Shoes: Scarpa Epic
5th Aug 2010
These shoes looked great worn down the pub a few times it was a while before i worked out what they were designed for. Struggling to find a time when i could do a long walk to test them, I read Scarpa's blurb to discover they are a running shoe.
Now i really enjoy running across rough varied terrain but for me there is one major drawback and this relates to my earlier confusion. My size 44's weigh in at 790 g whereas my usual winter fell-running shoes weigh 330g. They are very tough, well made and obviously going to last a long time but the price paid for this is the weight is pretty high.
The shoe coped well with running over rocky grit stone outcrops and high boggy moorland. The grip was excellent on wet and dry rock and coped surprising well on steep grass and mud considering the sole has the appearance of a trail shoe. Still not convinced this is a running shoe I tried the shoe out on some scrambles where it felt very secure on the dry rock. The grip continued to be impressive during ghyll scrambling activity on wet rock with the rand giving good toe protection.
A real positive for me is the lacing system which felt secure, holding the tension well and contributing to good stability on steep ground including contouring. On flat hard trial the cushioning was good with plenty of support. The upper synthetic leather and nylon mesh were breathable but the robust design did mean the shoe retained water longer than a simpler fell running shoe.
In short they were very comfortable and a pleasure to run in though the well constructed design and build could be too luxurious for the established fell runner.
For me they had the appearance of a lightweight, fast-paced walking shoe rather than Scarpa’s idea of a lightweight running shoe. For some the high levels of comfort, protection and stability would give the confidence to run in rugged terrain though for me I think the Epic is an excellent choice for summer scrambling or ghyll scrambling activity where they give a very comfortable wear when out all day moving quickly. I guess that makes them a pretty good all-rounder.
Scarpa Epic on the Scarpa Website
Reviewed by Andy Barnett