Review: Scott Speed Carbon RC & Scott Pursuit Running Shoes
Written By: SportsShoes
THE SCOTT SPEED CARBON RC ROAD RUNNING SHOE
The Scott Speed Carbon RC is a new breed of road racing shoe. Building on 10 years of research and development, Scott have created their fastest road racing shoe to date. A CARBITEX DFX dynamic carbon plate, Kinetic Light Foam and ER2 rocker geometry, creating a lightweight and efficient racing shoe that collectively gives you back more of the energy you put in. Furthermore, your foot is nicely wrapped up in a lightweight and breathable mesh, meaning you can run faster for longer.
Our Sportsshoes.com Trail Running Ambassador, Ben Mounsey, has been busy putting the Scott Speed Carbon RC running shoes to the test. Here he provides a detailed review of Scott’s fastest performance running shoe yet.
Weight: 240g (men’s size 9)
Length: True to fit
Stack Height: 30mm (Heel) / 25mm (Toe)
RATINGS (out of 5) - Comfort: 4 | Cushioning: 3 | Support: 3 | Breathability: 4.5 | Responsiveness: 4.5
After making huge strides on the trail running scene, Scott have finally joined the Carbon road running revolution with this exciting new launch of the Speed Carbon RC. Needless to say, as a big Scott trail shoe fan I was very keen to take them for a test!
First impressions? The Speed Carbon RC are very eye-catching in design and their bright yellow colour certainly means you’ll stand out from the crowd – perfect for pounding the pavements on dark nights, as the first thing an on-coming motorist will notice is your bright shoes! They also scream FAST – both in look and feel. On closer inspection, it’s clear that this is a racing shoe with real purpose, designed with high-level performance in mind, as every section and detail has been custom made to encourage and enhance speed.
The upper construction is primarily made from an ultra-thin and lightweight material – a super-breathable mesh that allows for plenty of ventilation and allows your feet to breathe, especially in hot conditions. The Speed Carbon RC feel snug, especially around the midfoot and they have a precision ‘race fit’ feel about them. Around the top of the shoe, the sock-like design has been perfectly tailored to wrap neatly around your foot, contouring the shape of your ankle, with a splayed tongue for additional comfort. Just behind the ankle on the lateral side, there is also a thumb-sized flap of material designed to help you put the shoe on and take it off more easily. At the back and extending to the sides of the shoe is a section of thicker, reinforced material which provides much-needed support around the heel and below the ankle, helping to reduce lateral movement and provide more stability when running at speed.
Built on a rocker sole, the Speed Carbon RC encourages you to adopt a more dynamic running position, reducing heel strike impacts and increasing your running efficiency. It almost makes you feel as if you are leaning forward, with your toes on the edge of a diving board and perfectly poised to hit the ground running at speed.
Although my experience of using carbon road shoes is pretty limited, one thing I have noticed when using the Speed Carbon RC, or indeed other comparable models, is that I didn’t instantly notice a huge difference in terms of performance when I’m running at my slow to average pace. The real test came when I wore them for my first speed session. According to Scott, ‘This is the racing shoe that gives you back more of the energy you put in’ and I would wholeheartedly agree with this statement. In fact, it sums up the Speed Carbon RC perfectly. The real benefits of running in this shoe are noticeable when you pick up the pace and really start to put some force through them. They encourage you to run fast because they match your effort - the quicker you run, the more you notice how effective they are. The Kinetic foam used in the midsole is ultra-responsive and really soaks up the impact of hard surfaces, giving you even more rebound and adding a spring in every step.
This isn’t a day-to-day shoe designed for every training session. The Speed Carbon RC is a weapon of fast destruction, built for speed and best paired with a 5K or 10K race, or just simply flaunted when you want to add an injection of speed into your training sessions. Think of this as your key to a PB. For everything else, there’s the Scott Pursuit.
THE SCOTT PURSUIT
The Scott Pursuit is a new performance road running shoe suitable for both training and racing, compared with the Speed Carbon RC, a shoe specifically for road racing. It’s dynamic, light and fast and features ER2 rocker geometry and the lightest foam in the Scott range, the Kinetic Light foam. Feet are nicely wrapped into a breathable mesh meaning you get the perfect ally to run faster for longer.
We asked elite road runner, Paul Navesey, to put the Speed Carbon RC and the Pursuit through their paces in order to compare both models and tell us what he really thinks.
Weight: 250g (men’s size 9)
Length: True to fit
Stack Height: 30mm (Heel) / 22mm (Toe)
RATINGS (out of 5) - Comfort: 4.5 | Cushioning: 3 | Support: 4.5 | Breathability: 4 | Responsiveness: 3
The Scott Pursuit and Scott Speed Carbon RCare two different shoes which cover all the bases for road running.
Let’s begin with the Pursuit. First impressions; they are one of the best fitting shoes I have worn for a long while. No tight spots, plenty of room in the toebox and no feeling of being "sloppy". The heel stack is a little high and chunky, as is the current trend, and the support is marginally noticeable but not intrusive at all. Certainly not at all once up and running.
Heading out the door and on to the slick country lanes, these shoes do not feel anywhere near the suggested weight of 250g. Although they have a thick sole they still remain firm. As I increased my pace, these shoes took me through 4:30 per km... 4:15... 4:00 and down to 3:30 per km without much difficulty at all. Turning over much faster and these shoes may feel a little outside their comfort zone, but otherwise they have a great range. The Pursuit is your go-to easy run, or long-distance shoe that won’t quit and leave you scrambling in the boot of your car for an old pair of flats when ‘that person’ turns up a Sunday group run and always ensures that the pace gets out of hand – there’s always one!
These shoes are a night in on the sofa with your partner with your good friends Ben and Jerry. Comfortable, no stress and leaving you with a smile on your face.
And if the Pursuit are a quiet night in, then the Scott Speed Carbon RC are an evening of Euro football with an anxious crowd watching England heading to penalties against Italy in the final. Ok, you may need to use your imagination for that one! But the point I’m trying to make is the it is more intense and fast paced, yet you are still smiling, even if you don’t know why!
Fantasy football off, shoes on. The fit is closer, whereas the Pursuit is a more relaxed fit and the Carbon are certainly more snug, especially around the toes. Typically, a more classic racing fit. Hitting the road, the shoe fits the trend of current carbon racers and feels very ordinary at slower paces. It also has a firmer feel underfoot than its peers. As I start to build the pace a little from 4:30... 4:00... 3:45 then there are signs of more life. Down to 3:20... 3:10... 3:00 and they are in their element. The firmer midsole and carbon plate provide plenty of that "spring" we have come to love from a carbon shoe. Lots of pop and as it pings up again from the tarmac, all you need to do is remember to put your foot back on the floor!
An hour or so later and we are home. I have tried to put the shoe through some paces and it has been a fun blast! Latterly in the run the shoe did feel a little loose around the ankle, however I suspect this is a case of the shoe "softening" up a touch and would easily be resolved the next time they are laced up.
Overall, these shoes are a great combo. They cover all the bases and nicely blend across the range of paces you will expect to hit from recovery runs to race day.
Are you feeling inspired to lace up your running shoes and hit the road? For more advice and inspiration then head over to our Running Hub. Need to get kitted up? Our Running Store has everything you need including Running Shoes, Clothes and Equipment.