Kayland Contact 1000 Boots
November 28, 2006
Name: Adam G. Fisher
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 255 lb (116 kg)
Email: agfisher (at) yahoo (dot) com
City: Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
I have been hiking and backpacking since I joined the Scouts in the
early eighties. Most trip, these days, are overnight with a long
weekend thrown in whenever possible. My full pack weight can range
from a light 25 lbs (11 kg) to a standard 50 lbs (23 kg) to an extreme
high of 75 lbs (34 kg) but the standard weight is my average for most
trips. I also try to day hike whenever I can squeeze them in. Recently
I have hiked in Australia (Alice Springs, Tasmania), New Zealand
(Nelson, Wellington), England (North Yorkshire Moors), Germany
(Bavaria) and Massachusetts. During the year I like to backpack, hike,
bike, ski and snowboard as much as possible.
Product: Kayland Contact 1000 Hiking Boots
Size: 13 US, 12 UK
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Weight (Listed): 1 lb 10 oz (750 g)
Measured Weight: 2 lb (907 g)
MSRP: NA on company website
The boots arrived in a brown cardboard box. Inside was a shoebox that
securely held the boots in place. Printed on the bottom of the shoebox
is a set of care instructions for the boots. Inside the shoebox was
the pair of boots wrapped in some packing paper. After giving the
boots a quick look over, they seemed to be free from defects and
damage incurred during shipping.
After doing some research on Kayland's website I learned about the
material and technologies involved in the construction of these boots.
Starting from the bottom up, the boot's sole are the Foura by Vibram.
According to the Vibram website this soles offers "Unique design and
placement of lugs provide maximum traction on various terrain.
Multi-directional lugs provide user with substantial edging
capabilities for braking, push off, and stability." The tread's lugs
do appear to be aggressive in their design. Above the Vibram sole is
the midsole. This is constructed, according to the Kayland website, of
"Shock Absorber Microporous + I.A.D.S." The I.A.D.S part assists in
the protecting and supporting of the heel while also increasing
stability and forward thrust during activities. The Shock Absorber
Microporous element helps reduce the overall impact of the boot. The
next level is the uppers. By looking at the Kayland website the uppers
are constructed from "SUEDE 1.6/1.8 mm + BREATHABLE MATERIAL IN HIGH
RESISTENT FIBERS." The uppers are designed, according to Kayland, to
increase foot comfort by 50% and enhance their ability to transfer
energy, which improves safety and performance. The boot's lining is
constructed of eVent fabric. This fabric claims to aid in the
dispersion of perspiration during use.
The boot's appearance, overall, is quite nice. They have a very modern
and smooth look. The boots are colored black on the bottom with grey
encircling the top from the ankle up. As accents, on the side, tongue
and a small section of the sole a bit of orange has been added.
Inside, the liner is of a light grey color and the material has a mesh
like appearance. The included shoelaces are a cylindrical braided
black cord with subtle white highlights replacing the more familiar
flat woven shoelaces. Flat shoelaces usually have the ability to
remain tied. The boot's tongue is attached to both side of the boot
all the way up to the top. This feature should help significantly in
keeping the boots dry in wet conditions.
One interesting design feature is the placement of the shoelace
grommets. They are arranged in an asymmetrically pattern with five
metal loop type grommets on the outside of the foot and four on the
inside. Below this in single offset leather loop that has been placed
on the toe to maximize the force applied to the area. At the top of
the boot are six speed-lacing hooks. The lower two, one on each side,
are placed low and near the ankle. This position really lets you pull
the top of the boot down onto the top of your foot, making for a
comfortably tight fit. The other four hooks are above the ankle and
let you tighten the boot around the lower leg.
Using a pair of thin hiking socks I put on the boots and tightened
them comfortably around my foot. The first thing I noticed when
standing was my height. These boots really make me feel taller. The
distance from the bottom of the sole to the top of the boots insole is
1.75 in (4.45 cm). This does not seem to be that great so maybe the
feeling is a bit misleading because they are new. After standing I
took a few steps around the room and my next thought was the weight.
These boots are definitely a bit on the heavy side but not too the
point where the weight would increase my fatigue. I then tried to move
my foot around inside the boot to determine how snug the fit is.
Starting at the toes, I was able to move my toes a comfortable amount.
They felt well placed and did not slide around striking the sides. The
top of my foot felt secured and comfortable. Holding the heel of my
boot and pulling down I tried to determine how much movement I could
get in heel slip. I pleased to see very little movement which will be
great to help prevent blisters, etc. Inside the boot I could feel that
the padding, especially around the ankle had been shaped to hold your
foot in place. This was good to see as the website stated (as noted
above) that the boots are designed to hold your foot more securely to
assist in the transfer of energy. After some short walks in the boots
I noticed that these boots were much stiffer then the boots I normally
use but the stiffness give a very supportive feeling. According to
Kayland's website the boots are rated at a stiffness level of five.
This scale ranges from Level One, which is a bare foot, to a Level
Nine, which is extreme mountaineering, glaciers, ice climbing, etc.
Overall I am very happy with the fit of these boots, I enjoy how the
boot feel very snug and comfortable almost like they were custom made
for my foot.
I plan to use the Contact 1000 boots in all my hiking and backpacking
during the test period. The hiking will occur predominately in the New
England area weekly. In this area the temperature will range from 55
F (12.8 C) down to 10 F (12.2 C) or so. Weather condition will cover
the gambit from sunny and cool to wet and freezing.
I also plan on using them for a backpacking trip to the southwest
United States (Arizona, New Mexico) in February. This trip has not
been completely planned yet but should be for a few days at the least.
I should have the exact dates after the New Year.
Below are the questions I plan on answering at this point. As with
most tests, I'm sure more questions will be determined during the
process and they will be added.
- How well do these boots fit with different weight socks?
o This is important to me because I like to adjust my sock weight
depending on the outdoor temperature. A pair of boots should be
comfortable with thin or thick socks.
- How comfortable can I get the boot while keeping them tight enough
to not diminish performance?
o I like the have my boot nice and tight so as to really feel the
trail while I'm hiking. This for me is very important for safety and
enjoyment. I will mark a pair of boots down if by tightening then so
the performance is acceptable my foot becomes uncomfortable and
cramps. Does the atypical lacing style help in this?
- Is there enough arch support to keep me hiking all day long?
- Although not critical to the boots overall, the appearance is
important to a lot of people. Do these boots look great or are they
something you want to cover with some gators?
- After a few miles how are the boots holding up?
o I am curious as to how long the treads last. They feel quite hard so
will that equate directly to longevity? Also it seems that the joints
between the sole and upper are glued. How well will this glue joint
hold up? How well will the foam lining last? Will it keep my foot
comfortable after some hard use?
- How easy are they to clean?
- Do the boots tire my feet out?
o Is the cushioning thick enough to reduce the impact stress on my feet?
o Does the cushioning chaff my feet at all?
o Do the boots weight too much?
- How quickly do these boots break in?
o How do they do with dry packed dirt?
o How do they do with wet packed dirt?
o How do they do with dry pavement?
o How do they do with wet pavement?
o How do they do with mud? The boots have deep lugs. Do I have to
stop all the time to clean them out?
o How do they do with snow?
o How do they do with ice?
- Are the boots waterproof? If not how weather proof are they? The
tongue design makes me thing that they should perform pretty well.
- Do they keep my feet warm when wet?
- How quickly do they dry when wet?
- How well do the boots breathe?
o My feet can sweat a lot. Can these boots keep up?