Shoe Review: Scarpa Spin Infinity













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.


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


Scarpa, one of the world’s best hiking boot brands, have so far not had much success breaking into the Australian trail running market so when Dan Slater got the opportunity to test out their top model, the Atom, he was intrigued as to whether they deserved a fair go.


*NOTE: this one’s for international readers or those looking to get a feel for Scarpa trail shoes in general, as this particular model is not available in AU unless you’re an online shopper with a mate in Euroland or the US. But it’s sibling, the Proton, is and will be reviewed soon by TRM.*

With a 4mm drop and base weight of 249g per shoe (size 42), the Atoms are a different beast entirely to my current chunky runners, but with those guys finally falling to shreds and a big race on the horizon, I snatched up the offer and launched into testing like Hermes knocking off the Mt. Olympus Sky Run.

I’m not sure if the name is a nod to their minimalism hut I was immediately impressed with the weight, or lack of it, especially since I would be carrying them in a backpack for a few weeks before the race. Being built around a European-style last (the Scarpa TRM) means they aren’t the widest-fitting footwear ever, duck-hoofed flappers might need to look elsewhere, but they suited my European foot well enough.Mt Buller

I liked the little lace pocket in the tongue, reminiscent of the classic Salomon design but for real laces, of which the Atoms came with a spare pair (I never needed them). It took my pampered pods a few kilometres to get used to the lower drop but soon I was comfortably training in the 20km range. The few miles of tarmac on the way to the dirt, however, convinced me that I’d be better off strapping frying pans on my feet and stomping around Lake Eyrie than using them on roads. The 1.4 to 1.8 cm compression moulded EVA midsole just isn’t adequate for metalled surfaces, nor is it intended to be.IMG_7638

The next level of testing involved a training run through The Labyrinth on Tasmania’s Overland Track. The Vibram Genesis Lite sole’s space invader-shaped lugs gripped the mud, roots and rocks just fine and the lightweight polyester mesh fabric precluded overheating. Also, a good splash about in the mud produced no ill effects. However, that same thin fabric soon began to show signs of wear. Being a clumsy clodhopper I trip up a fair amount so the toes take a beating, and after less than 100km total run time I could see the garish upper colours beneath the thin black TPU of the toe bumper, plus the gel Scarpa branding was being knocked off letter by letter. However, they were still comfortable.

Satisfied with their performance during training I decided to trust the Atoms on the NUTR, or Nui Ultra Trail Run, a 68km course around the coastline of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). It was a fantastic event but I learned that as great as lightweight minimalist shoes are on an even dirt track, the rigours of bounding over rubble strewn volcanic grasslands require slightly more supportiveness. Over the course of the day I kicked, skidded, skated and hoofed rock after porous lava rock, tripping hundreds of times and falling flat on my face on several occasions. By the finish line the uppers of both shoes were wearing through at the crease points and my plantar fascias were sore and stretched, but I was still upright and blister-free. And hell, I even won!



So, with roughly half a million trail shoes on the market to choose from, do Scarpas deserve consideration for your next shoe purchase? Absolutely. Here’s the thing – the Atoms aren’t currently available in Australia. What? I’ve just wasted five minutes of your precious time? Well, not quite. Given the choice now I would probably plump for the new Scarpa Proton anyway. It’s similar in many ways (welded upper, lace pocket, polyester mesh) but sits a little further along the weight/durability scale, and while the Atom is a good minimalist choice for even distances, the Proton boasts a fat 10mm drop and a full Vibram Genesis sole with more cushioning and deeper lugs. The weight compromise is almost 100g but let’s face it – unless you are going to carry them on your back for several weeks, that’s not a huge issue. I’ll personally be sticking to a bigger drop on longer runs from now on.


Great for: mid- to long-distance even trails; running travellers/travelling runners
Not-so-great for: rubble strewn south pacific volcanoes; tarmac
Test Conditions: Centennial Park circuit; The Overland Track; Easter Island; 263km total
Tester: Dan Slater, organiser, sole runner and reigning champion of the NUTR
Tester Mechanics: slight pronator; heel striker; narrow foot
VITALS:   Scarpa Proton – $259.95/$229.95 Gore/Non-Gore

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