Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX ReviewDecember 21, 2018
- Seven grommets – strong lacing
- Solid construction
- Strong weatherization
- Strong toe cap
- Poor breathability
- Unbalanced weight
Support & Stability
These Scarpa boots have four closed grommets along the top of the foot, and three open grommets on the ankle, giving the user a wide range of cinch-ability. The ankle is a bit higher than most of the other boots in this test set, offering decent ankle support, with stiff and supportive leather sides. They have a Vibram sole, with a traditional layout of medium aggression, which is appropriate for most trail and many mountain conditions. The boots offer decent edging for scrambling.
Quality & Construction
The upper is made of suede with a Gore-Tex lining, earning these boots big points in the keep-my-feet-dry department. The tongue is a touch beefier than many of the other boots in this test set. The tongue is connected at the lower ankle, which gives the foot good access into the interior of the boot. All the grommets are riveted, rather than threaded or fastened, which gives this wearer confidence in the durability of their construction.
The leather that makes up the top of the foot and the sides does constrict airflow to the foot, which means that when these boots are soaked, they fail to move water out and away from the foot. The toe box has adequate room, and the insole is thin but squishy. In terms of balance, these boots feel a bit toe-heavy.
The Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX weighs 2.8 pounds, well above our average of 2.5 pounds, the second heaviest boots in this test set. It’s an okay weight considering how much protection they have, and how long the boots will last for with a bit of care.
The first impression of the Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX is an impressively lugged tow cap, but it pulls the balance of the boot to be a bit tow-heavy. Suede leather goes all the way up the sides, leading to a padded cuff at the ankle that is pretty comfortable. The sole is thick, and tough, with very little flex, which is good for footbed protection but can be a drag on people used to a more flexible boot. The thick sole also makes them a bit bottom-heavy.
Scott Morris guides backpacking expeditions and hiking trips for Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He is a writer, traveler, and runner. Scott tests backpacking equipment.