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Trail and Scramble Shoes

Scott Kinabalu Supertrac Shoe | Review

It's all about the grip as Scott's new trail-running shoe chews its way relentlessly across rocks, rubble and soft terrain alike...

‘Soft compound rubber and super-aggressive lugs mean Scott’s most aggressive off-road running shoe sticks like chewing gum to a pavement slab’

Outdoors Magic: Grip, grip and more grip and light enough, and cushioned enough too.

Outdoors Tragic: We found them uncomfortable on long descents, though that might be fit. Soft rubber may wear fast.

Outdoors Grabbit? Scott may be better known for bikes in the UK, but this is a super grippy off-road running shoe that’s nimbler anymore precise than it looks. Forefoot fit slightly narrow for us though.

 

Full Specification

Lightweight off-road running shoe / AeroFoam+ midsole cushioning / e-ride rocker / air-permeable insoles / 29mm heel, 21mm forefoot – 8mm drop / Mesh/No Sew upper/ Wet Traction Rubber outsole / lace bungee.

Uppers are seamless 'No Sew' fabric with mesh panels and lightweight reinforcement - lwimages.co.uk
Super aggressive, soft rubber outsole with serious lugs gives great all-round grip on all surfaces wet and dry - lwimages.co.uk

Kinabalu Supertrac Shoe – The Tech

Scott is better known for bikes than shoes in the UK, but it’s no stranger to running footwear and the Kinabalu Supertrac is its gnarliest, Brit terrain-friendly trail-runner.

On paper it’s up there with the specialist running brands. The upper is seamless wth protective overlays while underfoot Scott uses its own AeroFoam+ cushioning. It’s an EVA-based compound that Scott says gives better cushioning and lasts longer than competitors.

It runs the full length of the shoe, but is thicker at the heel – 29mm – with an 8mm drop down to the forefoot, so fairly cushioned for a trail-running shoe.

Finally, underfoot there’s what Scott calls Wet-Traction-Rubber. It’s a super soft-feeling compound with whopping great v-shaped lugs and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that it’s intended to give whopping amounts of grip wet or dry.

 

Plenty of heel cushioning and support, but the shoe never feels as bulky as it looks at first sight - lwimages.co.uk
Uppers are seamless with lightweight protective overlay. Note the neat lace bungee to hold flapping cord in place - lwimagesco.uk

Kinabalu Supertrac Shoe – Performance

The shoe has a big, burly cushioned look to it, but oddly enough, it never felt like that. The forefoot fits quite snugly, which may be an issue if you have broader feet, but it helps to give it a closer, more flexible and nimble feel than you might expect.

That’s helped by cushioning that takes the sting out of hard surfaces, but never isolates you from the trail and, we think, the deformation of the soft rubber lugs underfoot.

The one downside of that close forefoot fit, for us at least, was some discomfort on long, continuous descents.

The one over-riding impression of the shoe though, was the amount of grip it gave on every surface we tried. We don’t know how well that soft rubber compound will wear, but it bit like a hungry Jack Russell on a postman’s hand on every surface we tried.

In particular, where most other soles were anything from uncertain to positively soap bar-ish on wet rocks, the Scott just felt safe and planted. We’re not saying it’ll stick like glue to slippy, Lake District rock, but it gripped harder in the wet than pretty much anything else we tried.

Verdict

We were pleasantly surprised by the Kinabalu Supertrac. It looks slightly bulky and clumsy, but it’s more sensitive than you might think with a surprisingly nimble feel, but enough cushioning to take the sting out of hard surfaces. The wide-base sole heel means it feels stable too.

Its one defining feature though, is that soft, super grippy sole. It bites hard on anything from wet rock through to soft mud and grass and while we don’t know how long that soft rubber will last, there’s no questioning its tenacious grip.

The only issue we had was with the relatively narrow forefoot, which also seemed to add up to some downhill discomfort, but we suspect that’s a fit issue and those with narrower forefeet should manage just fine.

More Information

See scott-sports.com

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