Scarpa Ion (Spring 2014)

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

$119 | 10.3 oz | 6mm drop | alt

The Dirt: Fans of the Scarpa Spark will enjoy its closely related brethren, the Ion, which blends many of the popular elements of the Spark—bomber tread and a middle-of-the-road heel-to-toe drop—with a beefier rock plate.

The upper offers burly, lateral overlays for running uneven terrain, including talus slopes, and the 1.2-mm high-density rock plate will, in the words of one tester, “protect your feet like a tank.”

A well-designed, integrated gaiter over the midfoot keeps out trail debris, and adds some warmth for cold-weather runs.

Best For: Medium-distance runs on moderate to highly technical terrain, in conditions ranging from mud to snow to scree.

Traction: This shoe excels on gnarly terrain, offering excellent purchase on mucky, rocky trails.

Fit: The Ion runs about a half-size big. Male testers reported the toebox also running wide, while female testers found the women’s fit to be slightly narrow.

The Downsides: A minor annoyance, but the non-gusseted tongue has a habit of sliding down to the sides. Some testers wished for a little more cushion for runs exceeding 10 to 15 miles.

Tester-Monial: “The lightweight, streamlined design made me feel like a woodland elf—a fast one who didn’t trip on stuff.”
–Steph Jeffries, Raleigh, NC

Want to Know What It Takes to Finish at Western States? Just Ask Hellah Sidibe.

Find out what happened when this six-year run streaker and HOKA Global Athlete Ambassador took on an iconic ultramarathon in California's Sierra Nevada