Scarpa has a great reputation in the Adventure Travel office. The company is still manufacturing in Italy and in our experience it offers great quality, well-made boots.
The Kinesis GTX was introduced into Scarpa’s huge range in spring 2011 and it features the company’s ActivFit technology, a concept that was in development for several years. The product blurb for ActivFit claims that it makes the boot more comfortable straight out of the box thanks to a snugger fitting last, auto-fit foam inserts at the heel (which also have the job of supporting the foot), an auto-fit collar at the ankle and a Viscoflex footbed which is made out of memory foam. So, does it? In our opinion, yes. The boot feels a lot snugger on the foot and the foam padding around the ankle and heel make it a very comfortable piece of footwear.
Other features on the boots include the brilliant, aggressively cut Vibram sole. You get deep lugs to help give traction on loose terrain (like mud and snow) as well as a smoother section towards the toe for improved performance on rocks; which make it a great boot for via ferrata-ing.
The boot provides excellent stability and support thanks to a stiff midsole, and the flex point is ideal, adding to the comfort of the boot. The upper is made from a nice-looking Nubuck suede and you get a Gore-Tex lining to help keep the water out. To further protect your foot and the boot, you get a tough rubber rand around the front of the foot and a toe bumper.
The Scarpa Kinesis GTX is the perfect ‘do everything’ boot. It has enough protection and stiffness for scrambling or via ferrata-ing, it’s comfortable enough for long hikes and it’ll take a flexible crampon should you come across some snow or ice on your climbs.
In a line: A perfect all-round boot.