REVIEWER: KATE DZIENIS
IMAGE: SUZANNE POLI
TO INFINITY…AND BEYOND!
INFINITE [in-fuh-nit]: ADJECTIVE, MEANING ‘IMMEASURABLE OR EXCEEDINGLY GREAT: UNLIMITED OR ENDLESS.’
Well known Italian brand Scarpa, infamous for their high quality ski mountaineering, hiking and outdoor equipment, launched just recently its first range of trail running shoe in Australia.
With three ‘ranges’ of shoe for trail runners now available (Spin Ultra and Infinity, Ribelle Run and Golden Gate), I was given the unique opportunity to test out the stunningly vibrant blue Spin Infinity shoe which is dedicated to long distance running.
When I put these babies on, I was immediately impressed with their look and feel. Out of all four shoes listed above, the Spin Infinity has the highest level of cushioning, with medium density EVA midsole and ergonomic ESS shank for shock-absorption. Weighing in within the medium spectrum of the scale at 584g (pair size EU40), together with a 4mm heel drop (26mm to 22mm, heel to toe), the outsole design has been created with flexibility and propulsion in mind; its outsole VIBRAM® a Scarpa-exclusive design is a MEGAGRIP rubber compound which gave me high grip on every trail terrain. With no deep hooks, the Infinity is ideal for wet weather and mud, and there was no slippage on rocks – perfect for Australian and NZ trails where there’s not much requirement for climbing awkward boulders or mountains.
Usually with a chunkier heel stack one would think it might be a hinderance to technical terrain, but that’s not so with the Spin Infinity because of its incredible stability and precision. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a ‘soft shoe’ once you get it out of the box, but it was very responsive to my running needs.
I know many of you are waiting to hear about the rock plate (a firm plastic or carbon fibre material embedded between the outsole and the midsole that protects the underfoot from sharp pebbles or stones), but there is no rock plate in the Spin Infinity. To be honest, it doesn’t need one, because the brand’s ESS shank does the job.
The toebox is wide enough to spread those little piggies, but is a more narrow shoe altogether; the heel cup snuggled nicely and I didn’t find it slipping up or losing grip from my socks, so less chance of friction in the development of blisters – winning! The laces are flat, and stretch only slightly, however you don’t need to elongate them any further as there’s no heel lock hole to slip them through. Have no fear though, because with the heel cup sitting perfectly, there’s no need to use a heel lock anyway as I’d discovered. I love my heel lock, but with the Spin Infinity the shoe was spot on when it came to snugness and reliability. Another feature which adds to the Scarpa flavour is the lace pocket, so they’re less likely to come undone – personally, hiding the laces underneath makes the shoes appear sleek, neat and tidy.
Back to the internal workings of the shoe, the liner does a great job keeping debris from coming in, and its adaptive cushioning system screams durability – it simply looks solid and looks like it will last forever (hence the infinity name).
Designed not only for many hours of running, but for multiple days too, however if you’re a heel striker, the 4mm drop may not necessarily work for you so you need to keep that in mind. The Spin Infinity is, however, perfect for midfoot and forefoot strikers. True to size, the Women’s Spin Infinity is available in EU36-42 (1/2 sizes 38-42) and the Men’s version in EU40-48 (1/2 sizes 42-46). Ladies have a choice between the Atoll Scuba Blue and Orchid Purple colours, while the boys can pick from either the Azure Ottanio or Spicy Orange Red Lava.
With adaptive cushioning, durability, solidity and high breathability, the Scarpa Spin Infinity is a top choice trail shoe to close off 2022 and take 2023 to infinity, and beyond.
THE LOW DOWN
GREAT FOR: Ultra distances on all trails, wet or dry
NOT SO GREAT FOR: Road or bicycle path
TEST CONDITIONS: Limestone, pea gravel, muddy dirt trail
TESTER: Kate Dzienis
TESTER MECHANICS: Severe overpronator with wide feet
RRP: $249.95 AUD
CONDITIONS: Shoes provided for testing by Scarpa