Hands-on Gear Review

Scarpa Kinesis Pro Review

Price:  $330 List | $247.36 at Amazon
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Pros:  Super durable, excellent ankle stability, perfect waterproofing
Cons:  Heavy, long break-in period
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Scarpa

Our Verdict

The Scarpa Kinesis Pro is a heavyweight backpacking boot built to carry heavy loads and travel the roughest terrain. While this boot is more than is necessary for many hikers, the support for your feet and ankles is unmatched. The Kinesis Pro fits wide feet better than the similar Asolo Power Matic 200. Both are excellent heavyweight boots. Our two award winners from the midweight hikers, the Vasque St. Elias GTX and Salomon Quest 4D II GTX are great choices if heavy packs and gnarly terrain aren't in your future.

This product is a new addition for 2015!


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Brandon Lampley

Last Updated:
Friday
May 22, 2015

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The Kinesis Pro earned the highest scores we awarded for water resistance, durability, and ankle stability. It is also the heaviest hiking boot we tested.

Performance Comparison


The Kinesis Pro feels and performs much like a traditional  heavy backpacking boot. Great ankle stability  stiff underfoot  and unmatched in water resistance.
The Kinesis Pro feels and performs much like a traditional, heavy backpacking boot. Great ankle stability, stiff underfoot, and unmatched in water resistance.

Comfort


This is a substantial boot on the foot. The ankle collar is the tallest and stiffest of the bunch, and an extended break-in period is necessary. Even with the added height, we found this ankle collar more comfortable in flexion than the Power Matic. An excellent lacing system allows you to tune the fit of the Kinesis Pro to your foot. After passing through four lower, pulley-like eyes, the laces can be locked down in a central hook. Above this, three hook eyes extend up the collar of the boot. The locking central eye feature allows you to lace the forefoot tightly, and the ankle collar more loosely — or just the opposite. This is a feature of all our favorite boot lacing systems.

This ankle collar is tall enough it needs three hook eyes rather than two... it's a top notch lacing system
This ankle collar is tall enough it needs three hook eyes rather than two... it's a top notch lacing system

Stability


The Kinesis Pro earned the highest score we awarded for ankle stability. The collar is the tallest, three upper lacing eyelets rather than two let you really cinch it down to protect your ankle when necessary. In addition to the ankle protection, this is also the stiffest boot under foot that we tested. With all this ankle protection and foot support comes a noticeable lack of sensitivity. The boot definitely feels clunky on the foot compared to lighter weight models, but becomes a bit more nimble as it breaks in.

Traction


Overall this boot delivers great traction. In mud, snow, gravel, and mixed rough terrain, it grips the ground as well or better than any other. But with the burly underfoot stiffness, comes a noticeable lack of sensitivity for traversing rock slabs, both dry and wet.

This product provides excellent traction in this kind of rough terrain  but doesn't smear well on smooth rock slabs due to the very stiff sole.
This product provides excellent traction in this kind of rough terrain, but doesn't smear well on smooth rock slabs due to the very stiff sole.

Weight


This is the heaviest hiking boot we tested, an additional two ounces over the other heavyweight hiker, the Asolo Power Matic 200. Tipping the scales at 4.42 lbs, the Kinesis Pro is twice as heavy as the lightest lightweights we evaluated. Thirty years ago when lugging a 60 lb pack was the norm when backpacking, this boot would have fit right in. Some folks carry these loads for work and play today, and this beast of a boot delivers the ankle stability, foot support, and durability to do it.

Water Resistance


Along with the Power Matic, the Kinesis Pro earned the top score for water resistance. The full-grain leather upper is factory treated for water resistance, and it'll be a while before you find it necessary to treat it with a leather conditioner. This boot's upper would likely keep your feet bone dry on its own, but the Gore-Tex liner is an added level of protection. With a flood height of seven inches (the tallest of our test products), you can be confident in this boot's ability to deal with water.

As long as the water doesn't flood over the top of the ankle collar  these beasts will keep your feet dry in the worst conditions.
As long as the water doesn't flood over the top of the ankle collar, these beasts will keep your feet dry in the worst conditions.

Durability


We believe this is the most durable hiking boot we have tested; it will be a lifetime investment for many backpackers. The full grain leather upper is super burly and abrasion resistant, and is protected by a rubber rand all the way around. If you plan to do a lot of scree surfing, this rand provides more protection for the leather upper compared to the Asolo Power Matic.

Best Applications


The Scarpa Kinesis Pro is most at home carrying heavy loads through rough terrain. Most hikers find a lighter midweight boot adequate for their needs these days, but some still hump massive loads, or appreciate a stiff, durable boot that will last for many years. These boots are great in the mud and snow, and make a great four season backpacking boot or burly winter work boot.

Value


These burly durable boots are expensive. At $330 retail, you could purchase two pairs of the more affordable models. Most durable, most ankle stability, most water resistant, most expensive… a lot of "mosts" for this burly heavyweight.

There must be somewhere here shallow enough for a crossing. The Kinesis Pro is a stellar waterproof model that will allow you to traverse streams with ease.
There must be somewhere here shallow enough for a crossing. The Kinesis Pro is a stellar waterproof model that will allow you to traverse streams with ease.

Conclusion


This is the boot to buy if you seek a traditional heavy backpacking boot for carrying a heavy pack through rough terrain. Water, mud, and snow pose no problem for the Kinesis Pro, and the durability is unmatched.
Brandon Lampley

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Most recent review: May 22, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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