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IR: Scarpa Kailash GTX Hiking Boots - Greg McDonald

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  • Greg
    Hey Jo Ann, I ve got an IR for you on my boots, hope that you like it. So for your editing pleasure, I have uploaded the HTML version to the test folder:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2008
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      Hey Jo Ann,

      I've got an IR for you on my boots, hope that you like it. So for
      your editing pleasure, I have uploaded the HTML version to the test
      folder:

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR%20-%20Scarpa%
      20Kailash%20GTX%20-%20Greg%20McDonald/
      --OR the Tiny version...--
      http://tinyurl.com/5ff9ac

      And of course the text version that follows, I look forward to
      hearing from you soon :D!

      _______________________________

      SCARPA KAILASH GTX HIKING BOOTS
      TEST SERIES BY GREG MCDONALD
      IR
      June 30, 2008

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Greg McDonald
      EMAIL: gdm320 AT yahoo DOT com
      AGE: 21
      LOCATION: Boynton Beach, Florida
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 0" (1.83 m)
      WEIGHT: 225 lb (102.00 kg)

      I have been camping for 15 years, 11 of them have been spent hiking
      in the backcountry. My hikes are almost exclusively in Florida and
      generally range between one and three nights. My all-time favorite
      hike was a 10 day expedition in the Philmont Scout Ranch in
      Cimmaron, New Mexico. I consider myself a lightweight but
      comfortably equipped hiker, with a pack averaging between 25 and 30
      lb (11 and 14 kg).


      INITIAL REPORT

      Product Information & Specifications

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Scarpa - No Place Too Far">>
      Manufacturer: Scarpa <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Scarpa Kailash
      GTX Boots & Box">>
      Year of Manufacture: 2008
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
      "http://www.scarpa.com" LINK TEXT = "http://www.scarpa.com">>
      MSRP: US $
      Listed Weight (Each, Size EU 42): 22.22 oz (630 g)
      Tested Size: EU 45 (US 10 1/2)
      Measured Weight (Pair): 48.75 oz (1382 g)
      Tested Color: Pepper/Stone
      Upper: Suede
      Lining: Gore-Tex
      Midsole: Comfort-Flex
      Sole: Vibram Hi-Trail Lite
      Made in Romania

      Initial Thoughts & Observations

      The Scarpa Kailash GTX boots are a part of Scarpa's "Backpacking
      Series" of boots. Scarpa categorizes the Kailash as a midweight boot
      that is "ideal for hiking, rugged day hikes, and regular abuse" and
      goes on to say they are designed for "maximum comfort."

      The boots themselves arrived in perfect condition in the standard
      Scarpa box, pictured at right with the boots themselves. Right out
      of the box I felt they looked pretty sharp, and there were no
      surprises in their appearance thanks to a thorough study of the
      Scarpa website and an article in Backpacker Magazine. On the right
      boot, a small hanging booklet was attached with a plastic loop
      through one of the eyelets for the shoelace. This booklet includes
      information concerning care instructions, accessories, maintenance,
      and general advice on boot care. Also in the box was an insert from
      Gore-Tex outlining who to contact if I am not satisfied with the the
      breathability or waterproofing of the Gore-Tex.

      After snapping some initial photos of the boots, I started going
      over them a little more thoroughly. Having only picked them up, I
      was very happy with the expectation that I had as to their weight.
      The height of the boots is about what I expected, from the bottom of
      the sole to the highest point on the cuff is about 7 in (18 cm). The
      back of the boot and toe area have an identical, harder, and more
      rigid material built on, giving these areas a sturdy feel. I am also
      pleased with the shape and solid feel of the lugs on the Vibram
      sole, which is firmly adhered to the upper. From my preliminary
      pulling and prodding, the lugs appear to be tough but flexible with
      no obvious weak points on the corners of the individual lugs.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Similar layout to the Scarpa
      eyelets." IMAGE CAPTION = "Fig. IR-1">>
      Closer inspection yieled some more observations. The shoelaces are
      round, and possibly a bit short overall for my liking. The lacing is
      a combination one webbed eyelet at the base of the laces, eight
      closed d-ring style eyelets (4 on each side) running up the boot
      parallel to the tongue and 4 hook eyelets (2 on each side)
      perpendicular to the cuff to tighten the ankle up. Figure IR-1 (at
      right) is an approximate, though not identical, representation of
      the Scarpa lacing system. The partially suede faced tongue is
      attached about 1 in (2.5 cm) below the top of the cuff, down to
      about the lowest point on the cuff at the scree collar.

      The last thing I found during my nit picking were the slightly
      suspect inserts. I am a bit weary of the inserts as they are pretty
      firm and on the thin side. This is something I will have to pay
      close attention to during the testing period.

      Trying Them On For Size

      My first thought after putting the Kailashes on was how well they
      hug my feet without being too tight. I wear hiking socks with liners
      on my treks, so that is the same setup that I started with and am
      likely to continue to use for the entire test series. The boots
      tighten up nicely with the hook eyelets on the ankle, but I quickly
      learned that I must be careful to get the top of the tongue tucked
      in properly so it does not bind up and not to get overzealous
      tightening the ankle area with the hook eyelets. The laces are
      pretty easy to adjust while I have the boots on either to tighten or
      loosen the boot a bit and seem to stay tied well.

      So far I would estimate that I've put approximately 5 mi (8 km) on
      the boots. I'm happy to report that the Kailashes felt excellent
      from the first fitting and are not requiring nearly the break-in
      period that I have come to expect from a pair of hiking boots. That
      being said, I have found that I do still need to allow for a break-
      in because of the toe box. I have slightly wide feet and Scarpa does
      not make boots in wider sizes, so I am having to allow time to get
      my feet used to the slightly narrower toe box and the boots time to
      stretch and work in. Even with only a week worth of break in walking
      around the lake by my home and wearing them around the house and at
      the office, I would have no questions about heading out for a trek
      with these boots.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Reinforced areas on the toe and
      heel." IMAGE CAPTION = "Fig. IR-2">>
      One concern that I had about using a mid-level hiking boot in the
      100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) heat is how my feet would respond,
      whether they would sweat like mad and overheat. In my break-in walks
      I've taken outside I am impressed with how dry my feet stay and most
      importantly I have not experienced any notable or uncomfortable
      heating in my feet. That being said, I will be closely monitoring
      this aspect of the Kailashes throughout the testing period.

      I am also very pleased with the additional reinforcement on the back
      of the boot to protect the achilles and peronal tendons on the
      hindfoot. There is an identical material on the toe that forms a
      sort of toe rand. Both these areas are considerably more rigid than
      the rest of the boot, protecting some of the more vulnerable parts
      of the foot. I did some basic kick testing on these areas to test
      their impact resistance, and thusfar I am very pleased with how they
      protect these vital areas. (See Fig. IR-2)


      The fit of the Scarpa Kailash boots is excellent. The boots rise to
      a very comfortable height on my ankle, providing what seems to be
      ample support against rolling. However, there is still ample
      flexibility to allow free movement when necessary and the scree
      collar allows for excellent range of up and down toe motion. The
      footbed is very comfortable, and the padding in and around the
      collar is excellent so as long as I do not overtighten the laces,
      the heel and ankle area is quite cozy. As I mentioned briefly
      earlier, my only concern with the fit is the toe box thanks to my
      wider feet, which I will be monitoring very closely for blisters and
      chaffing.

      Going Forward

      Over the next four months, it is my intention to subject the Scarpa
      Kailash GTX hiking boots to a rigorous and thorough series of
      testing scenarios to answer my remaining questions about them. I
      will be further investigating their long-term comfort and durability
      as well as their on-the-trail performance.

      Thusfar, I have been very impressed with the construction and
      initial comfort of the boots (including their hot-weather
      performance), as well as the additional toe and hindfoot protection.
      Based on my initial inspection and experiences with the Kailashes, I
      will now also be keeping a close eye on both the initially suspect
      inserts and the space of the toe box.

      This concludes my initial report on the Scarpa Kailash GTX hiking
      boots. I invite you to check back in two months for my Field Report,
      where I will be further exploring the ins and outs of these very
      promising boots. Until then...

      Never Stop Exploring,
      Greg McDonald

      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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