10 Best Scarpa Running Shoes Reviewed
We did the research so you could take less time searching for which 10 Best Scarpa Running Shoe is right for you. Scarpa has quite a lot to offer in their shoes and is popular across the running world for this reason. They have a shoe to fit pretty much any type of running need.
Scroll through and check out the FAQs we put together as well to help you along your journey in finding a great Scarpa running shoe. This information is there with our Evaluation Criteria to help inform and guide to make sure we are truly sharing the best Scarpa has to offer.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research
Protective and flexible rock plate
Great for long distances
Megagrip for traction
Small heel drop
- Proton GTX
- Spin Ultra
- Scarpa Neutron 2
- Proton Alpine
- Tru Trail
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Scarpa Running Shoes
Protective and flexible rock plate
Great for long distances
Megagrip for traction
Small heel drop
Lugs aren't suited for road wear or running
The Scarpa Spin is the trail shoe you should consider when looking for something to protect your feet from the dangerous debris that can litter a hiking trail. This design goes to show that just because a shoe is minimalist doesn’t mean it can’t be protective or cushioned.Read more
The Scarpa Spin is made with the Megagrip from Vibram, ensuring reliable traction while on the trail. The minimalist design also means the wearer can use their own natural toe spread to grip the road, the wearer and shoe working together to find the surest footing on the trail.
The Spin has a flexible rock plate, guaranteeing not only protection from the rocks on the path but also that the protection will move with you.
The Scarpa brand is famous for its fit, being some of the best fitting shoes were have ever heard feedback for. Although getting the best fit usually means having measurement help in the store, the Scarpa system means you will likely not have to do any sizing up or down like you may have to with some brands.
The Spin is priced similarly to other Scarpa shoes. Spin can be considered a little pricey, but you receive a very high-quality minimalist trail running shoe for your investment; it’s well worth the price.
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.
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.
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.Read more
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.
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.
This shoe features an arch-wrap construction around its midsole, which allows the foot to feel maximally secure.
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.
3. Proton GTX
Comfortable for a trail shoe
Consumers are happy about the support that these shoes provide.
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.
The Scarpa Proton GTX trail running shoe will provide you with adequate grip and durability while running on a variety of terrain.Read more
This shoe’s outsole is made of Vibram's Megagrip technology. The sole’s rubber to become sticky when terrain is slick or wet.
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.
The forefoot of this shoe is a medium width and will allow for a roomy feeling in the front of the foot.
This shoe is more affordable than some of the other shoes that we’ve seen on this list thus far.
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.
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.
The Scarpa Spark trail running shoe can offer you a faster ride that is in line with this shoe’s minimalist yet efficient design.Read more
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.
In addition 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This shoe is designed with an internal half-bootie, which provides a secure fit for the shoe. It also comes with added Achilles cushion.
Due to this shoe’s diversity, you’re truly getting a great value for this type of shoe.
6. Spin Ultra
Great for transitioning terrain
Double base layer Vibram Technology for added traction
Less aggressive lugs for better pavement feel
More cushioning in the sole
Mixed reviews on Lug Durability
Designed for those ultra-serious trail runners, Scarpa Spin Ultra adds a bit more stability and cushion to the Spin line. They use Vibram Litebase technology to keep your feet on the trails without the added weight and can take on some serious terrain. Spin Ultra is creating some serious waves in ultra-running shoe standards.Read more
Vibram should say it all. Scarpa is known for their aggressive, high-performance Vibram rubber soles, it is what sets them apart from trail running competition.
Scara Spin Ultra’s multi-directional lugs are a combination of Vibrams thinner Litebase technology and Megagrip compound, ensuring the best grip a running shoe can offer. Although the Litebase is 40 to 50% thinner, which cuts down on weight, it doesn't affect the durability of the Spin Ultra design.
This ultra design from Scarpa has reinforced upper mesh that covers the whole shoe and is lined with polyester to aid in keeping as much debris out as possible. This feature also allows for better ventilation and drainage.
Furthermore, the micro-nubuck pattern within the mesh blends in with the lacing system, which is all part of a sock-like fit inside the shoe. The mesh also integrates into the TPU cap in the toe, which protects against undesired sharp rocks and other debris stubbing your toes.
Scarpa Spin Ultra works with a Sock-fit system to keep the shoe snug to the foot without taking flexibility and agility away from the shoe design. There is also added cushioning to the Spin Ulta, making it one of the more cushioned in their line.
This extra padding comes in the form of a dual Eva midsole layering that adds firmness for a better energy transfer while still offering enough stability and protection to keep your feet comfortable longer. Moreover, a 25mm stack works with Eva cushioning to maintain that high level of stability and comfort as well.
Spin Ultra’s added cut-outs for the ankle bones and a padded notch for the Achilles. The tongue is also padded with a gusset in the midsection to keep it from sliding around. All this extra padding is ideal for keeping you stable in rocky situations.
We could go on and on all day about this upgraded Scarpa design, however, there are other shoes on the list as well with just as much credibility. These run about average in cost as the rest as well. They are a newer version to 2019 Scarpa Line up and priced as new releases usually are. But we are sure once you get them tied, you won’t be regretting the buy.
7. Scarpa Neutron 2
Added padding for longer runs
Good option for less aggressive trail running
Not the best for muddy terrain
Less aggressive lugs
Scarpa Neutron 2 is an upgrade that offers more control and comfort to the Neutron line. It still offers the versatility of the Neutron while featuring updates that make the 2 much more focused on keeping you running longer and on almost any terrain without disappointment.Read more
The Neutron 2 has Vibrams Megagrip outer sole technology in the lugs, which offers aggressive traction on some of the most unstable terrains. The lugs are spaced just right and are a bit more shallow along the toe and heel, offering a sturdy solid grip with every impact.
Scarpa also added inserts that offer a more flexible toebox. This helps with the dig when you are on more technical trails while offering a softer ride when transitioning to the pavement. The shallowness of the lugs also provides great transition and is another reason the Scarpa Neuton 2’s are that much more versatile.
Offering the TPU toecap integrated with the Micro-Nubuck mesh, the Neutron 2 gives you a durable all over design that was made to protect your feet first and foremost. The material protects against unwanted debris while giving solid airflow and drainage to the shoe design.
The TPU toe keeps the toes protected from rocks, roots and other flyby debris without interfering with the comfort and flexibility the toe box offers. Furthermore, the midsole has an H-Eva plate that works with the 6mm, drop design to give you even more stability, comfort, and protection throughout the fit of the shoe.
Within the shoe, there is a soft polyester lining that backs the mesh, which is the core of the Sock-fit design. This makes for a snug fit that secures the foot from sliding around without feeling restricted.
Scarpa Neutron 2 also has a padded ankle that extends into the tongue, adding a nice touch to the all ver comfort of the shoe. All this with the wider toebox design has consumers raving that the neutron 2 is basically already broken in for you. You just need to slip them on and you're ready to blaze the trails.
These are gradually getting less and less pricey as time goes by. Not due to any reason other than time itself. They are a great value no matter where you purchase them. For the cost, you get all the comfort, durability and versatility you need in one of the 10 best running shoes Scarpa offers.
8. Proton Alpine
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.
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.
As the name of this shoe suggests, the Scarpa Proton Alpine running shoe will take you to new and unforeseen heights.Read more
This shoe features an EVA foam midsole and a 10mm heel-to-toe drop. These two features combined allow the foot to feel both comfortable and more importantly supported while going over difficult terrain.
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.
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.
The value of this shoe is about average when compared to other Scarpa shoes.
9. Tru Trail
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
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.
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.Read more
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.
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.
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.
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.
Consumers are impressed with the stability and tread that this shoe can provide.
Good arch support
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.
The Scarpa Tempo running shoe boasts a minimalist style in conjunction with a supportive, cushioned and effortless ride.Read more
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.
The Tempo comes with an ESS strike plate in the forefoot that will prevent rocks and other types of debris from injuring your foot.
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.
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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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 feature 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.
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.
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 shoe list.
Other Factors to Consider
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.
While your primary concern when purchasing a Scarpa shoe may not necessarily be comforting, 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 resistant. 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. The shoes are designed with GTX, or Gore-Tex fabric may be appropriate for people who need more waterproofing, 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.
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: 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: 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: 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.
q: Q. 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.
q: Q. What is the best type of Scarpa shoe for a runner who is newer to trails?
A. Many shoes from Scarpa follow the current trail running trends and are designed with a minimalist style in mind. A minimalist shoe alters its wearer’s gait to one less acclimated to the shape of standard footwear and to a gate that is more natural to the shape of a foot. This can make minimalist shoes difficult to situate yourself to, so most running veterans recommend that newer runners avoid the more minimally designed shoes. You can get your gait and running technique analyzed professionally in specialty shoe stores to help you understand your shoe buying needs. It is advisable that a novice runner who is interested in a Scarpa shoe should seek out the more supportive and more padded options from this brand and avoid their more minimalist designs. Additionally, you should make sure, especially if you are new to trail running in particular, to choose a Scarpa shoe with an adequate protection from rocks and debris. Most runners who aren’t experienced with trail running are less sure of their footing, and there are several Scarpa styles that have protective plates to help protect their wearers.
q: Q. 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 are unmatched. The quality of a Scarpa running shoe may be one reason to consider overlooking the location in which they’re produced.
- Be Weary of Gore-Tex Running Shoes (Knoxville News Sentinel), Trail Running Website ,
- Scarpa Spark Trail Running Shoe, Hiking Website ,
- Scarpa Proton, Running Shoe Informational Site ,
- Do I Really Need a Trail Shoe? , Informational Running Website ,
- So What's So Awesome About Vibram Soles?, Boot Product Information Website ,
- Trail Shoe Review: Scarpa Atom, Shoe Review Page ,
- Choosing a Trail Running Shoe That's Right for You, Informational Running Shoe Website ,
- What Run Oregon is Wearing: Scarpa Proton Alpine Running Shoe, Informational Running Blog ,