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Can you help me narrow down boot options for an ascent of Gannett Peak?

I’d like your opinion on the Scarpa Escape GTX and La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX boots. I getting ready for a trip to Gannett Peak next summer and have narrowed my choice to these two boots. Logan Madison, Alabama


Interestingly enough, I have been wearing both the Scarpa Escape GTX ($229; and La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX ($285; this summer. The Escape is new this year, while the Trango has been out for several years and is based on a boot first introduced a decade ago.

Scarpa Escape GTX

Escape GTX

Both are intended as light, go-nearly-anywhere trekking and climbing boots for mild weather. Both are crampon-compatible (the Escape accepts Grivel’s GSb crampons, with fit into a slot in the boot sole), have full rubber rands around the sole to protect the boot, and have Gore-Tex liners.

The Escape is more of a traditional-looking hiking/climbing boot, with leather uppers and a Vibram sole. I regard it as nearly perfect for things such as climbing Mount Rainier in July, or most other Western mixed snow/ice/rock peaks where the rock part is not terrifically technical (up to Class 4 or low Class 5, depending on how nimble a rock climber you are). The La Sportiva boot is a little different beast, with synthetic uppers and a more sporty red-on-black color scheme. Kind of loud, actually. And the Vibram sole has a “climbing platform" from the big toe to the mid-point of the foot. That’s designed for superior edging on more technical rock. I used an early version of the Trango on the West Ridge of Mount Stuart, which goes to 5.4, and it worked great. In May I wore the Escapes up the same peak, via one of the gentler snow-filled couloirs, and they were fine for that.

So, choose the Escape for all-around hiking and climbing and the Trango for a little more technical stuff. For Gannett, wow, it’s kind of a toss-up. The Escape seems like a little more stable trail boot, so there’s that to consider. Both would work well for you, I think.

As for fit and break-in, both seem true to size and are comfortable pretty much out of the box. I’m a narrow-ish size 9 and am wearing 9.5 in both. The Escape is a little wider than the Trango. I’m just about to take the Trango into the Olympics for three days, for a trip into the Royal Basin and up Mount Clark.

You’ve seen our picks for 2007 Gear of the Year, and now the entire Outside Summer Buyer’s Guide is online. Check out this year’s more than 400 must-have gear items, including hiking shoes.

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Filed To: Hiking Boots
Lead Photo: courtesy, Scarpa