Sunday, October 03, 2021

Scott Sports Speed Carbon RC Multi Tester Review: Pace Adaptable, Dynamically Flexing Carbon Plate!

Article by George Harris, Jacob Brady, Derek Li, Jeremy Marie and Sam Winebaum

Scott Sports Speed Carbon RC ($190)

Scott Speed Carbon is an uptempo carbon plated trainer racer. It features a Carbitex DFX plate which reacts and flexes dynamically with changes in pace and runner weights, the first such non monolithic plate we know of. Its ER 2 rocker geometry is the product of 12 years of research at Scott. The midsole is a dual density EVA Olefin blend foam.

It has a big 35mm heel (measured) / 30mm forefoot full stack so it is in the max cushion category. 

The weight comes in at about 8.8 oz / 250g in a US9 sample It is a touch lighter than the plateless Scott Pursuit I compare in the video here


Very good rocker (George/Sam/Derek/Jeremy)

Strong cushion to weight ratio  8.8 oz / 250g (US9) on a 35mm heel / 30 forefoot full stack (Sam/Derek/Jeremy)

Carbitex DFX dynamically flexing carbon plate adapts well to varied paces from slow and easy to all out with no harshness (Sam/Jeremy/Jacob)

Grippy and silent outsole (on asphalt) (Jeremy/Jacob/Sam)

Versatile, very stable, protective, consistent riding max cushion trainer (Sam/Jeremy/Jacob)

Very distinct broad and stable dynamic forefoot. Great for forefoot strikers at all paces (Sam/Jeremy)

Solid race choice for the slower marathoner with late race slowdown (Sam)

Geometry and plate also adapt well to heel striking even at slow and easy paces (Sam) 

Smooth, stable ride (Jacob/Sam)

Runs well—stable, with enough traction and foothold—on dry trails (Jacob)

A light enough carbon plated “super shoe” that won’t get you in trouble (Sam).

Mesh is breathable (George)


Heel counter is under padded (achilles) and overly rigid.  (Sam/Derek/Jeremy/Jacob)

Dense, firm, efficient and stable conservative riding midsole foam lacks fun bounce, could be softer especially in combination with plate. (Sam/Jacob)

Very firm midsole with little to no bounce (however after about 15 miles the midsole did begin to soften up) (George)

Pull tab is useless (George)

Requires quite high lace tension to get a good lockdown due to wide spacing of lace eyelets. (Derek)

Heel lockdown is so-so, require heel-lock lacing or using the last eyelet (Jeremy)

Outsole grip is not great on wet surfaces (Derek)

Ride is not particularly propulsive or energetic for a modern plated shoe (Jacob)


Weight: men's 8.8 oz / 250g (247/252) (US9/EU42.5)

Samples: men’s  US9/EU42.5 8.8 oz / 250g (247/252), 10.3 oz / 293 g (293/298),  US12,: 9.3oz / 265g US10.5/EU44.5

Official Midsole Stack Height: 30mm heel / 25m forefoot

Full Stack Height (including sockliner): 35mm heel (measured), 30mm forefoot. 5mm drop

Expected October 2021. $190



Sam: Scott Sports is a Swiss based brand whose forte has been cycling, sports clothing, ski poles, helmets, sunglasses, goggles, and trail running shoes. Lots of carbon in cycling...Founded in 1958 in Sun Valley, Idaho and now based in Swtizerland  Scott came up with the first tapered aluminum ski pole replacing bamboo and steel, , the aero handlebars so famously used by Greg Lemond, the first carbon MTB, and many other sports innovations. 

Their running shoes have not been consistently distributed in the US (that is going to change!) while their trail running shoes are well known in Europe most especially the past for the most technical of running with an initial focus on Sky Running. In recent years their trail line has expanded with a more diverse offering the RTR team is testing now. 

In a call with RTR, Scott told us their work on rocker geometries for running shoes goes back 12 years, apparently even predating Hoka’s rocker geometry efforts. Work on a carbon road shoe goes back 4 years at Scott and was underway when the Vaporfly emerged but as meticulous Swiss they took their time to research the technologies, test in the lab and on the road, and decide on an appropriate market. 

Research on instrumented runners on treadmills and force plates told them that efficiency in running was gained in their prototypes by transferring loads from the “big” muscles such as the quads lower down the chain towards the ankles and feet.  So in the Speed Carbon we have a relatively rigid rear of the shoe and a seemingly rigid rocker profile.  The geometry seeks to keep the ankle from dorsiflexing (flexing up) and toes from flexing down to reduce moments in the meta, ankle and knee joints for more efficient motion. The geometry and its goals in terms of biomechanics seems very similar to ASICS GuideSole in shoes such as Glideride and Metaspeed Sky.

Here with the Speed Carbon we bring together max cushion, Scott’s ER 2 rocker technology and a Carbitex DFX carbon plate. 

Unlike other plates we have seen, the Carbitex DFX is dynamically flexible to different paces, stiffening as more forces are applied and speed increases. It is intended to deliver a ride that doesn’t feel in any way awkward, even at slower paces while providing toe off snap at faster paces. 

Stability and durability were also key design parameters to not only be a viable competitor to the more visible larger players but to keep somewhat slower runners well aligned and all runners more stable even as  form disintegrates. This said the Speed Carbon has no overt stability features such as posts or rails.

Instead of focusing on an elite super light shoe, Scott is positioning the Speed Carbon as an uptempo paces trainer for all runners and a race shoe for the 3:30-4:00 marathoner who may tend to weigh more than elites, whose form changes during a race and who values versatility, durability, stability, and a “reasonable” price. At $190 the Speed Carbon sits slightly below the super shoes in pricing.

Despite, or maybe because of all their experience with carbon in bikes and the 4 years of research on plates, they knew that the Speed Carbon’s plate would need to more pace adaptable, more flexible and dynamic than what elite shoes have to adapt to both slower and faster paces (training at different paces, but also as the target marathoner paces also tend to slow more than faster runners).

So Scott partnered with Carbitex, a Kennewick, WA company, on the cutting edge of let’s just say non monolithic all stiff all the time carbon plates. They had already partnered with Carbitex using their highly flexible CX6 almost fabric like carbon based material in cycling shoes such as the MTB RC SL shown below where the CX6 provides a flexible, super light, non stretch skeleton of support.


For the Speed Carbon they selected Carbitex DFX, a dynamically flexing carbon composite made of three layers: a stiff hard layer, a central compressive layer, and a softer more flexible layer. 

What does dynamically flexing mean? Well, and this is clearly felt on the run, the more downward force is applied to the plate the stiffer it gets so at faster paces the shoe gets snappier and more aggressive while at slower paces it is more easily flexed.  This means the shoe can adapt to different paces, increasing its versatility. 

Watch Sam's Video Comparison Review of the Scott Speed Carbon and Pursuit

A demonstration of the plate is at 02:16 in the video

The plate is also unusual in its shape. 

While it has a familiar S shaped curve, instead of having a tapered pointed or a forked front design, such as the Carbitex DFX plate in the Speedland SL:PDX we recently tested and the Hoka carbon shoes, Scott and Carbitex went with a broader squared off front design, similar to the front of the Nike Vaporfly 4% plate. We know from a call with Carbitex that they collaborate very closely with their partners in the design and development of products which include their technology and do not "white label" it. Their name is always on the final product.

In trail you want some lateral give to conform to terrain and more flexibility and thus the forked Carbitex DFX plate we see in the Speedland SL:PDX (RTR Review) while for a road shoe Scott felt you needed a broad, stable consistent platform for toe off at all paces. 

The Carbitex process of cutting the plates from sheets and then forming to the S Curve allows for plates to be more easily sized to a range of shoe sizes whereas other “carbon” plates require molds or more complicated forming.  

The midsole foam is from the same general family and feel as Nike React and Salomon Optivibe (but sans a vibration dampening insert as the Salomon Sonic have) so it is not a supercritical, super light, bouncy foam but a firmer, durable and stable riding one when combined with the ER2 rocker geometry as shown below.

Scott’s research (to be published soon)  showed this somewhat firmer foam depressed less on impact and “returned” as well as “fancier” foams so in combination with the plate less energy was lost. Recall the target market is not the elite type race shoe. 

George: According to Scott this shoe is a result of years of testing.  It employs the “Energetic Rocker” 2 or ER 2 and a Carbitex carbon plate. Since it had a flexible carbon plate (the same firm that  supplies plates to Speedland for the SL:PDX) this shoe was of great interest to me.


Wow, Sam did a tremendous job of describing all the science that goes behind the Speed Carbon genesis and the work with Carbitex. 

As a European, Scott may have a tad more visibility as a running shoe brand than in the US, but mainly around trail shoes, often described as a nice lineup, but they really go under the radar despite their qualities.

The Speed Carbon RC is my first Scott shoe, and my first carbon plated one, those reasons are well enough to crank up the interest.

First Impressions and Fit

Jacob: The Speed Carbon RC is the first shoe from Scott I have run. I have heard of or read reviews of a few of their running shoes over the past years, but do not know the brand well and couldn’t name any of their models. It is not the usual, but exciting when the first shoe I try from a brand is their new carbon-plated model. 

The first thing that I liked when I took the Speed Carbon RC out of the box was the styling. A bright, comprehensive neon yellow with interesting minimal and asymmetrical black accents. The shoe is simple in design and looks high-quality. In hand the midsole feels very firm and the shoe does not feel notably lightweight.

On foot, the underfoot feel is firm, stable, but more flexible than I expected for a carbon-plated racer. The rocker is very noticeable—if I lean forward, my toes disappear from under me and I start falling forward. Fit is true to size with a comfortable amount of space and soft forefoot feel. The heel is a bit stiff and the heel collar padding is low and feels weird on first try-on. 

George: Fit is true to size.  My size 12 had plenty of space in the toebox area.  I might have been able to fit in a size 11.5.  Rocker made it a bit difficult walking.

Derek: My first thought when I unboxed the shoes was that the yellow was even more glowing than the pictures suggested. Not in a bad way. It would definitely come in useful for night running. The upper felt a little stiff at first but it softened up a bit as I tightened the laces and jogged around a bit. Fit is true to size, and the forefoot fit is on the wider side. Midfoot fit is just right for a trainer, and then heel volume is on the higher side again but not too bad. The rocker is very prominent under the metatarsophalangeal joints, while the rear of the shoe feels pretty flat. The foam doesn’t feel particularly lively. Reminds me a bit of the Hoka Carbon X in terms of firmness. We will have to see if there is any breaking in period for the midsole. 

Jeremy: Flash! The bright neon yellow of the shoes really strikes when opening the box. Considering the stack height, the shoes felt quite light in the hand, without being light per se. Weighing them at 265g for my US10.5 confirms that it is in the middle of the ground for trainer/(long distance) racer, but with a huge amount of midsole - and a carbon plate touted as being dynamic: the more you push, the less flexible it is. The idea behind this design is to have a shoe that might adapt to different paces and foot strikes.

I’ve often been tempted by Scott’s trail running offering but never tried them. Their road running shoes never really raised my eyebrows, but the Speed Carbon really caught my interest: some very detailed information from Scott on the shoe’s inception, the Carbitex plate presence, the new Kinetic Light foam, the pronounced ER2 rocker profile, all topped by a fairly unstructured and breathable mesh. The shoes ticked many boxes, and being both my first Scott and my very first carbon-plated shoe, it was difficult not being tempted.

Stepping in is very easy thanks to a generous opening (as opposed to the Craft CTM ultra for instance) and the foot slides nicely along the TPU/mesh upper to get in place. 

The ER2 rocker profile is really pronounced, a bit like what I experienced in the Fuji Trabuco Max, making this an awkward walking experience, especially with the plate and the midsole density.

By hand, the shoe is almost impossible to flex, and I really wonder how it can run and work through many paces as Scott advertised.

Toebox space? Check. Midfoot lock? Check. Heel lock? Mmmmh errrr..No. Not really on the first try. My heels feel loose and moved up and down by just walking around the house, and during a first mini-run during the dog’s outing. Using the last eyelet really enhanced the heel lock, but I still feel that it is a tad too wide to fit my...feet.

Length-wise, the Speed Carbon fits nicely, with the right amount of space up-front in my usual US10.5/EU44.5 (which means, between 5mm and 1cm space in front of the toes).

Sam: My pair was a half size up from my normal 8.5. From toe box to mid foot the fit is on the generous side but secure. The heel area is rigid and firmly padded. Recall Scott wants to lock the ankle from flexing up and the heel counter plays a big role in that.  

The padding around the achilles in my early production pair (made in pandemic conditions in Vietnam) has 2 creases on either side of the center and is relatively firm. During my first run I got an unusual for me irritation/blister at the creases on one foot (my narrower right). I think my heel was slipping upwards more than usual and rubbing the firm creased area. Adjusting socks and lacing reduced the effects and made things adequately comfortable and secure but I suggest Scott rethink the heel counter’s padding and overall volume. My sense is that it is too broad and stiff. Scott will also be verifying the curing of this padding which in my pair may not have been to spec.


Jacob: The Speed Carbon RC upper is composed of a single-piece of relatively thin, breathable mesh. It is not overly stiff; it is slightly soft and has a bit of give. Though the front two-thirds of the shoe is fairly unstructured, the rear is rigid. It has pronounced heel collar padding. The shoe fits a bit stiff and not anatomical for me but length, foothold, and comfort are all good. I nearly have lace bite issues and think I may have laced too tightly some days, but end up not having problems while on the run. It is a pretty good upper overall, but not immediately comfortable nor perfectly fit to my foot.

George: The upper is a mesh that is rather rough to me.  No barefoot running in this shoe

Jeremy: The upper is another incarnation of “modern uppers”, very thin, made of a lightweight, breathable mesh that looks like TPU. It can feel a bit scratchy at first, but is actually quite soft, even if I won’t use those shoes sockless. It is way softer than the upper of Slab Phantasm for reference.

This kind of material can sometimes be too rigid, and fold while lacing the shoes, creating pressure points, but I had no issues at all here.

The front of the shoe is unstructured, save for the black line that goes across the forefoot, and then on the toe cap.

This line is doubled with a thin layer of TPU which merges with the toe cap, and then continues along the external side of the shoe where it meets the same TPU layer.

This line brings just a tad of hold to the front mesh, and it is barely felt actually. Design-wise, it also brings a nice touch though.

For a speed-oriented shoe, the toe box is very accommodating and I do not feel constrained at all.

I like a large toe box yet more but the midfoot has to offer a solid hold, minimizing unwanted foot movement and slippage. And the Speed Carbon fits the bill in this department.

The midfoot fit is snugger, and I find it to nicely wrap the foot and hold it in place even when taking turns at speed, despite having almost no insert nor layer to add structure here. It really reminds me of the Craft CTM Ultra in this aspect, albeit with a bit lower volume overall.

On the lower external side (top shoe below)  a black TPU layer reinforces the link between the upper and the midsole, and adds that little bit of hold and security that this kind of thin mesh needs. 

The same goes for the internal medial side of the shoe, where it meets the extended heel insert on both sides and as it should be on the medial side is a bit more substantial.

This striped black box, a support overlay,  also adds a nice design touch, echoing the “Speed” moniker of the shoe.

The thin tongue is held in place thanks to a semi-gusseted design, and a layer of more substantial material is added where the lace pressure occurs, protecting the foot from any pressure points.

The tongue also has some cutouts on the upper part, allowing it to mold with one’s foot shape without friction or pressure point.

I have medium to high volume feet and as a consequence, I find the Speed Carbon to fit really nicely, achieving this without that many materials nor inserts or layers. And it also goes well with my preferences for fairly unstructured uppers.

That high volume aspect is also present at the heel, but with less success in my opinion.

The heel cup is not a thick plastic insert, but more of a thin rigid insert, with two pillows around the achilles to ensure the hold (as seen in Salomon Accelerate, Craft CTM Ultra or S/lab Phantasm..and more and more shoes recently). The rigid cup is topped with a thin suede-like part designed to be soft to the ankles and avoid any rubbing risk - and it works. There’s also a pull tab on the external side of each shoe which...brings originality but not really functionality.

Where this whole design falls short is in terms of heel hold. On the first try, I experienced a noticeable heel lift, be it while walking or jogging. I’ve then used the last eyelet which makes things better, but the hold is still quite “fragile”. I know that if I lace the shoes a bit looser or if I wear really thin socks, I’ll be more exposed to heel lift, despite the shoes being the right size for me. I think that the heel insert's curve is a little too wide to be effective, whereas it worked well in the completely unstructured Craft CTM heel design.

I did not have issues with the padding creasing despite the slightly loose heel hold.

Derek: The mesh is clearly very thin, almost translucent, and does soften up and conform to your foot shape quite quickly once you start running in it. Overall shoe volume is on the higher side as I mentioned above. 

You can see from the image above that the spacing of the lace eyelets is quite high, and coupled with the choice of narrow flat laces, I think most people will end up needing fairly high lace tension to get a good performance fit with this upper. As Jacob says, the front half of the shoe is fairly unstructured. Even the tongue is quite thin, but the gusseted design keeps it centred, and also contributes a bit to the mid-foot hold. 

The rear half of the shoe is fairly stiff. Even though the materials are still quite thin, some added materials around the heel act as a stiffener to hold the heel shape (I stop short of calling it a heel cup because it feels more like reinforced laminate than a traditional cup that most shoes use), and there is a bit of padding running around the ankle collar to help with foot hold. I feel like this area could use a little more padding, as it might mean that less lace tension is needed to keep the foot held in the shoe. Sam noted, and I do as well, that the padding creases in the centre right where the Achilles tendon sits. 

I personally did not have any issues with this, but some people might find the crease to be an area of friction when running. Finally the shoe sports an extra bit of suede that acts as a sort of pull-tab for the shoe. 

I don’t find that it serves much of a purpose, but knowing that Scott has deep, deep roots in triathlon and made some really good triathlon running shoes (with key features that aid transitioning from bike to run in lightning speed such as a shoe with a de-coupled heel counter a la Scott T2 Pro; yours truly raced 2 pairs of these) in the past, the pull tab might be something added for the benefit of triathletes who want to use elastic laces in triathlon.

(Scott T2 Pro, photo credit: BikeRadar)  

The off-centre location is probably an attempt to circumvent the risk of any rubbing of the tab on the Achilles. 


Sam: The midsole foam is a Dow Infuse compound so a blend of EVA and Olefin. It is relatively firm with the outer and lower section at 50C and the central top core at 45C. Dow Infuse can be blended in different ways to produce different ride characteristics.  Here we are fairly close in feel to Salomon’s Optivibe Infuse in the Sonic series (but without the vibration reducing inserts)  and firmer than Salomon’s Energy Surge in the UltraGlide and Pulsar, both having more Olefin in the mix from what we understand.  

The feel is also similar to Nike React, maybe a touch firmer in this plated shoe as in the Pursuit it feels softer than React. It also reminds me of PWRRUN in the Endorphin Shift but with a touch more bounce.  Scott carefully selected this blend to deliver the durability,  stability and efficiency they were seeking and could have easily gone softer but didn’t. 

I personally find it could be a touch softer and bouncier.  There is plenty, plenty of protective cushioning here with the giant 35/30 stack with a short (deliberate on Scott’s part based on testing for efficiency in the lab) down stroke as forces are applied and then a quick shorter amplitude return.

While the ER 2 Rocker is highly effective, and at all paces, we do have a 5mm drop and my preferences would be for a somewhat higher drop. The 8mm drop Pursuit has the same main firmness main midsole but in a single density with no softer insert above the plate as in the Speed Carbon’s plate as there is no plate in the Pursuit. The Pursuit has a more pronounced sense of drop forward to toe off and bounce, and some flexibility as well, with the midsole foam itself feeling softer and more energetic as there is no plate or glue layers in the mix.

Jacob: The Speed Carbon RC midsole is a relatively firm EVA and Olefin blend called Kinetic Light Foam with a full-length carbon-plate manufactured by Carbitex. It is relatively but not remarkably light and has no bounce. It is not an inspiring foam nor is it too energetic. It is plain in feel for a plated racing shoe. It reminded me of the Hoka Carbon X initially with a strong rocker and rigid feel but not the trampoline, cruise-along bounce of the softer plated racers. There is a lot of cushion and protection from the midsole + plate combination and on the run it is stable with a muted ground feel.

I don’t love the duller midsole and less effortless speed performance of the Speed Carbon RC compared to other plated racers, but I really like the feel of the plate. Carbitex did a great job with their DFX (dynamically flexible) plate—it is advertised as being flexible at slow paces or walking and stiff at a speed. Generally I think that follows what I felt. It is more flexible while standing around or at slow paces than the carbon plate of most racing shoes. At speed (5k and faster for ~5:15 min/mi) the Speed Carbon RC came alive and was quick to transition, stable, and out of the way. I wasn’t sure if the plate felt stiffer, but the shoe felt notably snappier.

George: The midsole is called Kinetic Lite Foam by Scott.  It does not appear to be an infused foam.  The midsole is somewhat like the 361 Degrees Flame and the Hoka Rocket X in terms of firmness.  In my opinion 50 miles in the shoe didn’t reveal much flexibility.  I didn’t really feel the carbon plate until one started going fast.

Derek: A picture paints a thousand words, and you can clearly see the shape of the carbon plate and how it sits sandwiched in the midsole above. 

I will focus more on the underfoot feel here. First off, do not get put off by the initial feel of the shoe; the midsole takes about 5 miles of running to soften up. The rear half of the shoe feels pretty flat, then as you roll through to the forefoot, you reach this huge tipping point just under the balls of your foot and you just roll downhill all the way to the tips of your toes. Once broken in, the foam will start to feel a little bit more springy, and this feel is most prominent in the forefoot, where the spring of the foam works really well with the flexibility of the plate. 

This is one of the few carbon shoes with a flexible plate that gets it just right so that the plate sits in the sweet spot between being too flexible and useless and being too stiff and awkward at anything other than race paces. That said, the shoe doesn’t feel very special at slower paces for me (8:00/mile+), but really becomes quite smooth at closer to 7:00-7:30/mile pace. As you squeeze the pace down even more, the shoe matches your pace, but then I start to notice the weight of the shoe a little more at <6:30/mile. 

This is not a heavy shoe by any means, but the very thin and light upper means that almost all the weight of the shoe is concentrated under your foot, so you get a bit more of a bottom-heavy feel. At 8.8 oz for a US9, it is in a very respectable daily trainer weight range, and yet I feel that it gives a more bottom-heavy feel than a significantly heavier Adidas Boston 10 which to its credit has a bit better weight balance between upper and midsole. In terms of cushioning, the vibration dampening is quite outstanding, and on par with others in the same stack range, such as the Saucony Endorphin Shift and Puma Deviate Nitro. 

Jeremy: Not a lot more to add to what my colleagues said about the midsole.The two midsole parts are clearly seen from the pictures, as well as the Carbitex DFX plate from the outsole cutouts.

The different midsole densities are clearly felt using the very scientific “thumb-pressing” method, but so are they while running. The top part is of softer density, as confirmed by Scott, and it brings a welcome softer feeling to the otherwise quite dense, bounce-less lower part.

The midsole materials are from the same company as Nike React and Salomon Optivibe, which is a blend of EVA and Olefin.

I’ve yet to try Nike React but have a good experience with Salomon Optivibe, and the Scott Speed Carbon is clearly firmer, denser, with less bounce (and the Sonic Accelerate wasn’t a particularly bouncy shoe). The carbon insert and glue layers might not help in this aspect as Sam notes in comparing to the Pursuit with the same midsole foam.

But what feels a bit weird while walking reveals itself as a nice combination as I started running.

At slower paces (>5min/km), the shoe does not really shine for me. It feels a bit flat, no matter where I land, the worst being when forcing a heel strike. It’s not dead flat, but without any bounce, the density of the midsole is not really engaging for heel strikers. When returning to my more natural foot strike (mid to forefoot), the shoe begins to reveal itself. The ER2 rocker profile proved to be efficient even at easy endurance paces, where I experienced the same feeling as Derek did: you’re just pushed forward and roll nicely up to the toes where more springiness is clearly felt, and even more after some miles.

The more I push the pace, the more I find the Speed Carbon engaging. At around 4:30/km and faster (4:10/km), the DFX plate brings a lot of forward pushing energy, and landing on the forefoot allows one to fully benefit from the late stage rocker profile of the ER2. I don’t know if it is due to the midsole material or the dynamic flexing Carbitex plate, but the shoe seems to be more and more responsive and dynamic as I upped the tempo. 

The impact protection and shock absorption is astounding, and reminiscent of the Optivibe midsole of Salomon - pushed to 11.

Anyway as a first carbon plated shoe and despite the fears I had, I find that the shoe handles a wide paces spectrum very well, making it a nice training partner.

And just as Derek, I find the shoe started to feel a bit bottom heavy when doing some strides and short sprints. It is not a brutal speedster that handles all out sprints very well but it’s clearly not what the shoe is designed for.


Jacob: The Speed Carbon RC outsole is standard for a racer, with rubber in the forefoot and heel and exposed midsole through the midfoot. The outsole is a success being quiet, smooth, not showing any signs of durability issues, and having good to excellent traction on all terrain. I ran it on groomed trail and dirt paths and liked the stable ride and had no issues with grip. I may choose it for that reason for road + some trail routes. It is the best plated road shoe I’ve tested for running trails. 

George: The outside has strategically placed rubber.  I ran in the rain with no slippage.  Although not a trail shoe, it had a pretty good grip on the dirt trail I ran on.

Derek: I found the outsole to have good traction on dry surfaces, but had a very little bit of slippage on damp and wet roads so my experience is somewhat different from the others. I should point out that the slippage was more noticeable at 7:00/mile+ pace than at slower paces. 

Jeremy: The outsole rubber is a bit soft, bringing both a subtle touch of smoothness on landing, and silencing the foot strike. 

I find it to grip very well on asphalt and did not experience slippage on wet roads. It also grips well on sharp turns.

There’s a quite usual pattern on outsole coverage, where all the mid part is exposed foam, with only a little insert on the external heel part, and on the front third.

The rubber seems quite durable, but its thinness might lead to early wear of the exposed midsole parts, as I can already see some after 30kms.

I ran a bit on smooth trails and the outsole proved to be efficient there.

Sam:  Not much to add to the guys fine take but I would note how silent the shoe is and how seamless the outsole feels in combination with the rest of the platform, a sign of good overall geometry and outsole rubber and its design match. Given that the midsole is relatively firm, going with a somewhat softer rubber overall for sure contributes to the quiet and seamless outsole feel.


Jacob: The Speed Carbon RC ride is stable, rocker-focused, and consistent. It is a bit flexible for a plated shoe, notably at slow paces. It is firm overall but has some forgiving softness in the forefoot. For me it doesn’t inspire speed or feel effortless to run fast, which is what I expect from a carbon-plated racer. However, Scott noted that the Speed Carbon RC isn’t intended to compete with the lighter top-tier racer. It does run fast well though, moving along quickly due to the rocker and plate, but is not particularly propulsive. In this way it is a bit of a let-down. Though it wasn’t intended to by Scott, for me it certainly doesn’t compete with most of the other carbon plated racers for racing. However, I found that as a trainer for a variety of paces it is solid. The ride is very stable, the geometry makes it easy to keep running, and the slightly flexible plate leads to an enjoyable smooth rolling (no harshness) feel on toe-off. It isn’t as special as I hoped, but it is unique and I enjoy running in it.

I did a variety of runs in the Speed Carbon RC from easy running (8:00 min/mi pace) with smooth trail to marathon pace (6:15 min/mi pace), to short, high effort reps (5:00 min/mi pace). I liked it most for the easy to moderate pace running even though I wasn’t fully activating the plate at those paces. At faster paces around 5k pace the shoe runs really well, feeling energetic and encouraging a high cadence. I think it feels smoother with a heel-to-midfoot strike, rather than a forefoot strike. I started out with more of a mid-to-forefoot strike and it felt a bit awkward. As I relaxed back towards the heel the shoe was quieter and transitioned more smoothly. 

George: The ride is firm but the rocker really gets you up on your toes and mid foot.  This is especially true when you start going at a faster pace.

Derek: I am going to be contrarian and say it’s not really a firm shoe by daily trainer standards. I think the Brooks Ghost 14 and Saucony Triumph 19 are harsher underfoot as the miles pile on. I will say that this shoe probably works better for people who don’t land very hard at the heel. The rear of the shoe sits quite flat and does not deform much due to the flat horizontal section of plate that acts as a stabilizer, so you will find the landing there quite jarring. I think in a sense, it is similar to what one would get as a heavy heel striker with the Adidas Boston 10. The farther forward you land, or the more your peak loading weight is towards the midfoot, the less harsh the shoe is going to feel. That said, a pure forefoot striker might not enjoy it either, as you end up landing directly on the rocker and that can sometimes feel a bit awkward. 

The real gravy section is right under the balls of your foot, and the harder you load it as you pick up the pace, the more the shoe is going to respond and propel you forward. For me, the sweet spot for the shoe is around 7:00-7:30/mile and in this range, the shoe just rolls along quite effortlessly. I find the ride quite ordinary and feel like i’m not really activating the forefoot rocker at slower paces so in this sense, it may be inferior to some of the other daily-trainer carbon plated shoes that come to mind, like the NB Fuelcell TC, Puma Deviate Nitro or the Nike Tempo Next%, all of which tend to be a bit more forgiving at slower paces for me. 

The stability of the shoe is also one of its strengths. It is definitely one of the more stable high stack carbon shoes for me, a beneficiary of the slightly denser foam, and the wider platform. Despite the wider forefoot, it does not fall into the trump of having an awkward feeling forefoot, and I think this comes down to the width of the plate and having enough deformable foam at the circumference, such that the stiffness of the plate does not get in the way of the natural pronation and transition of the foot from midfoot to toe-off. 


Dense is a word I’ve already used many times during this review, but it is really how the Speed Carbon feels to me. It is not firm by no means, it is just a dense, minimal bounce feeling that goes from too flat when landing on the heel at slower paces, to an efficient ride when landing more on the midfoot.

Looking at the very late rocker profile of the shoe, and keeping in mind it is carbon-plated with a low drop (5mm)  this result is no surprise. For heel strikers, the flat part of the shoe will break the natural forward motion that you might get using a higher drop shoe or one with a heel bevel...or a more flexible one.

But landing on the midfoot, at higher pace, you’ll get all the benefits of the Speed Carbon design, and exactly what it has been made for: paces from 4’/km (6:25/m) to 5’/km (8:00/m) for me. The more you accelerate, the more efficient the shoe becomes, thanks to the Carbitex dynamic flexing plate which proves to be way more than marketing bits. 

When doing so, you “charge” the front of the plate which reacts with a very nice forward propulsion, without being too pronounced. This results in an efficient controlled ride where the shoe effortlessly sustains a forward momentum. I’ve ended up a session around 4’15/km without any effort, and just felt like I was pushed forward. Stryd power figures correlate this feeling, giving a 280W average at this pace, where I usually tend to gravitate more around 290-295W at this pace. The midsole also seems to gain a bit of bounce, but it may be due to the reaction of the plate.

The ride is also very stable, as I’ve been able to judge on some light forest trails. The rear part of the plate acts as a stability element, but it really is the firmness and density of the sole that do the job. As the foot does not sink at all in a thick mellow foam, keeping a good form along the miles gets easier, and the plate acts as a stabilizer when leg soreness comes.

The shoe platform is not that wide. I’ve compared it to the Craft CTM ultra, and those two share a similar wideness from heel to midfoot, the CTM being almost 8mm wider at the forefoot (and this is how it gains its stability). 

The Speed Carbon is even narrower at the front than the somewhat firmer Slab Phantasm.

I’ve also experienced the same loss of efficiency at faster paces (5km pace and faster) as Derek, where I tend to land further at the front, and lose the benefit of the rocker and not “charging” the plate. 

But from endurance to marathon and semi-marathon pace, the Speed Carbon delivers as an efficient and “economical” speed trainer, in the sense of energy efficiency.

Sam: The ride is quite dense, highly cushioned, directed and becomes increasingly energetic at faster paces. The rocker and Carbitex DFX plate certainly allow slower paces to be handled quite smoothly but with as Derek says above with a somewhat flat feel reminding yes of the Hoka Carbon X1 also a 5mm drop shoe. As you move forward at those flatter riding paces the plate indeed feels softer and more flexible as intended making toe offs quite easy for such a rigid high front stack shoe.

As you pick the pace things change. Heel striker, midfoot striker, forefoot striker as pace increases most everyone is further forward with more forces applied to the wide front platform and plate. 

There is a distinct sense of a broad, stable and deliberately dynamic front of this shoe at faster paces. Not bouncy or soft but still very protectively and massively cushioned. Due to the firmer foam and its blend a quick compression is followed by a quick return and a sensation of spring off the entire plate. There is no need to force things or struggle past the up curve of the plate as I often felt in that Carbon X.

We are getting used to bouncy springy softer supercritical foams and their “sensation” of energy return. Here the return is of a narrower amplitude and quicker as the foam itself is quite firm. Yet there is plenty of vibration reducing leg forgiving cushion. It does not have that sharp feel of older firmer EVA’s where yes there is snappy response but it is punishing. Here the snappy response is more protective less jarring due to the foam and I think softer outsole coverage as well. And the stability for a 250g shoe is truly outstanding back to front.

So not a “recovery” ride, not an all around daily trainer ride (look to plateless Pursuit for that), and not a pure race ride for many.  The ride is best suited to tempo paces and longer runs where form starts to suffer and the combination of stability and the adaptability of the plate come into play. I would consider racing the Speed Carbon for a half but as more of a heel striker miss drop here. 8mm as in the Pursuit would perfect the ride for me for not only racing but a wider range of training.  I would welcome removing some front stack and moving it to the rear and a slightly softer foam of the same variety as here.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jacob: The Speed Carbon RC is a fun shoe. It has a clean design and a stable and capable ride that performs over a range of paces. The dynamically flexible Carbitex DFX plate feels uniquely flexible at slower paces, comfortable, and effective in providing stability and a quick transition. The biggest weakness of the shoe is that it isn’t particularly light, fast, or leg-saving for a modern plated trainer/racer. From my experience, for me, it cannot compete with the top shoes in the category in “free speed” due to increased efficiency. It more of a trainer feel, so comparisons to the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT%, Nike Zoom Fly, and New Balance FuelCell TC are more applicable. Those shoes are closer in weight to the Speed Carbon, but they are all softer and more propulsive. 

Despite not being a good pick for a racer, I’m liking the Speed Carbon RC for daily training, especially fartlek runs as I can feel how the plate changes from more forgiving at slow paces to snappier at speed. The Speed Carbon RC also runs well on trails as it is very stable with good traction, so I can comfortably do light road/trail combination runs in it. I wish the heel area of the shoe was a bit softer and for a slightly more anatomical fit, because the same ride and performance of the Speed Carbon RC with a 10/10 comfort upper would be a great all-around trainer.

Overall, I would recommend the Speed Carbon RC for runners looking for a firm, stable, multi-purpose trainer that runs well at speed and is protective and cushioned at all paces. It isn’t a relatively fast plated shoe, nor the most economical choice for a trainer, but durability seems good and the ride is enjoyable and solid.

Jacob’s Score:  8.1/10

Ride: 8.5 (50%) Fit: 8 (30%) Value: 7 (15%) Style: 8 (5%)

George: This is a shoe that shines going fast.   Most of the super shoes fall into this category.  However, there are some that can be good at different paces.  The firmness of the midsole with the rocker plus the Carbitex plate really can move one along and keep you up on your toes or mid foot.

George’s Score: 7.5/10

Points off for the midsole firmness and the stiffness of the upper. A proper pull tab would be an improvement as well.

Derek: You will note from my review that I keep calling the shoe a daily trainer. Despite what its name implies, its weight, plus Scott’s own admission that it is targeting the 3:30-4:00 marather, tell me that the shoe is better served as a trainer for most people. 

For me it is a daily trainer that is skewed toward more uptempo paces. It sits in the crosshairs of the Saucony Endorphin Speed or Shift, Puma Deviate Nitro, NB Fuelcell TC and the Nike Tempo Next%. Those are formidable shoes to go up against, and truth be told, it does hold its own. I like the consistency of the underfoot feel and the smoothness of the transition better than the Deviate Nitro, and the shoe is more forgiving in terms of cushioning than any of the Saucony’s (though admittedly the difference is not far from a properly broken in Endorphin Shift). 

Is it a must-have? Well that depends on what you are already using in your rotation. I think it is a comparable substitute for the NB TC or Tempo Next%, if you want something similar with more stability, or if you like the Boston 10, but want something that is a little lighter. I do not think it is better than e.g. Endorphin Speed or one of the other super shoes for long tempo workouts or races. I do think it will be  great as a dedicated long run shoe where you want to grind out miles at moderate places or do some sort of progression run with some marathon pace work thrown in. If you want something that also covers recovery runs, I would probably look elsewhere as this shoe doesn’t feel very special for slow runs.

Derek’s Score: 8.45 / 10

Ride 8.8 (50%) Fit 8 (30%) Value 8 (15%) Style 9 (5%)

Jeremy: I think that the main issue that the shoe will suffer from comes from its name. Calling it the “Speed Carbon” when the shoe is designed for moderately fast pace may mislead some. Scott clearly states that the shoe is designed for 3:30-4h marathoners, but I personally  find it to work well up to 4’/km pace (~2h50 marathon), and actually really shine from 4’30 to/km to 4’/km….but not really at slower paces than 5’/km (3h30 marathon).

I really like the consistent, predictable behavior of the midsole thanks to the plate and the firmish midsole, and it holds up to long miles very well, as those elements bring a welcome touch of stability.

Protection from the impact and the shock absorption is second to none, and by far the greatest that I’ve experienced in road running shoes. 

At the end of the day, Scott delivers here a nicely fitting shoe that can chew up your tempo, mid-tempo, up-tempo miles with tremendous protection. Just pair it with either an easy recovery run shoe, and for the more competitive runners one of the super shoes like the VaporFly that might get you an edge while running faster than 15-16km/h...

Jeremy’s score: 8.65/10

Ride 8.8 (50%) Fit 8.5 (30%) Value 8.5 (15%) Style 8.5 (5%)

Sam: Clearly a Swiss take on a carbon plated “super shoe”. More conservative in ride than most, adaptable and versatile, highly protective and stable, and even priced “reasonably” for carbon shoes and here one with a dynamic flexing plate. It could be a bit more fun to run as nowadays the felt experience is a big part of why we buy shoes as there are so many innovative designs and materials proliferating.  

A bit softer, a bit more drop, and lighter and the ride would be perfected for me. Yes, these changes may go against what Scott has discovered in its research as to the efficiency of the platform but I am guessing not by much as long as weight is maintained or ideally reduced. 

As it stands now it is a great tempo shoe, a superb choice in a carbon plated shoe for those needing some stability and for the “slower” marathoner.  

The Carbitex plate delivers as promised, adapting to pace, and noticeably so, and is the star feature. The plate never had an over stiff harsh feel, didn’t over prescribe my gait and had a clear impulse on toe off: easier going slow and snappier fast.

The upper is the weak element for me. It could use a bit more structure or maybe a more secure overall wrap with a different mesh that remains thin as it is now but less stiff in its individual raised 3D elements.  The heel counter needs some rethinking for sure to be less rigid feeling, more padded, and more secure. 

Sam’s Score: 9/10

Ride: 9.4 (50%) Fit: 8.3 (30%) Value: 9 (15%) Style: 9 (5%)

16 Comparisons 

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Scott Pursuit ( RTR Video Comparison Review  to Speed Carbon) 

Sam: The Pursuit retains a 30mm heel stack but has 3mm  less forefoot stack to come in at an 8mm drop. Weight is about the same as Speed Carbon. The other big differences are that Pursuit has a single density midsole and no plate. The midsole is the same spec firmness as the main midsole of the Speed Carbon. The ride is considerably softer, the front rocker more pronounced due to the extra drop (although less dynamic with no plate in the mix)  with the forefoot flexible. Energetic and quite bouncy but it still very stable as the overall rocker geometry is identical. You don’t have the directed denser and snappy front rebound and adaptable carbon plate of the Speed but you end up at nearly the same place with a more daily training friendly overall ride that is for sure race worthy as well. I just raced them for a half on a sore hip and was none the worse for wear, the ride was consistent, stable and lively with a softer, very shock and vibration absorbing way although in better conditions (and shape) I would have picked the Speed Carbon for the race. 

Nike Tempo Next % (RTR Review)

Derek: I Wear US9.5 in both shoes. The forefoot rocker sensation is very similar for both shoes. Fit-wise, the Scott is definitely more relaxed and more accommodating for wider feet. Stability-wise, the Scott is also noticeably wider and more stable at the heel, though forefoot stability is similar. In terms of ride, I think the Tempo is softer and springier and still a little more assistive than the Scott. Overall for me, I prefer the Tempo Next% for the superior ride. 

Jacob: The Tempo NEXT% is one of my favorite workout shoes. I find it to be extremely propulsive and easy to run fast without trying to. I always have a faster pace to perceived effort in the Tempo NEXT%. For me, the Speed Carbon doesn’t compare in this realm at all; the Tempo NEXT% is so much softer, bouncier, and more propulsive. For speed and overall enjoyment, I’d take the Tempo NEXT% without question. However, The Speed Carbon does best the Tempo NEXT% in some ways, such as stability and smoothness at slower paces. It is quieter and feels more reserved, which is appreciated some days. I could (and was during testing) daily train in the Speed Carbon but would not be comfortable doing that in the Tempo NEXT%.

New Balance FuelCell TC (RTR Review)

Jacob: Both are similar weight, cushioned carbon-plated trainers but the similarities largely end there. The TC has a more anatomical, better fitting (for me) upper that bests the Speed Carbon in both foothold and comfort. The TC is softer and bouncier underfoot with less rocker but a geometry that directs rebound forward, leading to an effortless-feeling cruising ride at a range of paces. The Speed Carbon is much more stable, which is its biggest pro, but the ride in comparison is plain. Due to the combination of better fit and a faster-feeling and more fun ride, I would take the TC for most uses. 

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run (RTR Review)

Derek: I Wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both are very different shoes, in that the Invincible is all marshmallow with very little stability (and all of it coming from its relatively wide platform), while the Scott is a firmer and more stable shoe, but also a much more aggressive rockered transition. The Invincible by contrast is relatively flexible and is a slow-transitioning shoe that is best used for easy runs. Fit-wise, I think the Scott is more forgiving for wider and higher volume feet. I like both shoes and they serve very different purposes. For daily runs and a bit of uptempo work, the Scott is the obvious choice, while the Invincible is one of the best recovery shoes around if you have no stability needs.


Saucony Endorphin Shift (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes are quite similar in that they both need a bit of a break-in period. Once broken in, both shoes have similar rides, though the Scott feels softer and more dynamic in the forefoot. Fit-wise, I think the Scott is more forgiving for wider and higher volume feet. Both shoes are similar in stability. Scott definitely has better wet weather outsole grip here. Overall the Scott is the better shoe for me. 

Sam: I agree with Derek. While not quite as highly stacked as the Shift the Speed Carbon has an equivalent denser feel with a more energetic front rebound vs the roll effect of the Shift. The lighter Speed is a more race and speed oriented shoe with Shift more training focused.

ASICS Glideride 2 (RTR Review)

Jacob: Though the Glideride isn’t a “carbon-plated shoe” this is an interesting comparison as they’re both denser, firmer, stiff high-stack, rocker-focused trainers. The Speed Carbon is more flexible at slow paces and smoother overall. It feels lower and more consistent, easier to run smoothly than the sometimes awkward Glideride. I had some good runs in the Glideride but always remembered the aggressive rocker and stiffness during a run—the Speed Carbon is more relaxed, also lighter and runs better at faster paces, so I forget it’s there. The Glideride is roomier, more plush and comfortable, but the Speed Carbon, even at slightly more cost, would be my pick due to versatility and ride.

Sam: I agree with Jacob above,  Glideride is both plusher, more awkward, stiffer and aggressive a more unwieldy combination that has me preferring the smoother flowing lighter Speed Carbon.

Hoka Bondi X (RTR Review)

Sam: The carbon plated Bondi X is focused on a plush stable very soft heel landing with the plate helping the runner get off the giant and somewhat back weighted heel. The Bondi X midsole is softer for sure with considerably less snap overall. Bondi X for slow and easy, Speed Carbon for uptempo for me.

New Balance Fuel Cell  Lerato (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Lerato has quite a built up upper and a rigid heel counter, compared to the more unstructured upper of the Scott. Lerato has a bouncier heel but slightly firmer forefoot than the Scott. In terms of ride, I find the Scott much more enjoyable and versatile to run in. Overall the Scott is the better shoe for me. 

Craft CTM Carbon Ultra (RTR Review)

Sam: The high drop (10mm) dirt roads focused Carbon Ultra is heavier and has a denser and about  as firm midsole with less rebound than Speed Carbon’s. It’s plate is less sophisticated and essentially helps the runner along to toe off  rather than reacting to pace in combination with the high drop. It has superior traction for sure and a more stout upper and is almost as equally stable. 

Craft CTM Ultra (RTR Review)

Jeremy: Similar stack height, similar weight (Scott is lighter by 20g), similar quite unstructured upper, albeit pushed to extreme in the CTM, I find those two shoes to look like siblings, but they behave quite differently. The CTM achieves the same easy rolling at sustained pace as the Speed Carbon, but with a tad softer midsole, is a bit bouncier, has more flex, and thus is a bit more fun to run in. The dense foam of the Scott makes it more protective, and is less inspiring (if inspiration in running shoes is a thing!), or let's say less playful. But the Scott isn’t less efficient, and I think it might be an even better long-distance running shoe for those looking for a more firm or dense midsole feeling. Grip is better in the Scott on road, and the little lugs of the Craft help a little bit on smooth trails.

It’s a tough call for me here...I enjoy running in the CTM a bit more, and I think it works better at slower paces (4’45/km nd slower) but the Scott has a “swiss touch” to it, being efficient with no frills, and is as effective around 4-4’30min/km pace? The Scott continues to reveal itself at faster paces, where I felt that the CTM struggles a bit more.

The decision really relies on your personal preference of foam densities or reaction. The Scott is more flat, but predictable...and less fun...


Craft CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel (RTR Review)

Sam: A yet lighter shoe at 7 oz / 200g with a similar heel height but yet bigger 11mm drop, the Race Rebel also has a carbon plate and unlike the Speed Carbon is actually somewhat flexible to bending in hand.  Is it the lower stack forefoot or the plate itself I don’t know. It has a very minimal upper with adequate heel hold but overall is high volume through the midfoot. Its ride is softer and bouncier, maybe a touch too soft while Speed Carbon is a touch too firm for my tastes. The ride is more easy going and a bit less stable but still remarkably stable for such a light shoe. The light part… this is a shoe that feels far lighter on foot weighing almost 2 oz less  than Speed Carbon but it does check in $60 more. In my view it sits nearly in the same category as Speed Carbon, a trainer you can race in with Race Rebel I think well named as an Ultra road racing and marathon shoe. I would say the Speed Carbon is a more reliable and stable option with more training types and pace versatility while the Race Rebel leans more race but can be used for training.

Brooks Hyperion Elite (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes have similar uppers, though I prefer the upper of the Scott better for being a little softer. Fit volume is also similar for both, with Scott being marginally roomier in the forefoot. Both shoes have similar degrees of stability in terms of midsole, but the outsole of the Scott is grippier on the road and I think that gives me the feeling that the Scott is a bit more confident in the corners. In terms of ride, the Scott is better for me, being softer and more cushioning, but also having the smoother and faster feeling transition. I just feel more efficient in the Scott, even though the Hyperion is clearly lighter. Overall, the Scott Speed Carbon RC is the better shoe for me. 

Brooks Hyperion Tempo (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Brooks fits narrower across the board for me, but has the overall better performance fit and lockdown. Scott feels more stable with a wider footprint. Ride-wise, the Brooks has a more traditional trainer feel, while the Scott has a more modern rockered dynamic springy feel at the forefoot. Overall, I prefer the Scott for the more dynamic and enjoyable ride. 

Skechers Max Road 5 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Skechers fit snugger and are a little narrower than the Scott. The Skechers has a softer and springier overall underfoot feel, but the rocker is a lot less effective than that of the Scott. Scott is more stable due to the firmer ride and the wider footprint. Overall, I prefer the Skechers for easy runs, and the Scott for medium to uptempo pace runs. 

361 Flame (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes use thin and unstructured uppers. I feel the lockdown of the 361 is a little bit better for me. Both shoes have similar fit-volumes. Stability wise, I think the Scott is a little better due to the wider footprint. That said, the Scott has a softer and more cushioned underfoot experience than the 361. Both shoes have superb forefoot rockers, but I think the Scott is just a little bit more natural and springy with a more flexible plate. Overall the Scott is the more enjoyable shoe for me. 

Hoka Carbon X 2 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Scott has a very similar sort of underfoot feel to the Carbon X 2, firm-ish but still having good vibration dampening at the heel. At the forefoot, the Scott is softer and springier in feel. The Scott also has a much more aggressive rocker up front. In terms of fit, the Scott is wider and higher volume. Both shoes are fairly similar in terms of stability. Overall, it’s really close. I prefer the Scott’s more dynamic ride but the Hoka fits me better with a more secure lockdown. I think Scott wins it, barely. 


I think the 361 Flame in terms of midsole firmness is pretty close to the Scott.  However, in my opinion the Scott is a lot more like the Hoka Rocket X in terms of midsole firmness and the rocker geometry.

I took a 11.5 in both the 361 Flame and the Hoka Rocket X.  The 12 (my normal size in most shoes) was too big for me so I sized down a ½ size.  Both the Rocket X and 361 Flame are pretty much the same in weight but the Rocket X has a 5 mm drop versus the 8 mm drop of the Flame.

 Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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1 comment:

albertosenia said...

Excellent multipurpose shoe. Totally agree with your review... Cushioned and stable. Carbon plate does his job but not in the bouncy forward side, more in the transition efficiency. No sore after train faster than expected.
But in my case, I got heel blisters in only 7km, heel counter should be improved in the next update or maybe use some protective strips for the achilles area.