Scarpa Rush Low GTX Review
Cons: Less supportive, average durability
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.
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.
Equipped with a dual-density EVA midsole, there is adequate cushioning on longer runs or when carrying extra weight in the pack, and a molded toe cap keeps us from stubbing our toes.
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. These shoes have a good performance-to-weight ratio by including a waterproof/breathable lining and a supportive midsole.
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.
These are not going to be the right shoes for those who have ankle issues or plan on carrying heavy packs, as they obviously lack the sturdiness of a heftier hiking shoe.
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.
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.
This lightweight hiking shoe 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, making it an appealing choice for a casual shoe to wear around town. We awarded good marks for its versatility for these reasons.
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.
The upper material of the Rush Low GTX is mesh with panels of polyurethane reinforcement. So far, it has held up to normal use during testing, but these materials do have more susceptibility to damage on the trail over time.
Should You Buy the Scarpa Rush Low GTX?
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 the Rush should be on your list if these activities sound like what you are doing. This is an upper-end light hiking shoe/heavy-duty trail running shoes, and due to its technological advances and versatility, we feel it is a good deal for the price.
What Other Hiking Shoes Should You Consider?
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex is lightweight and offers better traction, support, and water resistance. It sits at a similar price point and has a higher flood level to keep water out. Depending on your goals and hiking location, this could be a better fit for your needs. If you are on a budget, The North Face Ultra 111 WP is one to consider. This shoe has similar performance in every metric to the Scarpa but slightly better traction results in testing. With the savings of around fifty dollars, we think most hikers won't notice the difference between the two while wearing but will be happy with the extra money in their wallets.
— Ryan Huetter
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