Scarpa Spin Infinity: Winner for best ultra trail running shoe

The Scarpa Spin Infinity is a durable, cushioned, and highly protective ultra trail running shoe. Let's find out what makes it a winner...

from Scarpa
RRP  £154.99
Scarpa Spin Infinity trail running shoes gear of the year winner

by Milo Wilson |
Updated on

Scarpa has a range of trail running shoes for all eventualities, from muddy fells to rocky mountain paths. As the name suggests, the Spin Infinity focuses on providing the structure, comfort, and stability needed to tackle anything up to an ultra run. And they've pulled it off, earning the Spin Infinity our Trail Running Gear of the Year 2024 award in the best long-distance trail running shoes category.

From the outset, the most important thing to know about this shoe is that it's not a mega-cushioned monster à la Hoka and co. This is a fairly stiff trainer with a mid-to-low profile and versatile but fairly subtle lugs. It takes some getting used to, but after our tester Milo put it through a good few dozen miles, we concluded that the Scarpa Spin Infinity does indeed provide exceptional support for long-distance runs. Let's get into it...

On Sale

Scarpa Spin Infinity trail running shoes gear of the year winner
Price: £139.49 (RRP £155)

www.sportsshoes.com

Pros

  • Sturdy and supportive
  • Enough cushion for longer distances
  • Breathable and comfortable
  • Grippy over range of terrain

Cons

  • Not as agile or propulsive as other shoes

Upper

The primary material of the upper is an open 3D Mesh which is highly breathable, though a lot of it is covered by a TPU overlay, as well as a TPU film which wraps around the whole foot. The overlay has far more pros than cons, ultimately giving you an extremely durable and well-structured upper (though the overlay contributes a little extra weight).

The foot-wrapping overlay curves up around the midfoot and even stretches over the laces, as the lace loops are attached underneath it. This means that when you tighten the laces, you pull the TPU further over your foot, creating a snug and highly secure feel.

Laces on Scarpa spin infinity trail running shoes
©LFTO

This is further enhanced by the tongue, which we noticed was padded in very careful spots, and gusseted to keep out debris and double down on this fully-locked-in approach. It works a charm – this is a shoe that makes us feel 100% in control, which is ideal on long training days where you're focusing on form and moving smoothly over difficult terrain. We also like the extended TPU toe bumper which easily dispatches small rocks.

Midsole

The phrase 'dual-density foam' is bounced around a lot in the trail running world, but we found that Scarpa's use of dual density EVA was noticeable and highly effective in the midsole. The foam has more give and squish around the edges and high pressure points of the foot, while the centre of the midsole remains much more firm, which allows it to have a slight rocker and add some propulsion. The heel counter is quite rigid, but this ties in with the Spin Infinity's overall approach of locked in stability.

Midsole on Scarpa spin infinity trail running shoes
©LFTO

The midsole is 26mm in the heel and 22mm in the forefoot, giving it a fairly low drop of 4mm. We found that this stack height was ideal for balancing foot protection with ground-feel. You're never disconnected from the trail in these shoes, but you're also very well guarded from sharp rocks and bumps.

We were impressed with Scarpa's adaptive cushioning in the heel and around the edges of the foot. The slight raise around the perimeter of the insole helps you avoid any and all slippage, but it also doesn't feel too constrained. That said, the insole isn't the most breathable we've come across, but this is a trade-off for a more dense, spongey footbed which we'll gladly take for that extra support.

Outsole

The Spin Infinity's outsole is as durable and grippy as we've come to expect from such a household name as Vibram. The lugs are Vibram Velox Cross, a blend of rubber favoured for its high durability and traction over wet terrain. The shoe definitely ticks both of these boxes, though at 4mm and with a more boxy, less aggressive pattern than something like the Saucony Xodus Ultra 2, don't expect the Spin Infinity to work miracles over wet mud.

Lugs on Scarpa spin infinity trail running shoes
©LFTO

Still, the multi-directional lug pattern does work superbly for breaking and changing direction, which is more important for long runs than the short-term speed that other patterns can earn you. The Spin Infinity's lugs are also very well spaced apart, so the shoe does shed mud easily when it has to.

Features

Along with the padding and gusset on the tongue, you'll find a mesh pouch at the top to tuck laces into. This certainly isn't necessary, but it works with the TPU overlay covering the lace loops to create a very sleek look and feel. Plus, it does reduce any possibilities of your laces snagging or coming undone on the trail, helping you avoid any distractions and really sink into the flow of a long run.

Laces on Scarpa spin infinity trail running shoes
©LFTO

There are very few other bells and whistles on the Spin Infinity, though we will say that the firm heel counter combines nicely with the strong, stiff midsole and the protective toebox to create an overall product which is just as good a running shoe as it is a hiking shoe, as our tester discovered during a recent week in the Peak District.

Sustainability

Longevity and durability are two claims that brands almost always make to explain why their totally synthetic shoes are, in fact, sustainable. This isn't an empty claim – and indeed, when it comes to the Spin Infinity, we certainly do feel that this shoe is exceptionally hardy and may be the only purchase you need to make for a good few years.

legs in Scarpa spin infinity trail running shoes
©LFTO

That said, we're not thrilled to see that the Spin Infinity doesn't use any recycled materials. We've seen Scarpa heading in the right direction for a while now, and their Spin Planet running shoe performs excellently while boasting a mostly-recycled construction. We hope to see Scarpa putting this practice into effect elsewhere.

Verdict

Scarpa spin infinity trail running shoes
©LFTO

Overall, the Scarpa Spin Infinity is a great all-rounder trail shoe that really comes into its own over longer runs. It offers support and comfort in a subtle yet effective design, and it maintains integrity on the trail to provide the same ride at 50 miles as it did at 0.

How we tested

The Scarpa Spin Infinity was tested by Milo Wilson, our resident trail running expert and general maniac. Milo has been pounding these shoes into his hard-packed surrey trails for 3 months straight to ensure that Scarpa's claims of durability really do hold up. He also just took them on a technical jaunt along Chrome Hill in the peak district, where they served excellently on the steep uphills and difficult descents.

Milo Wilson Testing Scarpa Spin Infinity trail running shoes
©LFTO

Milo is our full time trail running tester at LFTO, having started his freelance career as a broke student looking to secure some free shoes. Catch him at Love Trails this year and he'll buy you a burger.

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