by Pete Gunn
On the 16th March myself and Luke Armitage set off on the 192 mile Alfred Wainwright Coast to Coast route enduring 5 days of running and walking.
Most of my fell running is either in the Lake District or on the Northern Pennines – these being particular wet and boggy for most of the year so my normal go to shoe for this is the Sportiva Mutant. The Coast to Coast however involves plenty of running on good stoney tracks and some sections of road. With this in mind a different type of shoe would be required for those long sections.
The Scarpa Spin Ultra was a real blessing on this type of terrain and I ended up wearing them from Keld right through to the finish at Robin Hood’s Bay (some 100miles). I’m lucky in that I don’t seem to have to break in new shoes as my feet are probably hardened from the years of rock climbing and mountaineering, that being said I probably wouldn’t recommend running 100 miles in new shoes straight form the box but for me the Spin Ultra’s were perfect.
Designed as a Trail running shoe, Scarpa’s description of a “High performance, agile and responsive shoe, with excellent cushioning and protection for running long distances” is right on the money.
Being still very wet and boggy on the higher ground we opted to run along the river Swale in the valley bottom and this section is where the Spin Ultras flourished, as underfoot it was mostly hard stony tracks and firmer ground. The Ultras have good toe protection with an “integrated shock resistant 3D TPU toe cap” which saved my toes on several occasions from rocks along this section. The tongue is padded and wraps well around the foot, no loose material worked its way into the shoe. The tongue also includes a handy pocket for the laces if needed.
I found the cushioning on this type of ground excellent and the lugs although not as aggressive as others (being about 4mm) gave me confidence to keep the pace up and the Vibram Litebase gripped well when things got either boggy or loose with gravel or the sections with tree roots.
Overall I found the Spin Ultras to be comfortably, well made and secure on my feet over the long distances and look forward to seeing more of Scarpa as they branch out into the fell running style of shoes.
What Scarpa say: Spin Ultra is a trail running model for top runners as well training enthusiasts. High-performance, agile and responsive with excellent cushioning and protection for running long distances and extended training sessions. Outstanding fit, precise fastening, exceptional responsiveness and a high level of cushioning.