17 Feb Scarpa: NEUTRON 2
Immediately behind the new captivating black and orange graphics, the semi-rigid cage outside the upper and the solidity of the toe cap immediately catch the eye, two elements that immediately make us understand the strong orientation of this model towards prolonged efforts on not excessively technical terrain. All this translates to a strong protection and stability, two peculiarities that forgive the errors attributable to the many hours spent on their own legs.
SCARPA NEUTRON 2 is a rather structured shoe, designed for the three seasons, but also good for winter as long as you do not seek too prohibitive conditions such as intense cold, snow or ice.
The fit is well snug and moderately comfortable, perhaps more suitable for a standard foot or a wide plant, resulting not excessively snug for a slim foot like mine. In the latter case, the model loses some points in terms of reactivity, a characteristic that for this model settles in a discrete range, having to come to terms with an important protective structure, which tends to limit this aspect. The lacing system is standard with straps integrated into the upper, and there is a lace stowage system: a hidden bag inside the tongue.
In terms of breathability, the aforementioned semi-rigid cage limits the ventilation process, retaining heat on the one hand during winter days and consequently generating overheating of the foot in conditions of high temperatures.
The midsole is in medium-density EVA to ensure cushioning and stability. There is also an additional low-density EVA insert to help absorb impacts. Moving on to the part directly in contact with the ground, we find a Vibram® Megagrip sole tessellated with half-cm thick nails. This aspect deserves a dedicated focus as the tessellation is an exclusive SCARPA design that has applied a concept to 4 separate zones: thrust, braking, maximum grip, stability. Take a look on the official SCARPA website!
Let’s now pass to the Test.
The Neutron 2 were tested in the late autumn and winter season on the Orobie Prealps, in particular on the trails of the lower and middle Seriana Valley and in the urban-trail area around Bergamo Città Alta. Moving on to the action we can confirm the maximum comfort of the fit even in the movement phase. The first impression was of strong dryness and general stiffness, a factor that after a few kilometers has been dissolved, settling this model on an average overall flex, a completely physiological characteristic for a highly stable and protective shoe. The thrust of the shoe is generally good, but given the structure, the model tends to support the runner well even in the event of a significant drop in pace, when fatigue is felt and there is a greater need for cushioning support from the accessory.
Plus: I also tested this shoe on the occasion of some approach to the cliff with medium distances and rough terrain and even small passages of II ° degree. Traveling around the hour of walking and with heavy loads on the back, I can confirm the excellent stability and support provided by the Neutron 2 at this juncture.
After having tested it on different lengths and different types of terrain, both dry and wet, I can confirm that its optimal application is medium and long distances on not extremely technical surfaces, even in wet / wet conditions. To make some links in urban-trail conditions I ran with the Neutron 2 also on asphalt and despite the unbridgeable distance from the ground for which they were born, I must confess that I did not have such unpleasant sensations.
I would like to exclude this model from the fields of use in which great characteristics of speed and sensitivity are required, such as for example short and fast itineraries on sky and vertical terrain, two sectors in which extreme reactivity is required, a characteristic that is positioned from the other side of the spectrum from protection and stability. This last feature resides in the knobbly sole in Vibram® megagrip that always returns very good traction, especially on muddy or slippery ground.
In general, I found excellent support, even over-structured in relation to my weight (68kg), which is why I would like to recommend this shoe especially to runners of important weight or with a running technique to be developed.
Weight: 325g (Size 42)
Tread: Vibram® MEGAGRIP compound
midsole: medium density EVA
Text and photos by Alberto Orlandi