Review: Scarpa Rapid
Scarpa has made big moves in the trail running and approach shoe market the last few years. Their Ultra Spin garnered awards and Scarpa has continued to add more offerings. This year Scarpa introduced their all-mountain trail shoe, the Rapid. We put it to the test in the snow, rain, rock, and dirt. Read on to find out whether we thought it lived up to its All Mountain Shoe description
- Vibram Megagrip
- Mesh + PU Upper
- Dynamic Protection System
- Country of Origin: China
- Weight: 295g for size 42.5
- Km’s used: 250+
- Drop: 6mm
- Forefoot and heel: 18.5-24.5mm
- Size Tested: US 10.5 / EU 44
What is the Item?
The Scarpa Rapid shoe is billed as Scarpa’s best all-around mountain shoe that, in their words, “lives at the junction of trail running and approach shoes.” I’ve found these shoes have been more than that. A capable trail runner, approach shoe, and long-distance hiking shoe that is supportive enough when carrying a 30lb pack.
How does it fit?
Italian shoes typically fit narrow. I have, what I consider, to be a normal width forefoot and narrow heel. I fit most shoes in a size 10.5 quite happily.
The Scarpa Rapid forefoot fit me just right when wearing a pair of Injinji socks which tend to widen the forefoot ever so slightly. The heel cup fits snugly like a glove. To this point, I’ve not had a heel cup fit me so well. I wish my ski boots had this fit.
The Scarpa Rapid feature Sock-Fit LW. The tongue and forefoot are made of a Stretch Fabric that fits like a semi-booty. It provides gentle wrapping and support, reducing bulk and enhancing fit. It’s similar to a thin neoprene sock that holds your feet lightly in place, regardless of the laces being tied up. I didn’t know how much I appreciated this feature until I changed into different shoes after six weeks solely in the Rapid. When wearing the shoe around town the Sockfit-LW works well enough that I do not need to tie the laces. Of course, this could also result in me tripping so I tie them lightly.
The downside of the Sock-Fit LW is it is quite thin. When cranking down on the laces for long downhills there is some noticeable pressure on the forefoot. I found I needed to do heel lock lacing to keep my toes from hitting the end of the shoe. I would not want to size up, I catch my toes enough in shoes that fit that I don’t want a longer shoe. This style of lacing allows me to put more pressure on the laces which of course could be the culprit.
I have an issue with tying laces. Let me rephrase that, I used to have an issue with tying laces. No matter what, when I went hiking or running I had to re-tie my laces several times. That has stopped with the Scarpa Rapid. Whatever Alchemy is in them, I wish it was on every shoe. These flat laces are great.
The Scarpa Rapid Out and Mid Sole
The Scarpa Rapid has a Vibram outsole with Megagrip rubber compound. It has fared incredibly well, from speed hiking, guiding while wearing my pack as well as guests packs the sole is in incredibly good shape. Most trail running shoes would have become smooth enough to use as curling shoes. The Rapid still has plenty of life left.
The medial forefoot edging zone under the big toe provides for increased traction and friction. Having side hilled in late July snow for hours on end, I can say it does a good job of keeping the shoe firmly planted. It’s not a mountaineering boot and you wouldn’t want it to be, but there is noticeably added lateral stiffness that I appreciated.
The Dual-density compression-molded EVA has stood up very well. It wasn’t until about 400km that I noticed it was rebounding slightly less than before.
There is a Dynamic Protection System insert in ESS adds protection, propulsion, and edging capability. I won’t argue against the edging of this shoe. For such a lightweight burly shoe it holds an edge well.
I still feel small rocks underfoot and occasionally wish for a slightly burlier rock plate.
Scarpa Keeping the Elements Out
The Scarpa Rapid upper is made of all-synthetic materials. There is open mesh above the toe box and there are four open mesh side panels. They breathe exceptionally well. After a day on the trail, you’ll notice your feet are pretty darn dirty inside. That means the mesh is doing its job to allow airflow between your toes. Surprisingly, I have worn these in light rain showers and come out with dry feet.
The upper is reinforced in critical areas with welded PU to provide support and durability and this has withstood a lot of time in rough granite.
I’ve worn them speed hiking in Canada and guiding the Tour du Mont Blanc and in the Bernese Oberland putting in 30km+ and 2000m elevation days on them. I’ve worn these shoes while wearing a thirty-pound pack on a 38-degree trail while wearing two packs, putting the total weight on these shoes over 220lbs. At roughly 500km, the outsole is, at my guess, half worn out. For a shoe this light that’s really impressive. Most trail runners last me about a month before the outsole is at least ¾ worn out.
They are light and grippy. Mud. Snow. Rock and Roots. I’ve never slipped, in fact, occasionally I’ve tried to slide my foot and they will not move.
The only reason I can see for not picking up a pair of the Scarpa Rapids is if you are into maximal shoes, require Gore-tex or the ankle support of a mid-cut boot.
Pros: Durable outsole, great heel cup, fast shoe
Cons: I’d love a rock plate
If you are interested in checking out the Scarpa Rapid head on over to Scarpa and check em out!
Black Sheep Adventure sports was provided with a free pair of Scarpa Rapid to test. This in no way affected our opinion and review of the shoes.