Scarpa Spin Ultra Trail Running Shoe Review
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At first glance, the Scarpa Spin Ultra trail running shoe looks like it could be a cross between a light hiking shoe and a trail running shoe. Compared to previous Scarpa trail running shoe models, the Spin Ultra has a little more cushion and the upper is a little more substantial. My first thought when I opened the box was, did they send me the wrong shoes to test? I hope that you continue reading past the first few sentences because the Scarpa Spin Ultra quickly rose to the top of the stack of trail running shoes for me and it absolutely will knock your socks off while trail running.
To start, the Scarpa Spin Ultra is best for trail runners looking for a do it all shoe. This shoe is designed to conquer trails with all types of features and terrain in mind. I’ve tested this shoe out on rocky and rooted trails, wet and slippery trails, gravel roads and snow-covered high alpine terrain. In all of my testing, the Scarpa Spin Ultra didn’t miss a step. This shoe had me feeling confident on every surface allowing me to not worry about my gear and focus on what makes me happy, running on trails.
Scarpa Spin Ultra Trail Running Shoe Upper
The upper of the Spin Ultra is a mix between a synthetic rubber-like material that overlays a mesh layer. This synthetic layer allows for the shoe to keeps its shape while navigating through technical terrain and the exposed mesh allows for breathability. The tongue of the shoe is sewn into the footbed of the shoe which keeps it from sliding to one side or another. The tongue is made of neoprene material and is super comfortable on the top of the foot. To keep your laces out of the way, this outside of the tongue has a little shoelace garage to keep them from getting in your way. I prefer not to use this lace garage as I haven’t had the laces get in my way while running.
The toe box of the upper has a standard fit, which is a little wider than the traditional narrow Italian toe box. This was a big plus in my mind as I have found the European focused trail running shoes tend to be a little too narrow for the average foot width. The toe of the Scarpa Spin Ultra has a protective rubber toe protector for when you jam the front of your shoe into a rock. With many trail running shoes going away from this design, it is a welcomed feature for those who run in more rocky and technical terrain.
In all my testings in the Spin Ultra trail running shoe, my foot has remained completely secure in these shoes. The rear of the shoe does a good job at keeping your foot anchored in the shoe on ascents and descents.
Midsole and Outsole
The midsole of the Scarpa Spin Ultra is a little thicker than the traditional trail running shoe and has a 6mm heel to toe drop. The Spin Ultra is just a smidge below the level of the max cushion trail running shoe category, so it’s not going to giving you that spongy super soft ride. For trail runners not looking for max cushion similar to what you would see on many Hoka running shoes, the midsole of the Spin Ultra offers plenty of cushion. As for stiffness of the midsole, I consider the midsole to provide a medium grade stiffness that performed great during testing.
The outsole of the Scarpa Spin Ultra trail running shoe uses Vibram Megagrip. This outsole material is tacky and grabs onto the trail surfaces and also has dependable durability. The lug on the Spin Ultra are of average size, enough to keep you from slipping on most surfaces. There are lugs located on the outside of the outsole which helps for more technical running when you want the shoe to grip the entire trail underfoot.
Along the rear of the midsole and outsole of the shoe, there is a small indentation that allows for heel strikers to roll through each ground strike. It’s not substantial, but just enough to provide smooth foot strike for those who land on their heel first on most foot strikes.
I am a huge fan of the Scarpa Spin Ultra trail running shoes. They provide the perfect balance of cushion, stability and durability in a good looking shoe. For more info on the Spin Ultra, visit backcountry.com or amazon.com/scarpa