75758IR - SCARPA Rapid LT - David Wilkes
- Apr 29, 2013Here is the text from my IR, you will find the HTML in the Test folder at http://tinyurl.com/c383c63 or
This is my first test since last summer so I hope I am not too rusty. Thanks in advanced for finding any mistakes I have made and for any suggestions you have.
Test series by David Wilkes
SCARPA Rapid LT Light Hiking Shoe
Initial Report - Apr 30 2013
Field Report - due July 2013
Long Term Report - due Sep 2013
Name: David Wilkes
Location: Yakima Washington USA
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 197 lb (89.40 kg)
I started backpacking in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions. I prefer trips on rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me. I have finally managed to get my basic cold weather pack weight, not including consumables, to under 30 lbs (14 kg).
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: www.scarpa.com
Stated Weight: 320g; 11.3oz (one size 42 EU shoe)
Measured Weight: 335 g (11.8 oz) (one size 44 EU shoe)
Size Information 39-48 European Men's (USA men's sizes 6 1/2- 15 1/2)
[Note: half sizes available for sizes 39-47]
Image courtesy of SCARPA
The manufacturer describes these as a "minimal alpine hiking and approach shoe for moving light and fast in the mountains." And mentions that the shoes "materials are between 30 to 100 percent recycled content, and the midsoles incorporate promote quick breakdown under landfill conditions."
Apr 30 2013
A bit of additional background about the tester: A few years ago I read some research suggests that every ounce on a walkers feet was equivalent to 3-5 times that much weight in their pack and that boots are not necessarily the best choice for hiking and backpacking if one does not need the support or protection. As a result I started wearing lighter weight shoes like trail runners for hiking and backpacking and have really been enjoying the speed, agility, and added endurance. In fact I rarely wear boots anymore even for backpacking, and in warm weather not even for mountaineering.
The shoes are black with light gray and bright orange features. My wife first comment when she saw them, she has much better fashion sense that I do, was that they are a good looking shoe, and I have to say I agree and that they look even better in person they do in the online images.
From the ground up: The shoes start with a black and grey low profile lug sole (with small cutouts allowing the orange midsole to show through). The lugs are distinct. They are small compared to hiking boots but large compared to some of my trail runners, and they are widely spaced (something I like as this tends to clog and/or pick up rocks and debris less). The manufacturer claims they use a sole that is "stickier than a normal trail runner or hiker" in order to provide better grip on rock since these are intended as a climbing approach shoe. To my fingers the rubber does feel somewhat soft, more like a running shoe than a trail shoe. The sole is rather flat and flexes well in the forefoot, but feels stiff through the center and most of the heel. Between the sole and the shoe is a bright orange Compression Molded EVA mid sole. They use a low profile midsole with only 7 mm (0.28 in) drop from heel to toe. The manufacturer says this low profile improves stability and since I prefer a low to zero drop in my shoes I found this to be more comfortable than some other trail shoes I have tried. Under the insole the foot bed, well stitched to the upper, feels very firm. The insole has a contoured heel that fits my heel very well. Wrapped around the toe of the shoes is a rubber rand to help protect from rocks and debris (being a bit clumsy this is something I like). The upper is made from "suede, recycled synthetic leather, recycled polyester mesh" with suede on the toes and lacing area and heel, and mesh along the sides and tong to make the shoe breathable. The heel counter of the shoe includes two features. First is that it is designed to fold flat so that it takes up less room when packed the second is the heel pull is "convertible." That is it can be used in any of 3 positions (see photo) so that the shoe can be more easily clipped to a pack. I have to say this is the first time I have heard of this feature and I think it is a great idea. The laces extend further down the toe than some shoes, but not all the way down like in a rock climbing shoe. Having the laces extend further down the toe allows for a more custom fit and this is enhanced by all but the top two sets of lace holes being stitched rather than with metal grommets( the top two sets do have metal grommets). By stitching the lace holes, durability may be slightly reduced but the added friction prevents the laces from moving as much, allowing me to adjust the laces to be tighter in some places and looser in others (sometimes I will twist my laces at key crossings to achieve a similar effect). The laces themselves (grey with orange trim) are oval, a cross between round and flat laces. I find that flat laces are less likely to come untied, but they can be more difficult to tighten and tie, so I am interested if this design will provide the best of both.
These shoes seem to run small and are possibly a low volume shoe. I recently purchased pair of trail shoes and in the fall purchased a new pair of cross country ski boots and ended up getting a size 43.5 EU (9.5 US) in both so that is what I requested for this test. I normally wear a size 9.5 to 10 US (43 to 4 EU) shoe. However when the shoes arrived it was quickly evident that they were too small so I had them replaced with a size 44 EU (10.5US per the shoe lable) and this was a much better fit. On first use they seem to have plenty of toe room and fit my heel very well however they remain a bit snug across the middle of my foot. This is unusual for me as I have wide feet with a narrow heel so many shoes that do not come in wide sizes tend to be too narrow at the front of the foot or too loose at the heel. After wearing the shoes for a bit I found them to be very comfortable to walk in however for sitting at my desk and driving they were uncomfortably tight across the middle and top of my foot. I have tried adjusting the laces a bit and that made them more comfortable while inactive but I may have to play with the laces a bit more.
Conversion Note: While trying to do some of the size conversions I found that there are no direct conversions for some sizes and some disagreement. For example I found both EU sizes 43 and 43.5 crossed to a US 9.5, and one reference I found showed 43 EU to be a US 10 and an EU 44 to be 10.5. So the above sizes are approximations.
I should note that since these shoes are intended as an approach for climbers, it makes sense that climbing shoes provide a very snug fit so the foot does not move inside the shoe compromising stability. So the above described fit may be entirely intentional. I know my own climbing shoes work very well for climbing but are so tight that I would probably be in agony if I tried to walk anything more than very short distances in them.
Overall I like the shoes. They seem very well constructed with no flaws or defects that I could find, and they have some features I really like. I am on the fence about the fit, it will take some use before I can fully judge how well these fit my feet.
due July 2013
Long Term Report
due Sep 2013
* Widely spaced lugs
* Customizable fit (due to lace configuration)
* Low drop
* Tight across the top of my foot
This concludes my Initial report. I would like to thank the folks at Scarpa and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.
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