Shoe Review - Scott Supertrac RC

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We asked local Deeside Runners and Scottish International hill runner, James Espie, to put the Scott Supertrac RC off road shoe through it's paces. So, he took them up to the Cairngorms and did just that. Many thanks to James for taking the time to do this and for his honest assessment.

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Specification:

  • Weight: 250g / shoe.
  • Heel Stack: 22mm
  • Drop: 5mm.
  • RRP: £125.00
  • Test miles: 52

 

And that folks is where the boring statistics end. There are dozens of reviews online about this shoe but most of them use phrases such as ‘optimally cushioned’ or ‘sleek and agile design’. These phrases don’t do much to explain how it gets on crashing through heather or ploughing through peat bogs. I’ll keep things a bit more down to earth, literally.

As my first pair of SCOTT's I tried them on in The Running Shop and was very pleased with the ‘standard’ sized toe-box. None of this cramming your feet into a ‘precision fit’ shoe which is simultaneously too narrow and too long! 8.5 fits as expected, that’ll do, to the hills!

Morven was a sure way to test the Supertracs straight out of the box. For those of you that haven’t run it, Morven offers probably the best meters to miles ratio on Deeside. Scattered with peat bogs, heathery trods, rocky ascents and a blisteringly fast technical descent, it is more than a match for the best of shoes. On this occasion the hill was dry, perhaps a little less extreme than I’d hoped but none the less, I was delighted with the grip available. Grass, rock, heather, peat bogs (I’ll always find some), the Supertrac gripped. Up, down, sideways, all at once, I was very impressed. Low enough to provide excellent stability, whilst suitable cushioned to prevent bruised feet from loose stones on the 4x4 track- more on that later.

The upper feels tough, much tougher than the crepe paper favoured by some of its rivals. This was evident on the hill, no stubbed toes or bruised metatarsals, only a little water and few heather preenics made it into the shoe.

Longer runs? I took to the Lochnagar 4 Munro route, 2½hrs & 18miles.

With some trepidation I set off up the Ladder, would that tough, robust upper be breathable enough for a hot morning in the hills? Would I discover a hither-to unrecognised flaw in them to spoil the honeymoon period I was enjoying?

No, is the short answer. The further I ran the more convinced I became that I’d discovered an excellent all-rounder. Light enough to scamper up the rocky climb.

No end of grip across the wet Mounth plateau, and that crucial low heel stack & drop to provide stability over the soft running onto Broad Cairn. From here the real test began, 6 miles of hard, rocky trail to poke holes in the cushioning (and my feet). Not today, the fabled ‘optimal cushioning’ did the trick. The soles of my feet did not suffer the usual abuse from what seems like every sharp stone on Balmoral, down the steep gravely zig-zag I had no worries of skating sideways. Reaching the visitors centre, my feet were hot but not excessively. So, less breathable than some, but after another heathery route (18miles from Ballater to Glen Tanar) I’d say the robust upper durability v’s breathability trade-off is worth it.

Now £125.00 is a lot of money for a pair of shoes. Scott have priced the Supertrac to match the top end Inov-8 and Salomon models, which is a bold move for the new shoe on the shelf! Having sampled (I say sampled, I mean trashed,) a wide cross section of their competitors though I’d say they are justified in the price tag. Remember, club runners will get 10% off at The Running Shop too.

This is not an out and out lightweight, short race shoe, neither is it a simple trail shoe for Saturday canters around your local woodland trails. The Supertrac rc will fit either bill but really it deserves something more. It deserves to leave the paths behind, to bash through a few miles of heather, skip across a boulder field, plough through all the peat bogs you can find. When you’ve finished having fun and have 5 miles of gravel track to negotiate home your feet will thank you for choosing the Supertracs.

Will I be racing in them? Yes.  Would I buy another pair? Absolutely. Does the designer at Scott deserve a bonus? Undoubtedly.

The Scott moto for this shoe is ‘Power is nothing without Traction’, The Supertrac rc has the traction. You can bring all the power you like, it’ll grip.

Get down to George St and try a different brand, you may well be surprised.

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  • Andrew Gordon