The Scarpa Mescalito TRK Planet GTX sounds like a line out of Star Wars. While they’d be at home kicking rocks on the hard-packed desert planet of Tatooine, these are in fact a hard-wearing pair of trekking boots. Matt unpacked the tech in these planet and plantar fascia-friendly shoes.

Who is Scarpa?

Scarpa is the Ferrari of hiking footwear.

Not only are they Italian (that part certainly helps the metaphor) but they’ve been making high-performance footwear in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains since 1938.

They were the first brand to build a Gore-Tex boot and have stayed true to their roots in mountaineering, trekking, hiking, alpine running, climbing, and skiing ever since.

Where other OG outdoor brands now make everything from tents to tees, Scarpa has focused solely – pun intended – on footwear. This specialisation means they have a shoe to suit whatever kind of mountain scrambling or sliding you’re into.


Why I Chose This Hiking Boot

With more than 15 pairs of ‘hiking’ shoes and boots to choose from in Scarpa’s 2023 summer collection, I settled on the Scarpa Mescalito TRK Planet GTXs.

A lot of decisions go into choosing a hiking boot. What terrain are you on? How long will you be wearing them? A day? A week? A month? How heavy is your pack? Will the trails be wet? Do you like ankle protection? And of course, when you put them on, can you feel space around your big toe with your big thumb?

We won’t get too carried away here, Rach wrote a great article on what to look for in a great pair of hiking boots and emphasised why they’re worth the investment.

There are also warring camps between devotees to hiking boots vs trail runners, but thankfully if you reside in the latter camp, Scarpa are doing some top-notch trail running shoes these days as well.



So, while I won’t tell you ‘how’ to choose a hiking boot, let’s go with ‘why’ you might choose a boot like the sturdy Mescalito TRK Planet GTX.

Hiking vs Trekking vs Backpacking

The Mescalito TRK Planet GTX is classified as a trekking boot (to Europeans) and a backpacking boot (to Americans).

Aussies tend to refer to hiking as any outdoor foray in any vaguely outdoorsy footwear. However, hikes as we refer to them at We Are Explorers are most accurately single-day or smaller multi-day self-supported adventures.

Trekking and backpacking tend to be longer affairs, and the backpacks tend to be much bigger and heavier.

Therefore, trekking shoes like these Mescalitos – the ‘TRK’ in the name is the hint there – tend to be a little more heavy-duty than the pair of shoes or trail runners you might reach for on a single-day hike.



As someone who’s gearing up for the Overland Track (a 65km six-day trek) in a few months, these boots couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Performance Part – What makes these boots so good?

The Mescalito TRK Planet GTX is all about comfort, support, and stability.

Being a mid-high ankle boot, it securely locks the foot in place and prevents the dreaded ankle roll. However, they still display some of the sleek lines and characteristics of a lower-profile approach shoe. As far as hiking boots go, I reckon they’re pretty good looking too.

All Scarpa footwear uses Euro sizes for a more precise fit.

As a pair, they weigh in at 1,300g (42 EU/10 US men) or 1,100g (38 EU/7 US women) which is pretty consistent with this style and cut of trekking boot.

You can add another 200-300g if you look at Scarpa’s full leather varieties, or go the other direction and shave weight with a low ankle cut version. But, when it comes to long treks, with heavy packs, I’ve always been happy to sacrifice being super light and nimble on my feet if it means extra cushion and support.

The Sole of the Matter

A great hiking boot is built from the ground up. It might be the least sexy part of a shoe, but the sole contains most of the tech that’ll propel you from A to B and keep you on your feet all day long.

The Mescalito TRK Planet GTX has four ingredients that make its soles superior.



1. High-Density PU Midsole

This structural insert is made of hard plastic and sits inside the middle and heel area of the boot. It provides a strong base to propel each step and an anti-torsion design keeps the footbed contained and prevents rolling.


2. Low-Density PU Midsole

This is the cushion. This spongy material in the midsole provides maximum comfort and shock absorption.


3. Technical Vibram Outsole

The outsole (that’s the bit that touches the ground) is made from an Ecostep Evo compound by Vibram – the ultimate purveyors of non-slip treads – and it guarantees maximum grip on all kinds of terrain. This latest formulation of rubber also has an increased friction coefficient which means it’s the grippiest one yet.

It’s a super firm sole compound (I can barely depress it with my finger) so rest assured it’ll eat sharp rocks and sticks for breakfast.


4. Trekking-specific tread design and lugs

The lug pattern is designed specifically for hiking. In the diagram above, orange is the propulsion lug, red assists with braking, green provides maximum grip on the uphill, and blue corresponds with stability in all directions. Nifty eh?


The Gore-Tex

The boot features a Gore-Tex Flux membrane which is sure to keep the feet dry if the trail has other plans.

The membrane contains 9 billion microscopic pores (I counted them all) which are 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, but 70 times bigger than a molecule of moisture vapour. What the heck does that mean? It means while water won’t get through the boot, it’ll still be breathable from the inside out and your feet won’t suffocate after a long day on the trail.

The best part? The membrane contains 98% recycled fabrics!

The Planet Part – What makes these shoes so sustainable?

We often talk about Leave No Trace when hiking and while it’s nice to think we leave nothing but footprints behind, those footprints can tell their own sustainability story.

The Mescalito TRK Planet GTX’s footprint is as light as they come — metaphorically speaking of course.

The Vibram Ecostep outsole that I waxed so lyrically about in the performance section is made with 30% recycled rubber. You can see the evidence of this in the little white specks within the sole. Don’t worry, one hike and the soles of your boots will look decidedly browner.



The crowning glory of these boots is the ‘Perspair Upper’ (the orange top part of the shoe). It’s a seamless, single-piece upper that’s made with 45% recycled yarns and combines with abrasion-resistant inserts so as not to sacrifice performance at all.


Where can I pick up a pair?

The Scarpa Mescalito TRK Planet GTX hike boots retail for $499.95 and are available exclusively at your local Paddy Pallin store or online.

That way, you’ll be able to sample the European sizing (6.6mm between sizes) versus the US sizing we’re used to (8.4mm between sizes) and get a perfect-fitting boot for your next trek.