ATR shoe cut

Scott A.T.R. shoe: Quick Review- by Grannygear

IMG_1709The trail we had decided to ride this day looked like 16 miles of bad road: Sand, rocks, cactus, hike-a-bike, rocks, and hike-a-bike over rocks. It is the kind of day that makes you hate a stiff racing type MTB shoe and it will typically shred the sole all at the same time, if you manage to not slip and slide all over the trail as the carbon stiff, hard lugged sole searches for traction.

Then I remembered I had a box in the garage with the Scott A.T.R. shoes in it. Voila! I grabbed them, with their Vibram soles and their trail shoe construction, tossed on some SPD cleats and put them in my gear bag for the next day. I could not have been happier with that decision. But let’s back up a bit and see what we have here.

From the Scott Sports website:

The SCOTT A.T.R is the perfect shoe for your mountain riding adventures. It was made for overall durability to get you through anything while still light enough to help you when riding up. Also, the grippy sole provides extra traction when crossing rivers or hiking through sections that can’t be ridden. The BOA lacing system with a single strap provides a comfortable, performance fit, and the high class Vibram rubber outsole keeps you comfortable when off the bike.

The A.T.R. is an interesting combo of a light hiking shoe and an MTB shoe combined. I have seen this before in the Specialized Rime that we reviewed a bit ago. I really liked the Rime and proclaimed it the type of shoe that most MTB riders should be using all the time. The Scott A.T.R. has a good amount of rubber in the outer ‘bumper’ areas of the shoe so it should take some scuffs and hits without damaging anything. The sole is a Vibram version with a removable plate that covers the SPD cleat mounting screws. That way you can run this on flat pedals and not have to deal with the vacant gap where a cleat might go. The Boa lacing system is a nice touch and the way it functions is different than any other BOA I have used. Instead of winding one direction to tighten and the other direction to loosen, it winds up to tension the shoe lacing but loosens with a ‘pop up’ of the BOA dial. It makes getting out of them muy rapido and easy. But it makes it a bit harder to micro-release tension…no one click at a time like a typical BOA dial does.

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The shoe weighs 994g for a pair (no cleats, plate cover in place) in a size 45 shoe. The sizing runs about a 1/2 size large compared to the latest Specialized and Shimano shoes I have on hand. It made for a bit of a loose fit for me and the insole was unremarkable in the level of arch support, but it did have a metatarsal button built in which I like.

The good:

  • Super shoe for rocky hike a bike conditions. It felt like a light weight hiking shoe in that regard. The Vibram sole was sure and stable over all kinds of loose and rocky surfaces.
  • The BOA combined with the single Velcro strap was comfy and easy to adjust.
  • The block off plate for the SPD cleat area is a nice feature if you do not ‘clip in’.
  • Decently rugged construction and no flashy colors or graphics.

The not so good:

  • The trade off for that great hike-a-bility is a less than stiff sole as far as cycling is concerned. The Rime was better in this regard, although it is not the hiker this shoe is.
  • If you over tighten the BOA dial, you have to pop it loose (pull the dial up) and then begin again. You cannot just back it off a few micro clicks like normal with a BOA.
  • These shoes are on the low side and offer very little ankle protection. Consider hiking gaiters if you’re going to be walking in areas that are particularly rough underfoot.

After a half day on trail, including a good 90 minutes of pushing our bikes up a desert single track, the sole on the Scott A.T.R. looks unscathed, just a bit dusty. I have had racier high end shoes get gouged and scarred under the same conditions. I chose well for that day’s trek into the desert and the Scott A.T.R. was a perfect shoe there. Back at home, where the trails are smoother and hike a bike is a remote possibility, the lack of stiffness in the sole bothered me and would not be what I would choose for a typical So Cal ride. In the right environment, the Scott A.T.R. is a great choice. If not, then you might be finding it less supportive than you would expect. The Scott A.T.R. has an MSRP of $150.00.

Note: Scott USA provided the items for this test/review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being bribed nor paid for this review. We will strive to be honest with our thoughts and opinions throughout.