Scott Kinabalu Enduro ReviewJune 29, 2016
- Good traction under a variety of conditions
- Aggressive treads with great traction
- Durable Vibram lugs
- Uncomfortable fit
- Narrow uppers
- Constrictive one-piece plastic overlay
- Heavy weight
- Stiff, clunky trail feel
The Scott Kinabalu Enduro has a durable Vibram outsole with aggressive lugs that perform well under various conditions, but our wear-testers found the uppers narrow, constrictive and uncomfortable. Despite a broadly positive assessment of the shoe’s traction and praise for the durability of the Vibram outsoles, the majority of our wear-test team found this shoe unpleasant to wear and awkward to run in. Our wear-testers specifically criticized the one-piece rubber overlay and used phrases like “disappointing,” “heavy,” “clunky,” and “an afterthought” to describe the Kinabalu Enduro.
Scott’s revamped Kinabalu line includes a variety of models, from the racing-focused Kinabalu RC to the soft-ground Kinabalu Supertrac. The Kinabalu Enduro is aimed at the all-around trail runner, and Scott describes it as an “all-mountain” shoe intended for multiple terrains and conditions. While the model is visually striking, reviewers found its performance lacking, particularly compared to other models in the same category of all-around protective trail shoes. In particular, the one-piece rubber overlay covering the uppers are constrictive and uncomfortable. The rubber overlay was primarily troublesome in the forefoot and across the toe box, where our wear-testers reported painful pinching and creasing. While the 6mm lugs of the Vibram outsole provide solid traction on a variety of trail conditions, reviewers had difficulty tying the shoes to fit comfortably and the majority reported them to be awkward and difficult to run in. As one wear-tester put it, the Kinabalu Enduro is “a disappointing shoe from Scott. This shoe felt like an afterthought.”
Although moderately comfortable out of the box, multiple wear-testers reported that they had to repeatedly stop mid-trail to adjust the laces in search of comfortable fit. The last is relatively narrow and tapered, with little room for toe splay. Most problematically, however, our wear-testers noticed that the stiff one-piece rubber overlay bends and creases sharply, digging uncomfortably into the top of the foot. There was confusion about what Scott was trying to accomplish by adding it, and consensus that the shoe would be improved by sticking to the traditional mesh upper. One wear-tester criticized the extra weight added by the overlay and wondered why Scott thought he needed abrasion resistance on top of his toes.
The tapered last fits much like a racing flat, and if the uppers didn’t add so much weight, the Kinabalu Enduro would almost certainly feel like a fast shoe on the trail. The Vibram Megagrip outsoles with 6mm lugs feel confident and quick on descents as well as both wet and sandy conditions, although the midsole and upper are stiff and clunky on flats and climbs. The stiff midsoles combined with relatively wide heels (compared to the forefoot) meant that some wear-testers experienced their heels pulling out of the shoes under hard effort.
Security of Fit
Reviewers found the fit awkward and uncomfortable, with many reporting heel slip under hard effort and lateral movement under anything but flat, smooth conditions. Adjusting the laces didn’t resolve the issue, and as one wear-tester noted, “As I tried readjusting on the trail, I couldn’t dial in a good fit without suffocating my foot.”
Reviewers found the Kinabalu Enduro awkward, clunky, and heavy. Although the outsoles offered excellent traction under multiple conditions (including sand, rocks, hardpack snow, and wet trails), the large 11mm heel-to-toe offset was not conducive to a quick, efficient footstrike or turnover. One wear-tester noted that the heel-to-toe drop of 11mm felt noticeably higher than other trail shoes, and that the firm forefoot and soft heel felt mismatched.
Scott’s eRide/Aerofoam midsole technologies are promising, but when mated to this particular upper, reviewers felt like they were fighting against the shoe. Similarly, one wear-tester commented that, “with Scott’s rocker design, I expected a smoother landing and toe-off.” Another wear-tester disagreed, however, observing that the 11mm drop made the shoe feel snappier and more responsive than low- or zero-drop peers.
This is the Kinabalu Enduro’s strength. The outsole is durable with excellent traction, although the level of protection provided by the one-piece upper is overkill. As one reviewer put it, “I have never needed abrasion protection on the top of my toes.” The 6mm lugs on the outsole combined with a forefoot plate were enough protection for rocky trails, although unlike other models with large lugs, the tread is not so pronounced that it gets in the way on smooth sections.