The Scarpa Spin Ultra are one of Scarpa’s latest trail running shoes focussed on long-distance running. With the mix of a moderate stack height and weight blended with an aggressive outsole and sturdy upper, they’re built to go the distance over technical terrain.
The stats that matter:
Weight: 600g per pair (EU 44)
Stack height: 24mm max – 18mm min
Outsole: Vibram Litebase
Design & Durability (Rating: 85%)
Scarpa has achieved what they set out to do when designing the Spin Ultra. The midsole and outsole work well together to provide a stable landing with all-day comfort.
The outsole provides plenty of grip on a wide range of surfaces. As expected, dirt, grass and gravel were no problem but because of the aggressive tread pattern I was not expecting great performance on concrete and asphalt but there was zero slipping even in the wet. The only time I was able to lose traction was in thick mud and it was minimal. Unfortunately, I was not able to test them on slick rock but I’d expect them to do relatively well due to the rubber being quite soft and sticky.
The midsole has enough cushioning to feel comfortable and absorb impacts but is firm enough to not feel sloppy, I think they got the balance just right.
The shape of the midsole is quite flat and stiff, and the foam provides very little pop or energy return, making the shoes feel somewhat lifeless on flat, easy terrain. Where this combination excels is on steep and technical terrain. Where a rockered or poppy ride might make you feel unstable.
The upper is mostly quite thin but feels tough and provides a fair bit of structure. The heel cup has some rigidity with plenty of cushion and the semi-gusseted tongue is a standout, it is thick and comfortable. Overall they have opted for protection over breathability, a small area of mesh over the toe box being the only spot with noticeable air flow. Given its lack of breathability, the upper still managed to clear water rather quickly and not become heavy due to water retention.
The upper is finished off with a well-designed toe guard.
The minimal design gives me confidence in its durability. After my testing, the outsole has zero signs of wear and the midsole had just slightly softened up, I’d say they’re just worn in.
The only cause for concern is that there is a spot where the outsole has started to come away from the midsole but it’s hard to say if this will become an issue.
Comfort & Fit (Rating: 70%)
To put it simply these shoes are comfortable, the plush heel cup and tongue with the supportive sole and overall light make it a comfortable package. When running on hard surfaces there is a soft landing with a nice transition to toe off and on rough ground alot of bumps and lumps are absorbed. Out of the box I had some doubts as they felt a bit too rigid and during the first couple of runs I had some discomfort on the lateral side of my feet, I think this was due to the fit but it seemed to resolve itself once they’d been worn in.
The sizing and fit on the Spin Ultras leave some to be desired. Of course, this is very individual, but I have to recommend trying them on for size or buying from an online shop with a good returns policy.
I have fairly low-volume feet with an average width forefoot and somewhat narrow midfoot and heel.
I found the width at the forefoot to be standard but they’re wide through the midfoot and heel cup. Thankfully Scarpa provided an additional eyelet in order to tie a runner’s knot and once I did that I was able to get a solid lockdown. These shoes are certainly more suited to people with higher-volume feet but I think they can work for most people.
The back of the heel cup goes a bit too high up the achilles for my liking and it did cause a small blister but I know some people appreciate the extra support.
What I Like
- Minimalistic design
I was most impressed by the traction and comfort provided on all surfaces. You can run confidently with stable landing and protection both from stepping on sharp rocks and from kicking rocks and roots.
Thanks to the minimalistic design, Scarpa have been able to keep the weight very low when compared to the competition.
What I Don’t Like
- Confusing sizing
- Lack of breathability
Overall the fit just doesn’t quite do it for me, I might have been better served with a half-size smaller but it’s hard to say.
It wasn’t particularly hot during my testing but during the summer I suspect the lack of breathability may become a factor.
This is purely subjective and although I think the shape looks fantastic, I’m not sold on the colours or design.
Disclaimer: Scarpa provided a pair of shoes for review. This review may include affiliate links, meaning The Bushwalking Blog receives a small percentage of the profits from any sales via the links on this page. This has no influence on the opinions presented in my review.
Have you tried the Scarpa Spin Ultra trail runners? Got any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.