There’s a niche in your training program for a great pair of trail runners – whether you’re dedicated to the sport or just using the single track as a transition-season training tool. But, like any outdoor endeavor, there are different ways to approach trail running, and different styles of doing it.
For Spring 2014, SCARPA introduces three new shoes that help create its most well-rounded trail-running program yet. Building on the success of its award-winning Spark, SCARPA has created a family of complimentary shoes for your trail running adventures. Meet the Ignite, Ion and TRU.
The new Ignite is SCARPA’s new-school take on a traditional trail-running shoe. More shock-absorbing that the award-winning Spark – which balances a minimal midsole with cushioning still appropriate on rugged terrain – the Ignite offers something for the person who wants that shock absorption with an 18-mm heel and 10-mm forefoot. It has a more moderate ramp angle than the norm for a “traditional” trail shoe, while still being lithe and lightweight at 10.2 ounces per shoe (size 42). A thin high-density EVA trail plate also offers added protection in the forefoot for toothier trails. The Speed Track outsole uses an aggressive design with 4.5 mm-deep lugs for traction and angular lugs on the back to assist with braking on the downhill. Plus there’s an exclusive rubber compound for superior traction and durability when passing over slabs, cornering, and negotiating other technical obstacles. Air mesh uppers are blended with a webbing exoskeleton for support and responsiveness, providing optimum breathability, fit and performance when covering every kind of trail terrain. Though built for running trails, the Ignite is also a great crossover shoe for folks who prefer to hike in a trail runner.
The Ion, by contrast, offers a more minimal yet still-protective midsole with a 14 to 8 mm drop (the same as the Spark), but it’s built with more rugged trails and longer miles in mind, thanks to its super-supportive upper design. It combines a synthetic leather exoskeleton (for excellent lateral stability), precision foot placement with air mesh (for breathability) and a protective toe rand (ideal for dealing with rocky trails and talus). Underfoot, a 1.2 mm high-density EVA trail plate adds extra trail protection. A partial integrated stretch tongue gaiter beneath the lacing/tongue keeps trail debris out of the shoe, and a heel rand provides a responsive, performance fit. On the sole, an angular tread aids traction in alpine terrain.
Because the speed freak exists within all of us, SCARPA constructed the TRU on the lightweight end of the spectrum. Built as an ultralight race shoe or a shoe for those who don’t like to be weighed down, the TRU extols the virtues of mountain minimalism but with a solid level of support and trail protection. The uppers are built with a non-stretch, monofilament mesh with synthetic leather welded into key structural areas that follow the contours of your foot, providing superb responsiveness for such a lightweight package. Along with progressive support, this design also makes them exceptionally breathable. With a svelte midsole/sole package of 14/8mm drop, along with a high-tensile fabric forefoot strike plate, and the 8.5-ounce TRU is a performance machine for times when weight is at a premium and speed is sublime.
Like all SCARPA trail shoes, all three versions are available in both men’s and women’s versions.