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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > SCARPA - Rapid Lt Approach Shoe > Test Report by Kara Stanley

SCARPA RAPID LT WOMEN'S
TEST SERIES BY KARA STANLEY
LONG-TERM REPORT
October 01, 2013

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kara Stanley
EMAIL: karguo (at) yahoo (dot) com
AGE: 30
LOCATION: Phoenix, Arizona
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)

I have been hiking most of my life and backpacking since 2006. I have hiked mostly on the east coast, doing weekend trips in the Appalachian Mountains. Since moving to Arizona, my hikes have ranged from short desert hikes to overnight backpacking trips in the mountains. Recently I have taken up canyoneering and off-trail hiking/backpacking to spice things up. I currently use a solo non-free standing tent, canister stove, purification tabs, and lightweight trail runners, conditions permitting, to cut down on weight. My hikes are solo and range from an overnight trip to 4-5 nights on the trail.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: SCARPA
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.scarpa.com
MSRP: US$110
Listed Weight: 269g; 9.5oz (1/2 pair size 38)
Measured Weight: 11.2 oz per shoe (318 g) or 1 lb 6.4 oz (635 g) a pair for US size 11/ EU Size 43
Sizes: 36-43
Upper: Suede, recycled synthetic leather, recycled polyester mesh
Plate: H-EVA Plate
Midsole: Compression Molded EVA
Outsole: Speed Lite HDR
Last: TR3/TRL3
Color: Pewter/Raspberry

IMAGE 1

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

IMAGE 2
The toe rand and heal loop
I like the way these shoes look - the grey is a medium color accented with raspberry and light grey. I am a fan of dark colored shoes as they do not appear as dirty as light colored shoes after hiking muddy or dusty trails.

The toe is covered with a one-piece rubber rand that has 5 pin-sized holes over the big toe area; I am guessing that they are for ventilation. The toe part of the shoe is all suede, which I am hoping will help to keep some of the dust of the Arizona trail out of them. The heel has a single pull loop at the back to help get the shoe one. The shoe laces are oval with rounded, plastic coasted ends. The laces go through two loops on the tongue and 7 eyelets on each side. The 5 closest to the toe are holes that have stitching around them, like a button-hole, and the 2 closest to the ankle are metal.

The bottom has lug-style sole, but the rubber feels softer then the soles of my hiking boots. According to the SCARPA website the sole is made from a "sticky rubber that inspires confidence when covering slabby or rocky terrain."

TRYING IT OUT

IMAGE 4
A AAA battery next to the bow to show the short laces.
So far I have just worn the shoes around my house. I tried them on with mid-weight wool hiking socks since those are the heaviest socks I plan to wear during the test period and they still fit comfortably. The shoes were comfortable and I could feel the cushioning under the heel.
IMAGE 3
Tread and side profile of the shoe
The shoes feel very light-weight on. However, I did find the laces to be too short for my liking. As you can see from the picture, the bow made with the laces is small, as this is with a single knot. I usually double-knot my shoes as they usually untie on me while hiking, but this is difficult with these shoes.

SUMMARY

I am excited to test out these shoes and see how they do. They are light weight and look like they will prove protection for my feet while hiking.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Havasupai, Arizona
April 25-27, 2013
Distance: 20 miles/32 km
Elevation: 3,862 ft/1,177m to 5,172 ft/1,576 m
Trail conditions: maintained trails that are dusty and sandy
Weather: Sunny
Temperatures: Highs in the 80's F/27 C Lows in the 50's F/10 C

Fossil Springs, Arizona
May 4-5, 2013
Distance: 8 miles/ 13km
Elevation: 4,200 ft/ 1,280 m to 5,580 ft/1,701 m
Trail conditions: old jeep track, with some loose rocks and rock hopping at the bottom of the canyon.
Weather: Sunny
Temperatures: Highs about 65 F/18 C and lows about 40 F/4 C

Havasupai, Arizona
June 13-16, 2013
Distance: 20 miles/32 km
Elevation: 3,862 ft/1,177m to 5,172 ft/1,576 m
Trail conditions: maintained trails that are dusty and sandy
Weather: Sunny and hot!
Temperatures: Highs around 100 F/38 C Lows around 75 F/24 C

Pajarito Mountain Area, New Mexico
July 5
Distance: about 2 miles/3.2 km
Elevation: about 10,000 ft/3,048 m
Trail Conditions: Part off trail and part on a maintained trail, which was wet and muddy
Weather: Cloudy that turned to thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail
Temperatures: 70 F/21 C at the start and 50 F/10 C during the storm

Wheeler Peak, New Mexico
July 6
Distance: 8.2 miles/13.2 km
Elevation: 10,200 ft/3,109 m to13,167 ft/ 4,013 m
Trail Conditions: Maintained trail that ended up being wet, muddy and covered with hail
Weather: Sunny with afternoon thunderstorms that produced pea-sized hail
Temperatures: in the 50's F/10 C

Humphreys Peak, Arizona
July 20
Distance: 10.3 miles/16.5 km
Elevation: 9,320 ft/2,841 m to 12,637 ft/3,210 m
Trail Conditions: Maintained trail through alpine area that turned rocked above tree-line
Weather: Overcast, but only a slight sprinkling of rain
Temperatures: in the 60's F/15 C

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

IMAGE 1
Testing out the shoes on the way to Havasupai
Since I am not one to break in shoes, I started out taking these on a 20 mile backpacking trip, 10 miles in the first day. I was also carrying an extra heavy back (probably about 45 lbs/20kg) because I was carrying the majority of gear for two people since my friend does not backpack as well as luxury foods like fresh fruit and veggies. At the start I laced the shoes too tight and my feet actually started to go a bit numb, after loosening the laces the numbness when away. However, the laces were so short that I could not double-knot my left shoe and I could not tie a proper bow and ended up with only one loop. The trail to Havasupai is very sandy for the last 2.5 miles/4 km, but these shoes kept the sand out. Once we arrived at our campsite, my friend dumped a hand full of sand out of each shoe; however I hardly had any dust on my feet and no sand to dump out. I also had no blisters or hot-spots even though I had never hiked in the shoes before. I loved how light they were and I thought that they have plenty of support and cushioning for me. However, I do hike/backpack in barefoot shoes on shorter or watery trips, so my need for support and cushioning is probably on the low side compared to the general public. I repeated this trip about 6 weeks later with similar conditions and did not notice a difference in shoe performance between trips.

The following weekend I did a short overnight trip and I hiked down in these shoes. I wore the SCARPA's on the hike down into the canyon on the first day. However, since the hike was short I decided to wear my barefoot shoes instead of the SCARPA's and carried the SCARPA's out. Since the SCARPA's are so lightweight I didn't mind carrying them out instead of wearing them.

In July, I spent some time hiking in New Mexico, which meant hiking in rain and hail - something that I don't see too much of in Arizona. However the shoes performed well in such conditions. I didn't slip very much on the wet rocks. My feet did get wet and as the shoes aren't waterproof, but that's what I expected. However the shoes did dry out overnight between trips, which was nice. The leather seems a bit stiffer after getting wet, but quickly softened once I started hiking in them and the fit did not change.

The trail on my hike up Humphreys Peak in Arizona was wet and muddy with rocks along the way. Again the shoes did not slip and stood up to the mud well. The trail along the ridge-line was mostly rock for almost a mile (1.6 km) each way and I had plenty of cushion in the sole. This was a day hike, so I was carrying a very light daypack (about 8 lbs/3.6 kg with water at the start).

SUMMARY

I am very happy with these shoes and they are my go-to trail shoe for both backpacking and day hikes.

Likes:
*Lightweight
*No break in period
*Didn't let in sand
*Grippy
*Still fit well even after getting totally soaked and muddy

Dislikes:
*Laces WAY to short - cannot even tie the right shoe in a proper bow

This concludes my field report, check back in a few months for my long term review of the SCARPA Rapid LT shoes!

Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and SCARPA for the chance to test out these shoes.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

IMAGE 1
Backpacking in Wales
Humphreys Peak, Arizona
August 17
Distance: 21 miles/33.8 km
Elevation: 8,024 ft/2,446 m to 12,637 ft/3,210 m
Weather: Overcast, with thunderstorms, hail, and pouring rain at times.
Temperatures: in the 50's F/10 C and 60's F/15 C

Ceredigion Coast Path, Wales, UK
August 28-30
Distance: 38 miles/61 km
Elevation: 0 ft /0 m to ~1,000 ft / 305 m
Temperatures: Highs in the low 70s F/21 C, with lows around 45 F/7 C
Weather: Sunny, cloudy, and misty rain depending on the day.

Day Hikes on Mt. Rainer, Washington State
September 14 and 15
Combined total distance: 14 miles/22.5 km
Elevation: 4,300 ft/1,311 m to 5,900 ft/1,798 m
Weather: Warm and sunny

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

IMAGE 2
Shoes on the beach
I took these as my main shoes for a 10 day trip to Wales, which included a 3-day backpacking trip. I wore them on the planes and trains required to get from Arizona to Wales and back again. They worked well for travel, since the laces were so short, it was easy to leave them untied for easy on/off at all the security check points in the airports. I also find them fashionable enough to wear out while walking around town and going out to a pub for lunch.

During the test period I took a long weekend trip up to Kanab, Utah. While there, I did several short hikes in sandstone canyons and across sandstone formations. This included climbing and scrambling around on various formations. The shoes performed superbly. They had great grip and I felt stable while playing around on the fun features.

They are still in great shape and fit well. All of the seams are still intact and holding strong. There is no peeling apart of glued soles or the rubber toe rands. I can see some compression of the foot bed, but after putting over 140 miles/225 km on the shoes, this is to be expected. I have not gotten blisters from these shoes. Even though they have gotten totally drenched on several of my hikes, they still fit like a glove.



SUMMARY

I have truly loved these shoes from the start. They have earned their place in my gear closet. After months of wear in all types on conditions, they are still look almost like new. My only complaint with these shoes are the short laces, however the oval style laces rarely come untied while hiking.

Thank you BackpackGearTester.org and SCARPA for the chance to test out these awesome shoes!

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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