Very good hiking shoes for long and challenging backpacking trips
The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is the shoe that just won't quit. Whether you're trekking up steep and rocky terrain or need extra grip for snowy hikes, the Zodiac Plus performs. Able to support long-distance backpacking trips, this shoe is a fantastic choice for safety and durability.
Weighing in at just 19.2 oz/545 g (men's model), the lightness of the Zodiac Plus takes nothing away from its midsole cushioning. The unique design is crafted without a shank, meaning less weight, balanced stiffness, and cushioned shock absorption. Throw EVA foam and TPU into the mix, and the result is a cushioned midsole that can go the distance, supporting heavier loads over miles of hiking. The upper of the Zodiac Plus is classy: suede—though a durable suede with a Gore-Tex membrane underneath—keeps feet breathing through every stride. The material also proves just flexible enough for a comfortable, albeit secure, trek. Testers were quite impressed with the waterproofing of the shoe that effectively fends off humidity.
The shoe's outsole provides excellent traction, making it a great choice for maneuvering technical trails and scaling boulders. Widely-spaced lugs prevent sludge from getting stuck in the tread, making it easy for the Zodiac Plus to maintain its grip.
While this shoe is undoubtedly a top-notch choice for long hikes, users noted a few downsides of the Zodiac Plus. For one, the suede upper makes every scratch, mark, and stain extremely obvious. After just one use, the shoe will look used. Of course, it's only superficial and does not decrease the protection of the shoe. Also, the EVA in the midsole may wear out with multiple uses. However, the durability of TPU will make up for any EVA wear and tear, ensuring excellent long-term results overall. Finally, the Zodiac is initially rigid and requires a long break-in period to be truly comfortable.
To summarize, the Zodiac Plus GTX is a very good hiking boot that offers impeccable grip and effective protection of the foot against shocks and the elements. Despite a few shortcomings, it's a reliable model ranking among the best in its category.
The outsole of the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is equipped with Vibram Drumlin, a rugged rubber that naturally sticks to mud and rocks to offer an impressive grip.
The midsole usesEVA foam and TPU that promotes softness and rigidity for a comfortable and stable cushioning.
The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX features a 1.8-mm Perwanger suede leather upper that comfortably keeps the foot secure inside the shoe while allowing a good breeze, especially when it’s hot.
The Sock-Fit DV is a padded tongue that offers strict and pleasant foot lockdown especially the instep.
The Gore-Tex Performance Comfort is an insulating membrane inside the shoe that repels water and humidity while walking for more comfort.
Rubberized protective layers shield your foot from rocks on hiking terrains and increases the solidity of the shoe against scuffs and scrapes
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Does this shoe fit true to size?
Yes, the hikers who tried it confirmed that it fits as expected. Therefore, you can buy your regular size for running shoes. Nonetheless, if this your first pair of Scarpa shoes, it would be a good idea to try them on in-store to be 100% sure (it can be tricky to find the right amount of space for your toes, even if you normally know your size).
Is the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX waterproof?
Yes, these shoes are equipped with a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane for optimal protection that keeps your feet dry even in heavy rain or when crossing shallow streams. However, no protection is perfect beyond a certain point. And it’s normal: waterproofing cannot be total at the risk of not allowing feet to breathe while hiking.
1 review for Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX
5.0out of 5
Write a review
Runner's Lab is a site created by and for runners to help you find the best running shoes.
For each running shoe model we analyze reviews from many sources to propose an overall score and a consensus.
We base our recommendations on the latest insights from scientific research.