Last updated: 20-Aug-18
By Seth Grotzke
I put these shoes on my feet and immediately got in trouble. I slogged through any water in sight. I scrambled up shale slides. If there had been police around, I would have tried to lead them on a chase.
The SCARPA Spin RS8 is a shoe designed for trail runners who want to charge down the single track with reckless abandon. The lighter design, sock-fit, and the Vibram Outsole combine to make a quality shoe that gives your feet a solid connection to the trail.
With that in mind, I took these shoes for multiple long runs through the mountains in northern Spain in order to see what Scarpa has to offer.
- Vibram MegaGrip Outsole
- EXO Ergonomic Thermowelted Exoskeleton
- 8 mm drop
- Weight: 265g (½ pair size 42)
- Soft collar
- High Cushioning
- Hidden Lace Pocket
Pros: What’s good about the Scarpa spin rs8
This is my first time wearing a shoe from Scarpa. As soon as I put the shoe on, I noticed two things: the sock-fit and the Vibram sole. The sock-fit is a beautiful idea. Not only does it provide a smooth, glove-like fit, I also found it helped keep small stones and debris out of the shoe while on the trails.
As much as I like the mental training of moving a pebble around inside my shoe for a 15 mile run, I liked being able to concentrate on other things. The close contact with the shoe also gave me more confidence on the downhills.
Then there is the Vibram sole. I think this is where the police chase fantasy entered my mind. I could not find a trail condition where the sole did not give me better traction than my normal Altras or Brooks shoes. Running over gravel, dirt, shale, and mud, this sole gave me no reason to slow down (frustratingly enough).
The EXO Ergonomic Thermowelted Exoskeleton:
Me: Pulls up Google and types “What in the world is this? Please help me find out so I don’t sound like an idiot.”
Google: “Essentially a way to connect and cover seams of various fabric in order to provide maximum durability and flex while keeping water out.”
Me: “Sure…Basically what I was thinking…”
The result is a solid shoe casing without the feel of slogging up a mountain with bricks on your feet. I was impressed with how sturdy and snug this shell made the shoe feel.
An added bonus to the shoe is the lacing. The whole system has a slight give, adding an extra layer of comfort in the constantly varying terrain. I always use the ankle lock lacing style, so I found the laces to be just barely long enough, but the flex was relieving on my feet while on the long runs.
Add to this the hidden lace pocket to keep your shoes tied while racing through briars, and you have the fruits of some very thoughtful shoe design.
Cons: What’s not so good about the Scarpa spin rs8
We have a phrase here in Spain, “para gustos los colores.” There are as many personal preferences as colors in nature. I found this to be true in the fit of the shoe. I love the tighter fit throughout the arch of the foot, but I tend toward larger toe boxes.
If you prefer more room for your toes to spread (or swell), you will need a larger size than you normally purchase. If you do this though, you will sacrifice on the downhill feel.
Depending on where you are purchasing these shoes, the price may deter some runners. They are in the £115+ range, and while they are a solid shoe, I would have priced them a little lower.
I would recommend Scarpa Spin RS8 to one of my running mates if they were looking for a solid shoe for trail running, mountain running, vertical kilometers, and even training and racing up to the 50 km mark. Pushing into longer races I would hesitate due to the tighter fit.
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any recklessness with the authorities caused by putting on a pair of these.
All images Seth Grotzke.
About the writer: Seth normally gets lost while out running…and prefers it that way. Though Minnesota snow is what he is used to running in, the mountains of Spain are where he spends his time now. Sometimes he twitters over at @accidentalultra
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