|Testing the Scott Kinabalu Supertrac|
Putting the Supertrac on out the box I was surprised how comfortable it was, although you can feel a little pressure on the outside of your arch from the eRide rocker in the midsole. Normally I wear minimalist shoes (Salomon Sense) so having this developed midsole was something to get used to. The traditional laces (which feel bumpy, like a snake that's swallowed a basket of apples) combined with a little elastic lace locker over the tongue held the laces tight and not once did they come undone on the trails. The upper part on the tongue (where you tie the lace knot) is more ridged than on most trail shoes and I was concerned that it might rub, but I didn't get any rubbing at all.
The overall fit of the Supertrac is fairly wide, it reminded me a little of an Altura fit which is is becoming quite popular in shoes for ultra so your foot can swell a little without causing problems. I agree this is a good feature for longer, steadier runs but if you want a short, lets have fun rushing up and down steep hills kinda run then they did slip around a bit. Sure you can tie them tighter but it's never quite enough. Considering the extra technology in the midsole they're not too heavy, just 25g heavier than the Salomon Speedcross 3.
It's pretty muddy and slippy on the trails of North Yorkshire at the moment and I was impressed how the grip held up, a lot of the mud round here sticks like uncooked cake mixture to the bottom of a shoe. This often happens at the most inappropriate times and can send you slipping down a grassy bank into a bush, just before you check to see if anyone is looking. The combination of deep, soft lugs and a shiny flat upper sole gives you grip while helping to prevent sticky mud from getting hold. Eventually it does, but to be honest I've not tested a single shoe that has not got caked eventually. The soft lugs proved to be reliable and very grippy on dry rock and not too bad on wet rock either. Having said that a wet rock is a wet rock, they are slippy by nature so I try to avoid them if possible! Overall on grip, pretty impressed.
I did feel like I couldn't run quite how I do in minimalist shoes, the eRide rocker took quite a bit of getting used to. Not that it was uncomfortable or annoying but I was very aware of it and it's effect of almost encouraging heel strike... that could have just been me expecting it to be like that though...
The outer is a tight weave fabric with rubberized strips which provide good protection against rocks, bushes and anything else that you shoes might rub against.
All in all I can see the Supertrac being a great training and racing shoe, particularly for long distances. I would hesitate to use them on road with such a soft rubber compound on the grip... but who wants tarmac when you can have dirt! Look out Europe, Scott is here and judging by this shoe, they'll be here to stay.