Stammi bene Minima!
Italian mountain mafia Scarpa should be well recognized by now. Hiking, Climbing, Trekking… Essentially everything that includes mountains and rocks is Scarpa’s home turf. The business history is pretty remarkable and you will find a great novel on their website. An irish found shoemaker based in Italy looks like a noteworthy mixture to me.
I understand I’m a bit obsessed with the history of shoe companies but lets get straight at it, at least this time. Let’s have a closer look at the Parisotto family’s latest trail running installment. Lets witness the most minimal shoe in their running portfolio, the Minima.
If you ever had the chance to experience a Scarpa shoe you know where the relatively high price range comes from. The whole make of the shoes is special and ambiances value. The robustness of the shoes is recognized and treasured. I know people who have Scarpa hiking boots that are older then their (school) children. As I empty the shoebox I’m not surprised to find the same consciousness of craftsmanship with the Minima. The upper consists of a microfiber arrangement, thermo-welded on a 3D mesh base, which is well created, and quality is evident.
As the sun is still out I rush to take some photographs of the clean kicks. I lace ‘em up and take ‘em on my local test trail. The immediate feeling when I step into the Minima is the pretty wide cut of the shoe. For me that is a great feature and appreciated. People with thinner feet could have a problem or might take the shoe a size smaller.
My opening tarmac section feels good. But immediately you get the feeling of a true lightweight and as the name states, a minimal shoe. The cushion is something you need to get used to. It feels pretty rigid and there is not much guard as the used rubber is reasonably stiff. Another feature that I instantly appreciate is the 6mm drop. That makes me happy and I bounce straight into the first off-road part.
The Vibram sole feels good and as I roll along the first single track I know that off-piste is the way to go. Now the hard sole and the „Compression molded EVA“ material for a better fit makes sense. The sensation for the ground is solid and enjoyable. I cruise on and I am fascinated by the “low to the ground” sensitivity that is more then evident. Mud sections and a bunch of leafy curves seem to be no problem with the sole. Solid ground feeling supports a natural stride and the spaced lugs do also make sense and protect the feet.
The sun is setting but I appreciate jogging along with the Minima and extend my loop. I try to find the drawback with these shoes. I continue my test jogs and continue to be happy with the minimal feeling of that shoe and the hard sole. The only problem – the sludge and dirt doesn’t wash itself off automatically to enjoy the look.