Superbly designed and constructed, with top level components from the tongue to the tip of the lugs on the outsole, the Rush Trail are among the best all-terrain hiking shoes you will find.
Excellent secure fit
Suede requires maintenance
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Scarpa Rush Trail GTX: first impressions
These excellent hiking hooves are basically the low-cut version of Scarpa’s Rush Trail GTX hiking boot. This premium walking shoe has a handsome and functional design, and is more than capable of taking on a diverse range of trails into the low alpine region, and well beyond in good conditions.
The suede upper is sumptuously soft and immediately comfortable straight out of the box. The Rush boasts both extra ankle padding and an ‘Autofit’ collar, which improves the connection between foot and shoe, reduces stress and improves comfort levels.
• List price: $189 (US) / £165 (UK)
• Gender specificity: men’s / women’s
• Materials: suede and mesh upper with a Gore-Tex lining; TPU midsole; Presa outsole
• Weight (per shoe): men’s: 455g/16oz; women’s: 430g/15oz
• Colors: men’s: titanium & lime / taupe & mango / thyme green & mustard; women’s: birch & sunny lime•
• Best for: hill and fell walking, and approach routes up to low alpine
The tongue is fully integrated (keeping out trail debris) and the lace system is super sturdy, further enabling a firm and secure fit, and providing excellent confidence on even the most technical trails. Suede offers a degree of water resistance, but these shoes also have a Gore-Tex membrane to complete the weather protection.
There’s also extra protection around the toe box and heel, and a really robust DST plastic insert on each side of the midsole, where the heel runs into the midfoot, acts as another shield.
The Rush Trail offers a reasonable amount of rigidity across its length, enough to make it a good performer on more technical trails where rock edging is required, but not so much that it feels too stiff on less demanding terrain.
There’s a good amount of cushioning in the midsole, which cuts out any real trail feedback, but will serve you well over longer distances, and the Presa outsole offers excellent grip and control, with its interactive kinetic system and intelligently arranged lugs.
Scarpa Rush Trail GTX: on the trails
We put these shoes to the test on a range of trails over varied terrain, from the coastal paths around the South West of England – including some fairly rugged scrambly approach routes across limestone to reach climbing crags on Portland – to the far more muddy tracks and paths that crisscross the Mendip Hills.
On the craggier surfaces, the Rush Trails offered excellent support along the full length of the foot, and these are excellent approach shoes, as well as being brilliant trail walkers.
The comfort level in the main chassis is high, even when worn all day. I was able to take on a lengthy hike in the Rush Trails without any need to break them in, and the midsoles are cushioned to the extent that they alleviate the worst affects of repeated foot placement on a long day hike, without being so spongy that they soak up too much energy.
The protective elements are excellent, from the Gore-Tex lined upper to the toe cap and heel buffer. he outsole grips both rocky and muddy terrain like a limpet, without accumulating significant amounts of dirt between the lugs. The arrangement of the studs is smart, and the shoes provide good control during steep descents.
Without a collar to protect your ankles, these are best suited for long day walks, but if you are not carrying any significant amount of weight in your pack, the Rush Trail are some of the best hiking shoes, and will perform well during multiday adventures as well.
Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon (opens in new tab) and Dorset (opens in new tab), and once wrote a whole book about Toilets (opens in new tab) for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here (opens in new tab).
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