100km review - Scott Supertrac Ultra RC

The Supertrac Ultra RC is the newest shoe from Scott. I'm a very lucky boy and was allowed a pair to try for a month before they go on sale (from 18th July you can get a pair from Accelerate). I promised to write a full review after 100km... I've actually run closer to 200 in them, so it's time I got typing!


A few highlights from one month with the Supertrac Ultra RC

16th June: Discovery
Oooh lovely new shoes. At this stage they were very secret and had to be camouflaged. I didn't actually run in them, but they score highly on looking pretty.


17th June: First Run
Not really long enough to fully test them, but straight out of the box they felt really comfortable, with good grip on dry rock and plenty of cushioning. And they do look nice.


22nd June: First proper long run

A very hot evening, beautiful weather. Bob Graham leg 1 supporting Kirk Hardwick as part of the Dark Peak machine. The shoes were great, comfy on the road and trail up out of Keswick, plenty of grip for the middle section of leg 1 and lots of confidence on the real test - Halls Fell Ridge. The original Supertrac RC got me down here when it was covered in ice on my winter BG attempt so you would expect no problems, and you'd be right. They inspired confidence all the way down and I had no problems running with the fastest descenders.

Halls Fell Ridge

One observation on BG night was that they feel taller than the Supertrac or Kinabalu RC. I don't know what the difference in drop is but I'd guess the Ultra have slightly more [Just checked - Supertrac Ultra RC: 8mm, Supertrac RC: 5mm]. On terrain, in extremis, when you're not concentrating, this can increase the likelihood of rolling an ankle. Of course, the additional drop means additional cushioning, which means more comfort for long distance, so this only becomes a minor negative if you intend on the Ultras being your only pair of shoes.

2nd July: Second long run
40km on Bodmin Moor: Hot, dry, rocky. Sort of like the Peak District, but I was on holiday. My random zigzag route around the moor took in a little bit of tarmac, some hard trail / fireroad, and plenty of off-path action. No problems with any of that, and as a bonus they seem quite waterproof as I stood in streams to refill my water. It's also worth noting that despite the lack of the Scott lace locks I love so much on other shoes, even just with single knots the laces didn't come undone despite plenty of heather-bashing.

Bodmin Moor


6th - 7th July: Multi-day adventure
Perhaps a slightly grand title for a couple of hours with a tent one evening and the same the next morning, but another different scenario for the shoes.

Quantock Hills
This time I was in the Somerset Quantock Hills. The trails here, particularly this year, are really hard and dry. The main difference this time to previous tests was that I had a large pack on my back with tent, stove, food and lots of water. This obviously makes me a heavier runner and can make shoes that were previously comfortable rub and cause problems, but I didn't find this.

RC vs. The Sea
After an evening of heathland trails the next morning was more about farm tracks, tarmac and eventually beach. All of these were no problem for the Supertrac Ultra RC. I did take them off before I went for a swim, but I'm sure if I'd kept them on they'd be pretty good in the sea too!



Summary:
For me, the important comparison is between the new Ultra and the current Supertrac RC, which I've been wearing for ultra races like the Fellsman for the last few years. The new ones weigh 90g more but seem to be a whole lot more durable and crucially, more comfortable. Like the Supertrac RC they were comfortable to run in straight out of the box, but with the Ultras I don't feel like I want to take them off as soon as I get home.

For a short race I would stick with the slightly lighter Supertrac RC, but for anything over 15km or so I'd go to the Ultra. They look set for a good long life, the only thing showing any sign of wear after 200km are the laces.

Right here, right now.
If anyone is interested, I'll let you know how they are doing after 300km, which will of course be 400 by the time I get round to it...

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