Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Review – Conquering Every Trail with Confidence

Explore the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX: a top choice for hikers seeking durability, comfort, and exceptional traction on varied terrains.
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX

Unveiling the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX: Where Durability Meets Performance
The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX excels in rugged terrains, offering unparalleled waterproofing, traction, and durability for serious outdoor enthusiasts.


Design & Versatility
Comfort & Support
Durability & Performance
Waterproofing & Breathability
Value for Money


  • Exceptional waterproofing
  • Superior traction
  • High durability
  • Comfortable fit
  • Versatile performance


  • Overly warm in high temperatures
  • High price point


Unveiling the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX emerges as a beacon of innovation in the outdoor footwear market, designed meticulously for the avid trekker who demands versatility, durability, and uncompromising performance. Engineered to bridge the gap between a heavy-duty mountain boot and a lightweight trail shoe, it promises an unparalleled blend of comfort and ruggedness, making it an ideal choice for backpacking, technical hiking, and light mountaineering.

First Impressions: A Blend of Robustness and Comfort

Upon unboxing the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX, its robust construction and thoughtful design immediately catch the eye. The boot’s aesthetic, with its sleek, purposeful lines, hints at its technical prowess and readiness to tackle diverse terrains. The initial try-on reveals a snug, yet comfortable fit, suggesting hours of comfortable wear on the trail. The Gore-Tex (GTX) lining promises waterproof protection without sacrificing breathability, a feature eagerly anticipated to be put to the test in varying weather conditions.

Setting the Stage for Comprehensive Testing

The testing ground for the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX was chosen to encompass a broad spectrum of environments: from the damp, muddy trails of the Pacific Northwest to the rocky, challenging ascents of the Rocky Mountains. This varied testing context is aimed at pushing the boots to their limits, evaluating not just their comfort and fit, but their adaptability to different weather conditions, terrains, and hiking demands. The goal is to provide a thorough insight into how these boots stand up to the real-world challenges faced by outdoor enthusiasts.

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX promises to be a game-changer for hikers and mountaineers seeking a boot that doesn’t compromise on performance or protection. This introduction sets the stage for a detailed exploration of its capabilities, designed to inform and guide those in search of their next outdoor companion.

Technical Specifications

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is a testament to Scarpa’s commitment to excellence in outdoor footwear. This section delves into the technical prowess of the boot, highlighting its key features, innovative technologies, and the high-quality materials that make it a standout choice for serious hikers and mountaineers.

Key Features and Technology

  • Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Lining: Ensures waterproof protection while maintaining breathability, keeping feet dry and comfortable in varied weather conditions.
  • Sock-Fit DV Construction: A Scarpa innovation that offers a snug fit by integrating the boot’s tongue into the upper, reducing bulk and enhancing comfort.
  • Perwanger Suede Leather Upper: Renowned for its durability and resistance to wear and tear, this premium suede leather ensures the boot’s longevity and ruggedness.

Design and Materials

  • Vibram Drumlin Outsole: This outsole is designed for maximum traction on a variety of surfaces, featuring a unique lug pattern that provides stability on rocky and uneven terrain.
  • Rubber Rand: A protective rubber rand encircles the boot, offering additional protection against abrasion and sharp rocks.
  • PU + Three-Density EVA Midsole: Engineered for optimal shock absorption and stability, the midsole combines polyurethane and EVA foam in strategic densities to ensure comfort and support over long distances.

Sustainability and Environmental Consideration

Scarpa’s approach to sustainability is evident in the Zodiac Plus GTX, with a focus on using environmentally friendly materials and processes where possible, including:

  • Recycled Materials: Utilization of recycled materials in components like the rubber outsole and EVA midsole to minimize environmental impact.
  • Low-Impact Tanning Process: The leather upper is processed using a lower-impact tanning method, reducing the environmental footprint of the manufacturing process.

The Sum of Its Parts

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX combines innovative technologies with high-quality materials to create a boot that’s both functional and durable. The integration of Gore-Tex lining for waterproofing, along with the Vibram outsole for superior grip, and the environmentally conscious construction methods, underscores Scarpa’s commitment to offering a product that meets the needs of serious outdoor enthusiasts while also considering the impact on the planet.

This boot is designed not just with the user’s performance in mind but also with an eye towards longevity and sustainability, making it a wise investment for those who spend considerable time in challenging outdoor environments.

Performance Evaluation

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is rigorously tested under various conditions to ensure it meets the high standards expected by outdoor enthusiasts. This performance evaluation covers the boot’s fabric performance, weather resistance, and key features that enhance the hiking experience.

Fabric Performance

  • Breathability and Waterproofing: The Gore-Tex lining excels in providing a waterproof barrier against streams and rain, while its breathability aspect ensures moisture from the feet is effectively wicked away. Even in high-exertion activities, the boots manage to keep the feet dry from both external water and internal sweat.
  • Durability: The Perwanger suede leather upper, combined with the rubber rand, offers exceptional durability. The boots show minimal wear after extensive use across rocky terrains, indicating a design that resists abrasion and tearing effectively.

Weather Resistance

  • Adaptability Across Conditions: Tested in everything from snow to desert heat, the Zodiac Plus GTX demonstrates remarkable versatility. The insulation is sufficient to keep feet warm in cold weather, yet the design allows for enough air flow to prevent overheating in warmer conditions.
  • Waterproof Effectiveness: The boots live up to their waterproof claims, providing complete protection in wet conditions while maintaining breathability. This balance is crucial for comfort and health over long distances.

Enhanced Hiking Features

  • Traction and Stability: The Vibram Drumlin outsole provides outstanding grip on various surfaces, from muddy paths to slippery rocks, enhancing safety and confidence on difficult trails.
  • Support and Comfort: The PU + Three-Density EVA midsole offers targeted support and cushioning, reducing foot fatigue during long hikes. The Sock-Fit DV construction ensures a snug, comfortable fit that minimizes blistering and discomfort.
  • Lacing System: The precise lacing system allows for easy adjustment, ensuring a secure fit that supports the ankle and reduces slippage inside the boot.

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX stands out for its exceptional performance across a range of challenging outdoor conditions. Its waterproofing and breathability, coupled with superior durability, make it a reliable choice for serious hikers. The boot’s design, focusing on traction, stability, and comfort, directly contributes to a safer and more enjoyable hiking experience. Whether navigating rocky inclines or enduring long treks, the Zodiac Plus GTX proves to be a steadfast companion on the trail.

Fit and Comfort

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX boot is designed with the diverse needs of hikers in mind, balancing robust outdoor performance with the essential comfort features required for long days on the trail. This section explores the boot’s fit, sizing, and comfort level during various outdoor activities.

Sizing and Fit

  • True to Size: The Zodiac Plus GTX boots run true to size, providing a snug and secure fit without being overly tight. Hikers should find the sizing reliable, allowing for the selection of their usual shoe size with confidence.
  • Accommodating Design: Designed to accommodate a range of foot shapes, the boot offers enough room in the toe box for natural toe spread, while the midfoot and heel areas are snug enough to prevent slippage and provide stability.
  • Ankle Support: The mid-height design offers excellent ankle support, crucial for carrying heavy packs over uneven terrain. This support, combined with the boot’s overall fit, contributes to a reduced risk of ankle rolling and other common hiking injuries.

Comfort During Various Activities

  • Hiking and Backpacking: During extensive hiking and backpacking trips, the boots provide sustained comfort. The cushioned midsole absorbs shock effectively, while the supportive design minimizes foot fatigue.
  • Technical Terrain: On rocky and technical terrain, the precise fit and sturdy construction of the boot enhance stability and foot protection, allowing for confident movements without discomfort.
  • Adaptability to Activities: Whether crossing streams, climbing steep inclines, or traversing long distances, the Zodiac Plus GTX maintains a high level of comfort. The breathable, waterproof lining ensures feet stay dry and comfortable in diverse weather conditions.

Personal Anecdote

During a multi-day backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada, the Zodiac Plus GTX boots offered exceptional comfort and support, even with a heavy pack. The secure fit and reliable traction provided confidence on slippery granite passes, and despite the varied terrain and long distances, foot fatigue was notably minimal.

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX boot excels in providing a fit that combines security, adaptability, and comfort, making it suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities. Its design successfully addresses the common challenges faced by hikers, offering a blend of performance and comfort that stands out in the market. For those seeking a reliable partner for their outdoor adventures, the Zodiac Plus GTX is a compelling choice, capable of enhancing the hiking experience through superior fit and comfort.

Pros and Cons

Evaluating the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX involves a thorough consideration of its strengths and weaknesses. This balanced view helps potential buyers make informed decisions based on their specific needs and expectations.


  • Exceptional Waterproofing: The Gore-Tex lining offers reliable waterproof protection, keeping feet dry in wet conditions without sacrificing breathability.
  • Superior Traction: The Vibram Drumlin outsole provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, from slippery rocks to loose gravel, enhancing safety and confidence on the trail.
  • Durability: Constructed with high-quality Perwanger suede leather and a protective rubber rand, the Zodiac Plus GTX is built to withstand the rigors of tough terrain and extensive use.
  • Comfort and Support: The combination of the PU + Three-Density EVA midsole and Sock-Fit DV construction ensures a comfortable fit with ample support, reducing foot fatigue during long hikes.
  • Versatile Performance: Designed to perform well in a range of conditions, from cold mountain trails to warm valley walks, making it a great all-rounder for various outdoor activities.


  • Warmth in High Temperatures: While excellent in cooler conditions, the boots can feel overly warm in high temperatures, potentially leading to discomfort during summer hikes in hot climates.
  • Price Point: The high quality and advanced features of the Zodiac Plus GTX come at a premium price, which may be a consideration for budget-conscious shoppers.

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX boots offer a compelling mix of waterproofing, traction, durability, and comfort, making them a strong contender for serious hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. While they excel in many areas, potential buyers should weigh the warmth factor and price against their specific needs and hiking environments. Overall, the Zodiac Plus GTX stands out as a top choice for those seeking a reliable, high-performance hiking boot capable of tackling a wide range of outdoor adventures.

Comparative Analysis

When placed side by side with its contemporaries, the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX distinguishes itself through its superior blend of durability, comfort, and technical performance. For instance, compared to models like the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX, the Zodiac Plus offers a slightly more robust build, making it more suitable for rugged terrains and heavy usage. However, the Nucleo High II GTX may edge out in terms of lightness and agility, appealing to those prioritizing speed and less intensive mountaineering tasks.

Another notable comparison is with the Salomon Quest 4 GTX, which is renowned for its comfort and stability. While the Quest provides excellent ankle support and cushioning, the Zodiac Plus GTX leads in waterproofing and traction, especially on technical surfaces. This analysis underscores the Zodiac Plus GTX’s position as a top choice for serious hikers who demand comprehensive protection and versatility.


The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX stands out as a high-performance hiking boot designed for those who refuse to compromise on quality and functionality. With its exceptional waterproofing, unmatched durability, and superior traction, it confidently tackles a wide array of terrains and conditions. Despite its slightly higher price point and potential warmth in hot climates, the benefits it offers, especially in terms of long-term comfort and ruggedness, justify the investment. Ideal for the dedicated hiker, backpacker, or mountaineer seeking a reliable, all-terrain boot, the Zodiac Plus GTX emerges as a top recommendation. It represents not just a piece of footwear but a trustworthy companion for your most challenging outdoor adventures.

Further reading