Patagonia Scree Shield hiking boots review
Patagonia. The name just screams rugged, exotic mountains. So for a long time, I’ve wanted to try out a pair of Patagonia’s suave hiking shoes. Enter the Patagonia Scree Shield. I picked up a pair and was taken by the utter lack of techy-looking doodads that clutter most hiking shoes these days. Instead, the Scree Shield are simple in appearance, with a suede leather upper and a rock-climbing inspired rubber rand that surrounds the shoe. But how does it fare in the mountains, including actual Patagonia mountains where I took the Scree Shield for testing? Read on:
When I first put on the Patagonia Scree Shield shoes, they felt a little tight. While they were true to size, overall the shoes were stiff. So rather than hit the trails right away, I wore them to work, where they got more than one compliment from colleagues. Working in them also broke them in, so it was time to go hiking.
On the trail in the Wasatch Mountains, the Scree Shield were capable kicks that had good ground feel and locked my feet in tight thanks to their “Dynamic Fit Lacing System.” Under my feet, the shoes were nice and stiff against anything the trails threw at them, like sharp rocks. Patagonia says there is a TPU Shock Plate that distributes pressure while also protecting the foot. I can tell that it’s there and it feels right.
Other features include a single-density, 15% recycled EVA footframe that has pronation control (me likey) and multi-surface, high density TPU studs in the outsole’s forefoot to prevent slippage on uneven terrain. On that subject, I thought traction on the Scree Shield’s sole was superb, as day hikes were a snap.
But what really tested them was scrambling on scree fields and boulder hopping. I guess that’s where Patagonia got the name for these shoes, because they rock on rocks. Looking at the Scree Shield, they almost have an approach shoe quality to them, as they have a narrow profile with a sort of pointy toe. The effect when crawling over boulders enroute to a climbing crag is that they climb suprisingly well for a “hiking shoe.”
However, that narrow, approach shoe style is also a negative in that I didn’t think the shoes were very stable overall compared to my other hiking shoes. It felt like the soles were too narrow especially at mid-foot, like I was walking on a balance beam at times. Turning the shoe over reveals this narrow spot, and I wonder at the purpose of this design.
But on the whole, the Patagonia Scree Shield were more than comfortable, making them ideal for travel. In fact, they were the only shoes I brought on a ski trip to Patagonia (aside from my ski boots.) The shoes were great while walking around the airports, through the city streets of Buenos Aires, and the muddy dirt roads in Bariloche. After a long day in ski boots, I loved putting on the Scree Shield for apre’ ski at the local brew pub, or even wearing them around a backcountry hut.
Happy Patagonia Scree Shield:
Comfortable, great looking, competent for day hikes and rock climbing approaches.
Sad Patagonia Scree Shield:
Narrow sole makes them a feel a bit awkward, requires some break-in time, not water proof or resistant.
If you’re in need of a hiking shoe that can double as an approach shoe, travel buddy, and work-appropriate footwear, you’ll find a friend in the Patagonia Scree Shield. While the shoes don’t do any one thing exceedingly well, they a lot of things well enough to make them a sort of Jack-of-all-Trades, Master of None. So if you’re on a budget and needs one pair of shoes that can do it all, look no further than the Patagonia Scree Shield.