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Our Outdoor Prolink team is united by our complete obsession with outdoor gear. Sure, you can probably label us freaks, but the smell of new hiking boots out of the box, the feeling of running a finger down a brand new, cold, gleaming carabiner, and the joy of sliding on a pair of really sweet sunglasses is what makes us tick. As members of the ATTA and outdoor professionals who use outdoor gear every day, we know how important it is to you too. Our pro purchase program offers deep discounts to outdoor professionals on over 70 top-quality brands like La Sportiva, Scarpa, MSR and Mountain Hardwear, with thousands of products available at 30 – 45 % off MSRP. If you are a paid outdoor professional, you should qualify for our site. To apply, simply go to www.outdoorprolink.com and click ‘Register Today.’ Be sure to send in a piece of supporting documentation like a current paystub or letter from your employer to prove your full-time employment. Gear is our passion, and we want to share it with you. Get on board with OPL and never pay retail for your gear again!
When I picked up the Kailash GTX hiking boots from Scarpa, I experienced a familiar feeling: thrilled to have new boots, but secretly dreading the battle wounds that usually come with the break-in process. To my surprise, I’ve spent the last few months breaking in these boots blister-free. I made sure to get the correct size, but the boots are so light (weighing in at just 1lb 3oz each) and well cushioned, the once painful break-in process was actually enjoyable. It only took a handful of uses before I felt the boots start to mold to my feet. I’ve been wearing them in the Boulder Foothills during an especially tumultuous spring and early summer. Between rain, snow and sweltering temps, the Kailash GTX’s were put to the test in all kinds of weather, and I found that this supportive lightweight boot is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn.
The boot’s Gore-Tex membrane kept my feet dry as I battled mud and puddles on the trail. Even though my feet got wet as I climbed a muddy slope with snow melt trickling down it, I found that they stayed drier than I expected, dried quickly, and paired with some merino wool socks, kept my feet warm the whole time. The Gore-Tex membrane is also breathable, and combined with the boot’s light weight, my feet stayed cooler and drier on 85+ degree days than most heavy duty hiking boots, which also helped prevent blisters and hot spots.
The beefy Vibram® Hi-Trail Lite sole offers excellent traction whether you are trying to grip slippery muddy trails, or maneuvering down the side of a rock. The tough toe rand also keeps your toes protected from sharp rocks on technical trails or when your foot placement gets a little sloppy at the end of the day. The toe box is roomy, offering much needed wiggle room for swollen feet. There is additional support in the back of the boot that helps protect your Achilles, which lends peace of mind on the trail. The upper fit snugly around my leg when laced up and left no gap for rocks and debris to sneak in.
The verdict: You can skip the blistered, break-in headache once and for all with the Kailash GTX. This combined with its tough sole and light weight make it a choice hiking and backpacking companion.
OPL Pro Price: $128.74
The Scarpa Kailash GTX: