The Scarpa Men's Kinesis Pro GTX Hiking Boot: A Review

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2016-11-05

Manufactured by Scarpa, the award-winning outdoor gear manufacturer, the Scarpa Men's Kinesis Pro GTX Hiking Boot is an attractive mountaineering boot with a velvety suede finish. It is stylish and heavy duty at the same time, with a sturdy build that uses some proprietary technology for greater durability, grip and comfort.

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The Upper

The Kinesis Pro GTX has a full-grain nubuck leather upper, which offers high quality abrasion resistance, water-resistance and durability. It is crafted from a single piece of Italian-made leather, so there are no seams to unravel or for water to leak through. In addition the silicone tanning process the leather is subjected to definitely help to make the hiking boot more durable.

Another upside is that the boot is more breathable and light than full grain leather would have made it. In addition as with most nubuck boots, the Pro GTX uses a GORE-TEX liner for additional breathability and waterproofing.

The nubuck leather also makes the boot quite flexible. But the downside is a long break-in period that can. Once you've broken it in, you'll find that this hiking boot is clearly meant for business. The full rubber rand makes it very sturdy especially in rocky country. Many boots tend to have the stitching on the lower heel area wear out after some heavy duty hikes on rocky terrain, but that is not the case with this boot.

The Sole

The boot has a PU midsole, that is "Biometric Dual-density". PU makes a much more firm and durable midsole than the other cheaper and common material EVA. When compared with single density rubber or PU, dual density PU is expected to offer a better resistance to hydrolysis, better insulation against heat and cold, and more comfort for the wearer.

The sole is a multi-layered proprietary Vibram sole that is designed to offer good grip and shock absorption. A Vibram outsole with self-cleaning grooves has a design-focus on the thrust area, max grip area and braking area for high traction, good stability, good support and high stability. This is topped by a light PU midsole for cushioning of the front and rear of the foot. A biomechanical PU midsole and a dynamic TPU shank complete the layering. The shank helps to add some stiffness in the midsole,

The Active Plus insole is made of fiberglass and propylene. The BD Last that Scarpa also uses in the Delta and SL Active line among others is a last that is designed to cushion the feet, offer maximum foot hold, better foot rolling, more space in the toe area and better heel hold for more comfort.

Performance

The boots are designed for heavy duty mountaineering treks, but are comfortable even during day hikes. Breaking in can take quite a while, even a couple of hundred kilometers, and even then some people have found the heel area quite hard. Scarpa doesn't seem to have paid as much attention to heel design with this boot, unlike some other competitors. Having said that, once the boot is broken in, quite a bit of blistering problems developed during descents and ascents are resolved.

The waterproofing feature is excellent. You can hike in rain safely and have your feet stay warm and dry in the Kinesis Pro GTX. But at the same time, the shortcomings of the Vibram sole is revealed on wet rock. The hard rubber outsole has poor traction on wet, smooth surfaces even though the lugs on the soles offer a good traction on mixed terrain.

The Verdict

Priced at around $329, the Scarpa Men's Pro GTX Hiking Boots offer the durability, comfort, traction and quality meant for serious mountaineering treks without the high price tags of full grain leather. It is supportive and tough like mountaineering boots should be. The boot weighs an impressive 1 lb 14 oz / 850 g and feels ruggedly sturdy, worth the premium price. Overall, a highly recommended boot not meant for light hikes but overnights in the backcountry or climbs in the Alps.

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