The Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR is way better than the original – like if Shrek 2 were a trail running shoe

Our tester Lily Snowden takes the latest road to trail shoes from Scarpa into the alps for a mega mountain test

from Scarpa
RRP  £145.95
Star ratings of the Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR Trail running shoes

by Lily Snowden |
Published on

Whether you’re a seasoned road runner looking to tackle your local trails, or a trail enthusiast in need of some cushioning for those pesky shin splints, look no further than the Scarpa Golden Gate ATR 2. This excellent pair of trail running shoes safely bridges the gap between concrete and nature, while refusing to compromise on comfort and support.

Over the course of two months, this shoe has carried us over pavements, parkland, woodland and mountain; from local Edinburgh trails to the Austrian Alps. While more suited to drier, rocky environments, the Scarpa Golden Gate ATR 2 is a fantastic all-round choice if you enjoy running over both man-made and natural surfaces.

Scarpa Golden Gate ATR 2 trail running shoes on tarmac

Compared to the previous model these shoes offer a more durable upper and an improved sock fit covering just the tongue of the shoes to provide better breathability. Scarpa market these shoes at runners of any experience and any weight so let us help you see how easy they were to get to grips with.

Expert rating:


  • Excellent performance on both road and trail
  • Comfortable over medium to high distances
  • Great bounce and propulsion 


  • Dubious durability over rocky terrain
  • Quality
  • Comfort
  • Value
  • Performance
  • Sustainability
Men’s sizes (UK)6-13
Women’s sizes (UK) 3-8
Weight 430g per size 38
Stack height 28mm/24mm


Even though the upper is largely made up of synthetic mesh the shoe still provided great lateral protection with its exoskeleton construction, especially over the toe box where the upper stiffens. They performed extremely well in the 30c heat of the Austrian Alps as they remained airy and comfortable. Although the mesh does mean in long grass your feet may get a little damp; these shoes are so breathable they’ll dry in minutes.

Upper of the Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR Trail running shoes

We found the integrated SockFit tongue of the shoe an excellent aspect of the upper as it facilitated the perfect fit around your foot which provided greater comfort and stability. This is much improved from the previous model with its full sock fit which we found less breathable.


Skepticism often arises over hybrid shoes as it can be difficult to design a shoe that excels equally on both road and trail – yet we’d say these shoes are perfectly balanced towards both terrain. They tick all the boxes for an excellent pair of road to trail running shoes. Underfoot these shoes feel excellent as the midsole incorporates Scarpa’s Active Cushioning System that supports you with every step and makes them super comfortable for longer runs.

Midsole of the Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR Trail running shoes

One of our favourite aspects of the whole shoe is it’s responsiveness. The position of the rocker at the top of the midsole really propels you forward particularly on road sections. This energy-saving mechanism, that Scarpa have coined their ‘i-Respond propulsion system’, means you have more in the tank for inclines and descents. While the cushioning partly compromises the shoe’s nimbleness on steep, technical ground, we were impressed by how well they handled the rocky Alpine scree, so long as you slowed up just a tad.


The PRESA TRN-07 outsole and 4mm lugs are geared towards safe passage over trails, minimising the chance of slips and falls. We found they perform well in most conditions from woodland to gravel tracks, although they began to struggle (as most shoes do) in the treacherous British mud. Over rocks, wet and dry, the high surface area and friction ensured a feeling of security underfoot. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given Scarpa’s manufacturing history in climbing and mountaineering footwear and we quickly came to trust them on even the most precarious of trails.

Lugs of the Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR Trail running shoes

Scarpa advertises these shoes as medium to long distance trainers yet some concerns did arise over the durability of the tread. After 100km (admittedly over sharp rocky terrain) they seemed a bit thinner under foot, the tread had worn a little at the front of the shoe and some of the foam scuppered. However this didn’t compromise the overall performance of the shoes as they still provided traction on shingle and cushioning on concrete. Saying that if you favour long distance runs we would ask you to consider the durability of the shoe, but unless you’re regularly running half marathons or longer over tricky terrain, we’d say they stood up to the test and remain a great choice for road to trail running.


The design is sleek, not only do these shoes physically make you run faster with the i-Respond construction, their appearance alone will make you want to. You can tell a lot of thought has been put into their appearance of the  fun colours stand out against the regular trainer. The lacing system is fantastic, we were overjoyed that a single bow did the job every time and stopping to re-tie the lace wasn’t an issue (a problem we often face when running). The laces also allowed for a secure, narrower mid foot whilst maintaining a spacious toe box which we loved.

Heels of the Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR Trail running shoes

Another excellent feature are the heel loops as they make the shoes super easy to put on. When combining this with the SockFit system it means your feet slide effortlessly into the shoes with a snug fit, and it doubles them up as great approach shoes.


Like it or not, the trail running industry relies on consumerism as shoes inevitably need replacing more frequently than hiking boots and the constant creation of new designs and technologies create a fast turn over of products on the market. At its core the trail shoe is the point of connection between us and our environments. Scarpa acknowledges this and takes on a refreshing approach to sustainability by re-centering the focus of their products on local production (90% of their manufacturing takes place in Europe) and eco materials.

Side profile of the Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR Trail running shoes

These shoes are vegan and comprise a bio based upper and water dyed EXO frame. Scarpa overall takes their commitment to sustainability seriously especially in their climbing shoe range and we rank them highly against other trail brands such as Adidas’ Terrex line.

How we tested

LFTO Tester Lily Snowdonn using the Scarpa Golden Gate ATR 2 trail running shoes in the alps

Your tester for the Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR is Lily Snowden. I tend favour 5 to 15 km runs over a variety of terrains but after suffering left then right leg surgery in 2022 and 2023 it’s fair to say my running days were limited! I’ve found these shoes have been the perfect way for me to get back into it. I tested them over concrete, woodland paths, Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh (a road to trail running heaven) and on some of the best mountainous trails in Europe in the Austrian Alps. With the extra cushioning these shoes provide I haven’t received any running pains from my injuries rather have been left feeling really supported, safe and speedy.


Backside of the Scarpa Golden Gate 2 ATR Trail running shoes

These shoes are all round terrain crushers. If you’re looking for a hybrid road and trail shoe then this is a fantastic option that we will certainly be purchasing again. Although comfort did not falter on longer trails they started to wear a little thin so we would definitely say they favour short-mid distance runs as this will preserve their durability for longer.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us