First impressions count, and the Scarpa Kinesis Tech GTX clearly sits comfortably within the brand’s heritage of providing truly practical and durable mountain footwear no matter what the terrain. But it’s what’s inside that really sets it apart, as Scarpa has developed the ActiveFit programme to ensure that this boot is comfortable straight from the box.
ActiveFit combines a new BD last, or foot shape, with a new sole and footbed to create a new, more ergonomic design. This new ActiveFit approach should hold your foot more precisely while allowing extra cushioning to be built into the boot. Slip it on and you get a neat, close fit all around the foot, with very comfortable padding to give a feeling that the boot is really hugging the foot.
The Scarpa Kinesis Tech GTX is a 3-4 season boot, which means that the sole is stiff enough (from toe to heel as well as laterally) for year-round use including easy winter conditions where you need a boot like this with rigid edges and toes so you can kick into the snow for a really secure foothold. The Kinesis has B1 crampon compatibility, which means you can attach a C1-rated crampon to it, designed to grip while you walk on short, gently sloping sections of hard-packed snow or ice. If you want to climb steep ice, you need a stiffer-soled B2 or B3 boot and a C2 or C3 crampon.
On scree the sole of the Scarpa Kinesis Tech GTX does not distort too much, which gives it a solid, secure and comfy feeling. For extra durability on rock there is a rubber rand that encloses virtually the whole boot too. The upper is a fabric and nubuck leather combo with not too much stitching to wear out, and the Gore-Tex waterproof lining guarantees dry feet.
Durable, moderately stiff-soled 3-4 season boots may not be every walker’s ideal footwear choice as they are always a compromise between more flexible-soled, lighter weight 3-season boots that you would use in spring and summer, and sturdier 4-season boots with a stiff sole for winter walking and climbing. However, if you want one item of footwear for year-round use and intend to walk rather than climb in winter, this comfy boot is well worth a try.
Upper synthetic and nubuck leather
Sole Vibram biometric
Crampon compatibility B1
Weight 2060g (pair, size 46)
Made in Italy
More info www.scarpa.com
Scarpa’s new ActiveFit design creates a more ergonomic shape that holds your foot more precisely so that the Kinesis Tech GTX, a moderately stiff 3-4 season boot, is comfy straight from the box.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2011