10 Best Scarpa Running Shoes Reviewed

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10 Best Scarpa Running Shoes Reviewed

Scarpa running shoes are designed for the trail runner who enjoys a mountainous and rugged landscape. The protection and efficiency that their shoes offer will be able to match your adventurous spirit.

Scarpa Atom
  • Scarpa Atom
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight and minimalistic
  • Price: See Here
Scarpa Spark
  • Scarpa Spark
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Excellent traction
  • Price: See Here
Scarpa Proton GTX
  • Scarpa Proton GTX
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable and sup
  • Price: See Here

1. Scarpa Atom

1. Scarpa Atom
The Scarpa Atom trail running shoe is designed to be as simplistic as the name of the shoe itself suggests. Lightweight and minimalistic, these shoes will be able to serve as your trusty trail companion.
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Traction
The Vibram outsole of this shoe is a rugged rubber that has even been tested to face extreme outdoor elements. Vibram rubber soles are touted as being one of the best rubber soles in the world, so you know that the traction for this shoe is going to be superior. It’s important to note that this shoe’s minimalist design makes it ideal for flatter and softer trails.

Protection
This shoe will best serve someone who enjoys running on only a moderate trails. Due to this shoe’s emphasis on weightlessness, sharp rocks and other types of debris are likely to aggravate the foot and deteriorate this shoe quickly.

Fit
This shoe is more flexible than other Scarpa shoes, and this has to do with the fact that the shoe’s upper is unrestrictive and breathable. The shoe’s heel collar is padded well and the forefoot is fairly wide, which makes the fit accommodating and malleable.

Value
This shoe is moderately priced when compared to other Scarpa products that the brand offers.
Pros
  • The EVA molded foam in the midsole of this shoe contributes to comfort.
  • The lightweight design of this shoe makes it perfect for runners who are looking for a quicker ride.
  • The mesh upper is breathable.

 

Cons
  • For some reviewers, the Atom’s upper design leaves the pinky toes in harm’s way.
  • Could be more protective on extremely rugged surfaces
  • Not a great shoe for running on asphalt or concrete

 

2. Scarpa Spark

2. Scarpa Spark
The Scarpa Spark trail running shoe can offer you a faster ride that is in line with this shoe’s minimalist yet efficient design.
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Traction
The sole of this shoe has been designed with multi-dimensional helix lugs throughout it. This design allows for the sole of this shoe to provide deep and superior traction, especially on a muddy or wet trail.

Protection
In additional to the helix lugs on the sole, this shoe’s also been designed with a Speedlite sole. This design feature diminishes foot fatigue and provides more shock absorbency.

Fit
Both the midsole and the forefoot of this shoe is made with an EVA compression foam, meaning that the shoe forms to your foot the more often you wear it.

Value
This shoe is a good value in terms of quality of materials and price. It is similarly priced to many of the other shoes that have been compiled onto this list.
Pros
  • This shoe offers great support while on trickier trails, and is far more supportive than a minimalist trail shoe.
  • The helix lugs on the sole provide superior traction, making this shoe perfect for anyone who is going to be running on particularly tricky terrain.
  • These shoes can also be worn to the gym or on asphalt.
Cons
  • The quality of the upper of this shoe could be better. Some consumers claim that the upper began to deteriorate only after a few months of use.
  • The lacing loops are prone to tearing and could also be made of a better quality.

3. Scarpa Proton GTX

3. Scarpa Proton GTX
The Scarpa Proton GTX trail running shoe will provide you with adequate grip and durability while running on a variety of terrain.
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Traction
This shoe’s outsole is made of Vibram's Megagrip technology. The sole’s rubber to become sticky when terrain is slick or wet.

Protection
In addition to the Vibram outsole, this shoe also comes with a full-length rock plate and a rubber toe bumper. Both of these features keep your feet extremely insulated and protected.

Fit
The forefoot of this shoe is a medium width and will allow for a roomy feeling in the front of the foot.

Value
This shoe is more affordable than some of the other shoes that we’ve seen on this list thus far.
Pros

 

  • Comfortable for a trail shoe
  • Consumers are happy about the support that these shoes provide.

 

Cons
  • Midfoot has a lot of volume to it, which can make the foot feel as if the shoe is loose.
  • The laces that come with this shoe could be of a better quality.
  • The lugs on this shoe could be deeper to provide greater agility and traction.

 

4. Scarpa Mystic

4. Scarpa Mystic
Perfect for the trail runner who is looking for a shoe that’s both rugged and stylish enough for everyday wear, the Scarpa Mystic running shoe is sure to complement a diverse and active lifestyle.
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Traction
The outsole of this shoe has been built with the same Vibram rubber that we’ve seen in most of the other Scarpa running shoes thus far, but with a vertical element that’s been built into the toe to provide the shoe with a greater ability to climb.

Protection
The toe of this shoe also features a rubber toe rand, which is able to protect the foot from rocks and other types of debris.

Fit
This shoe is designed with an internal half-bootie, which provides a secure fit for the shoe. It also comes with added Achilles cushion.

Value
Due to this shoe’s diversity, you’re truly getting a great value for this type of shoe.
Pros
  • Your toes will have plenty of room in this shoe.
  • The soles of this shoe are plenty flexible and will not make your foot feel stiff.
  • These shoes will insulate your foot and perform well in colder conditions.

 

Cons
  • This shoe is too narrow for some consumers.
  • Some consumers believe that this shoe could be more breathable.
  • The grip of this shoe could be more pronounced on its sole.

 

5. Scarpa Tempo

5. Scarpa Tempo
The Scarpa Tempo running shoe boasts a minimalist style in conjunction with a supportive, cushioned and effortless ride.
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Traction
Similar to the Scarpa Spark running shoe, the Tempo is designed with a Speedlite sole which provides maximum shock absorbency as well as enhanced grip on particularly wet or muddy terrain.

Protection
The Tempo comes with an ESS strike plate in the forefoot that will prevent rocks and other types of debris from injuring your foot.

Fit
This shoe boasts a minimal 6mm heel-to-toe drop, and offers a multi-density EVA foam in its midsole. Both of these features combine to provide a fit that is adaptive and malleable.

Value
This shoe is priced at a good value because it’s been on the market for a while, yet will maintain its reputation as being a reliable Scarpa product.
Pros
  • Consumers are impressed with the stability and tread that this shoe can provide.
  • Good arch support
  • Lightweight

 

Cons
  • May begin to show signs of deterioration after only a moderately short period of time.
  • Some consumers claim that the upper of this shoe is more durable than its sole.

6. Scarpa Neutron

6. Scarpa Neutron
For a shoe that promises a top of the line design and is perfect for daily trail use, the Scarpa Neutron trail running shoe is undoubtedly the way to go.
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Traction
Similar to many other shoes on this list, the Scarpa Neutron features a Vibram rubber outsole which offers great grip on both trails and the mud.

Protection
The welded synthetic ribs on either side of this shoe offers lateral support and protection for the foot. The leather and mesh upper combination is also breathable and dries quickly when wet.

Fit
This shoe features an arch-wrap construction around its midsole, which allows the foot to feel maximally secure.

Value
This shoe is slightly more expensive than others that we’ve seen on this list, but the quality of this shoe makes the price worthwhile for most.
Pros
  • Offers great protection from the elements due to the synthetic ribs of the shoe as well as the leather and mesh upper
  • Traction is quite dependable, especially in the rain.
  • This shoe provides adequate cushion for the foot, so it is both supportive and ruggedized.

 

Cons
  • The laces that come with this shoe are thin and difficult to handle. For the price that you’re paying, some consumers believe that these shoes should come with sturdier laces.
  • This shoe only offers four lace crossing on the upper. Most shoes offer five.
  • May be best suited for extremely rugged trails, instead of mild trails.

7. Scarpa Spin

7. Scarpa Spin
Designed to be used in any type of terrain, the Scarpa Spin running shoe will make you feel confident running in rain or shine.
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Traction
The outsole features Vibram’s Megagrip rubber. The Megagrip provides good grip and solid traction in both wet and dry environments.

Protection
This shoe is similar to a few of the other ones on this list in the sense that it offers a rock plate underneath underfoot for added protection on rocky terrain. The durable overlays of this shoe also add an additional element of protection.

Fit
The Scarpa Spin has a wide forefoot and roomy toe box, allowing for natural toe splay.

Value
This particular shoe is priced similarly to many of the other Scarpa shoes on this list. It’s versatility is one reason why this shoe is well worth its price.
Pros
  • Good cushioning in its midsole, which enhances the protective elements of this particular shoe’s design
  • The upper of this shoe is quite comfortable according to many consumers, and this is largely due to the wide width of this shoe’s forefoot.
  • The bottom rock plate is flexible and protective.

 

Cons
  • This shoe doesn’t look like your typical trail running shoe at first glance. Its aesthetic design is unpleasing to some consumers who are looking for more of a traditional appearance
  • The space between the lugs on this shoe proved to be a tripping hazard for some consumers. It make take some time to get used to.
  • Not well suited for the road, because of the aggressive lugs.

8. Scarpa Proton Alpine

8. Scarpa Proton Alpine
As the name of this shoe suggests, the Scarpa Proton Alpine running shoe will take you to new and unforeseen heights.
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Traction
This shoe features an EVA foam midsole and a 10mm heel-to-toe drop. These two features combined allows the foot to feel both comfortable and more importantly supported while going over difficult terrain.

Protection
This shoe is made with a synthetic leather lining, which offers your foot ample protection from the elements. The heel cage design on this shoe reinforces the protective elements of the Scarpa Proton Alpine.

Fit
The overlays on this particular running shoe are made of TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane. This means that the overlays work with your foot, providing elasticity and structure. The reinforced heel also adds to the overall fit fit.

Value
The value of this shoe is about average when compared to other Scarpa shoes.
Pros
  • Offer your foot great support
  • The size charts that are associated with this shoe are accurate, meaning that you will not have to worry about ordering the wrong size.
  • The durability and overall quality of these shoes are good.

 

Cons
  • The water resistance of this shoe could be better, especially when exposed to water for a long period of time
  • After an extended period of time, some consumers complained of blisters developing on their feet.
  • For some, this shoe could offer more features that would truly make it stand out in relation to its competitors.

 

9. Scarpa Tru Trail

9. Scarpa Tru Trail
The Scarpa Tru Trail running shoe is perfect for anyone who loves a minimalistic, lightweight shoe. Being the most lightweight shoe that Scarpa currently offers, the Tru Trail running shoe is sure to provide you with a breathable and effortless ride.
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Traction
The sole of this shoe has been designed with HDR rubber. HDR stands for High Dynamic Rubber, and can offer you more grip for when you’re traveling on mid, gravel, or even slippery rocks.

Protection
The midsole of this shoe is designed with injected EVA foam to protect your feet through shock absorbency. The midsole of this shoe also contains an EVA protective plate in its forefoot. Additionally, a forefoot strike plate made of Hi-Tensilew fabric built into the shoe provides added stability. This allows for protection while still being flexible.

Fit
The upper of this shoe features an air mesh design, which provides breathability and lightness. In conjunction with this mesh, it’s also been designed with a webbed ribcage with synthetic leather reinforcements. This allows for a stable, secure and cool fit.

Value
This shoe is a great offer you a great value in comparison with some of the other shoes that we’ve seen on this list.
Pros
  • People seem to be pleased with the minimalist and aesthetic value of this shoe.
  • A truly lightweight ride
  • Extremely stable, even while on particularly rugged terrain

 

Cons
  • May be difficult to fit an orthotic into this particular Scarpa shoe
  • You may have to be careful about the size that you order because some consumers claim that this shoe runs a tad smaller than is advertised.
  • Some consumers found that this shoe may not be an appropriate shoe for longer, mountainous runs.

 

10. Scarpa Ignite

10. Scarpa Ignite
The Scarpa Ignite Trail running shoe offers your foot a speedier ride than some of the other shoes on this list, while still providing some of the more classic elements that are inherent to the Scarpa brand.
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Traction
Similar to the Scarpa Tru Trail, this shoe is designed with a HDR rubber in its sole, but with a twist. It’s also been designed to include Scarpa’s Speed Trail sole, which will allow you to move faster through the terrain.

Protection
This shoe has been designed with an EXO Skeleton, which extends across the upper of the shoe without weighing down the shoe. Additionally, this shoe has been built with a synthetic nubuck fabric. This fabric has been specifically placed in areas that are most likely to deteriorate over time from normal wear and tear.

Fit
This shoe comes with a stretchable lining in its interior, making it comfortable fit to your specific foot without feeling cramped.

Value
This shoe is less of a bargain than the other shoes on this list; however, it is still affordable for most budgets.
Pros
  • Adequate protection and can be used on a variety of terrain types
  • Possibility for greater speed than some of the other ones on this list
  • Aggressive treads on its sole make for great traction on the trails
Cons
  • Definitely not a shoe that should be used for longer runs.  Instead, many consumers and running professional alike suggest using these shoes for shorter and faster runs.
  • For some consumers, the ride of this shoe may be a bit too stiff.
  • Some consumers believe that if the uppers were more secure, the shoe would fit better.

Here we’ve looked at the 10 best Scarpa running shoes that should be able to meet your trail running needs.

The Criteria Used to Find the 10 Best Scarpa Running Shoes

The 10 best Scarpa running shoes on this particular list were not simply chosen based on our personal favorites or chosen at random. There is a specific set of metrics that were used when compiling this list. The metrics that were chosen for this list were based on scientific research as it pertains to trail running shoes in particular, including traction, protection that the shoe can offer, the fit of the shoe as well as value.

Each of the key factors in creating our list of the 10 best Scarpa running shoes is explained below.

Traction or Grip

For any type of trail running shoe, one of the most important factors that you should be considering when purchasing a shoe is the shoe’s traction or grip. One of the most important elements of determining the type of traction that you need while running is to consider the type of terrain on which you will be running on. The shoes on our list keep traction and grip in mind, while also keeping in mind that this shoe will be used off-road. The trail shoes on this list features  flatter outsole with varying space and size between their lugs. These factors allow for a stickier grip, similar to the type of grip that you would find on a shoe that’s been designed specifically for climbing.  However, adding more traction to the bottom of the shoe is also going to result in more weight which is another important aspect to consider when you’re shopping for a trail shoe.

Protection

In addition to adequate traction, another important factor that is unique when it comes to purchasing a trail shoe involves how much protection the shoe offers. In fact, a shoe’s traction can be considered an aspect of its protective features, because the grip of a shoe can often save you from falling while you’re on a run. One key protective feature many trail shoe is a rock plate located on somewhere in the sole.  A toe bumper and rugged overlays are also important protective features as well. These protective features are another reason why we chose to include the shoes that we’ve chosen on the 10 best Scarpa running shoes list. A rock plate in the sole is often going to be thin and inconspicuous, yet still be able to prevent any rocks or other types of debris from penetrating the sole of the shoe. The toe guard is likely to provide similar protection for the fronts of your feet. A toe guard can often make the difference between simply tripping over a troublesome rock and completely breaking your toes. Lastly, while the rock and toe plates provide protection to the bottoms and front of the feet, the durable overlays provide protection for the top portion of the foot.  Overlays are important when you’re looking to protect the outside and instep of the foot, which is why many of the Scarpa shoes on our list have made the cut.

Fit

Lastly,  a trail shoe with a solid fit is going to provide your foot with a greater sense of stability. If your foot feels unstable or the fit is too loose, there is a greater chance that you’ll end up rolling an ankle or other potential injuries. While on a trail run, a major factor that can influence your stability is the possibility of uneven surfaces.  Rocks, roots, and other types of natural obstacles make for an unstable path, so it is essential to have a proper fitting shoe.  Some of the features on a shoe that contribute to the fit include denser midsoles, heel wraps, and a more supportive upper.  Though these features are seen in road shoes, they are especially important in trail shoes.  All of these factors combine to provide a more secure fit for the foot. While on a trail, a proper fit for your shoe is going to allow for a faster response time and reduce the possibility of injury.  For these reasons, this is another reason why the shoes we choose made it onto our 10 best Scarpa running shoes list.

Other Important Factors to Consider

In addition to considering the various factors of traction, protection and fit when compiling our list of the 10 best Scarpa running shoes, there are a few other factors that you should be thinking about when you’re looking to purchase a shoe that reads the Scarpa brand name. These factors include comfort and trail type.

Comfort

While your primary concern when purchasing a Scarpa shoe may not necessarily be comfort, comfort is certainly an important factor that should be considered. Specifically, some important factors to consider include breathability and the shoe’s capacity to be water resistance. Even if it’s not raining outside, trail runs can get muddy if the conditions are unfavorable even a day or two before your run. This is why breathability and the shoe’s ability to resist water are important factors to consider. Shoe’s the are designed with GTX, or Gore-Tex fabric may be appropriate for for people who need more water proofing, depending on the environment and weather condition they are running in. GTX can be best defined as a synthetic and waterproof material that is both protective yet breathable. Purchasing a Scarpa shoe that is made from with at least some Gore-Tex material may make the difference between your foot staying dry and your foot becoming drenched in a muddy mess.

Trail Type

Another thing to think about when considering one of the 10 best Scarpa running shoes on this list involves taking some time to think about the type of trails you’ll be running on. For example, it’s possible that a Scarpa minimalist shoe will work just fine on a trail, as long as you know that the trails on which you plan on running will largely consist of woodchips or stone that’s been crushed up for easier movement. If this is the case for your particular trail needs, then the Scarpa Atom, the Scarpa Spark, the Scarpa Tru Trail or the Scarpa Tempo may be one of the shoes that are perfect for you. If you think you’re going to be performing on a trail that has a bit more of a diverse topography, a minimalist Scarpa shoe may not do the trick. Instead, you may want to look at some of the shoes on our list that can offer hybrid elements for the road as well as for the trail. If this is the case, then perhaps a speedier Scarpa shoe such as the Ignite may be appropriate for your foot.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is the Gore-Tex fabric technology truly as good as people claim?

A. Gore-Tex fabric has become increasingly popular in recent years, and is used in many high-quality athletic clothes and shoes. This being the case, you would think that this type of fabric would be great for a trail running shoe, but it turns out that not everyone is convinced. In fact, some running professionals believe that Gore-Tex is a terrible fabric to use on a trail shoe, mainly due to the fact that the water resistance nature sacrifices breathability in warmer climates. If you know that you’re going to be spending a lot of your time running in a location that is cold throughout the year, then a Gore-Tex trail running shoe should not be a problem. The shoe will still be rather breathable. On the other hand, if you know that you’re going to be spending your time running in a location that has a warmer climate, some running professionals believe that the fabric will make the shoe much less breathable. In this way, you’re sacrificing breathability for Gore-Tex’s water resistant elements, which may or may not be completely desirable.

Q. Do Scarpa trail running shoes fit true to size?

A. Scarpa uses a unique type of sizing called Mondo sizing, which can lead to some confusion when trying to figure out your size. Mondo sizing is essentially just the length of your foot in centimeters. For this reason, it might be a good idea to reference a conversion chart for shoe sizes prior to purchasing a Scarpa shoe if you’re not quite sure which size you need. Once you know what your size translates to in terms of Mondo sizing, another consideration that you need to make is to think about how the shoe generally feels while on the foot in one specific size. Generally speaking, people say that these shoes can seem a bit tight if you purchase them in the exact size that your foot is. This being the case, it is generally agreed upon that you should consider purchasing your Scarpa shoes in half size larger than what you’re typically used to wearing.

Q. What makes the Vibram rubber outsole superior?

A. Since the mid-1930s, Vibram has been making soles for mountaineering boots. Prior to Vibram coming onto the scene, mountaineering boots were made with shabby rubber materials that were prone to slipping off of the sole of the shoe, causing injury to the people who were wearing the boots. This opened an opportunity where Vibram was able to fill a niche. Today, the Vibram sole brand offers soles that are not only superior when it comes to durability, but also superior in providing mountaineers and trail runners with shoes that are safer, resistant to abrasions, and more functional. It’s important to understand that even though Vibram began only as a company that was dedicated to providing ruggedized soles for boots, today they have adapted and provide soles for shoes that exist within a variety of different niches. These categories include sporting shoes, mountain shoes, and even fashion shoes. For example, Prada is one great example of how Vibram been able to expand its client reach over the years. The Vibram brand’s commitment to excellence and safety is what has allowed them to diversify and flourish within the athletic and non-athletic community alike.

4. Is it vital to purchase trail running shoes for trail running?

A. It’s not absolutely necessary to purchase trail running shoes when you’re running on trail terrain; however, the three biggest advantages that trail running shoes can offer your ride were already detailed in our 10 best Scarpa running shoes guide. Trail running shoes offer traction, protection and a fit that will stabilize your feet in a way that road running shoes simply cannot. While a road running shoe might be appropriate for a trail that is light in terms of ruggedness, a road running shoe will not protect your foot the way a trail shoe does on a highly technical trail. That being said, there are certainly runners out there who prefer to use road shoes on rugged trails for one reason or another. As with most running shoes, at the end of the day the type of shoe that you’re wearing and the advantages that it can offer your foot in comparison with another type of shoe really comes down to the preferences which you’re seeking.

5. What is the best type of Scarpa shoe for a runner who is newer to trails?

A. While the current trend in trail running shoes seem to be ones that are constructed of a minimalist design, many professional runners do not recommend that runners who are new to trails follow this same type of trend. As with most other sports, confidence is going to come from experience. If you’re used to running with a road shoe that is supportive, then it would be rather silly of you to invest in a trail shoe that offers less support when the trail itself is going to be more intense on your feet. Along these same lines, if you’re new to trail running then you should also be considering the type of foot that you have. It might be a good idea to have a gait analysis performed at a specialty running store. This type of advice can apply to both road running and trail running shoes. To put it simply, when you’re first starting out as a trail runner, the best advice is to find a Scarpa shoe that is less minimalist in design and more supportive in nature. This way, you’re able to protect yourself, even if the current trend for trail shoes is more of a minimalist design.

6. Where were these shoes made?

A. All of the Scarpa shoes are made in China. This means that if you’re someone who is passionate about domestic production, this particular brand of shoes may not be for you. On the other hand, the reliability and confidence that the Scarpa brand can provide your foot is unmatched. The quality of a Scarpa running shoe may be one reason to consider overlooking the location in which they’re produced.

Sources

  1. Scott Dunlap, Be Weary of Gore-Tex Running Shoes (Knoxville News Sentinel), Trail Running Website, Mar 05, 2005
  2. Phillip Werner, Scarpa Spark Trail Running Shoe, Hiking Website,
  3. Jason Brozek, Scarpa Proton, Running Shoe Informational Site, Jan 09, 2016
  4. Shoes and Gear, Do I Really Need a Trail Shoe? , Informational Running Website, Jan 01, 1970
  5. Muck Boot Store, So What's So Awesome About Vibram Soles?, Boot Product Information Website, Jan 01, 1970
  6. Trail Running Magazine, Trail Shoe Review: Scarpa Atom, Shoe Review Page, Dec 05, 2016
  7. Linzay Logan, Choosing a Trail Running Shoe That's Right for You, Informational Running Shoe Website, Jan 01, 1970
  8. Rachel Peters, What Run Oregon is Wearing: Scarpa Proton Alpine Running Shoe, Informational Running Blog , Jan 01, 1970
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