Legendary Italian footwear brand Scarpa have brought their skills to trail running in recent years and now they’re bringing their trail running shoes to Aussie switchbacks and singletrack. We break down the tech behind the models in their Spin range.


It feels like everyone we know is training for an ultramarathon (yours truly included) and trail running has been exploding as a sport worldwide. The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) ran in Chamonix the other weekend with televised footage of the winners as they battled it out over 20 hours, running 171km and over 10,000m of elevation. Pretty good for a sport that only a few years ago was relatively unknown.

Back in Aus, multiple people are running across the country to raise money for charity and grass roots running events are popping up all over the place. It’s safe to say we all have trail fever and, as a runner myself, it’s pretty exciting to see so many people discovering the joy of jogging on trails that we’d traditionally hike.

Scarpa Join The Party

Scarpa has been making footwear since 1938 and grizzled mountainfolk everywhere rely on their hardy mountaineering boots, ski boots, and even rock climbing shoes. In fact, Scarpa produced the first ever Gore-Tex waterproof boot, setting the stage for ever lighter footwear that can withstand the demands of the mountains.

So it only makes sense that they’ve jumped into the fray with their own range of trail running shoes. But what exactly are Scarpa bringing to the party? We’ve had a look at their Spin range, which features the Ultra and the Infinity, and have broken down what’s on offer.

Read more: How I Learnt to Respect My Body’s Limits Through Trail Running


Shoe Terminology

To help keep this article from becoming an essay, I’m going to use some shoe words. Here’s what they mean:

Upper – this is the top part of the shoe, usually fabric, where the laces are found.

Tongue – you probably know this one, it sits below the laces

Midsole – this is the cushioning, it’s part of the sole of the shoe and is attached to the upper

Outsole – this is what we think of as the ‘grip’ of the shoe, it’s attached to the midsole

Shank – a rigid piece of material that adds support and stability to shoes

Stack height – the total amount of material between your foot and the ground

Drop – the difference in height between the heel and toe of the shoe

Scarpa Spin Infinity

The Scarpa Spin Infinity is the most cushioned member of the Spin range and it’s designed (as the name suggests) to clock up unlimited k’s. It was actually on the feet of Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz when he came second at UTMB in 2021, which is known in the industry as a ‘very good endorsement’. Disclaimer, it’s also been on the feet of me (race results pending).



The Spin Infinity is big on things that’ll help you go the distance, with a strong focus on stability, cushioning, comfort, and breathability. There’s a stretchy ‘sock-fit’ construction that locks the foot in and bits of welded polyurethane in the upper that increases support. The fit is on the narrower side, but I found it stretching nicely to accommodate my feet after the first wear.

The 4mm heel-to-toe drop is on the low side, which encourages an efficient, natural stride over long distances. You can easily get away with a bit of heel striking (as you often have to on trail) thanks to the amount of cushion and there are no dead spots in the grip like some more minimalist race shoes.



Oh, and did I mention they’re sexy as hell? The Scarpa teal colour really pops and the laces tuck away into a handy little pocket. The tricky part will be finding socks that look as good!



Foot Stabilizer Control System (FSC) – A firmer EVA foam layer that surrounds the dual-density midsole of the shoe and keeps things upright without compromising cushioning.

Velox Cross with custom Vibram Megagrip pattern – What? Basically, the grip pattern goes super hard and is all about traction on slippery and uneven surfaces. Yet the lugs aren’t so deep that they’ll be a pain on harder surfaces.


The Numbers

Stack: Heel 26mm / Toe 22mm

Drop: 4mm

Weight: 305g each at size 42 EU

Price: $249.95

Scarpa Spin Ultra

The Scarpa Spin Ultra is still pitched as a long distance trail running shoe by Scarpa, but has some subtle differences that improve its all-round ability and will suit some personal preference.

Most notable is the 6mm heel-to-toe drop. A 2mm difference in drop might not sound like much, but it’s enough, especially over long distances, and our Assistant Editor Maggie grabbed a pair of these instead to decrease the stress on her lower legs.



They’re also about 15g lighter per a shoe, mostly due to a reduced amount of cushioning. Again, being 5% lighter doesn’t sound like much, but over months of training runs it’s sure to add up.

The Spin Ultra is also slightly wider than the Spin Infinity, which should keep your feet and toes happy if you have a wider forefoot, or just want to take care of your digits as you rack up the k’s.

Underfoot things are a bit different too, there’s a medium density midsole and a few low density inserts for cushion where you need it. There’s a small shank (like a firm piece of plastic) to help stabilise the shoe, but with a bit more firmness and flexibility the Spin Ultra is a more playful shoe than the Spin Infinity.



The upper of the Scarpa Spin Ultra looks a little different to the Infinity. There’s a bit more polyurethane overlay going on, with less mesh, which sacrifices a little bit of breathability for a strong increase in durability. The TPU toe cap is beefier too, which is great if you love stubbing a good rock like we do.



Fortunately, the look is just as clean and the lace pocket also makes an appearance. Lace pockets aren’t just for style, laces that are tucked away don’t come undone or snag on sticks. But admittedly, it also looks sick.


Velox LB Max Midsole – A medium density EVA midsole with low density inserts and an ergonomic ESS shank provides torsional control and moderate cushioning.

Litebase and Megagrip Vibram Outsole – The simple yet effective pattern uses high quality rubber to provide the best possible grip while keeping the weight low.


The Numbers

Stack: Heel 24mm / Toe 18mm

Drop: 6mm

Weight: 290g each at size 42 EU

Price: $249.95

Which one’s for me?

While the Spin Infinity is a no-compromises ultra-distance shoe, the Spin Ultra is more of an all rounder. If you’re training for and racing big distances (beyond 50km) then the Infinity is probably the shoe for you.



Otherwise the Spin Ultra is designed to cater to shorter distances and really varied terrain. It’s also a bit more playful in the technical terrain we all love; root-filled single tracks and loose gravel descents. The subtle differences in drop and width are also important to consider.

Shoe choice can be very personal, so your best bet is to pop into your local running or outdoor store and try them on for yourself.

Where can I buy Scarpa Spin trail running shoes?

These awesome outdoor stores will be stocking the Scarpa trail running range: