Scott Supertrac 2.0 Review | Trail Shoe Reviews from NorthernRunner.com
Scott Supertrac 2.0 Trail Running Shoe Review
The Scott Supertrac is our bestselling trail shoe in store. The reason for this is its versatility. As most trail shoes are designed either in the US or with the US market in mind, they often don’t have the combination of traction in wet muddy conditions and cushion/underfoot protection for hard packed trails that we need in the UK. This makes it difficult to find a trail shoe that is versatile enough to work in all the conditions you might encounter during a mixed terrain run.
It is also difficult to make a shoe that has both cushioning and grip. The best shoes for muddy conditions are flexible, so they bend to the ground and shake out the mud. They have long pointy studs to bite into the wet muddy terrain. A thin flexible shoe also gives the runner more feel for the ground and makes them more nimble and lighter on their feet. For firmer compact trails a stiffer shoe is needed to ride the ground better and stop you feeling the rocks through the shoe. Long pointy studs would take away the feel for the ground and also reduce the surface area in contact with the ground. This can make them slippy even when the studs are made of soft, sticky rubbers. So, a flatter stud gives a better grip on this surface.
So to develop a shoe that works well on a variety of surfaces you need to compromise a bit.
Trail shoes are all about grip and stability. The outsole of the Supertrac 2.0 is made from Scott’s Traction Rubber, which is the same rubber that they use on their Suppertrac RC Ultra. The outsole is one piece so bits won’t tear or peel off. The rubber is soft to give good traction on wet rock, wood or roads. It is also durable enough to not wear down quickly so you can get a good life out of the shoes. The outsole consists of 6mm long ‘v’ shaped studs. These have a good enough surface area to grip well on wet tarmac. They are also comfortable on tarmac. Don’t get me wrong, you wouldn’t want to run a road 10km in these shoes but the key point is; you could run a mile or two to your trail and the odd mile or two in the middle on tarmac, without feeling uncomfortable or causing excessive wear to the outsole.
The midsole is made from Scott’s Aerofoam+ that offers good cushioning with a firm responsive ride. This firmness also means that the outsole digs into the ground more effectively to give better traction, rather than squashing into the midsole, like it does on some softer cushioned trail shoes. The insole coupled with Scott’s eRide System give the shoe a softer ride than the firmness of the midsole would suggest it has.
All of Scott’s running shoes have eRide. This technology has been designed to help maintain good form with an upright posture and a quick cadence. It works with heel, mid or forefoot strikers alike. Essentially the shoe is curved, so it encourages the running to pull their foot backwards and also reduces over striding. In-store where customers are trying the shoes on the concrete corridor at the back of the shop they often comment that the Scott shoes feel lighter. The Scott shoes aren’t any lighter than other brands, they just make the runner lighter on their feet!
The upper of the Supertrac 2.0 is completely bonded. There’s no stitched seams that could rub. The heel and midfoot fit is snug, you feel well held in the shoe and even when descending you don’t slip forward. The tongue isn’t excessively padded and nicely moulds to the shape of your foot. The toe box is less pointy than on previous models and more roomy. I felt that my toes could wiggle and function in the shoe. The Supertrac 2.0 is also more flexible in the forefoot than previous Supertrac’s. It’s still stiff enough to ride nicely on the firmer tracks and trails but is now much better on the real muddy terrain. There is a bit more feel and the forefoot moulds to the ground better than the previous model.
The heel to forefoot is 8mm (29mm heel/21mm forefoot). As the midsole is curved for the eRide to work this heel to forefoot drop works equally well for heel or forefoot strikers. I usually wear much flatter shoes and find that an 8mm heel in most other shoes throws me off balance and makes the shoes feel like there is a lump stuck to the bottom. I have no issues in the Supertrac 2.0. In fact I think that the eRide helps me run with good posture particularly towards the end of longer runs when I am getting tired and on days after I have run long or fast where my legs are tired and I just want to do an easy recovery run.
In summary I think that the Scott Supertrac 2.0 is hard to beat in terms of versatility and this version is the best yet due to the increased flexibility in the forefoot of the shoe.
Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle
Alternatives to Consider
Hoka Speedgoat: These have a similar level of cushioning and grip to the Supertrac. The outsole is softer so it does wear down if you use it too much on the road but, if you prefer a softer feeling shoe then these would be an option. Hoka shoes also have a rocker that is similar to the Scott eRide. So, they help improve/maintain good posture particularly as you get tired.
There is also now a wide fit option and a mid/boot. https://www.northernrunner.com/search/speedgoat
Inov-8 Roclite G275: A bit less cushioned and more flexible. So, not as good on the firmer trails. There is no rocker or eRide so if you don’t like a shoe that guides your foot then the Roclite will allow you to run in a more natural gait.
Topo Ultraventure: For those that like a high level of cushioning that isn’t too soft the Ultraventure could be the shoe for you. All Topo shoes have a more rounded toe box to give your feet the room to function. This also cuts down on the chance of rubbing during Ultra’s. The studs are 5mm long and well spaced. You don’t have the feel for the floor that you have with the Supertrac but, if you prefer a more cushioned ride then these might be a better option: