Back in 2018 we were pleasantly suprised with the quality, comfort and performance of the original Scott Supertrac RC. Adam ended up naming them his "Shoe of the year" and you can find his original review HERE.
So when Scott announced they were bringing us a new and updated version we knew we had to test it and see if they could improve on what was already a great shoe.
We roped in Spartan Death Race Challenge Winner Amie Jacobs to give us her opinion...
In the world of OCR and Ultra-running we have seen some shoe fads over time, and thus we stick with the tried and true, the OG companies of these worlds. Then there comes a time when you hear such amazing things about a shoe from those athletes you have worked with and trust, that it is time to drink the Kool-Aid and find out what all the hype is about.
You have seen these eye catching black and yellow kicks, in way of the first RC model, on athletes such as Jon Albon, Ryan Atkins, and Ryan Woods in the OCR World. Ruth Croft, trail and ultrarunner and winner of the Golden Trail World Series in 2018, wore the original Supertrac RC. Versatility of the Scott Supertrac RC line is the just part of the great appeal for the athletes that have a multi-sport focus.
I personally requested the chance to review this shoe, though with Covid-19, it has taken me a while to test it on the various terrains and weather conditions to truly find out what the new Supertrac RC 2.0 was capable of over short and long distances. I was pleased to find that this was a comfortable and pleasant shoe to run in over short and long distances ranging from a quick 5k to 40+ miles. Terrains tested included technical trail, wet/dry grass, loose dirt, tarmac/asphalt, gravel, sand, hard pack, stream crossings, etc.
Scott held true to the signiature black and yellow colour combination of the RC line, to match that striking and easy to spot façade of it's predecessor and stable mates.
However, the material has changed, and for the better. The SCHOELLER COLDBLACK® and 3XDRY® material feels thick to the touch when you first inspect the shoe, bringing the immediate worry of an overly hot and sweaty experience, as found with most water resistant/proof fabrics. I tested the shoe in 34°C and found the fabric breathable and surprisingly cool. Durability of the material was impressive, and after 150 miles of various terrain, the protection provided against the inevitable small branch to the toe was welcome in night runs especially. There was also the worry that there would be a significant weight increase over the original due to the material change but this is not the case.
The toe box of the 2.0 is wider with a more rounded and natural fit – an appeal to those runners who have wider feet after all their years of miles, or those who are prone to swelling over distance. Gone is the annoying rub of the small toe, leaving room for you to say goodbye to the pesky blisters that come with that friction. The fit is true to size, and the UK 7/8 weighs in at around 270g. The seamless tongue and lacing system provide a snug fit, shaping to the foot of the wearer, and avoiding any irritation or rubbing to the top of the foot. Lace durability and strength remains the same from the previous model, proving why it is a favourite of trail runners who encounter overgrown thorny brush – nothing snags or sticks to these things!
Scott touted the efficacy of this shoe in sticky situations, citing their radial traction, reduced midsole, and 6mm lugs as the key to avoiding mud build up and slip. I put this to the test in the lovely sticky, black, English mud as well as hard-packed trail and crop fields that can be quite slick. While the hard-packed dirt had some slide, I found it much easier to control the slide than in trail and fell running brands. I was most impressed with the lack of build up in the sticky mud, as I ran it was clear that the mud was not going to stay between the lugs due to their spacing but also found that I did not slide or get stuck. Further, I will add that the single lug in the front of the shoe (at the toe box edge) is very efficient in uphill situations, allowing for control in climbs with technical terrain, but most impressively, in soft sand/dirt. Overall, the grip proved to be a hero on almost all surfaces, and the improved flexibility of the shoe over its predecessor should be noted as well.
Scott Supertrac RC 2.0 ‘e-ride’ (rocker) system allows for the foot to rock forward on a curved midsole for improved strike efficiency and a healthy gait and posture. With improved flexibility in the forefront, you don’t experience stiffness on climbs as you may with its predecessor or other brands, and makes for a more comfortable, quicker cadence. Personally, I am a mid-foot striker, so I was left to ask one of my training clients who is a heel striker, how they found the shoe after purchase. Seemingly it provides a smooth and efficient run (though she noted it caused some noted soreness in muscles with the gait change, requiring a slower acclimation).
The last positive mention is in regards to the insole. I was not sure I would appreciate the material, as I was concerned what the traction within the shoe would be like in the case of sweaty feet, which even those of us that swear by Merino wool experience. Once again, the design surprised me, and I found the insole added more cushion and bounce back than the average. This cushion/give provides a protection against the nagging little rocks that like to hitch a ride in our shoes when we forget to wear gaiters, preventing the rock from stabbing into the foot – a basic absorption into the material until extraction. Further, I found the insert effective in prevention of the dreaded sock slide within the shoe when running a downhill, as well as slide back in the heel. The heel cup is a refreshing depth adding in a little extra prevention from heel blistering.
It pleases me to have few cons when it comes to reviewing the Supertrac RC 2.0. There are just a few little snags in the design for which wearers should be aware.
While the SCHOELLER COLDBLACK® and 3XDRY® provide a dry run and surprisingly breathable protective layer, I must note that these are not shoes that will drain. In reviewing, I made a point to take a few runs through small creek beds and larger stream crossings. When not submerged, the protection is what you would expect. Full submersion will leave you taking the stream experience back onto the trail with you – expect a stop and drain with a sock change, as the shoe will retain a significant amount.
Traction and lug material also have their low points, though minimal, as I would dare say for newbies to the brand, it is almost too efficient. It must be said that the radial traction requires some mindfulness for those new to the Scott Supertrac RC 2.0 model. The traction can be intensely effective. Runners are generally used to compensating with a slight turn of the foot when encountering mud, allowing for the foot to stabilise their gait...this robotic and automatic motion will not work in the 2.0. The traction is so effective that I nearly twisted my knee when I DID NOT experience that dreaded slide in the sticky/slick mud.
I WOULD ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND! At a price point of £132, you absolutely get what you pay for – a smart investment with noted improvements to the overall design. The Scott Supertrac RC 2.0 is now a favourite in my arsenal, catching my attention with a flash of colour daily that makes me want to hit the trail and keeps my feet happy.