I have been wearing Scott shoes for a while now, and it’s fair to say they have got better and better. From originals like the Trail Rockets, they have kept what was good and thrown away what didn’t work.
My current favorites are the Supertrac RC Ultra, which has basically been my go-to shoes for everything (except rare tarmac outings) for the last couple of years. The latest release from Scott is the Kinabalu Ultra RC. These came out in June and lots of excited people have talked about how good they are in summer, but what about now we’re into the season of cold and sloppiness… will they be any good for winter?!
I recently moved from Sheffield to Cornwall. You might imagine that running down here is all flat hard-packed coast path trails and it’s basically sunny all the time? I did, but apparently not. I took the shoes out for a 20 mile training run last weekend and found almost every type of terrain. So, how were they? Here’s a quick roundup of how I found them on each type of terrain, in the order I found them…
I wouldn’t wear these for a road run, but they are really comfy. Straight out of the box these were a nice shoe to wear. Running on hard trails tends to reveal any hotspots of discomfort and I found none with these. They also feel (and are) really nice and light, which has been a legit criticism of some Scott shoes in the past.
I found plenty of mud! When the whole trail is ankle-deep sloppy mud there aren’t many shoes that are going to cope well, but the key for me is that they shed the mud as you get away from it and you don’t end up with a shoe full of gritty stuff. On this, they score highly. Something with a deeper tread would grip better, but in this stuff, you’re going to slop about whatever happens and I’d rather not have to empty my shoes out at the end!
More one for you Peak district folks than me, but courtesy of Goonhilly Downs I was able to test on this terrain to my heart’s content. Spongy bog with a foot of water on top: Check. Deep sinky bog which tries to steal your shoes: Check. Soft squishy bog with sharp gorse and brambles: Check.
I found good performance in all of these, to be honest, they were grippier than I expected. Again the mud/water shedding is good, my feet didn’t get cold, and the laces didn’t come undone despite only single knots (rubbish laces annoy me so this is a big plus!).
Well, we are in Cornwall! I’ve not yet found a good beach running shoe. These are as good as any. On dry stony beaches, they grip well. I’ve yet to find anything that does grip on a seaweed-covered rock, but I can confirm these don’t.
Coast path (hard trail):
Up on the cliffs on a dry day, trying to run fast, these are in their element. The grip works best on this type of terrain, which reminds me a bit of Derwent Edge. When you’re trying to press on a bit, their lightweight is a great advantage and they feel really stable. They don’t feel like an 8mm drop shoe!
I found the original RC with this tread liked to go fast, but didn’t work so well for plodding. The Supertrac Ultra RC are awesome and can do everything, but they aren’t the lightest.
These new Kinabalu Ultra RC seem to have all bases covered. They combine the best elements of my favourite Scott shoes into a very comfortable, lightweight and fast shoe. I’d pick them for everything from a short fast training run to a winter ultra, unless it was going to be a total bog-fest, in which case I’d go to the Supertracs.
So yes, these can be a fast summer training and racing shoe, but there’s nothing to say they can’t do the same for you all winter. Mine will be. We all have our personal preferences, but lightweight, well designed and good quality shoes are surely a good start for anyone!
A final note on longevity:
This is important these days, as we want our shoes to last for both financial and environmental reasons. I haven’t had these long enough to be sure, but I have been amazed at the lifetime I’ve had from recent Scott shoes, and these seem to combine the life-extending elements of those (particularly the RC sole and the raised edge of the outer from the Supertrac RC), so I have high hopes. One area I’ll be watching is across the top of the toe box, as this seems to be where my Scott shoes all eventually die.
To keep up with all Stu’s exploits find him Here >>