Slowly, mountain run-off and latent winter storms give way to spring weather. But it’s never easy. This time of year it’s a crapshoot to predict trail conditions. Morning squalls drop an inch (or more) of snow, leaving intermediate wet zones, slippery corners and Oh, shi-! moments in the event of a misstep. Nevertheless, when the sun starts taunting us through office windows the urge to seek out our favorite single track pulls from every direction. It’s ironically frustrating.
Enter the Spark, SCARPA’s mountain minimal trail running shoe. Merging the best ideals of minimalism with the realities of a trail runner’s needs in rugged terrain, these goals come to life in the Spark, as well as the new Spark GTX, the waterproof/breathable option of the award-winning trail shoe—the ideal tool in the coming mud season.
The Spark’s architecture combines minimal uppers with the appropriate level of traction, support, and underfoot cushioning to deliver the perfect balance between weight and performance. The midsole provides 14-mm of cushion in the heel and 8-mm in the forefoot, for a drop of 6-mm. The outsole was designed to provide excellent traction, while still saving weight – 23 percent lighter than our standard platform.
Women’s Spark GTX
SCARPA athlete Cory Richards spends a lot of time trekking in extreme climates, staving off subzero conditions by constantly moving. When he’s not in the high Himalayas or in Antarctica climbing in the land of the midnight sun, he prefers the Spark for training runs in the foothills outside of his home in Boulder. “There super light, but they’re still a real running shoe,” he says, touting their nimble but protective feel on rocky terrain.
The Spark has a flexible, high tensile fabric in the forefoot that helps provide forefoot protection with very little weight, whereas the GTX has 1.2-mm H-EVA forefoot strike plate for protection, raising the overall weight just a tad. The uppers are synthetic with minimal overlays (the GTX version boasts a Gore® waterproof/breathable barrier for wetter, muddier conditions). Again, the goal is to only use overlays where they are needed. We’ve also incorporated planet-friendly features into the Spark, with recycled content in the upper fabric and synthetic leather, as well as the laces and lining. The Spark also features EcoPure™ in the midsole, which allows it to biodegrade much more quickly at the end of its product life.