Scott Kinabalu RC 2.0 Review | Cushioned Trail Running Shoes
Scott Kinabalu RC 2.0 Review
For those who have been wearing Scott running shoes for a while, they will see the new Kinabalu RC 2.0 as the return of the Scott Trail Rocket. Essentially this is a fairly minimal trail shoe designed for racing or training (for those that like a lighter shoe) on firmer trails. Scott have taken the midsole material from their popular Supertrac RC and reduced the length of the lugs to make the shoe more responsive and nimble on firmer tracks. The heel to forefoot is 3mm to allow a natural midfoot landing for a fast and responsive ride. The midsole is 21.5 mm thick in the heel and 18.5 mm thick in the forefoot, so it still offers a good deal of protection and cushioning.
The outsole is made from the same sticky and durable rubber used on the Supertrac RC and Supertrac RC Ultra. So the traction is very good on wet rocks, wood etc. The lugs are still 4mm deep, which is enough to cope with a bit of mud on the trail but not too deep to take away the feel for the firmer ground. As with all Scott shoes, the Scott Kinabalu RC 2.0 has the Scott eRide rocker system built into the midsole. This is a slight curve in the midsole that increases the runners cadence and helps them remain in a more efficient and up right position. This means falling forward at the ankles rather than leaning forward at the waist, which is what happens in running shoes with a high heel and a soft midsole.
The fit is a bit broader and less pointy in the toe box than the Supertrac RC. That means there is more room for your feet to expand while running on firmer terrain.
So, what do they feel like to run in? Put simply; fast and light! The midsole is firmer and responsive. There is very little compression. This firmness coupled with the eRide means that all the force goes to moving you forward quickly. The increased cadence that you get from the eRide also makes you feel lighter on your feet. I didn’t find these shoes felt in anyway ‘minimal’. There was more than enough cushioning to run a few miles on the road to get to the trail. Once on the trails the ride was nice as the shoe flexed to the ground and wasn’t too stiff. This balance is hard to achieve! There are lots of trail shoes that are flexible enough to mould to the ground on rough trail but not stiff enough to give that smooth ride while on a firmer smoother trail.
I prefer a lighter, thinner shoe and have done some long runs up to three hours in these shoes. I experienced the same lightness of foot towards the end of these runs. The midsole doesn’t go soft and the slight curve in the midsole that gives you the smooth eRide remains. It’s just my legs that get a bit more weary.
Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle
Other comparable shoes that you may wish to consider are:
These have a tough Kevlar upper which gives the upper a stiffer but, more supportive feel. The fit is narrower at both the heel and forefoot. The outsole is made from Vj’s butyl rubber which is incredibly sticky in the wet and hard wearing. The outsole is made in a single piece of this rubber which makes the shoe stiffer than the Kinabalu RC. The firmness of the midsole is similar but, the Maxx has a 6mm drop rather than a 3mm drop.
These are a 3mm heel to forefoot drop with the rounded, footshaped toe box that all Topo shoes have. This makes them a very comfortable shoe to wear. Especially for a long time. The shoes are flexible and the outsole is designed for dry trails or road to trail. Similar to the original Terraventure outsole. The cushioning is a bit softer giving the shoes less of a racer feel and more an everyday trainer feel. However, the flexibility and the 3mm drop make it an easy shoe to run quickly in.
As you would expect from Hoka the Torrent is a softer more cushioned ride than any of the other shoes. Although this isn’t as cushioned as the Hoka Challenger so does offer a touch more feel. The fit is narrow and there is currently no width option.
Altra King MT:
Zero drop, rounded toe box. The King MT is the lowest level of cushioning in Altra’s current trail running range. There is some bounce from the Evo midsole but, not enough to take away the feel for the ground. This makes it a very responsive feeling trail shoe. 6mm lugs made of a sticky vibram outsole.