All quality boots are built around a carefully crafted foot shaped model - known as a "last". It is the last which gives a boot its fit characteristics. The quality of the lasting, and the time that each upper spends on the last, is crucial in giving Scarpa boots their renowned shape and fit. SCARPA has developed a last to specifically suit the end use of each boot. As a result, when you step into a SCARPA boot, you can be sure it has been carefully designed to suit you and your activity. Additionally, SCARPA was the first company to develop a purpose made last for women's boots. Today, most of our women’s specific models use a dedicated female last. These lasts are slimmer in the mid foot and heel areas (Note: This female last may also be appropriate for a slim, low volume male foot and conversely a high volume, broad female foot may be better suited to the standard last).
Finding the proper fit for your SCARPA performance footwear is critically important. Improper sizing of your footwear can lead to hotspots, blisters or worse. Most of our SCARPA footwear is based upon the Euro (Continental) size scale, where one whole Euro size equals 6.6mm. Compared to the standard US size scale, where one whole size equals 8.46mm, the Euro size scale offers smaller increments between each size, so that you can find a more precise fit. SCARPA ski boots are based upon the Mondopoint size scale, which is a millimeter measurement. You can click on our size chart here/below for a more detailed explanation, conversion chart and sizing recommendations.
Correct foot preparation is a key component in getting comfortable performance from your boots. Try to buy good performance socks. A few guidelines to look for in a good sock are: The tightness of the knit - a good sock will normally be a tight and smooth knit. Make sure there is good shaping to the sock - tube socks should be avoided. Check that the sock has good stretch and elasticity. If possible try to use socks that wick moisture away (the foot puts out around 50ml of sweat per day) Socks are an ideal way of making small adjustments to the volume and fit of the boot so be prepared to experiment with different combinations and densities of socks you use to get the best fit - but we believe that you should never wear more than two pairs (A liner and an outer sock). If you need more than two socks it is likely that you need to take the next boot size down.
Initial Fitting of the Boot
The start point in fitting the boot is to ensure that you have the right size and remember that it is possible to customize the fit of a boot that is slightly too large but it is virtually impossible to do anything about a boot that is too small. If in doubt go for a size that is slightly large rather than one that is too small. Bear in mind that the critical size element is the length. Boots will often give or can be modified in width terms but it is virtually impossible to modify the length of a boot. When trying the boot on make sure you do so with your usual sock combination. You should also bear in mind the end use of the boot. For example if you are going to use your boots when you are likely to be carrying a heavy backpack then this will alter the loading and shape of your foot. You should therefore try wearing the boots with a loaded pack on. Also, boots used for the mountains will be used in an uphill and downhill mode. You should therefore simulate this when trying the boots on. An increasing number of specialty shops are now providing 'incline boards' for you to test boots on. The key points to bear in mind are that when testing the boots in a down hill mode, properly laced up, your toes should not be pushing against the front of the boots. Equally, there should not be as much of a finger width at the heel otherwise your boot volume is too large for you.
Lacing up the boot
Even the best fitting boot will not give maximum performance unless it is correctly laced up. Correct lacing ensures that boot fits snugly and will prevent 'forward slip' of the foot in the boot and will reduce friction that could otherwise lead to blisters. When lacing the boot ensure that you start from the toe and gradually tension the lace between each set of eyelets, webbing or hardware. Lace locks allow for the tension to be held over the fore foot while giving a separate level of adjustment and tension around the ankle of the boot. Be prepared to adjust your lacing as you go. It is common to find that as you need to re-tension the lacing after a short distance even in boots that have been well broken-in. Also the foot shape will adjust during the day with temperature, terrain and load carried.
It is not uncommon to find that some modification to the boot is required to get an optimal fit. There are several ways to achieve this:
Footbeds - There are now a variety of high performance aftermarket footbeds available to suit differing needs. There are also aftermarket volume adjusters available that can be inserted underneath your regular footbed to reduce internal volume. This can make up to a half size difference in fit.
Rubbing Bars - Some people have specific foot problems (e.g. swollen toe joints, bunyons, etc.) which can cause problems when fitting new boots. It is worth knowing that boots can often be 'stretched' in specific areas to ease any painful rub points. Some specialty shops have rubbing bars specifically designed for this purpose, as well as expert boot fitters on staff. It is also possible to modify slightly heel and toe shapes to improve the fit of a boot. However this is a job best done by a trained boot fitter and we would recommend that it is done as a 'retro fit' adjustment.
Our Warranty policy does not cover fit issues! Initial size confirmation should be done indoors, before taking them outside! Once products are worn outside you will NOT be able to return them if you ultimately decide you have the wrong size. Only you can make the final determination about whether the product you purchased is the right fit for you. As a general rule high performance backpacking and mountaineering boots are made from thicker leathers and have stiffer midsoles than do lighter weight hiking and light hiking products. It is therefore even more essential to break in higher performance boots in advance of your actual use. To do this, once you have determined you have the proper size by trying them on/wearing them indoors, you should then start by wearing them outdoors for a short distances and progressively lengthen your use over time. Never be tempted to take new boots right out of the box and go out for a long trip in them. Always break them in gradually over time. It is also recommended to be proactive in your approach to hotspots or blister problems. If you have areas that are prone to blisters or hotspots, particularly when breaking in a heavy duty backpacking boot or mountaineering boot, we recommend applying a blister prevention product like moleskin, or Second Skin.
A good pair of boots correctly fitted will give you many miles of comfortable use but it is worth remembering that almost as much of the comfort lies in the fitting and adjustment of the boot as in the boots themselves. We hope this information is helpful to you and wish you years of comfortable use from your SCARPA Boots.
Downsize up to 2 full sizes from street shoe size
* downsizing depends on model, intended use, and personal preference. Most people will downsize ½ to 1 full size from street shoe size for their SCARPA rock shoes.
Upsize (1/2+ sizes) depending on desired fit
* SCARPA plastic mountaineering boots are based on the UK sizing scale.
All SCARPA ski boots (except the Alien 3.0) are measured in Mondo sizing
* Our sizes break on the ½ size, meaning each ½ size is the same shell size as the whole size above it. For example, a 26.5 and 27 use the same shell. Our SCARPA/Intuition liners are lasted for each 1/2 size, and can be further customized after purchase for a more precise fit. Some skiers may want to downsize up to 1 full Mondo size from that listed on our conversion chart, depending upon personal preference.