*New* Scott Palani Running Shoe Review

Scott have been emerging as a quality running brand for some years now and have launched the face-lifted and re-designed Palani road running model, that we’ve taken for a spin. Scott off-road shoes like the Scott Kinabalu and the Scott Kinabalu Supertrac and brand new Scott Supertrac RC have been lighting up the trail running scene for a while. On the less muddy side, their road shoes are also gaining in popularity. Customers really like the Scott eRide system, which (to quote visitors to the store) makes the shoes feel “faster and lighter” when test running them on our concrete corridor compared to others. They are often actually a little heavier, testament to the new technology!

Facelift & Improvements

The Scott Palani has just had a face lift. The shoes still have the Scott eRide system as an integral part of the shoe but, instead of using a piece of carbon fibre to maintain the soles curvature Scott have got a new midsole material. This maintains the curve that encourages efficient form but, is more flexible and gives a better feedback/feel for the ground. It is also even lighter.

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The new Scott Palani also has an improved upper. The pieces are now laser cut, bonded together and subsequently lighter and more flexible than the more traditional stitched uppers. It also means that there are no seams that might rub.

Cushioning

Scott shoes are firmer than most, which people can mistake for being a bad thing. Firm, responsiveness is a good thing because your foot gets the ‘message’ that you have hit the floor and spreads out to absorb the shock, stabilises you and propels you forward. If you’re moving from a particularly soft feeling sole, you’ll get used to this over time, so take it easy. A soft cushioning system lets your foot ‘sink’ into the sole, which essentially dampens forward motion and gives your body more force to deal with. The Scott shoes’ curved eRide system keeps you more upright and encourages a quicker, shorter stride–which is more efficient. It doesn’t matter whether your foot hits the floor at the heel, mid foot or forefoot, the Scott shoes will still work. Hence customers feel they are faster and lighter.

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Fit & Feel

The first thing that you notice when trying on the new Scott Palani is the ‘flushness’ of the upper. There is a snug fit around the heel and a nice amount of wriggle room in the toes. It is a very similar fit to the new Scott Supertrac RC which stormed onto the trail running market in December. As with the previous Scott shoes, the curvature of the mid sole is only slightly noticeable to me and some customers don’t notice it at all. Yet when you come to run, you definitely feel light and your cadence is noticeably quicker.

Where I think this eRide curve has the biggest effect is on your longer runs, when you start to feel tired. As most people sit down a lot these days, they are weak around their middle and when they get tired running they tend to lean forward. As well as slowing you down, this puts more stress on the back and knees and you begin to hit the ground harder. A more typical soft cushioning system takes away the feedback that you get from the ground so you don’t necessarily notice that you are doing it. The Scott Palani is firmer & responsive, keeps your posture more upright but doesn’t ‘feel hard’.

Scott Palani SPT – A Version for Overpronation

The Scott Palani comes in two versions. A neutral shoe for those blessed with more perfect feet and a support version for those that pronate or roll inwards a little bit when they run.

I really do think the launch of the new and improved Scott Palani is the birth of another great running shoe and look forward to more from the Scott brand.

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