Gettin’ Frisco in the Scarpa Golden Gate ATR

Those who know me really well know that, while I love getting (mentally) lost while trail running, I don’t get out into the wilderness as much as I’d like. Between work and transporting three kids (and their friends) to/from school and evening activities – it can be a challenge to find the time. Thus, though I have a few trail-only shoes to choose from – I leave the heavy lifting up to our trail running enthusiasts. So when a pair like the Scarpa Golden Gate ATR (All Terrain Running) are available, I am intrigued.


I love the look of them and the color combination of turquoise and black, which are both the prominent colors of these shoes – and actually a few others in Scarpa’s arsenal. It has a bit of understated flash – a pop of color without going overboard. The layering in the shoes actually are sort of trippy as the two colors criss-cross and fade into each other all over the place. The outer midsole – shifts from black in the back to blue in the front.

Also, a series of overlapping black internal “straps” (i.e. the EXO internal support matrix – inspired by structural elements of the Golden Gate Bridge) lay underneath the blue upper mesh. It’s really cool to look at.


The Golden Gate ATR’s come with their “Adaptive Cushioning System (ACS)” which melds two EVA’s to provide the cushion and energy return. “The forefoot and mid foot features higher density EVA, to provide rebound and “spring” in the toe-off phase, giving energy back to the user. Lower density EVA in the heel provides great cushioning for training“.

I did find these falling a little on the heavy side though it’s sort of hard to complain about. Considering that they are intended for all terrains – road and trails – it has to be a proverbial multi-tool on the foot. Thus, it needs some steadiness and support for those times you find yourselves at a trailhead, but also needs some sleekness and agility for the roads.

Thus, I found this a little too bulky when on the pavement – though honestly they do an admirable job at finding the middle ground. To be honest though, I feel like the lugs could be toned down a little bit considering that they are designed as “all-terrain”. I am not sure anyone needs 4mm lugs on pavement or casual packed trails.

The sock-like booty provides both some stretch and minor compression near the collar – allowing the upper fit to be top notch, even with a lightweight upper. The heel also has some nice cushion to it. Even with a larger stack-height, I still felt surprisingly stable in these on all terrains.

Though the stack is big and screams “cushion”, I did find the ride to be a little firmer than expected. Again, perhaps this is the need to have it accessible to multiple terrains, but it felt a little more rigid that I had hoped. It doesn’t necessarily detract from the runs, but note that it’s not a super cushioned upper. I have had issues with super bouncy trail shoes before, so I tend to prefer something that feels a little more structured.

That being said, I would guess (potentially) that an ATR may not be your go-to option for days when you are planning to spend all day on the trails. So perhaps it only makes sense that these feel like they fit a nice middle ground for those intermediate distance days (say <10 miles) when you are just getting out and exploring whatever the day brings.


To follow up on that, I see the Golden Gate ATR’s as a great option for when you don’t really know what the day is gonna hold. Honestly, they function more as a true-trail shoes, but I feel this is a great pair to have on hand for situations like this (that I have personally found myself in):

  1. Perhaps your day starts off near Hayward Field near downtown Eugene. You take in the sights as you traverse some neighborhood sidewalks before connecting up with the hard-packed Amazon Trails – a soft and steady barked experience. You aren’t quite ready to head back, so you decide to continue upwards in into rugged Ridgeline Trail System before hitting your turnaround. (Map to Run!)
  2. Or maybe you park near Reser Stadium in Corvallis and take the paved Midge Cramer Path westward. Bald Hill looms ahead and you are feeling good enough to summit. Lucky you have some ATR shoes to tackle the change of terrain along the way. (Map to Run!)

The Golden Gate ATR shoes are PERFECT for days like those. And the value – less than $150 – is perfect as well.


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Products & Price:
  • Golden Gate ATR | $149
    • Weight: 10.2oz (mens 9.5))
    • Stack: 32mm heel / 28mm
    • Lugs: 4mm

Thank you to Scarpa for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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