The Scarpa Spark ($115) comes in at under 10 oz, and I believe is one of the overlooked shoes this year when compared to all the other “name-brands”. The Spark is considered a “mountain minimal” shoe. Let’s examine the Spark.
The Spark fit true to size. There is plenty of room in the toe-box. It almost feels like too much room, but I never experienced any movement of my feet within the shoe. There are some great features in the Spark such as:
- Hi-Tensile fabric forefoot strike plate
- 6 mm drop
- Planet friendly – it’s loaded with recycled material
The Spark performed well on all tested terrain (e.g., mud, rocks, etc.). I had no issues with traction. There is plenty of protection from sharp objects thanks to the Hi-Tensile fabric forefoot plate. There is a great blend of support from the “V” shaped overlays on the upper. I have discovered the 6mm drop is just the right differential and a great mid-range shoe, that is, it’s not too minimal and it’s not too traditional.
The Spark did well in wet conditions. It drained well when wet. Some reviewers stated they had issue with the upper retaining liquid, but I did not have this issue. In the ”lab”, the evaporation test results were “Good”.
- Drop – 6 mm
- Gusseted tongue
- Neutral Shoe
- Rock Plate (Forefoot)
- Midsole – EVA
- Upper – Synthetic
- Made In – China
- 29% recycled polyester mesh
- 40% recycled synthetic leather
- 50% polyester recycled lining
- Lace and webbing is 100% Ecosensor recycled polyester
- Midsole has ECOPure EVA additive to promote degradation in landfill conditions (hmm, I don’t know about this claim.)
- 25% recycled rubber outsole
The Scarpa Spark hit the sweet spot with finding a shoe that is not too minimal or too traditional. The 6 mm drop was the perfect differential for me. Another great plus to the Spark, it is loaded with recyclable material. I would recommend the Spark for all types of race distances/training and is one of my favorite trail shoes. The Spark is truly a diamond in the rough.