Scarpa Rush Mid GTX Review

Scarpa Rush Mid GTX Hiking Boots Review

Scarpa Rush Mid GTX Boots are very lightweight waterproof/breathable mid-height hiking shoes with cushioned soles that provide excellent traction and stability. I’ve been wearing them during mud season, that period in mid-sping when snow cover gives way to mud before it dries up when temperatures warm. It’s a time of year when I’ve struggled to find the best hiking footwear since winter boots are too warm to wear during the day, but trail runners are too cold to wear at night when temperatures drop back below freezing. I decided to try a pair of these waterproof/breathable mids instead to see whether they provide a good middle ground that satisfies the temperature extremes (both hot and cold) that hikers experience during this time of year.

Specs at a Glance

  • Type: Mid
  • Height: Over-the-ankle
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof: Yes, Gore-Tex
  • Upper: Fabric/welded polyurethane
  • Lining: Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Technology
  • Midsole: Dual-density EVA
  • Support: Thermoplastic polyurethane frame
  • Outsole: Free-dome/SuperGum
  • Vegan: Yes, perfectly safe to eat.

Fit

The Scarpa Rush Mid GTX  has European sizing and runs one size small. I can still wear them for hiking but I prefer slightly more space in front of my toes. I’d recommend trying your regular size and one size up to dial in a good fit.

The Rush Mids have a soft cuff that wraps around your ankle and seals out trail debris
The Rush Mids have a soft cuff that wraps around your ankle and seals out trail debris

The ankle cuff at the top of the boot is soft and non-chafing. It doesn’t provide much support but it does seal out trail debris quite nicely…which is the main value-add of a mid hiking shoe/boot. Most mids do not provide much in the way of extra support to prevent ankle rolls unless they’re made with quite stiff leather or nubuck. The Rush ankle cuff does provide some proprioceptive feedback however so you get an early “off-balance warning” and can compensate.

There is no break-in time required and the boots are usable right out of the box.

Toe Box

But I can splay my toes out inside the Rush Mid GTX in perfect comfort. There’s also a fairly beefy toe kick on the front of the boot that provides protection. I do a lot of off-trail hiking and my feet have been well protected using these mids.

The toebox is well protected in front and along the sides.
The toebox is well protected in front and along the sides.

Weight

The Scarpa Rush Mid GTX is a very lightweight hiking boot that only weighs about 3 oz more per shoe than my warm-weather hiking trail runners, La Sportiva’s Ultra Raptors, in a men’s size 44. The weight difference is primarily due to the ankle padding that makes the Rush a mid-height boot and not a trail runner.

Stability

The Rush Mid GTX is also a very stable shoe with a flared heel that helps prevent heel and ankle rolls. The shoes have very gentle curvature from the heel to the toe and while they do have an arch that makes the gaiter compatible (useful during tick season), it’s quite low. Scarpa doesn’t publish a stack height for this shoe.

The middle of the Rush Mids has dual-density EVA midsoles that are situated between the outsole and the insoles. They help prevent pronation and provide the cushioning and rebound that help protect your foot from feeling sharp objects. EVA is foam, so it’s lightweight and is commonly found in running shoes and lightweight hiking footwear.

The sole is a combination of hard lugs and soft ones that provide stability as well as grip.
The sole is a combination of hard lugs and soft ones that provide stability as well as grip.

Traction

The Rush soles combine hard zones for support and soft zones for traction. I think they’re marvelous for climbing both wet and dry rock. The tread is not as deep as most hiking boots and resembles more of a trail runner, but I haven’t noticed any degradation in terms of traction in mud even though they’re really not optimized for that use.

Insoles

The insoles on the Scarpa Rush Mid GTX are soft and non-supportive foam. They’re a big disappointment in terms of arch or heel support and I’ve replaced them with SuperFeer Carbons, which I have to do on most shoes with the exception of those sold by Oboz.

Waterproofing/Breathability

The Rush Mids are made with Gore-Tex Extended Comfort material which is positioned just below the boot’s exterior fabric and not as an internal booty. I’ve found them watertight and quite breathable, without any telltale sock dampness. Gore-Tex is annoyingly hush-hush when it comes to providing performance metrics for their footwear and clothing, so I can’t quantify the benefit of the waterproof/breathable layer other to say that I’ve been suitably impressed.

The downside of Gore-Tex is that the outer fabric, which is mesh-like in character, must stay clean for breathability to work. That may prove difficult if you’re a hiker, where muddy shoes and boots are a badge of honor, and waterproof/breathability is at best an afterthought.

Waterproof/breathable hiking shoes do come in handy during mud season
Waterproof/breathable hiking shoes do come in handy during mud season

Recommendation

The Scarpa Rush Mid GTX is a lightweight hiking shoe/boot that’s good for hiking in warm or wet weather. While I prefer non-waterproof trail runners for hot weather hiking, I’ve found the Rush Mid to be a good shoe for mud-season use because it’s waterproof and comfortable to wear on warm days and cool nights when the temperature drops back down to freezing. I found the breathability and traction provided by the Rush Mid to be excellent, but the elements that I like the best about them are their comfort and light-weight. If you’re looking for a waterproof hiking shoe that has the feel and nimbleness of a trail running shoe, but the versatility of a mid, the Scarpa Rush Mid is a good choice

Disclosure: Scarpa provided the author with boots for this review.

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Last updated: 2021-04-22 02:31:13

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