Industry News 4/25/2012

B$Z: SCARPA's Spark Earns Editor Choice Award

SCARPA’s Spark Trail Runner Earns Trail Runner Magazine's 2012 Editor Choice Award.

The award is the second the Spark, a new shoe for 2012 from SCARPA, has won this year. It also earned a ‘Best Debut’ award in Runner’s World in the April issue.

“The Spark is SCARPA’s first stab at a lightweight, performance shoe – and they nailed it,” Trail Runner’s editors wrote. “A stiff midsole and flexible rock plate provide ample protection from trail obstacles while allowing ground feel. … They are light enough for short races and durable and comfortable enough for treacherous mountain ultras.”

Along with SCARPA’s Mountain Minimal design, which was created to be a very lightweight and minimal platform that still offers enough cushioning and protection for true trail running, testers complimented the Spark’s grip on the trail.

Tester Jeremy Duncan said, “the Spark has the best traction of any shoe I have tested.”

Another tester, Blair Speed, said, “I was blown away by the superior traction! The Spark is definitely my go-to shoe for technical, rugged trail conditions.”

SCARPA, well-known for its dominance in hiking, backpacking, skiing, mountaineering and rock climbing footwear, first developed a more comprehensive line of trail runners starting four years ago. Each year it has grown the collection, and for 2012 it introduced four new models – including the men’s and women’s Spark.

The Spark features a new midsole and outside package that is lower to the ground, and features a 6mm drop from heel to forefoot. That combination allows runners to have superior feel and lighter weight for running on the forefoot or mid-foot, yet still allows sufficient cushioning for runners if they employ a heel strike during a long-distance mountain run. Along with its low-profile midsole, the Spark employs reduced foam thickness in the tongue and ankle collar, as well as a lightweight high-tensile fabric forefoot strike plate. Construction is synthetic leather and polyester mesh for quick drying. Adhering to SCARPA’s Planet Friendly guidelines, construction is 30 to 40 percent recycled-content materials, and the midsoles add EcoPure® for quick breakdown under landfill conditions. They retail for $115.