A nice balance of flexibility and support – these versatile boots are great if you’re progressing from countryside strolls into higher hill walks.
Not warm enough for freezing conditions
Wide neck requires tight lacing
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Scarpa’s latest female walking boot, the Mistral, is a flexible fabric model designed with hillwalkers in mind. A suede-and-fabric-upper makes the Mistrals comfortable from the get-go, and these tough boots pack a technical punch, with a built-in Gore-Tex membrane keeping feet totally dry.
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Vibram Energy II soles offer great stability and grip, even on wet rock, making these boots versatile enough to take higher onto mountain paths. Cushioning soles give a pleasantly springy feeling to each step you take in the Mistrals, even if you’re covering long distances.
• RRP: $107 (US) / £145 (UK)
• Weight (per boot): 540g/1lb 3oz
• Materials used: Suede/nylon upper; Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining; Vibram Energy outsole
• Colours: Smoke-lagoon
• Compatibility: Happy on established paths and trails through hills and fells
We’ve always really rated Scarpa’s boots for comfort and fit (it can often be the case that one boot brand fits your feet best, and for us and many fellow female hikers we’ve noticed that that’s definitely the Scarpa), with plenty of support without any tightness around the ankles or pressure on the toenails, even over long distances, making them some of the best women's hiking boots we've tested.
In the field
Despite being one of the heavier boots on the market, cushioning soles give a pleasantly springy feeling to each step you take in the Mistrals, even if you’re covering long distances – we tested the boots over miles of Peak District mountain paths without experiencing fatigue. What also stands out is a nice amount of flexibility thanks to the softer, trainer-like feel of the suede leather outer material.
We did find the neck of the boots on the wide side – you’ll need to lace them up tightly for good ankle support and to avoid any rain seeping in. You can always rely on Vibram soles for grip, and the Energy II soles on the Mistrals are no exception, even on wet mountainsides.
If you find most hill-happy hiking boots are too stiff for you or if you want to invest in just one great pair of walking boots that can deal with tougher trails as well as walking holidays, these are a great investment.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.