Nick our Footwear buyer and resident long distance runner gives his review of these trail shoes.

Well, here we are at the end of the summer in 2023 and over the last 8 weeks I have been testing the new Scarpa Spin Planet trail running shoe to see what it is all about

Scarpa have been making waves in the trail running arena recently with a host of new shoes like the Ribelle run, Golden gate ATR, Golden gate Kima RT and the family of Spin models. The Spin planet is probably the most easy going and in my opinion the most suitable model for your average trail runner. Good news that, as I am an average trail runner!

To give some context to this review, most of my trail running over the last decade has been of the slightly tamer nature, primarily on the coastal paths and well-trodden trails on Dartmoor and Exmoor, in North Wales and the Lakes. For some of these runs I have used road shoes, preferring the extra cushioning they provided. However, the Scara spin planet might have just changed my mind. More about about that later in the review


As with all Scarpa reviews I have done in the past for climbing shoes, walking shoes or boots, I will just say that Italian made shoes are not all narrow anymore. It may have been the case 15 or 20 years ago but now there is a wide range of fits in Scarpa’s footwear portfolio.

I have a reasonably wide foot, E width measurement on a Brannock device, which is medium to high volume and it fits me fine, this shoe is definitely not narrow

It comes with a fairly low volume insert which is removable, and can be replaced with something like a Superfeet insert if you prefer. I tried the high volume Sidas insert I use in approach shoes in it and there was still enough room to wear a medium cushion running sock

Although the fit is wider and higher volume, which for me is a good thing, one feature that may mitigate this for people with slightly slimmer feet is the excellent lacing system and tongue they have. The last lacing point is set quite far back on the upper and the lacing comes up over the top of your foot really close to your ankle, which does an amazing job of locking your foot firmly into the shoe.

The tongue has 2 areas of extra padding in just the right places so that when you crank the laces up hard there is little or no pressure across the top of your foot. Add in the luxurious padding around the collar and Achilles and you can achieve a very firm fit without any feeling of the shoe being overly tight

They size up true to size, I measure a UK 10 and the size 45EU I have is almost perfect for length. Having run down some pretty steep hills I can say I have never felt my toes touch the inside of the front of the shoe.

Discussing sizing further, the spin planet is only available in the UK in whole EU sizing’s which are increments of ¾ of a UK size. This could be an issue for some people if you are in between sizes. The 45EU size I have could be deemed to be about one third of a size too long for me but in practice, the extra 3mm of space in the front of the shoe makes little difference and over longer runs of +25 miles where your foot spreads and swells a little it just guarantees my toes have plenty of space and therefore more comfort

Tech Spec

They are called the spin planet due to it being one of the most environmentally friendly products Scarpa makes

The upper is made from 100% recycled materials which feel tough and well made, maybe less tactile or soft than a non-recycled fabric, but in use this is not an issue. The weave of the mesh on the upper looks very open but in use I have had little or no grit through it

The midsole is also made of 45% recycled EVA

The sole unit is Scarpa’s own PRESA rubber which I have used before on the Gecko approach shoe I reviewed a few years ago. I have found it to have really good performance in most conditions. This version also uses 30% recycled rubber

All this adds up to a shoe that is definitely working really hard to be environmentally friendly in its production whilst still keeping its level of performance and durability high

With a midsole stack height of 28mm at the rear and 24mm at the front (4mm drop) they are what I would describe as heavily cushioned for a trail shoe. I have not tried anything with a higher stack height than this other than running some trail in the Hoka Clifton which I generally use for long road runs

Scarpa quote 290 grams for a size 42, my size 45 weigh in at 370grams which is not that light compared to some rivals

In Use

As I said at the start of the review, I have been using the Spin planets for the last 2 months and have done a fair amount of mileage in them, somewhere approaching 120 miles. All of this mileage has been done on the south west coastal path which has a massively wide range of terrain to test them (and me) to their limit

After unboxing and taking a few pics of them I had a quick wander around the house in them to test the fit, sizing and feel of them. They felt ok, a decent fit for length and width. Instantly I could feel the support both around the heel and especially in the arch area of the midsole, the cushioning felt rather firm compared to my go to road shoe the Hoka Clifton 7/8/9 and whilst not uncomfortable it definitely felt solid and a little clumpy

The sensible thing to do would have been to take them out for a few shorter runs on the local paths close to my house but instead, I decided that running from Lynmouth to Minehead would be a more suitable test. At a distance of 24 miles with nearly 6000 feet of ascent it was certainly that!

A scorching dry Saturday saw us navigate our way through mixed terrain of gravelly paths, exposed shattered rock manmade path, rooty and slightly slippery woodland and then more grassy softer terrain as we neared Minehead. Through all of this the spins behaved impeccably and never let me down for a second.

That initial feeling of the cushioning being too firm soon faded as the shoes bedded in and I suffered zero rub anywhere on my foot which was a massive bonus as my feet were worked really hard over the 6 hours of mixed running and walking. The arch area felt really supportive and gave my foot lots of control and the heel provided a lot of stability. Overall, the shoe just felt really solid and offered excellent stone protection underfoot as well

The second run was the stretch from Illfracombe back to Lynmouth which could just be one of the hilliest parts of the coast path. We had to contend with a bit of rain and cloudy conditions, which was interesting.

As we did the big climb up over great hangman hill (highest point on the south west coast path) we got hit by a weird freezing rain/hail cloud that soaked us through and left the ground damp and slippery for the next few hours. The Spin planets did a fine job on holding it together and keeping me up right on the wet grass and some really quite treacherous steep muddy inclines. The 4mm deep multi directional lugs on the sole unit are definitely decent in these mixed conditions.

This was steeper than it looks!

I have done a further 4 runs, all on the coast path and the Spins have carried on the good work, with one particularly notable day on the stretch from Braunton to Westward Ho. The reason I say this is notable is that it is 23 miles of primarily pancake flat tarmac!

Amazing section of the North Devon Coast path

Yes, I know I should have been wearing a road shoe for this, and I did consider it when I planned the route, but I knew how good a test this would be for the Spins, and they passed with flying colours. 18 of the miles went by at a steady 9-minute mile pace and I was impressed by the cushioning and comfort provided. It was another scorching day yet the shoes failed to make my feet feel really hot which is a bonus and nearly as good as the celebratory Hockings ice cream we had at westward Ho

One other thing to mention is that the extended tongue and plush padded collar of the Spin planet seems to do a great job of keeping small stones from getting into the shoes. I have literally never had to take the shoes of on a run to remove debris. They even held out enough of the sand when running through the dunes and paths of Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton


So, although I have only actually run in the Spin planets 6 times, I have covered just over 120 miles of truly mixed terrain, including over 20 miles of tarmac and in that time, I cannot really fault them. The only slight negative I could cast upon them is the weight. While it has not really affected me in the mixture of running and walking between 9 and 20 minute a mile pace I have been doing, I suspect if you wanted to train or race at a faster pace you might look at other lighter models

Scarpa pitch the spin planets as a long distance heavily cushioned training shoe for use in just about any conditions other than extremely wet and muddy ground, where you would need something more specialist to give you the required traction. I would have to agree that they cover this remit and perform really well on all surfaces. I was also surprised by how good they were on the road and as such you could say they are a very capable door to trail shoe.

I plan on doing several trail ultra-marathons in 2024 and I will definitely be using the spin planet for all of my training leading into the races and most likely the races too