Scott Supertrac 3 Review
Whenever a new shoe gets an ‘upgrade’ there is always and element of panic by those runners who loved the previous version.
Well, you don’t need to panic about the new Supertrac 3.
For those not currently enjoying running in a pair the Scott Supertrac 2/3 is our most popular trail shoe in store. This is because it combines a good grippy outsole that will cope with British mud but, also have enough cushioning and a durable enough sole to do a bit of tarmac on the way to your trail. Don’t get me wrong the Supertrac 2/3 isn’t a classic road to trail shoe. A cushioned road shoe will feel more comfortable and roll much better over tarmac than a grippy trail shoe like the Scott Supertrac. What the Scott Supertrac 2/3 offers is enough comfort to get you to your trail and then great performance on the trail.
Quite often trail shoes that are designed for muddy terrain are flexible so that they take the shape of the trail. This allows the lugs on the outsole to bite into the ground more effectively. It also helps shed the mud from the sole so that the outsole doesn’t clog up. The drawback with this type of shoe is that the lugs are small and pointed to be more effective at biting into the ground. These lugs wear down quickly on hard surfaces due to the low surface area. They tend to slide on wet tarmac. Which makes it hard for you to run on a hard surface effectively. The flexibility in the shoe also means that you don’t get any forward propulsion from the shoes. So, in my experience you are flying on the soft ground but, then when you hit a firm track or road and it’s hard work. In the Supertrac 2/3 the stiffness of the sole and the eRide means that when you hit the harder ground you feel up on your toes and fly over the ground.
eRide, which is in all Scott running shoes, is where the midsole of the shoe is curved. So, when your foot hits the floor the shoes rolls to encourage you to pull your leg back. This promotes a quicker cadence and more upright posture. So, that you are lighter on your feet (similar rockers are used in Hoka shoes, Brooks Cadence and Tempo and all the go faster carbon plated shoes). The Aero+ Foam midsole isn’t too soft so the Supertrac 2/3 feels responsive and like you have some protection underfoot. When customers try Scott shoes on the corridor at the back of our store they often comment on how light the shoes feel. It isn’t the shoe that is any lighter than the other shoes they are trying it is the eRide that encourages then to pick their feet up and therefore they are lighter on their feet.
The midsole is 29mm in the heel and 21mm in the forefoot. Giving the shoes and 8mm drop. The drop makes you more aware of the eRide than you are in the Scott Supertrac RC 2 which is only a 4mm drop. It also seems to make it more effective as the feeling of running more upright with a quicker cadence is more noticeable in the Scott running shoes with an 8mm drop like the Scott Pursuit road shoes (here is our review: https://www.northernrunner.com/blog/scott-pursuit-review/
As the outsole and midsole of the Supertrac 2 has worked so well this part of the shoe is unchanged in the Supertrac 3. What is different is the upper. The Supertrac 3 has a new more durable rip stop upper. This has made the shoe slightly lighter and it feels a bit more flexible too. The fit feels a little snugger which is because there is slightly less volume in the upper. If you have quite high volume feet then this might make the Supertrac 3 a little too snug. Although the difference in fit is slight so they may still be worth a try.
The toe box has quite a straight big toe so I don’t feel like my toes are being pushed into a point as I do with more pointed toe boxes. In fact my toes feel free to wiggle inside the toe box. The over lay at the toe gives a good level of protection from rocks etc. There is a plastic heel cup in the heel which hold you onto the midsole. So, that your foot follows the curve of the midsole and gives you the most efficient stride. There is a good level of padding around the heel which when laced up makes the heel fit feel very snug and cushioned.
The tongue is nicely padded which adds to the cushioned comfortable feel of the shoes. The tongue is held in place by the laces which tread through the tongue in two places which prevents the tongue from moving.
I find the Supertrac particularly useful on mixed runs. Recently we have had a lot of snow in Consett, County Durham. The snow is often quite localised and when you run down the valley within a mile or two there is no snow. I find the Supertrac’s perfect for a few miles of snow and then a few miles of road. Northern Runner shop manager Craig also finds the Supertrac useful for these types of conditions when commuting to work and back. On Snow days there is often a lot of snow in the estates, so you require some traction to run comfortably. As you get closer to Newcastle city centre there is often less snow as the grit has melted it. So, you are running on pavement or tarmac road. These are the days that Craig uses his Supertracs.
Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle
Other Considerations (Not Many for Such Versatility!)
Saucony Peregrine ST. These are a narrower fit and have a softer ride to the cushioning. The grip is equally good on the mud but, although softer underfoot on the harder ground they don’t glide as easily as the Supertrac in my experience.
Inov-8 X-Talon 260 Ultra v2. A ‘cushioned fell shoe’ makes the X-Talon 260 sound less versatile than it is. The ride is firm but, still well cushioned. Very similar feel to the Inov-8 Terraultra G270 in terms of firmness and energy return. The studs are smaller and more pointed. They shed the mud better than the Supertrac and feel more secure on really muddy conditions. They aren’t as nice on the harder tracks but, would do the job. The outsole won’t be as durable. Although I do have 150 miles on a pair at the moment. Made up of mixed terrain (about 50 miles on tarmac) and there is no sign of wear. However, if you did a lot of mixed runs then the studs might be pretty worn down by the time you reached 500 miles.