One of the up-and-coming companies in the trail and mountain [ultra]running community is, without a doubt, SCOTT Sports. Although known more for their skiing and biking equipment, SCOTT Sports has made quite a splash in the running community over the last year by signing ultra-running superstars Sage Canaday and Ian Sharman, as well as having female speedsters Meghan Arbogast and Simona Staicu. Without a doubt, both Sage Canaday and Ian Sharman are names that will be floating around when it comes to ultrarunner of the year. So, what about SCOTT?
Since I follow the ultrarunning scene rather closely, I became intrigued by SCOTT, and sent them a few questions about their product. SCOTT was extremely kind and sent me the upcoming RACE ROCKER, their most minimal shoe, to wear test and review. In fact, they sent me a box of RACE ROCKERS [giveaway details below]!
Here is what SCOTT says about the Race Rocker:
“The purist racing flat for races up to a half marathon, fast training sessions or minimal concept workouts. A lightweight shoe featuring a low-profile platform that delivers a fast and responsive ride. This season’s version features a new high performance vamp and tongue mesh. A new injection TPU compound in the outsole design ensures an even smoother ride.”
The Race Rocker boasts SCOTT’s eRide technology—ergo, the “Rocker”—that allows the foot to roll into a more efficient transition from landing to takeoff thereby providing for a more natural midfoot strike and smoother ride.
Another added feature of the Race Rocker is the SCOTT Aero Foam technology. SCOTT decided to ditch EVA foam when it comes to cushioning, and instead develop Aeor Foam which is 25% lighter than EVA foam, as well as more wear-resistant.
The specs of this unisex racing flat:
• Weight: 210g/7.4oz
• Heel to toe drop: 5mm
Jordan: The first thing I noticed after slipping on the Race Rocker is how accommodating the fit is especially through the mid and forefoot. This is a racing flat that will cater to many different foot shapes. As someone with lower arches and a wider foot all around (think Flintstone feet) it’s nice to have a racing flat option that can cater to so many different foot types.
The rockered outsole is a big win with me. Whether I was warming up for speed work or in the thick of it I could feel a noticeably smoother gait cycle. I will say that I think the rocker functions best with a mid to forefoot strike. The light weight and super sticky rubber outsole are also major pluses for SCOTT. I felt connected to the road
My preference is for 0-4mm drop shoes. For a “flat” I feel that the 6mm drop is a little much on paper, but it didn’t seem to affect my running.
Stefan: If you’re looking for a fast smooth transition this shoe might be for you. The Rocker shines when you pick up the pace, but as soon as you drop the pace the shoe felt clumsy on my feet. Toe box is roomy and the interior of the shoe offer you the option to go sock less. My guess is that Scott is targeting Triathletes with this shoe as they have big heel tabs for easy transition. If you re looking for bold colors, this shoes for you. Bright yellow pastel color scheme.
Bonnie: When it comes to the rubber hitting the road, these are by far some of the most comfortable shoes I have ran in. I am not quite a neutral runner, and these feel like they give me a lot of support without being bulky or cumbersome. I have had issues in the toe box before with my toes being jammed even when I go a size up from where I should, and this is not an issue with the Scotts. The soles give great grip for both track and concrete. I took them to the track several times and felt like they gave enough spring to my track work. The shoes are made out of a very breathable and very rain friendly material, which makes them a great pick for a NW Runner (where rain is an issue)
Joshua: My first run in the Race Rocker was a brisk 3 miler, and I really felt like I was able to pick up the speed in this shoe. I find that the Rocker has plenty of room in the forefoot compared to other shoes that I run, such as the Skechers GORun2, Skora Form, and the Merrell Barefoot line. The upper on this shoe is pretty solid, and I do not foresee it tearing by the pinkie toe, which has been the case with some of my other shoes throughout the years. As far as durability, the nubs and rubber on this shoe are well-designed and well-placed. After 75 miles on mine, the sole of the shoe still looks brand new. I’ve run up to 16 miles on this shoe, and I think it would be a great shoe for up to 15 mile races. The SCOTT Race Rocker particularly excels on really hill courses. This is one of the most comfortable shoes to run in on quad crushing downhills.
Jordan: Not much about this shoe didn’t work for me. I have a few suggestions for making the shoe better, but, to be sure, nothing failed me.
On my first couple runs I got a huge blister on my pinky toe. I was starting to get worried that this would limit the value of the shoe for me. It seems, however, that the upper has broken in a little more and I haven’t gotten any more blisters. The seems protrude a little on the inside of the shoe near the first eyelet and I think contributed to the initial blisters
7.4 oz is a little on the heavy side in my opinion for a racing flat. I would like to see the Race Rocker under 7 oz. I think SCOTT could be a little more strategic with the placement of the rubber on the outsole by removing some under the arch. This would further cut weight and I don’t think it would be detriment to durability. Further, the overlays across the toes are thick and I suspect unnecessary.
Stefan: I’m not really sure how to use this shoe. It does not have enough of cushioning for the full 26.2 and its to much shoe in my opinion for shorter races such 10K and you can find lighter and faster shoes in this category. At the same time as you have a roomy toe box and nice interior, Scott also have too much going on when it comes to the upper. To much fabric/mesh in the front. I was not able to find the snug fit I’m looking for in a racing flat. The tongue is to flimsy with an upper made of a big piece of synthetic suede, not balanced and the tongue can create hot spots. If you re looking for a shoe with traditional colors this shoe color scheme might be to much for you.
Bonnie: I really do not like the shoe laces, half the time I do not feel like I can use the laces to tighten up. To me they also feel a little flimsy, but I replaced them with lock laces, which made them perfect.
Joshua: I have no complaints with this shoe. It does what it is designed to do. If I could change anything, I like the tongue of a shoe to be connected to the foot-bed. It’s my personal preference.
Jordan: This is a light weight racing flat that will accommodate a variety of foot types. It has a smooth, firm, and responsive ride which for me is ideal for racing 5-10K distances although SCOTT recommends the shoe for distances up to a half marathon. I’m looking forward to more of what this company has to offer.
Stefan: I have an issue to connect to this shoe. Basically because I don’t see a need for it in my rotation. Not enough shoe for a marathon and not light/fast enough for faster/shorter distances. I can see it as a training shoe for faster days but again you have much better options out there.
Bonnie: I did not know what I was walking into with Scott’s. I ended up running two events in one weekend with them and felt like I was running in the perfect shoe for my not so neutral, but not so needing a full supportive shoe. I did need to replace the laces, but that is my own pickiness.
Joshua: When I first contacted SCOTT, I was not sure what to expect. Given that this is my first racing flat, it’s difficult to compare to other shoes that I have that are not racing flats. It is a firm shoe, lightweight, and allows me to push off when I increase the pace. I’ve run some of my fastest miles in these shoes, and I find it to be more comfortable running fast than running more slowly. If I know I’m going to be running a really, really hilly route, without a doubt I will pull out the SCOTT Race Rocker. These shoes dominate the hills.
Joshua is the creator and an author for Vagabond Running Blog, and the person who organized this entire review. As a former soccer player and gymnast, he has always been into endurance in one way or another. He fell in love with running when he was a college student at University of New Mexico and logged most of his miles in the Sandia Mountains. Now living in Boston and attending graduate school, Joshua runs on the road and the local trails as much and as often as he can!
Jordan is a runner and desert rat from Albuquerque, New Mexico now living in Boston studying theology. Day to day he wears bare bones zero drop shoes. He usually run in light weight, low drop, trainers with a touch of cushion. Jordan got interested in running because of the barefoot movement and never looked back. He is a co-author on Vagabond Running Blog.
Stefan is a marathon runner who log most of his miles in New Jersey. He has a big interest in running shoes and he would call myself a running shoe nerd. Stefan’s favorite race is the Boston marathon and that is the main goal of the year. His goal for 2014 is sub 2:50. As an ambassador for Skechers Performance Division, he logs all his miles in GoRuns but that did not affect the result of this review.
Bonnie is just starting the training for her 4th marathon, does at least 15-20 miles a week depending on what is on the calendar. A proud mid-pack queen I run for the journey, speed isn’t as important.
We have two extra pairs of unisex size 9 men (11 in women’s) – Go to Vagabond Running to grab the shoes!