Saturday, November 13, 2021

Scarpa Spin 2.0 Review: PEBA and MegaGrip in the Mix!

Article by Renee Krusemark and John Tribbia

Scarpa Spin 2.0 ($159)


Renee: Scarpa might not be a household brand name in the US for trail running , but the Spin 2.0 is comparable to some of the best trail shoes in its class. This Italian brand is well known in Europe for trail running shoes and everywhere for state of the art climbing,  and mountaineering shoes and boots . The heavier duty Spin Infinity (RTR Initial Video Review) was worn to 2nd place at the 2021 UTMB by Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz.

The Spin  has a PEBA/EVA blend midsole with light and flexible hardened ESS rock plate and a Vibram Megagrip outsole. With a 20mm heel /16 forefoot stack height (without sockliner) it weighs a commendable women's 236g/8.32oz (US8.5) and men’s  8.75 oz / 248g (US9).

Fans of lightweight, versatile trail shoes: please read on!


Renee: Relatively lightweight

Renee: Light enough for short/mid distances and cushioned enough for long runs

Renee: Vibram outsole works well on technical woodland terrain, mud, and buffed trails

John: great ground feel, very stable, well protected, and efficient in technical terrain. Very breathable


Renee: My sample was a half-to-full size above my normal size and was voluminous. Upper may lack security for low volume feet.

John: not intended for road-to-trail, too breathable for colder pursuits


Weight: women’s 236g/8.32oz (US8.5/EU40) , men’s 8.75 oz / 248g (US9)

  Samples: women’s 236g/8.32oz (US8.5/EU40) , men’s 8.75 oz / 248g (US9)

Stack Height: 20mm heel / 16mm forefoot (not including sockliner)

Tester Profile

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

John Tribbia (5' 6", 130lbs) is a former sponsored mountain/trail runner who has run with La Sportiva , Brooks/Fleet Feet, Pearl Izumi, and Salomon. Even though he competes less frequently these days, you can still find John enjoying the daily grind of running on any surface, though his favorite terrain is 30-40% grade climbs. He has won races such as America's Uphill, Imogene Pass Run, and the US Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer Series; and he's held several FKTs on several iconic mountains in Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. If you follow him on Strava, you'll notice he runs at varying paces between 5 minutes/mile to 12 minutes/mile before the break of dawn almost every day.

First Impressions and Fit

Renee: The Scarpa Spin 2.0 was a surprise for me. I knew nothing about the brand and had never tested/ran a Scarpa prior to the Spin 2.0. Visually, the shoes have the same general stack height and weight as well as look of some of my favorite trail shoes, including the Hoka Torrent 2 and the Inov-8 TerraUltra G 270.

I was sent a women’s US8.5/EU40, which is a half-to-full size longer than my usual size of 7.5-8. Despite the length being too long, I had two great long runs with the Spin 2.0 (17 and 22.25 miles), each run six days apart. 

The weight of the Spin 2.0 should be fairly close to the Torrent 2 and TU G 270. Unlike the zero drop TU G 270, the Spin 2.0 has a 4mm drop, and unlike the Torrent 2, the Spin 2.0 has a bit more cushion underfoot. All of this adds up to a relatively lightweight trail shoe that is good for short distances yet cushioned enough for long runs for runners who do not lean towards max cushion options. For sizing, I suggest true-to-size. 

John: I love the look of this shoe, especially the eye-catching singular colorway. In contrast to Renee, the fit and feel of the shoe are true to size and comfortable. The Spin 2.0 has a reasonably accommodating fit, where you can make it snug or loose as you prefer using a traditional lacing (unlike other shoes with fast lacing or BOA features). Moreover, the shoe seems to fit my medium to narrow feet well. More than anything, I noticed that the Spin 2.0 is slightly softer underfoot and yet feels protective.


Men's Colorway

Renee: The upper is a lightweight material with several PU overlays to help with security. 

Visually, the upper reminds me of the Inov-8 TU G 270, although with less of a quality feel. The toe bumper is a rubbery material extending around the toe box. The heel area and tongue have a slight amount of padding, which does not prohibit speed and  helps with comfort for long runs. 

I received a half-to-full size longer than my usual trail shoe size, so I had to pull the laces extremely tight. The fit remained secure, although I do think runners with very narrow and low volume feet might need to wear thick socks if they want a tight fit.

The material in the heel bunched after my 22.25 mile run, but this could be because of the sizing issue. 

John: With well placed overlays, the upper hugs all parts of your foot and it almost feels like you are wearing a sock. The Spin 2.0 is very breathable, especially in the toe box. The lightweight material of the upper is soft on the foot and the padding around the heel and tongue are just enough to keep feet secure. The lacing is efficient and relatively easy to use, with a handy lacing storage in the upper tongue.


Renee: The midsole worked great for me. It is a PEBA/EVA blend, PEBA being the compound used in many of the super road racing shoes. From Scarpa: "The midsole contains a Pebax® Rnew® material, made from Castor oil, delivering improved rebound and resistance to compression set from an eco-friendly source, increasing the lifespan and performance of the shoe."

The 4mm drop is just enough to help provide some movement forward while being nimble on uneven surfaces. The midsole and stack height 16/20 (without the Ortholite socklner) works for me as a distance shoe. I had a fun, comfortable 22.25 miler in the Spin 2.0, and I would not hesitate to use them on a 50k (if I had the correct size). 

John: The PEBA/EVA midsole is anything but a harsh ride. It does a wonderful job dampening shock and vibration on technical terrain, fast dirt downhills, and pavement. I wouldn’t say the midsole is plush, but I found the Spin 2.0 to be comfortable enough underfoot to spend longer hours on just about any terrain. In such a minimal package, the midsole is responsive, stable, and very predictable.


Renee: Vibram MegaGrip! The Vibram outsole's  Fixion II lug pattern molded with MegaGrip rubber worked very well for me during a muddy 17 mile run. The shoes are relatively lightweight and run even lighter, so even with mud caked to the outsole, my stride and pace were not affected. The grip is great on gravel, dirt, mud, and leaf-covered trails. I did not run on mountainous terrain. Overall, the outsole reminds me of the Torrent 2, but with the Vibram label. The lugs are well placed with broad enough contact surfaces and should work for short amounts of pavement as well.

John: Renee’s right, the outsole is very good. The outsole performance was impressive on every surface I have run on: smooth cruisy trails, technical rocky trails, loose off trail and grass, and scrambling over rock. I have yet to take it on snow or ice, but I imagine it would be fairly secure there too. I haven’t had very many miles to comment on durability, but there is little to no wear after testing thus far. The protection of the outsole is very good and I never found myself needing to mind my footsteps in and over technical terrain.


Renee: I loved the ride of the Spin 2.0. The drop, stack height, and light weight all add up to what is almost a perfect trail shoe for me. Again, I was sent the wrong size, and considering that, I am surprised that I had such fun, comfortable long runs despite the sizing causing some irritation on the medial side of my forefoot as my foot was sitting so far back as the shoe was so long. 

John: The Spin 2.0 has a stable and comfortable ride. On the ascent, the Spin 2.0 is a nimble and agile shoe, and excels dodging technical obstacles. When descending, the low center of gravity, secure + snug fit, and broader platform ensures lateral wobbliness and ankle rolls are kept to a minimum. The cushion from the PEBA/EVA is soft enough but provides protection from piercing rocks.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Renee: The Scarpa Spin 2.0 is a contender for one of my favorite overall trail shoes. My only hesitation with that statement is that I received and ran in a pair that was at least one half size too long. Even then, I loved my two long runs in them (17 and 22.25 miles). At the correct size, I would choose the Spin 2.0 over the Torrent 2 for longer runs, and I would choose the Spin 2.0 over the Inov-8 TU G 270 for runs longer than 20 miles. I recommend the Spin 2.0 for runners who like a lightweight, nimble shoe for longer runs and who need a fair balance between weight, security, and cushion. Given the relatively low weight, the Spin 2.0 is a good choice for short runs too, and the outsole works well on buffed paths and technical terrain. 

Renee’s score: 9.4/10 (-.30 upper quality -.30 upper volume/security subject to change with a correct size pair)

John: The Spin 2.0 is a shoe that can take trail runners on nearly every kind of terrain and distances ranging from 10K to 30K, quickly and comfortably. It is a secure fitting shoe with all of the right amounts of cushion, traction, and protection for varied terrain. And haven’t yet mentioned, the colorway is superb!

John’s Score: 9.5 

Ride: 9.5 (stable and smooth ride that gives runners confidence and enjoyment )

Fit: 9.5

Value: 9 (not a high mileage shoe and not great on the roads)

Style: 10 (I love the colorway and sleek style) 

Traction: 10 (high performing)

Rock Protection: 9.5 (toe protection, cushioning, and outsole provide great protection)


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Hoka Torrent 2 (RTR Review)

Renee: At the same size, the shoes should be similar weights with the Spin slightly lighter. The Torrent 2 is lower to the ground and a bit more nimble in feel. The Spin 2.0 has more cushion without adding too much weight. For shorter, technical trails with dramatic incline/decline, the Torrent 2 might work better. For longer runs, I’d choose the Spin 2.0. Both are similar, great shoes. I wore a women’s size 7.5 in the Torrent 2 vs. the oversized 8.5 in the Spin  and would suggest the same size in the Spin 2.0, or a half size up if needing extra room for long runs/swelling. 

John: Both are very comparable shoes. So much so, that I would have a hard time deciding when I would prefer to use one over the other. This said  if I had to make a choice of when I would opt for the Spin 2.0 instead of the Torrent 2 or vis versa, I think I would select the Spin 2.0 over the Torrent 2 when going out in big rock and scrambly type terrain. In every other situation it's a coin flip, for me.

Inov-8 TerraUltra G 270 (RTR Review)

Renee: The TU G 270 is a zero drop shoe, which I like because it runs much lighter than its weight. For runners who do not like zero drop and need a bit of a drop with extra cushion, the Spin 2.0 is a great choice. I suggest the same size in both shoes. The Spin 2.0 is probably the shoe most similar to the TU G 270 that I’ve tested (albeit Spin is not zero drop but 4mm). 

ASICS Fuji Lite 2 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Fuji Lite 2 is another great light trail runner ! As a trainer, I’d probably choose the Fuji Lite 2 because of its lower cost, but given its light weight, the Fuji Lite 2 is not a bad race shoe either. For performance on long runs (20+miles), I’d choose the Spin 2.0.

John: Both are light and perform well on a variety of terrain. I would choose the Fuji Lite 2 for most runs, especially if there were variations in terrain from road, buffed trail, to technical. Where the Spin 2.0 is beneficial is for longer days on technical terrain where protection and weight will help insureyour feet + body can endure the longer effort. Moreover, the Spin 2.0 outsole is much stickier on rock surface and would be a good option for light scrambling.

Skechers Razor TRL  (RTR Review)

Renee: The Razor Trail is a lightweight shoe that works for me up to 20 miles, maybe up to 50k with a fresh pair. For longer runs, especially on technical trails or a trail where stout grip is needed, I’d choose the Spin 2.0. The Razor Trail outsole provides some grip, but it’s outsole is far less aggressive and useful on more technical trails compared to the Spin 2.0.

John: Like Renee, I would go with the Spin 2.0 for more technical excursions for its more aggressive tread and superior protection. I think the Spin 2.0 can go 20 miles, but it is pushing the limits to venture that far. On the other hand, a fresh pair of Razor TRLs would excel in the longer mileage endeavors because of its softer, more comfortable, and more performant midsole.  

Salomon S/Lab Sense and Sense SG (RTR Review)

John: The Spin 2.0 is a better descender with a slightly wider platform and better all around trail shoe compared to the S/Lab Sense 7 SG. If I want something very light and efficient through muddy or wet conditions, I would choose S/Lab Sense 7 SG.

Salomon S/Lab Pulsar (RTR Review)

John: The Spin 2.0 is a broader and more stable, low-to-the-ground shoe. It is a good shoe for both ascents and descents. The Pulsar is lighter, more energetic and precise, and better dedicated for race day.

Salomon Sense Pro 4 (RTR Review)

John:  The Sense Pro 4 is one of my all-time favorite shoes, but I find the Spin 2.0 to be a relatively close match in how it handles varied terrain. Still, I think the Sense Pro 4 has a better fit/upper, better midsole, better traction, more stability and better protection. I don’t imagine a time where I would choose the Spin 2.0 over the Pro 4, but if I didn’t own Pro 4s I would always choose the Spin 2.0.

La Sportiva Karacal (RTR Review)

John: The La Sportiva Karacal and Spin 2.0 are fairly similar shoes in what terrain they perform best. The Karacal has a more protective upper and is a bit stiffer in the midsole, so it would handle longer days in technical and mountainous terrain. The Spin 2.0 is almost 2 oz lighter with a bit more flex, so it performs best on shorter but no-less technical excursions. 

Saucony Peregrine (RTR Review)

John: Both have a comfortable upper and similarly have great ground feel. The tread on the Peregrine is great for loose, mud, and soft conditions thanks to the aggressive lug design. The Spin 2.0 tread is slightly lower profile and very sticky on rocky surfaces.

Spin 2.0, Spin Ultra, and Spin Infinity are available from Scarpa HERE

Watch our Preview Video of Scarpa 2021-2022 Trail Running 

Spin 2.0, Spin Ultra, Spin Infinity and new Golden Gate Models

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

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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azer89 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
azer89 said...

Would these be great for a 100 miler? I'm a very skinny runner (110 lbs) and ran the last half of a 100 miler in an old pair of Altra LP 3.0 with dead cushion. If the Spin 2.0s have more cushion than G270 then it should be possible to do a very long run in them.

About the fit, I'm looking for lightweight shoes with generous room to accommodate swelling feet. I see these Spin 2.0s are marketed toward short distance races, but I've read several reviews that the fit is great for runners with medium-wide feet.
Also, I'm still waiting for Scarpa Spin Infinity review, I hear they have wider toebox, ugh, tough choice!

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Azer,
Great job running 50 miles of 100 in dead LP!
The Spin Infinity review is here:
I hope we can get other pairs (that are correct size) for more testers but after several more runs I will not be changing much if anything of what I say in the initial review.
If you like a decently wide accommodating lighter shoe although not as technical trails suitable for most as Spin 2.0 look at the Fuji Lite 2.
Sam, Editor

Xavier said...

Interesting shoe!! I'm doing my best to track down a Pulsar in my size but this 2.0 just might convince me to change my mind. Ill see which one i can find in my size furst! They're essentially direct competitors correct?

Anonymous said...

I have 60K already in mine in hard rocky technical trails. Probably the best shoe I own, my G270, Slab Ultra 3 and Sense pro 4 feel like they have no cushion at all, only my Speed Ultra has similar cushioning. Outsole is awesome too, grips everywhere, much better than the rest of my shoes. Lockdown is not as good as the Salomons or Adidas but better for my narrow feet than the G270 and doesn't create any issues.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for the feedback. I only had 2 days in mine before having to return the demo pair to Scarpa and I was hugely impressed. Lots of range and capabilities in a light shoe.
Sam, Editor

Antonio said...

How does this model compare to the Brooks Catamount?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've Spin 2.0 and agree with review, but according to sizing, I think, it's OK, but you have to consider choosing by EU sizing. For sure SS2 are not tageted to wide-foot guy, just normal width.
I have EU 41 size in Spin 2.0, and also Altra, Adidas, Saucony etc

Moths said...

I love mine 45 km already cushioning is superb run very narrow I’ve got normal feet and they pinch my little toes & the laces are way too long! Can’t wait for the carbon plated Kima RT

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review,

I'd recommend to use the EU sizing. I'm size 8 in Altras, Hoka, and Salomon Sense Ride 1. I just got the Spin 2.0s in 8.5 and the fit is perfect, my feet is medium/wide.

Unknown said...

Thanks very much for this review. Could you provide some comparisons with the VJ Spark? They seem to be fairly similar shoes. I would be particularly interested to hear how they compare on fit, ride and traction.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Agree wholeheartedly about the Sense pro 4: Best shoes ever. But sadly, Salokon has gone chunky and no longer really offers anything like it. This shoe was recommended to check out as a replacement for the Sense Pro 4.
Sounds good. Can’t wait to try!