Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX – Women’s ReviewJanuary 2, 2019
- Good traction
- Flimsy insoles
- No special features to set it apart
The Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX is a fairly comfortable boot overall without any glaring comfort issues. Testers initially thought that the boot felt like a rigid backpacking boot but with enough padding to be comfortable for long days on the trail. This boot has a fairly standard fit which might not be the best option for those with a wider foot or who prefer more room in the toe box. The suede and nylon upper allow for a bit more flexibility and comfort around the foot in comparison to other boots tested, such as the Salewa MTN Trainer Mid GTX which is very rigid and not as comfortable as a result. After a full day backpacking in the Kailash Trek GTX, testers were excited to rest their feet and get out of their boots but overall were impressed that they could hike all day without any problems with blisters or hot spots around the feet.
Support & Stability
The Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX uses a polyurethane midsole that provides plenty of support while on the trail for long days in the mountains. The mid-height boot with its stiff upper material providess great ankle stability while also being comfortable thanks to a small notch in the collar around the back of the boot that keeps it from digging into the back of the leg. The comfort flex insole is a standard flimsy insole with has no special features unlike other insoles provided in boots in the test, like that in Oboz’s stiffer and more supportive O Fit insole or Salewa’s customizable multi-fit footbed. While hiking, testers found that there was minimal penetration by sharp rocks or roots, and feet were well protected by the durable outsole. Overall support and stability were fairly standard for a backpacking boot and lacked any special features to give it a higher score.
The Vibram Biometric sole on the Scarpa Kailash GTX provides excellent traction throughout a variety of terrain. The lug pattern is varied and aggressive which makes it well suited to rocky or muddy environments. While the sole is also made of a Vibram material like the Salewa MTN Trainer GTX, the Kailash GTX doesn’t have as thick of an outsole and testers did notice some wear after a season of use so they most likely wouldn’t last as long if being used constantly in technical terrain. Testers used the Kailash GTX across a variety of terrains ranging from rocky scree fields to muddy trails, yet they never encountered any situations where they were afraid of slipping on boulders or getting bogged down in the mud.
The Scarpa Kailash GTX is constructed out of a sleek looking suede and nylon upper that provides full protection around the foot. It is a mid-height boot with only a slight notch in the back of the heel so that very little debris and dirt can find its way inside the boot. The Gore-Tex membrane prevents water from entering into the boot and testers didn’t encounter any issues with water leaking through this widely trusted waterproof membrane, even after numerous stream crossings. Using Gore-Tex for waterproofing is a no-brainer, and Scarpa made the right call here for protection against moisture. The Kailash Trek GTX also has a sturdy rubber toe box to help protect the foot and prevent stubbed toes. Yet again, the Kailash Trek GTX performed as expected as a sturdy backpacking boot and therefore scored decently in this category despite not having anyone specific feature to set it apart from others in the test.
The main thing that sets the Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX apart is that it is the lightest boot in the test at 2 pounds and 7 ounces. Despite being a solid backpacking boot, it is surprisingly lightweight and therefore a great choice for long days on the trail where every ounce may count. However, even though the Kailash Trek GTX weighs the least of all the boots in the test, testers thought that the Vasque Saga GTX felt more like light hiker when compared to the lighter measured weight of the Kailash Trek GTX.
This boot is best for an all-around backpacking boot that is solid across the board. It is the lightest boot in the test which makes it great for long days with a heavy pack. The durability and supportive construction of this boot also make it a great choice for a boot that will most likely last for many years of constant use over challenging terrain.
Adrianne Bouchard is a triathlete, skier, backpacker and lover of all things outdoors based in the Tahoe area.