Woman standing in trainers

Review: Scarpa Spin Trail Running Shoes

A lightweight and sensitive trail running shoe that will have you descending quicker than ever

The Scarpa Spin Trail Running Shoes offer an exceptionally grippy outsole that provides sensitivity and stability in equal measure. With elevated confidence to tackle even the most demanding and technical terrain, you’ll find yourself charging faster than ever.

Scarpa Spin Trail Running Shoe: the stats

Best for:Varied off-road terrain and alpine running
Heel to toe drop:4mm
Weight:440g / 15.5oz per pair (size 7 US)
Waterproof:No

Features of the Scarpa Spin Trail Running Shoe

Outsole

Sole of trainersAlthough not ultra deep, the lugs on the soles of the Spins perform exceptionally well in a variety of terrain. They shed mud well and hold their own on loose dry trails, too. The soles also feature brand new Litebase Vibram technology which means they are up to 50% slimmer and lighter without compromising on performance.

Laces

Laces of trainersThe Spins feature a ghillie lacing system (webbed loops instead of holes) which helps maintain streamlined comfort on the top of the foot. There is also a hidden lace pocket that allows you to tuck the ends of the laces away.

Cushioning

Heel of shoeThe midsoles of the these minimalist trail runners are made from medium density EVA. This is specifically designed to provide cushioning on the heel and responsiveness on the forefoot. There is also a nice amount of cushioning around the ankle that feels plush and comfortable.

Sock-fit

Sock fit of trainersThe tongues of the shoes extend down to the edges of the innersole where they attach. This creates a sock-like feel and helps to prevent stones and pebbles from making their way into the shoes.

The uppers

Toe of trainerThese are made from a thermo-welded film that is ultra-breathable. There is no stitching through the inside of the upper which, together with the protection of the sock-fit, make the Spins comfortably wearable without socks. I’ve yet to try this on a run, but they certainly feel very nice without socks when walking.


Scarpa Spin Trail Running Shoe review

Some trail running shoes really stand out when you first put them on, positively or negatively. The Scarpa Spin’s, however, gave nothing away. Comfortable, a good fit, and lightweight with a good looking outsole. But nothing more than everything you would expect from a high performing alpine running shoe.

Once I’d taken them for a spin, however, I started to see the appeal. Over the steep and very loose terrain of my local sea cliffs, up and down some gruellingly high dunes, and along the monotonously flat and very long beach. Since then they’ve had a good old beating on varied terrain (muddy downhills, slippery grass ascents and wet rock) and in a full range of weather conditions.

Fit

If you’re after extra room in the toe-box then these may not be the trail runners for you. They aren’t too narrow in the toe (I have regular sized feet), but there’s not much room to spare if you like to splay those toes. The shoes fit true to size. I am somewhere between a size 4.5 and 5 (UK) and these size 5’s are a little on the long side for me. On steep descents my toes push against the fronts of the shoes slightly. A 4.5 would definitely be preferable.

Comfort

The Spins are moderately padded both through the midsole (especially at the heel) and around the ankle. They don’t scream luxury, but neither are they uncomfortable in any way. And in fact the more you don’t notice your shoes, in my opinion, the better!

What I have noticed, though, is that the modest cushioning through the forefront of the midsole means that you do feel the trail a lot more than with evenly cushioned midsoles. I both like and dislike this, depending on the terrain and the situation! You really feel it when you stomp on an unexpectedly pointed rock — no so nice. However, on more technical sections of trail feeling everything under your feet can feel very reassuring and secure.

Trainer sole

Grip

For me, this is where the Spins really excel. They are totally trustworthy on both steep ups AND downs. I’ve started taking my downhill speed much more seriously in the Spins, and have (almost) full confidence that they’ll deliver me safely to the bottom — on two feet!

Stability

I’m also super impressed with how sturdy these shoes feel, especially for such a lightweight offering. The sturdiness through the middle of the foot, combined with the sensitivity of the midsole at the toes, makes me feel very secure and confident cruising over rocky and loose terrain. I don’t feel the need to slow down on these questionably loose and awkward sections.

Versatility

The grip and stability are so good that I’ve started playing tennis in them, too! My changes of direction are much quicker, stopping power is superb and acceleration better than ever. If only I could say the same about my tennis skills! That said, I am aware that they won’t stand the test of time being battered on the hard courts so I’m having to limit their use.

What I love the most

The grip offered by the Scarpa Spins is the best I’ve experienced in some time. It certainly rivals the Salomon Speedcross and is a good deal more durable than the soft soles of the Speedcross’. I’m loving the elevated confidence I have when charging the downhills and I feel comfortable tackling almost all types of terrain without trepidation.

What I don’t love so much

There isn’t much support through the arches. This isn’t a deal breaker at all as it depends what sort of feel you’re after. But if I had to choose one thing, that would be it.

Oh, and they also let in sand very easily. Shucks, no more dune training for me!


Scarpa trainers

Verdict

The combo of low weight, sensitivity, stability and exception grip makes the Scarpa Spin Trail Running Shoe a superb option for those looking to charge faster on the trail. They offer good levels of comfort and heightened levels of confidence on all types of terrain that will give you the edge when pushing your limits in the mountains. They also do a very good job at making you look (and feel) much more spritely on the tennis court!

Find the latest price at:
Scarpa | Amazon | REI

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About Joey

author-joey

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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