Scarpa Rush TRK GTX Review

We were impressed by the Scarpa Rush TRK GTX. These boots offer a great combo of rigidity, water resistance and foot support that will surely appeal to many hikers.

SCARPA Men's Rush Trk GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Hiking and Backpacking Boots - Dark Anthracite/Black - 8.5

Great news: These are also available in women’s fit.

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent durability including option of resoling
  • Excellent ankle support

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Can be pricey
  • A little heavy

Scarpa are a very well-respected name in outdoor footwear manufacturing and their distinctively styled shoes and boots are a very popular choice on the trail. Their Rush family of hiking footwear includes numerous boots and shoes including these – the Rush TRK GTX.

Scarpa say these boots are inspired by trail running shoes, but they offer the support and rigidity you’d expect from boots intended for hiking over difficult terrain. They are well made, tough and water-resistant and, to top it all off, can be resoled, meaning they could last a very long time indeed. All in all, these are a very attractive option if you hike in mixed weather conditions and like to venture onto more technically demanding trails.

Editor’s note: This article is part of our guide to the best hiking boots, be sure to check out the rest of this guide for our top buying tips:

Compare to Similar Products: 

Salewa Men's Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX Boots
Hoka Trail Code GTX
Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid
Asolo Fugitive GTX
Scarpa Rush TRK GTX
Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid 2
Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry
Skechers Relment-Pelmo
Teva Grandview GORE-TEX
Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof
Salewa Men's Alp Trainer 2 Mid Gtx - Raw Green/pale Frog - 14
Hoka Men's Trail Code GTX Lightweight Hiking Shoes (Castlerock/Persimmon Orange, us_Footwear_Size_System, Adult, Men, Numeric, Medium, Numeric_8)
KEEN Men's Targhee 3 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots, Black Olive/Golden Brown, 7 US
Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boot - Men's Wool/Black 8.5
SCARPA Men's Rush Trk GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Hiking and Backpacking Boots - Dark Anthracite/Black - 8.5
ALTRA Women's AL0A7R7J Lone Peak All-WTHR Mid 2 Trail Running Shoe, Black - 5.5 M US
Oboz Men's Bridger BDRY Hiking Boot,Sudan,7 M US
Skechers Men Relaxed Fit¿: Relment - Pelmo Chukka Boot, Khaki Suede, 6.5 US
Teva Men's Grandview GTX Hiking Boot, Chocolate Chip, 7
Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Wheat, 7
Buying Options
Our Ratings
Best Overall Men's
Most Stylish
Best for Long Distance Trails
Most Breathable
Best for Winter/Cold Weather
Best Lightweight
Best for Backpacking
Pros
Excellent comfort. Great combo of breathability and water-resistance.
Excellent Grip. Excellent water resistance
Excellent comfort. Great durability
Tough and durable. Great water resistance.
Excellent durability (including ability to be resoled). Excellent ankle support
Very light. Extremely comfortable
Tough build. Great fit and comfort
Very comfortable. Reasonably priced.
Comfortable. Looks good
Often very inexpensive. Offered in a wide range of sizes.
Cons
Can be pricey. May be a little tight if you have very wide feet
The styling is not to everybody's taste. Some durability concerns
The loos are a little dated. Are relatively expensive outside of the USA
Some may find the upper too flexible. Can be expensive.
Can be pricey. A little heavy
Long term durability concerns. Not well suited to more technical terrain
A little heavy. Not the most breathable
Not suited to technical hiking. Styling is a little dull.
Some durability concerns. Not suited for more extreme trails
Low water resistance. Less ankle support than others.
Traction
Excellent
Excellent
Very Good
Excellent
Excellent
Very Good
Very Good
Very Good
Very Good
Good
Breathability
Excellent
Good
Very Good
Good
Low
Excellent
Low
Low
Good
Low
Ankle Support
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Very good
Excellent
Good
Very Good
Good
Good
Average
Arch support
Regular to good
Regular
Regular
Minimal
Minimal
Regular
Good
Good
Regular
Regular
Fit
Fits true to size available in a single width
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Fit true to size. Available in normal and wide fit and with a wide range of sizes
Fits true to size. Available in standard and wide fit.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Fit is true ot size. Available ins standard and wide versions.
Available in a wide range of sizes with several width options. sizing may run large.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Runs small. Available in regular and wide fit.
Materials
Suede leather upper and synthetic
Full synthetic
Leather upper and synthetic
Suede leather and synthetic
Suede leather upper with synthetics
Full synthetic
Leather upper with synthetics
Suede leather upper with synthetics
Leather and synthetic upper
Leather and synthetic upper
Appearance
Modern hiking boot
Modern sports shoe inspired hiking boot
The design is a little dated
The design is a little dated
Modern hiking boot
Modern sports shoe
The design is a little dated
Regular hiking boot
Retro inspired modern hiking trainer
Traditional hiking boot
Durability
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Very Good
Good
Good
Water Resistance
Gore Tex membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
Keen.Dry' breathable waterproof membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
In-house waterproof membrane
B-Dry Membrane
Water-resistant treatment and possibly a water-resistant membrane
Gore Tex membrane and water resistant treatment
Water resistant treatment and sealed seems
Weight (pair)
1.04kg/2lb 05oz
868g/1lb 14.6oz
970g/2lb 2oz
1.39kg/3lb 1oz
1.19kg/2lb 10oz
856g/1lb 14oz
1.08kg/2lb 06oz
964g/2lb 02oz
Insoles
Modular insole system to fine-tune fit
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Shaped 'O-FIT' insole
Air Cooled Memory Foam Insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Break-in Period
Minimal
Minimal
Very minimal
Minimal
Short break in required
Very minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Lacing system
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Toe Protection
Reinforced rubber rand on toe
Reinforced toe section
Leather reinforced with rubber toecap
Reinforced toe section with rubber rand
Reinforced rubber toe cap
Rubber reinforced toe
Reinforced rubber toe cap
Rubber rand at toe
Reinforced rand and rubber toe cap
Sole extended up to form a small toe cap

Analysis and Test Results

The Scarpa Rush TRK GTX is a more rigid than average boot, built with a high level of durability and water resistance. Many will be quick to point out that these are relatively heavy boots and, whilst it’s true to say that we have assessed substantially lighter alternatives, these boots offer an excellent combo of foot and ankle stability that many hikers will be glad of – especially if hiking over more difficult terrain.

However, these are also not rigid, technical boots and they have enough flexibility and comfort to be worn on all-day hikes or long walks. Whilst they are classed as three season boots, these could well serve as year-round boots for those who hike in less extreme conditions and in this sense, they could genuinely be the only pair of hiking boots many people need to own. They can be a little pricey, but they are also designed to be resoled – potentially giving them a very long life indeed.

Performance Comparison

scarpa rush

Traction

The Scarpa Rush TRK GTX feature Scarpa’s own ‘Presa’ sole that promises excellent grip and control on descents. The sole lives up to the hype and provides great performance – though, of course, there are some conditions like slick mud and ice that will thwart even the best grip.

Breathability

These boots prioritize insulation and water resistance over breathability. Breathability is often seen as a key trait in hiking footwear and, if you’re hiking in a warm desert, it’s certainly something you’ll want in your footwear. However, a lot of people don’t hike in deserts and if your adventures take you into colder conditions or places where you’ll encounter wet weather, then a less ventilated, more heavily insulated boot like the Scarpa rush makes a lot more sense.

Whilst these boots do not prioritize breathability, they do still allow some air circulation and, if you pair them with socks made from a moisture wicking fabric like Merino wool, you can avoid overheating or sweaty feet on your hikes. If you hike in very cold places, it’s worth noting that Scarpa also offers the Rush Polar – a more heavily insulated and slightly taller version of this boot.

Ankle Support

The Scarpa Rush range includes a number of different product variants including several different heights of boot. Whilst many would describe the rush TRK as a mid-high boot, the Rush Mid is actually a little shorter than these (and there’s also a lightly taller and more heavily insulated Rush Polar too).

Our reviewer – who tends towards wearing heavier duty mountaineering boots – was a big fan of the ankle support these boots offered. The slightly higher cuff, which is heavily padded and can be tensioned via the laces, gave great support and coupled with the stiffer feel of these boots, gave a great sense of ankle and general foot support.

Arch Support

The Scarpa Rush TRK GTX provide fairly minimal arch support out of the box – in this regard they are not too dissimilar to many of their competitors. This won’t be an issue for most buyers, but, if you benefit from having extra arch support in your footwear, then the supplied insoles can easily be switched out for something that offers more support.

Fit

Scarpa offer the Rush TRK GTX in sizes ranging from US 8/UK 7/EU 41 up to US 14/UK 13/EU 48. Whilst this range should cover most customers, it’s worth noting that many competitors offer their boots in a wider range of sizes. The Rush generally fits true to size and is available in a single width – those with wider feet may find the boot a little restrictive.

These boots are designed to lock the wearer’s heel in place, improving the sense of sure-footedness on the trial and this helps the boots feel a bit more like mountaineering boots rather than straight up walking boots.

Materials

These boots use a combo of synthetic materials and thick suede leather (Scarpa claim the leather is between 1.6 and 1.8mm thick). All the materials used are tough and give the boots a great sense of durability and toughness.

materials scarpa rush

Appearance

The Scarpa Rush TRK GTX is a thoroughly modern hiking boot. It’s offered in a couple of color ways including the striking teal and orange combo that’s become one of Scarpa’s signatures. We think these are great-looking boots: the styling is bang up to date without being too in your face and the design also makes great use of contrasting material textures.

Durability

Scarpa have built their reputation on making quality footwear – there’s good reason why you’ll often see high altitude mountaineers wearing their boots. We’re pleased to report the Rush TRK GTX live up to what we’d expect from Scarpa in terms of their build quality and durability. These boots use inherently tough materials, and we’d imagine that they’ll give many long years of use before they give up.

These soles on these boots are also designed to be replaced when they do eventually wear out and provided the uppers are still in good condition (and they often are – soles tend to wear out first!), then the life of these boots can be substantially increased.

Sustainability

First of all, these boots are designed to be resoled. That used to be a given with hiking boots, but it’s something you see less frequently as the industry transitions to generally lighter boots inspired by trainers. If you’ve hiked for long enough to have worn through a pair of boots (or several), you’ll know that the sole often wears, separates or otherwise fails on hiking footwear whilst the upper is still in fairly good condition.

Whilst resoling can be more expensive than you might think, it’s still substantially cheaper than buying a new pair of boots and can really revitalize a worn pair and push the life of your boots into decades.

Beyond this, Scarpa are committed to reducing carbon emissions, using recycled materials and also carry out most (they state 90%) of their material sourcing and manufacturing in factories they own in Europe rather than contracting it out to East Asia – this means their manufacturing is subject to tighter environmental controls and the workers in the factories have better employment rights and pay relative to many of their competitors.

Water Resistance

These boots offer an excellent level of water resistance. The upper section is largely unventilated and is backed with a Gore-Tex membrane which keeps moisture out whilst still allowing breathability. Coupled with the higher than normal ankle cuff, these boots will keep your feet dry in rain, if crossing boggy terrain and even if you need to cross a shallow stream.

Remember, though, that water can still enter the boot if goes above the ankle cuff, and can also soak in if your socks get wet.

Weight

The Scarpa Rush TRK GTX weigh in at 1.19kg/2lb 10oz for a pair. Outwardly that’s quite heavy – especially when compared to some of the very lightweight trainer-inspired boots we’ve assessed elsewhere (for example the Hoka Trail Code GTX or the Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid 2 – both of which are roughly three quarters the weight of these).

However, these are a very different type of boot: they are far more rigid and, in our opinion, better suited to hiking on rough or even slightly technical terrain than the lighter boots we’ve assessed. When compared to the likes of the Salewa Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX or the Asolo Fugitive GTX, both of which are more rigid boots with leather uppers, the weight of these Scarpas is much more competitive.

Absolute light weight is many hiker’s priority when choosing gear, and is especially important with footwear, where extra weight is disproportionately fatiguing. However, when it comes to hiking boots, there are many circumstances where more rigid, durable and, yes, heavy footwear is a better option.

If you hike in very bad weather, on more technical terrain, regularly carry a heavy pack, or benefit from improved ankle support then accepting a slight weight penalty in exchange for more rigid and supportive boots is a sensible tradeoff.

lacing system scarpa rush

Insoles

The Scarpa Rush TRK GTX come with some fairly generic padded insoles. These will be fine for most buyers. However, if you need extra arch support, footbed padding or just want to fine-tune the fit of these boots, then swapping the insole out for a readily available third-party or even custom-made alternative is a great way to achieve just this.

Break-in Period

With their more rigid construction, these boots do take a little while to break in. If you’re coming to these from more rigid mountaineering boots, this will be trivial, but if you’re new to the world of stiffer hiking boots, then there may well be a bit of an adjustment period.

We’d always recommend wearing new boots on a few shorter local walks – or even just around your home for a day or so – before you take them out on a longer hike. This helps ensure the fit is right and that there’s no rubbing which can lead to discomfort. Thick hiking socks made form moisture wicking material like Merino wool and pulled up high above the ankle cuff can make a big difference to the comfort of new boots and can really help prevent rubbing and sores during the break-in period.

Lacing System

Like the vast majority of the boots and shoes we assess, the Scarpa Rush TRK GTX uses regular laces. These may not seem very interesting, but laces are actually a great way to fine-tune the fit of your boot.

It’s also possible to experiment with different lacing patterns to further refine – or even radically change – the fit of your boots.

toe protection scarpa rush

Toe Protection

These boots feature a substantial rubber rand over the leather at the toe and the sole also extends up to form a toe cap. This offers good protection to your toes from the kind of bumps and knocks you can expect to encounter whilst hiking.

Conclusion

Scarpa boots have a tremendous reputation, so it’s perhaps no surprise that we were impressed by the Rush TRK GTX. Whilst they are not the cheapest option, and perhaps a little heavy too, they perform exceptionally well in many areas. They are probably overkill if you’re just after a pair of boots for fair-weather walking and hiking, but if you routinely hike in bad weather or if your hiking takes you onto more technical terrain, then these sturdy and rigid boots are an excellent option that we think are well worth considering.

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