Some folks like having a lot of tools for any and all occasions, where others simply prefer a specialized few that gets the job done. While there is no such thing as a one-shoe quiver, SCARPA’s multisport category aspires to make a selection of high-functioning footwear that does whatever you need, and does it well, no matter what your passion.
And, SCARPA multisport does it so well that it’s the tool of choice for rangers in Eldorado Canyon State Park – one of North America’s premier climbing destinations.
The shoe we’re talking about is the Zen. Adept for hiking, backpacking, and scrambling over scree, and providing enough sticky rubber support for moderate approaches, the Zen aspires to be the backcountry shoe. Built with all suede uppers, EVA mid-sole cushioning, molded Vibram soles, and rubber toe rand, the Zen has the robust construction for long-time durability and comfort, nimbleness under foot, without extraneous weight slowing you down, making it the ideal multi-tool for pounding miles of single track, hunting for routes above talus slopes, or bushwhacking into the unknown.
As much as any swarthy backpacker who spends months walking over dirt and stone, professional backcountry rescuers beat up, break down, and ultimately rely on their equipment in any and all situations – from hiking to off trail to scrambling to climbing. For the rangers in Eldo, the Zen has been their long-time brother in arms.
“Our climbing rangers have worn these shoes as a part of their everyday uniform for years,” says Eldorado Canyon State Park manager Ben Pedrett.
Working in a park like Eldorado Canyon, with over 500 technical rock climbing routes, and one of the most popular state parks in the world, rangers are often called into action out of the blue.
“All of the park rangers are trained to respond to any climbing accident anywhere in the park in a moment’s notice,” Pedrett says. When every second counts, and someone’s life literally can hang in the balance, the rangers don’t always have time to change shoes when responding to a climbing accident. “We have found the SCARPA Zen to be technically reliable, everyday comfortable, a long lasting and durable shoe.”
In the Zen, SCARPA’s bottom line has been about producing a shoe with accountability.
“We think park rangers have the most diverse job there is,” says Pedrett, “and wearing this shoe gives us the most freedom and flexibility in everyday duties, and the confidence and endurance in extreme situations.”
The Zen is not the only shoe in the multisport category. Another shoe you may like is the Epic, which is lighter than the Zen but has similar qualities. Check out SCARPA multisport here.