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Stay Light and Fast on Mountain Trails: SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX Hiker Review

The SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX has fantastic levels of cushioning and support while remaining light and nimble for almost any trail.

SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX(Photo/Miya Tsudome)
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A lot of hikers today are opting for trail runners instead of heavy hiking boots. They’re lighter, faster, and generally more versatile. But some people who want lightweight hikers also need the support offered by traditionally stiffer boots and shoes.

Enter SCARPA’s Rush 2 Mid GTX. These mid-height waterproof hikers have fantastic levels of cushioning and support while remaining light and nimble for almost any trail.

This updated boot has the addition of a Dynamic Stabilizer Torsion (DST) insert, which is a TPU frame in the heel area that provides extra support against torsion or twisting. With more support in this area, these boots handle insecure, rocky terrain with ease, protecting your ankles and your peace of mind. A slightly taller ankle cuff than the older version also increases the overall support of this shoe, giving it another step up over your average trail runner.

From Colorado to California, I put the Rush 2 Mid GTX to the test over a variety of terrain from rocky trails to smooth switchbacks, through river crossings, over slippery rocks and logs, in hot conditions and cold ones. I hiked in them over distances of at least 10 miles with a heavy backpack on — and without — to test their real-world application.

In short: From the dusty, steep trails of California, to tree-lined switchbacks in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX boots ($219) held their own with great stability, comfort, waterproofing, and temperature regulation. They are light enough that I don’t feel weighed down but provide enough ankle support and cushion that I’m never in pain by the end of a hike — or even a light trail run.

SCARPA’s Rush 2 Mid GTX was the runner-up for GearJunkie’s Best Hiking Boots guide. Check out the others to compare.



  • Height Over-the-ankle
  • Waterproofing 2-layer GORE-TEX waterproof/breathable laminate
  • Upper Synthetic fabric/welded polyurethane
  • Weight 1 lb. 8.2 oz.
  • Available in wide No


  • Supportive for a sneaker-like boot
  • Offers great protection in rocky terrain with updated torsion control feature
  • Vegan upper is a bonus for some hikers


  • Pricey

SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX Review

Comfort and Fit

Tying the knots on the SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX
The thick and sturdy laces on the Rush 2s allow you to dial in the fit all the way up through the collar; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

European shoe brands typically run narrow, and the Rush 2s are no exception. However, they are not restrictively narrow and still offer enough room for those with a wider forefoot.

Unfortunately, there is no wide version of this shoe. If you typically wear thick hiking socks, you might want to consider sizing up (and be sure to convert your U.S. shoe size to the correct European sizing to get a precise fit).

Right out of the box, these boots are exceptionally comfortable. Without the stiffness and rigidity of traditional hiking boots, the Rush 2s pull on like trail runners.

That also means they don’t have a long break-in period. In fact, I didn’t feel like they needed any break-in time at all. I took them out to the trails immediately, right out of the box with no issue.

A 5-mile hike up and down steep switchbacks on the notorious Druid’s Trail in Bishop, Calif., resulted in no hot spots or blisters. Another GearJunkie tester wore these daily on 4-mile hikes/trail runs for 2 months of the summer without any problems.

This is likely due to their EVA midsoles. SCARPA includes cushioning pads in the forefeet and heels that provide for a comfortable ride. This isn’t a soft shoe by any means. But it does find the sweet spot between having enough rigid support and boasting lightweight overall comfort.


Composed of synthetic materials, the Rush 2 stays light and is pretty agile as a consequence. Other than the GORE-TEX lining, this boot’s outsole is made with a proprietary PRESA SuperGum rubber.

Though less aggressive than some other hiking boots, the 4mm lugs won’t slow you down, nor will they attract too much mud and debris.


Walking with the SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX trhough a puddle of water
The GORE-TEX liners keep out moisture while the mesh upper allows your feet to still breathe on hot trails; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

The Rush 2’s upper materials are made from recycled mesh to enhance breathability. Often, one has to choose between breathability and waterproofing when considering a hiking boot. SCARPA has found a way to strike a great balance between both features, though. Inside the boot itself are GORE-TEX liners that do a remarkable job of keeping moisture out.

During testing, my feet stayed dry even after submerging the boot in 5 inches of water. The mesh exterior was visibly wet. But the liners did their job of keeping moisture out of the interior.

Hikes in the hot sun on exposed trails also offered a chance to test how well these boots released moisture. I found they did a fair job at this. My feet never felt too stifled, clammed up, or overheated.

Other boots in our testing lineup outperformed the Rush 2 in terms of breathability. But those shoes also sacrificed waterproofing. So, it’s all about striking a balance.

Stability, Support, and Traction

Walking with the SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX through a slippery slope
The Rush 2s are surprisingly stable boots for how lightweight they are; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Where the Rush 2 really shines is in its ability to provide a stable ride while remaining exceptionally lightweight. A Dynamic Stabilizer Torsion frame (or DST frame) produces rear-foot stability and torsion control. That protects against the inevitable twisting or “torsion” that happens while hiking. Thus, the Rush 2 provides more confidence on uneven terrain.

I hiked in these boots over a variety of terrain, over rocks and slabs and talus, to see how stable my ankles felt. When these boots are fitted well and tightened down, I can attest that the DST frames really do help.

SCARPA is well-known for its superb rock climbing shoes. So, they know their way around rubber and traction — and the Rush 2 is no exception. We were able to hike with confidence over slippery granite slabs, talus fields, and wet logs. The mesh upper is also made with recycled materials, making this shoe an eco-conscious choice to boot (no pun intended).

There’s also an overpadded, softly lined collar, giving it lightweight, dynamic ankle support. This collar is softer than your average sturdy, leather mid-height hiking boot, and thus won’t give you the same rigid support or protection. It will, however, help keep small rocks out of your boot. It also protects the interior well from getting soaked while splashing through small creek crossings.

Room for Improvement

The mid-height ankle on the SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX hiking boot is softer and less supportive than it is on most mid-height hikers. That was likely a design choice that favored breathability and minimized weight, over stiffness and support.

Considering what SCARPA was going for here, that’s understandable. But a little more stiffness for better ankle support would go a long way in making this boot effective for more strenuous hikes. That could be accomplished with a minimal weight penalty.

SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX: Conclusion

Testing the SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX stability
PRESA SupeGum rubber gives these boots great traction on slick rock and muddy trails; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Weighing in at 1 pound, 8.2 ounces for a pair, the SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX are some of the lightest hiking boots of their kind on the market. Striking a great balance between stability and comfort while allowing you to remain nimble on the trail, these boots are among our top picks for the best hiking boots for women. And as the runner-up in GearJunkie’s Best Hiking Boots buyer’s guide, men will find them equally adept for hitting the trail as well.

The SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX marries the feel of a trail runner with the support of a hiking boot. Anyone who wants a lightweight hiker without sacrificing support won’t be disappointed to add this mid-height shoe to their arsenal.

hiker wearing hiking boots through stream

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