Ground Control

Verified Buyer Reviewed by El Toro Negro from DC on Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Uphill and downhill, these shoes rock the trail! Scarpa makes solid footwear, and the Spark is no exception. Stitching, gluing and other construction is excellent and not excessive. The toe bumper is good but could be a little beefier. Tread is ideal; I ran through soggy grass,wet leaves and gravel -- up muddy hills, across off-camber street shoulders and down woodchip paths -- in short, as many surfaces as I could find over one weekend. I didn't lose my footing once. Moreover, the treads didn't pack up with mud or grass and become a nuisance.

The insoles are nice but my flat feet needed a little more arch support, so I swapped them out (very easy). Inside the shoe, the fabric is smooth and the tongue doesn't bunch up. No blisters or pressure points that I noticed. Overall weight and feel of the Spark is surprising -- light like a running shoe but not flimsy or flexy. The rock plate works miracles; I ran a few stretches of trail over golfball-size stones and didn't feel any jabs or unevenness.

Fit is nearly true-to-size or slightly smaller. I usually wear 11.5 in running shoes (ASICS or Adidas) and went with 45 for Scarpa. It works fine for me with a regular running sock, but I may loosen the lacing for longer runs or heavier trail socks. No problems with toes jamming in front or heel slippage. FWIW, I recommend ignoring any shoe review in which the author uses "heals" as a noun. Spelling counts.

With the STP discount, these trail running shoes are a spectacular deal. Get a pair!
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