Scott are renowned for cycling and skiing products. I know first hand the quality of the cycling products, In my previous life as a cyclist and triathlete I had used Scott extensively for bikes, clothes, shoes and helmets. However, Scott as a running brand grabbed my attention when I witnessed Marco de Gasperi crossing the finish line of Sierre-Zinal in first place. In chatting with him I became aware that particularly in the UK they are pretty much unknown.
As often happens a series of events post Sierre-Zinal meant that I had several samples to test. Ironically this coincided with myself picking up a knee injury and as such I had to pretty much put all product testing to one side until I got better.
My eRide Grip 2 had tempted me for a few months, the glowing yellow tempting me to take them out. As my injury progressed, finally in November 2012 I was able to resume some running and take the Scott’s for a spin. Or should I say several spins.
Weighing in at 336g for a UK9.5 this compares well to other shoes in direct comparison. For example a Salomon Speedcross 3 is 350g and a Salomon S-Lab Softground is 367g for the same size. For a lightweight comparison, The North Face Single Track Hayasa is 280g and the Salomon Sense Ultra is 230g.
The heel to toe drop is 11mm and as such allows direct comparison to the Speedcross 3 and Softground. Also, a key element of the eRide Grip 2 is the aggressive outsole.
The outsole really is aggressive and as such makes running on all terrains a pleasure. It grips well on rocks, grass, mud, sand, lava and works incredibly well on road and hard trails. The shoe has a very cushioned feel and provides real comfort over longer distances. I was really impressed how the shoe felt on the road. Of course this shoe is not for that type of surface but if you are ever out training or racing and need to transfer from trails don’t worry. This shoe can handle it!
The upper is a very breathable and lightweight mesh. A bumper at the front of the shoe provides adequate protection from rocks and other objects but not as much protection as other brands on the market. The tongue is free fitting and not very padded but perfectly comfortable.
The laces have an elastic feel and work really well. Get the shoe tightened and tied and then don’t worry. In use I never had to re tighten my laces and that included some outings of up to 9 hours. A neat addition 2/3 of the way down the laces is an elastic that stretches from one side of the show to the other.This allows you to hold the excess laces in place so they don’t bounce and flap around. Not as ground breaking as Salomon’s ‘Garage’ but it does the job and it is a welcome addition
The heel area is reinforced very well and provides a real secure and comfortable area. It is this area that provides real security on the trail holding the foot firm. Padding is excellent but at the back of the shoe this padding may come a little high for some… I had no issues whatsoever but I have heard one or two comments referring to this.
One of the key features of the shoe is eRide. eRide is designed to offer a faster foot transition when on the ground by providing a ‘rocker‘ platform. The unique rocker shape creates a very stable midstance, promoting the faster and more efficient running style that runners strive for.
Now depending on your foot strike you may feel a real benefit from this rocker or you may feel a faster transition if you are already a mid to forefoot runner. Certainly if you are a heel striker, as the diagram shows you will hit the ground with the rear of the shoe and the ‘rocker’ will then help you transfer quicker to the propulsion phase. This will increase efficiency and reduce strain. On any downhill section, the rocker works really well allowing you to strike with the heel and efficiently move forward to the next step. Another key feature (and you will see this in the image of the sole above) is that the sole has NO raised arch. Therefore the eRide Grip 2 has a solid platform from which to strike the ground and this once again reduces inefficiency.
Scott boast the benefits of eRide as follows:
- 1. Healthier body position
- 2. More energy efficient
- 3. Natural midfoot strike
- 4. Lower profile heel
- 5. Smoother ride
- 6. Minimal and lighter weight
Refreshingly when I looked for technical specifications for the shoe, the Scott website provides minimal information:
- Category: Trail Running
- Weight: 340g USM 9
- Heel to toe drop: 11 mm
- Technologies: eRide Push-through plate High traction rubber
- Lace: bungy
- MaterialUpper: Mesh/Synthetic Overlays Lower: EVA/rubberSize run
It may be me but that really is a stripped down description of a shoe, No fancy names, no technical jargon I don’t understand… it’s simple. The only term that needs clarification is the eRide and they provide a very good description and breakdown of that.
Initially I was running in these shoes for 30-45 mins on soft, muddy and wet terrain in the UK winter. Comfort was noticeable immediately. I enjoyed the feel of the shoe around my foot. The heel area offered security and for a mid to forefoot striker the eRide did help propel me forward allowing me to keep my cadence high and short. My runs from home always require me to do at least 1 mile on the road before I can get to the trail. The shoe really did feel comfortable over this hard unforgiving terrain. I was surprised at this particularly considering the aggressive sole.
When on the trail the aggressive sole immediately did it’s job providing security and grip were other trail shoes had failed. I must point out here that it performed on a par with Salomon Speedcross 3, Salomon S-Lab Softground and the Sportiva Raptor.
In December I went to the island of La Palma to run on the Transvulcania La Palama course. The only shoe I took was the eRide Grip 2. It was an opportunity to test the shoe on a daily basis on some tough and gnarly terrain but also a great opportunity to use the shoe for hours in contrast to minutes.
I ran, walked and hiked over the Transvulcania course for 12 days. A short day was 2 hours, a long day was 9 hours. I ran over rocks, ran through lava fields, made my way through pine forests, ran along beaches, navigated through boulders and crossed rivers. At no point did the shoes let me down. No hot spots and no blisters. I had all day comfort in conjunction with firm grip on a multitude of terrain. Was I impressed? Absolutely.
After two weeks on the Transvulcania course I threw the shoes away. No, not because I didn’t like them… but I had worn the sole away (at least in areas). This makes me question if the compound of the sole is maybe too soft? But then again, would I want Scott to change this? My answer is a definite NO.
I do believe that the sole compound is ideal for offering grip on a multitude of surfaces. On hard and wet rocks the eRide Grip 2 performed exceptionally well, had the compound been harder that may very well not have been the case.
Did the sole wear down too quickly? Arguably yes but then again the Transvulcania course is like running on sandpaper (coarse sandpaper). In addition to the abrasive lava we had to contend with sharp jagged rocks, boulders, gravel and a multitude of surfaces that would have worn any shoe down. My partner ran for 2 weeks with me in a different shoe and brand and had a similar scenario.
A great trail shoe that offered a secure, firm and cushioned fit on a multitude of surfaces and terrain. The eRide technology certainly helped with an efficient run stride and overall comfort level was excellent.
Sizing is true to size.
If you need an all round trail shoe then the eRide Grip 2 is a strong recommendation.
You can see all Scott Running products HERE
The 2013 model is now available in a new colour way – blue/black