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Scarpa Rush Low GTX Review

This is a great example of a beefed-up trail runner that works great as a fastpacking shoe
Scarpa Rush Low GTX
Photo: REI Co-op
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Price:  $170 List | Check Price at REI
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Pros:  Comfortable, lightweight, doubles as a trail runner
Cons:  Less supportive, average durability
Manufacturer:   Scarpa
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 22, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Weight - 25% 8
  • Support - 15% 6
  • Traction - 15% 7
  • Versatility - 10% 8
  • Water Resistance - 5% 6
  • Durability - 5% 6

Our Verdict

The Scarpa Rush Low GTX could easily be mistaken for a running shoe. Mesh upper, rockered sole for comfortable striding and a standard lacing system, but that is where the similarities end. This is a capable hiking shoe disguised as a trail runner, and this makes it a really appealing option for weight-conscious hikers who plan on going fast and light, or who would like a bit of versatility in being able to go running on wet and mucky trails.

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Scarpa Rush Low GTX
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
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$159.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
74
82
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76
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, lightweight, doubles as a trail runnerExcellent performance, lightweight, great traction, water resistance, supportExcellent comfort and traction, waterproofExtremely comfortable, lightweight, supportiveSupportive, great traction, lightweight
Cons Less supportive, average durabilityCuff can be uncomfortable on ankle for some, Quicklace lacing not everyone's favoriteExpensive, not the most durableNot as cushioned as previous Hoka models, some traction issuesStiff, lacing is hard to tighten
Bottom Line This is a waterproof hiking and trail running shoe that has great traction and waterproofing, making it a great choice for light backpackingThis is the definition of a solid hiking shoe, and is a perfect choice for those not wanting to compromise on off-trail performanceThis hiking shoe combines comfort with incredible on-trail performance better than any otherIdeal for fastpacking missions with a great combination of comfort, support and performanceThis is a supportive hiking shoe that is perfect for scrambling and peak bagging
Rating Categories Scarpa Rush Low GTX Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex La Sportiva Spire GTX HOKA ONE ONE Toa Gore-Tex Mountain Trainer Lite GTX
Comfort (25%)
8
8
9
9
7
Weight (25%)
8
9
8
8
7
Support (15%)
6
8
7
9
9
Traction (15%)
7
9
7
6
9
Versatility (10%)
8
7
8
6
7
Water Resistance (5%)
6
8
8
9
8
Durability (5%)
6
6
6
5
6
Specs Scarpa Rush Low GTX Salomon X Ultra 4... La Sportiva Spire... HOKA ONE ONE Toa... Mountain Trainer...
Weight of Size 11 Pair 1.90 lbs 1.76 lbs 2.06 lbs 2.03 lbs 2.16 lbs
Upper Fabric/thermoplastic polyurethane/micro-nubuck Synthetic, textile Abrasion-resistant mesh Synthetic Synthetic
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Waterproof Lining GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Technology Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex Surround Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex Extended Comfort
Flood Level (inches) 2.5 in 3.25 in 4.75 in 5 in 3.5 in
Last Board/Shank TPU ADV-C chassis Molded EVA EVA Nylon
Midsole EVA EnergyCell 5mm Ortholite Insole, Compression Molded EVA, TPU inserts Rubberized EVA
Outsole Free-dome/SuperGum Contagrip MA rubber Vibram XS Trek with Impact Brake System Vibram MegaGrip Pomoca MTN trainer Lite

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Scarpa Rush Low GTX is a trail-running shoe in beast mode. The look is very reminiscent of a running shoe, but don't be fooled, these do a great job at hiking long miles on the trail and provide much better comfort and support than similar shoes.

Performance Comparison


Trekking through the deep slot canyons of Death Valley we were happy...
Trekking through the deep slot canyons of Death Valley we were happy to be wearing the comfortable Rush Low GTX.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Comfort


This is one of the areas in which this shoe scored the best, impressing our review team with straight-out-of-the-box comfort. Thanks to a mesh upper that conforms to the foot, we found no rigid material that caused our foot any discomfort. The standard lacing system snugly secures around the foot and can be adjusted easily.

A well-constructed midsole gives this shoe the support we needed for...
A well-constructed midsole gives this shoe the support we needed for lightweight hiking adventures.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Equipped with a dual-density EVA midsole, there is an adequate amount of cushioning on longer runs or when carrying extra weight in the pack, and a molded toe cap keeps us from stubbing our toes.

Weight


We put these shoes on our digital scale and verified their 1.9-pound weight (size 11 US Men's). Over the past few years, we have started seeing that the bar for lightweight has been steadily being lowered—Two pounds used to be considered cutting-edge, and now has become a standard for hiking shoes. By including a waterproof/breathable lining and a supportive midsole, these shoes have a good performance-to-weight ratio.

The lower weight helps the Scarpa Rush transition from hiking to...
The lower weight helps the Scarpa Rush transition from hiking to trail running along the trail.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Support


The Scarpa Rush Low GTX uses a dual-density EVA foam midsole to create the cushioning platform for the foot, and a TPU frame to give the shoe structure and rigidity. Much more supportive than your average running shoe, we found this model to work effectively on most trails we tested them on, and even scrambled around on the boulders and approached rock climbing areas with moderately heavy packs and gave them good marks for support and stability.

Nimble and light, these can be used for day hikes as well as trail...
Nimble and light, these can be used for day hikes as well as trail runs and backpacks.
Photo: Jen Reynolds

These are not going to be the right shoes for those who have ankle issues, or who plan on carrying heavy packs, as they obviously lack the sturdiness of a heftier hiking shoe.

Traction


This shoe features the brand-new Interactive Kinetic System from Scarpa, a unique sole design that utilizes several concave areas in the sole to simultaneously create additional cushioning upon foot impact as well as then creating more surface area contact for the lug pattern of the sole to provide extra traction.

The Rush has phenomenal traction for the type of shoe it is.
The Rush has phenomenal traction for the type of shoe it is.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

We certainly did notice more traction than typically found on this type of shoe, which due to the rockered shape of the outsole often provides less ground contact and therefore less traction.

Versatility


This is a lightweight hiking shoe that can handle day hikes and light backpacking trips in style. We also found that it does incredibly well when used as a trail running shoe. It has a nice and vibrant look, also making it an appealing choice for a casual shoe to wear around town. We awarded good marks for its versatility for these reasons.

Water Resistance


The Rush Low GTX has a flood level of 2.5 inches, measured from the bottom of the sole to the lowest point of the Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane sewn into the interior of the shoe. This amount of water resistance will let you slosh through shallow puddles, but it is not enough to ford creeks without running the risk of getting your socks wet.

Adequate for shallow crossings, the Gore-Tex lining did its job as...
Adequate for shallow crossings, the Gore-Tex lining did its job as long as you don't go to deep.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Durability


The upper material of the Rush Low GTX is made up of mesh as well as panels of polyurethane reinforcement. So far during testing, it has held up to normal use, but these materials do have more susceptibility to damage on the trail over time.

Value


This is an upper-end light hiking shoe/heavy-duty trail running shoe, and due to its technological advances and versatility, we feel that it is a good deal for the price.

Conclusion


We really like the Scarpa Rush Low GTX for early season trail running, day hiking, and light backpacking. It is very comfortable, is versatile enough to be worn running, and has excellent traction. It is a specialized tool, but if these activities sound like what you are doing, the Rush should be on your list.

Ryan Huetter