sizes 40-50 with two width fittings (men’s); 36-42 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B1
Weight 1788g (size 46) Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 214

The Scarpa New SL continues the tradition of the original and remains the defining 3-4 season boot. It won ‘Best in Test’ in our review.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2009