Scarpa Neutron Review Facts
Trail running is a popular past-time. It can not only help athlete’s cardiovascular capabilities but traversing up and down cliffs and mountainsides on uneven terrain can really help sculpt those lower body muscles as well. It doesn’t come without its dangers, though, among them being sprained and twisted ankles and damaged feet from dangerous debris. All of these possible hazards combined make it an absolute ‘must’ to have a solid pair of running shoes specifically designed to be taken on the trails.
Today we’re going to be looking at the Scarpa Neutron. The brand markets this shoe as a “race-inspired, but training-worthy” option and we tend to agree with this sentiment, for the most part. As you’ll see as we delve deeper into our review of the Neutron, these shoes seem to have all the boxes checked for most of the important features necessary in a solid pair of trail shoes. They’re not perfect, however, and may not be the right choice for every runner. Let’s have a closer look into the Neutron and see what they’re offering the modern trail aficionado.
The outsole on the Scarpa Neutron utilizes the Vibram Megagrip compound. This is a newer technology that the company has rolled out that is made with a high-performance rubber. This material lends itself well to a trail running shoe as it provides runners with unparalleled grip capacity on both dry and wet surfaces while boosting the durability level of the product as well. On the Neutron, the Vibram outsole wraps around the toe to help add a little more protection. The aggressive tread
found on the Neutron is in a multi-directional chevron pattern which helps to provide traction in all directions. The lugs are quite large but are spaced far apart enough that they won’t collect mud on the particularly wet rugged trails. One reviewer mentioned being careful while wearing these shoes indoors or on pavement as the tread on the outsole wants to grip onto anything it touches.
The midsole is comprised of a compression molded dual-density ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam material. This compound is known for its cushioning, responsiveness and durability. It lends itself well to runners who are searching for trail shoes that can assist with speedy transitions. The Neutron also features an arch-wrap construction that helps to provide a secure feeling in the mid-foot region, supporting the arch on both sides of your feet.
The upper of this shoe is made with both synthetic leather and a breathable polyester mesh layer. The mesh material is woven tightly enough that it stops debris from entering the shoe while remaining breathable enough to ensure your feet aren’t getting uncomfortable and sweaty mid-run. The artificial leather material lays on top of the mesh, wrapping around the toe area for added protection. The gusseted tongue is fairly thick, but not too much so, which further helps to keep debris from entering the shoe. While we’re on the topic of the tongue, it should be noted here that Scarpa added a cleverly-designed lace pocket on it. This lets you tuck your laces in so you’re not getting tripped up mid-run and helps to ensure that twigs and debris aren’t getting stuck in your laces.
The Scarpa Neutron, a trail running shoe, is not meant to be lightweight footwear. Most shoes in this category aren’t. The extra weight helps to add protection and support, something that is necessary when hitting the trails. That said, the men’s version of shoe weighs in at 275 grams or about 9.7 ounces, while the women’s comes in at about an ounce less. While you’re not likely to be winning any races while wearing these, you’ll find that they aren’t nearly as heavy as other trail shoes on the market today.
As mentioned previously, the Scarpa Neutron features a breathable mesh layer. This type of material does a fantastic job at keeping your feet cool and dry during long grueling runs. They’re not labeled as waterproof, but many reviewers commented that they are surprisingly great at keeping water, mud, and debris out. If they happen to get wet, they dry quickly.
Overall, this is a fairly comfortable option for a trail running shoe. The material in the upper of the Neutron has just enough padding, while the midsole isn’t too firm or too squishy. The lugs on the sole unit of the shoe add just enough cushioning
to keep your feet comfortable on trying terrain. The problem with the Neutron therein lies with the overall fit of the shoe and the lacing system. Some people found the shoe to be too narrow and the heel cup to be too big. This might work for some people’s feet but definitely not everyone’s.
The Scarpa Neutron is a great looking shoe. It is only available in two different colorways, however, which may make this not the most attractive option for some folks. The men’s color options are either “Abyss/Lime” (grey, teal, and lime green) or “Turkish Sea” (white, lime, and blue). The colorways for women are “Atoll” (blue) or “Lagoon/Lemon” (yellow, grey, black, and blue). Some runners might prefer a more neutral-colored shoe that will show less dirt and mud while traversing trail terrain and will need to look elsewhere than the Neutron for that.
The outsole of this shoe is meant to take a beating. The rubber compound that makes up the outsole should last you a very long time against many different types of terrain.
That said, there does seem to be some issues with the glue that holds the upper in place, however. Some reviewers mentioned that the glue was beginning to separate on their shoes long before it should be.
As with most trail running shoes, this is really where the Neutron shines. The Vibram outsole is perfect here, providing a lot of protection from rocks and other hazardous debris one may encounter on a trail run. The upper provides runners with just enough padding to handle trail hazards. One reviewer even mentioned it held up well against a run-in with a cactus. Also in the sole of the Neutron is a rock plate. The purpose of this safety measure is to provide runners with some underfoot protection from sharp rocks and other potentially dangerous debris. There is just enough toe protection in the Neutron to be able to really push yourself on the uneven terrain you’re likely to encounter on the trail.
Runners will find the responsiveness of the Neutron to be about the same that they would come to expect from a shoe in this weight range. The EVA midsole does provide some bounce back and energy return, but not the same amount you would find from a more energetic midsole. While the responsiveness level isn’t particularly good or bad, most runners will find that the Neutron doesn’t feel inefficient at all.
The synthetic leather in the upper of the Neutron offers runners a nice amount of lateral support which is important, especially when you’re dealing with technical trails. Some reviewers mentioned that there was a definite difference in the cushioning level of the Neutron depending on which part of their foot struck the ground first. They felt that there was sufficient enough cushioning in the heel but that the forefoot left something to be desired.
The Scarpa Neutron can handle almost any terrain you subject it to. It is built to endure the toughest of conditions. Through our research, we found that consumers subjected these shoes to mud, rocks, gravel, log-jumping, and other dangerous conditions and that all aspects of the Neutron (upper, outsole, toe box, etc) handled these hazards with ease. Some trail shoes don’t excel at climbing both up and down hills and mountains, but we found that the Neutron holds up very well going both directions. It feels like the shoe kicks into autopilot mode going through downhill sections of trail.
The MSRP for the Scarpa Neutron is $130. You can find this shoe for much cheaper on Amazon, however. Depending on your shoe size and the color option you prefer, you will be looking at paying anywhere between $75 and the MSRP price for this shoe.
Thanks to the Vibram Megagrip material and multi-directional lugs on the outsole, runners will most likely find that these shoes far surpass their expectations on the trails. The sole is made to grip and it does its job well. Whether traversing uphill, downhill, over muddy sections of trail, through slick rock-covered terrain, over creek beds or packed dirt, runners will find that the Neutron will perform well and handle transitions with ease. While researching, we didn’t read one single negative comment about the traction capabilities of this shoe and that is definitely saying something!
Compared to other trail running shoes
on the market, and even other Scarpa branded options, the Neutron lacks a bit in the flexibility department. This is a stiff shoe that performs well on rocky, rugged terrain but not so much on flat trails.
The multi-directional lugs and sturdy rubber outsole really lend themselves well to the stability of the Scarpa Neutron. Runners
will find that with each stride, they feel supported and stable, no matter what the terrain they’re running in is like. Going downhill over roots and rocks feels like a walk in the park with these shoes.
The drop of the Scarpa Neutron is 6mm. This makes it a relatively low drop trail running option. It’s worth noting and may be something you want to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to purchase this shoe. It’s important to remember that the lower the heel drop is, the more it encourages a mid- or forefoot strike. If you’re not currently running in a low-drop shoe, you may want to transition yourself slowly to avoid any injuries. The low-drop really helps you be able to go for longer distances without your body aching and screaming at you to stop.
-Vibram Megagrip outsole for superior protection and grip
-Dual layered upper with synthetic leather and mesh
molded EVA upper
-Ergonomic fit for top-notch performance on downhills
-6mm drop allows you to tack on some extra miles comfortably
-Supportive stitched overlays on the upper
The Scarpa Neutron is a great mid-priced trail running shoe option for the hardcore trail aficionados out there. It is designed to be taken specifically on the trails and, even more specifically, the most rugged of ones you can throw at them. Thanks to the deep and aggressive lugs on the outsole, the Neutron performs exceptionally well on rocks, dirt, mud
, clay, cliffs and, well, whatever other terrain you may find on your adventures. The stability, traction, and support offered are unparalleled. That said, however, if you’re hoping to have a versatile shoe that you can take onto the trails and onto the pavement, you might want to search elsewhere. The Neutron is meant exclusively for trails and will not perform well on pavement or during road runs. While the upper and midsole materials may make you feel that you could use this shoe for your typical pavement run, the outsole is far too aggressive to translate well to a road running shoe. Overall, if you’re hitting the trails more than once a week or often find yourself on difficult, dangerous terrain on your runs, we recommend you get yourself a pair of the Scarpa Neutron. The pros far outweigh the cons with this shoe and your feet will be thanking you when they’re wrapped comfortably and safely in these shoes while you’re hopping over logs and running through mud.