Matt Gunn Track Tests Scarpa's new Mistral GTX hiking shoe.
"When Great Walks editor Brent Mckean asked me to test the Scarpa Mistral GTX I accepted with mixed emotions. My four-year-old Scarpa Kinesis Light GTX boots had served me well from Kokoda to the Simpson Desert and aren't even close to retirement despite the punishment they've received. But once I slipped on these new puppies, the old ones were relegated to the boot box.
Their first hit-out was somewhat unconventional, rounding up 200 head of cattle that were out to fatten over the foothills of Weabonga, near Walcha in Northern NSW. Real billy goat country.
First thing I noticed was how light and comfortable they were. Breaking in new boots can be a time-consuming chore if not fitted correctly. In this case it was a pleasure, they fit like a glove from the outset and Scarpa appear consistent in their sizing to me, making it much easier to find like-for-like replacements.
Lightweight and cushioned, the Mistral GTX is still robust with excellent ankle support and protective toe and heel. Good grip too as I scrambled over shale and loose dirt.
The next hit-out was in the Ku-ring-gai NP, where I have walked many a mile in the Oxfam Trailwalker. I normally do this event in trail-runners, but the Mistral GTX felt comfortable and light enough to handle the job.
While they are durable and love the rough stuff, the fabric and suede upper came though testing unscathed and they are stylish enough for everyday wear, which is always a bonus. Even after trudging through cow pats, they scrubbed up a treat to pair with some jeans for a trip to the local at night."