Long term review: Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX

Scarpa’s SockFit system debuted, in North America anyway, on the Rebel Carbon GTX in 2012. Since then SockFit has appeared in a few more boots in the Rebel line (Ultra, Pro and Ice) and has trickled down into a few other mountaineering boots, as well as an approach shoe.

The Mont Blanc GTX is a classic. Tough and durable all-leather construction with a rugged outsole and a Gore-Tex liner makes them an all-day all-mountain boot. They were one of my first pairs of mountain boots and took me everywhere for a couple of years before I upgraded to the Phantom Guide. Take that proven Mont Blanc performance and add the SockFit tech and an integrated semi-gaiter and you’ve got the Mont Blanc Pro GTX.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-2Sometime in May 2014 when they were still rather new and unused.

The MBP (as it shall be called from now on) is an awesome boot. The SockFit tech is amazing stuff. It lowers the overall volume of the boot and at the same time makes for a closer, more sock-like-fit (for lack of a better description). It’s hard to describe until you put a pair on. The MBP feels like an extension of your feet; like a tough leather and rubber glove (for your feet).

The sole is slightly more flexible than that of the regular MB. They walk much better thanks to this and I honestly don’t notice much, if any, difference in stiffness or calf fatigue when front-pointing or edging. They are definitely softer underfoot but not really sure it matters? (For someone of my size, anyway; I’ve talked to larger and heavier climbers for whom sole stiffness makes a big difference.) Strap on a pair of crampons and the MBP feels as stiff as any other full-shank boot out there. And they just walk so much better, they actually make long approaches enjoyable.

Construction wise you’re looking at top-end Italian craftsmanship. The outer is 3mm Suede leather which is damn tough and hasn’t shown any excessive signs of wear in the year-plus I’ve been using these. Gore-Tex is, well, Gore-Tex and is as waterproof and breathable as expected. The GTX liner is also the boot’s source of warmth and I’ve used these for waterfall ice in mid-winter and my feet stayed toasty warm.

The sole is Scarpa’s proven Vibram Total Traction design, with deep lugs and an all-mountain design that sheds mud and snow easily. There’s a climbing zone at the toe for better edging traction, and it is fully-automatic crampon compatible. The MBP follows with other Scarpa boots and the toe welt is quite narrow, This isn’t ideally compatible with all the crampon bails out there, and I’ve found Petzl, Grivel and Camp to fit the best (in that order).

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-7The Camp Blade Runner front view.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-8The Blade Runner fits nicely over the sole, with good coverage throughout.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-9Petzl’s Lynx front bail fits slightly better thanks to its narrower design.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-10The Lynx follows the MBP’s sole superbly.

The integrated semi-gaiter adds quite a bit of warmth to the boot, and keeps scree and snow from coming in the top. It’s not of the zip-up kind like on the Phantom series, and the laces go over top of it rather than underneath, but it’s a neat design and adds to the sock-like feel of the boot. The semi-gaitered design also adds flexibility to the ankle, making the MBP slightly less supportive than the classic MB but also that much more comfortable when walking and more capable when climbing, especially on mixed routes where ankle flexibility is an asset.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-13The gaiter opened up.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-14…closed up.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-15And laced up.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-17The semi-gaitered design has much more flex through the ankle than traditional full-leather boots.

My size-44 sample weighs 1000-grams exactly, which is even lighter than the Phantom Guide (sz 43.5, 1045-grams) though admittedly the Phantom Guide is a warmer boot (but arguably the MBP should prove to be more durable thanks to the leather upper).

With boots fit is paramount, but I feel that I should point out that the MBP’s main competitors in North America are the La Sportiva Nepal series which are significantly more expensive (the MBP is $555, whereas the Nepal Evo is $635 and the Nepal CUBE $725).

Along with a couple other testers, we’ve used these for everything over the past year and a bit: long scree slogs, alpine rock, mid-winter waterfall ice and multi-hour approaches. Costing only $30 or so more than the regular MB, these are a no-brainer if you’re looking for an all-season mountain boot. They fit exceptionally, and are among the most comfortable boots I’ve ever used.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-6They’re comfy enough to sleep in…

Pros: comfortable, warm, durable, flexibility
Cons: sole flexibility could be an issue for some climbers
Overall: A exceptional classically-styled leather boot for all-around mountaineering and alpine adventures.

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-11The sole is still going strong after over 15 months of use. 

Scarpa-Mont-Blanc-Pro-12As they look today after yet another muddy alpine trip.

Scarpa provided The Alpine Start with a sample of the boot, but this in no way influences our opinion.

18 thoughts on “Long term review: Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX

  1. Reto says:

    great review (as always)… Also have this boot for the last 12 month and love em. Probably the best walking boots that are fully auto crampons compatible. The sock fit is simply amazing.
    What could be improved – or I have slight problems with – are the toe boxes. They seem rather narrow and I tend to get blisters on the upper side of my smaller toes – strange. Any similar observations?

    • Raf says:

      Awesome, stoked you like the boots and my review!

      I think these are very comparable to other Scarpa boots in terms of width. It’s a slightly different last so could be that, maybe? Have you tried some tape on those toes — I’ve had a few narrower boots and would duct-tape those toes to prevent rubbing.

  2. Steven Kovalenko says:

    I have a pair of these, and I also love them. Nothing bad to say yet! I am convinced the last is different from the standard Mont Blanc’s, which have an “AG” last. I went up half a size in the Pro’s to fit a thicker sock, and to prevent toe bang. I spent a long time in the store going back and forth between these and the regular Mont Blanc, and kicking the wall to test. The Pro’s have the NAG (“Narrow AG”?) last and are definitely lower volume.

    • Raf says:

      The NAG last is also the one used in the Rebel boots… I wonder if it’s the “New” AG last? I’m going to send some e-mails and find out 🙂

      • Nik says:

        Did you get a reply about the NAG last? I keep going back and forth on fit/price with the MB, Phantom Guide and MBP. I like the option of using an external gaiter with the MB and MBP even, but worried about the MBP being more narrow in the sole.

        • Raf says:

          I haven’t heard back, no. Totally forgot, too – I’ll send another follow-up! Keep in mind there’s a new Phantom boot coming in Feb 2016 that will use the new last (same as the MBP, Rebel boots, etc.)

  3. Patrick says:

    How much do you weigh? Just trying to gauge of you mean “heavier climbers” as in 200lbs+ pack..

  4. Joshua Brock says:

    Thanks…stellar review!!

    Looking at between this and the La Sportiva Baruntse. As much I’d hope to be on more trips that would favor a beefier/more insulated boot like the Baruntse (Rainer, Denali, etc) my guess is that won’t happen. I am planning on doing Mt. Washington in February on the standard Lion’s Head route. I have a set of the Trango S Evo’s and Koflac Arctis Expe (about a 1/2 size too big) that I’ve used in CO, but need something more specific to winter mountaineering (so warmer than my Evos) and a better, snug fit than my Expe’s.

    I wear a 9.5 shoe and my La Sportiva Trango S Evo’s are a 42.5 and a smidge tight especially at the end of a full day climbing/hiking. My Trango’s were used a ton for Spring and Summer climbs in CO, but need a true winter mountaineering boot. In Salewa, 9’s seem to work better…never tried Scarpa but am heartened to hear they fit like Sportiva with a bit more toe room.

    Thanks!

    • Raf says:

      I think you need to try on some Scarpa’s! Fit is so specific it’s hard to recommend anything without someone trying the boot on: for example I fit some La Sportiva boots, but I fit all Scarpa boots… your mileage may vary.

      I would also suggest you look at the gaitered single boots like the LS Batura 2.0, Scarpa Phantom Tech (should be out in February) or the forthcoming Arc’teryx Acrux boot (again, out in February sometime). They are typically much warmer than non-gaitered single boots (like the Mont Blanc Pro) but not as bulky as true double boots (Baruntse, G2 SM, Phantom 6000, etc.)

      Actually, thinking about it, with the new Scarpa Phantom series coming out in Fabruary(ish), now might be a great time to look for a Scarpa Phantom Guide or Phantom 6000 on sale! Good luck in your search – and I’d be curious to hear what you end up with, and how it works out for you on your Mt. Washington trip.

      • Joshua Brock says:

        Thanks! I would if I could…there are zero Scarpa dealers within a 8-10 hour drive of where we live, including the shop I work at.

        I’ll keep an eye out and look into the others you’d recommended as well…much appreciated!

        Thank you!

  5. Biabo says:

    I’m looking at replacing my MB and considering the MBP. I have a very large calf and am concerned the gaiters may not fit me. Do you know how much they stretch? Also concerned about the toe fit. I have a size 41 which is slightly big, so I was considering getting a 40.5, but may be best to go with the 41 on MBP?
    Looking forward to your thoughts!
    Cheers!

    • Raf says:

      Sorry for the slow reply — somehow missed your comment.

      The gaiter on the MBP has a two-position snap. For my dinky calves the closer one is still not snug enough so I think the second, wider, snap should work for you.

      And yes, I’d go 1/2 size down but only if your toe don’t contact in the smaller boot.

  6. Itzi says:

    Thanks from the great review!

    Do you how the MBP compares in size with other Scarpa boots? I tested out the MBP last summer in Italy and found them to fit my feet well. I just can´t remember the exact size. I have a pair of Scarpa Triolet Pros sized 44 and my toes are slightly hitting the front. I´m bouncing between 44,5 and 45. I´m from Finland and there aren´t any Scarpa (or mountaineering) dealers in the country so I have to order all my gear. I´m going to Italy this summer but don´t have the time to buy boots there.

    Thanks and have a good upcoming summer season!

    • Raf says:

      Thanks for reading!

      In my experience, the Scarpa mountain boots all fit the same length-wise. Since your toes are touching in the 44, I’d go with a 45. I have the Rebel Carbon in 43 for a tight, toe-touching fit, and the MBP in 44 fit very well with a thicker sock.

  7. Dragisa says:

    Hello guys does any one know hows Black Diamond Sabertooth pro crampons gona fit on Scarpa Mon blan pro boots.
    I want to order those boots but im not shure hows gona fit on my crampons..
    Thanks.
    Nice rewiew!

    • Raf says:

      Yes, they’ll fit! My personal recommendation would be the revised Petzl Vasak due to a slightly better fit, but the BD will work as well.

  8. Oeivind says:

    Hi, I tried on mbp size 45 wich is my normal size I have scandinavian feets wide an high with big toes lol. well this boot kinda squeeze tight especially in the front, it`s is so tight here that it slows the blood running into my lower half of the foot, would it make any sense of getting a 45.5 or 46 or are these just to narrow for my type of foot?

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