Meet the new kid on the block in the world of fell running...the Scarpa Spin ST. A shoe designed to tackle the muddiest of conditions, but is a surprisingly capable all-rounder ready to challenge the traditional shoes in the category...
Introduced into the Scarpa Trail Running Range this Autumn, the Spin ST has been designed specifically to meet the demands of the typical British off-road running conditions; soft & muddy. It is certainly a worthy fell shoe that is set to challenge the traditional players such as Inov-8, Salomon and Walsh.
At the core of the Scarpa Spin ST are the 7mm, strategically position outsole lugs. Named the Fixion ST Sole, the rubber is the ever-reliable Vibram Megagrip compound, which grips exceptionally well to wet, potentially slippery surfaces such as rock and wood. When paired with the Traction Lug Technology, reflecting the shape and layout of the lugs, the Spin ST provides exceptional traction and braking on the roughest, sloppiest terrain. The layout and depth of the lugs also hits the sweetspot for mud clearance, shedding any dirt before it has a chance to build up, a crucial factor to consider when wanting to maintain traction.
As expected for a shoe designed for technical off-road running, the Spin ST is lightweight and dynamic. Weighing in at around 520g per pair for a UK 8 these are certainly light and their close, foot hugging fit adds to their feeling of not being their when you’re wearing them…one of the best compliments you can make to a shoe.
When you’re tackling off-road conditions the last thing you want to do is think about where you are putting your feet. The Spin ST really feels like an extension of your body, and this is in part due to their lightness and snug fit and complimented by the flexibility and responsiveness of the shoe. The Litebase sole is relatively thin which helps with flexibility, ground feel and responsiveness, yet for such a light, dynamic shoe the level of cushioning (22mm in the heel and 18mm in the forefoot) is surprisingly good (and significantly more than a lot of lower profile trail running shoes) and we’d have not worries using the Spin ST for longer outings when the conditions require higher levels of grip. With this level of cushioning you get a 4mm heel to forefoot drop which encourages a more efficient midfoot strike promoting a dynamic and reactive stride.
It may look more boot like, but the extended cuff around the ankle is a soft lycra material and works equally well at keeping slightly more trail debris out and providing a little protection from catching the ankle on rocks, sticks etc as you pass through unkept terrain. In addition, and something that was a little unexpected, the softness of this element makes the Spin ST one of the best off-road shoes we have used for running off-camber. Where traditional trail shoes can start to dig into the ankle bone after a period of time traversing, the Spin ST remains comfortable. It’s look may split opinion, but there is no doubting its effectiveness.
One of the other unique features of the Scarpa Spin ST is the NBS Adjustable Lock Lace, a quirky method to quickly lock down the laces to the required tension without having to tie them using a piece of snap-shut that both laces thread through. Once fastened the laces are locked in place and simply tuck away into the tongue. Admittedly the is a technique to using the lock lace system, but once mastered it works well with no slipping or untying. If you prefer to tie your laces in a traditional manner the lock system is easily removed and it will be personal choice which you go for.
Upper wise, aesthetically the Spin ST is a good-looking shoe and the with the upper being made from a closely woven, abrasion-resistant fabric that stands up well to the rough and tough of the trails. Despite its robustness the upper remains light and breathable keeping your feet comfortable whatever the weather. Within the upper there are interwoven strips through which the laces thread And when pulled tight these give a great hold around the mid foot and prevent any movement when crossing uneven terrain.
To conclude, we have been really impressed with the Scarpa Spin ST. In the wet, muddy conditions it is designed for it really shines and has several features that make it a standout choice from the current shoes available for such terrain. Equally impressive is that even when the weather hasn’t necessitated the need for such an aggressive shoe i.e. drier surfaces, the shoe has remained comfortable without any noticeable feel of the rocks or ponding on the harder surface. The Scarpa Spin ST really could become the shoe of choice for British Fell & Trail runners.