Kayland Comet Mid (2014)

The Kayland Comet Mid has got to be the coolest-looking boot on the market at the moment. Slick suede uppers with understated style that would be at ease in any urban setting belie a pair of very capable climbing boots. The uppers are very supportive yet ultra-comfortable, thanks to well-thought-out and nicely balanced use of padding and layering. Inside a layer of Gore-Tex keeps water at bay, and paired with the suede it breathes well, thus avoiding the clammy feel that some waterproof linings seem to give. Lacing is top to toe but without hooks at the top. This gives a very good range of fits to allow for a change when either climbing or walking. On rock the Vibram Link sole grips with amazing tenacity and instils a high level of confidence on friction holds. On edges the EVA midsole flexes a bit and while it still ‘sticks’, it does take a bit of practice to become totally comfortable with the action. A toe rand helps with toe jamming but does not extend enough to offer full protection from scree. The tread pattern is too shallow to deal with extended periods on mud or wet grass, making the Kayland Comet Mid best suited to conditions on clean rock or summer via ferrata routes.

Uppers materials suede

Waterproof lining GoreTex

Sole unit Vibram Link with an EVA midsole

Women’s sizes smaller sizes use a female specific last

Men’s sizes 3-13 with half sizes

Weight (pair, size11) 1096g

Website www.kayland.com

Verdict

The Kayland Comet Mid is an interesting boot capable of dealing with harder scrambles and lower-grade rock-climbs yet with very slick styling. As an aside, a pair of these boots would be ideal for a spot of ‘buildering’ – urban adventures of the vertical kind!

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft

Just missed out on being in Trail magazine April 2014

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Kayland Zephyr 2010

The Kayland Zephyr weighs 1396g (pair, size 11); eVent waterproof lining; fabric upper; lacing to toe for superior fit for scrambling; very supportive upper; excellent outsole stiffness for rockier ground; good cushioning underfoot. But outsole lug pattern is very shallow, which limits grip and long-term wear; upper not as durable as leather and rubber-randed designs.

The Kayland Zephyr is a good trekking boot but best restricted to good paths due to sole grip, which really lets it down.

First published in Trail magazine May 2010


Kayland Contact2010

The Kayland Contact is a modern classic that is well-proven for general hill and mountain walking in the UK and abroad. The Contact is made using a mix of fabric and suede leather on the upper, and this protects an eVent waterproof lining. The lacing extends further down the toes than some other boots, which allows a more precise fit that scramblers may benefit from. The upper provides plenty of support at the heel, and the toe box is solid with a protective rubber rand for extra durability on rocky terrain. Underfoot you get a good Vibram sole unit with good stiffness for rocky ground plus good lugs for the mud. There is good cushioning too, and the overall effect of all these features is to make the Contact ideal for walking and scrambling over hills in the UK and abroad. But the Kayland Contact’s upper is made of many panels so it may not be as durable as a simpler plain leather upper. There are lower-priced options of course and many lighter boots too. If you prefer bendy boots then this is not for you as it is made to be stiff enough to tackle rocky ground and scrambles on a daily basis.

Upper 1.6-1.8mm suede leather, fabric, eVent waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Foura
Sizes 7-13 (men’s); 3-8 (women’s)
Weight 1744g (pair, size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 35

 

The Kayland Contact is an excellent hill and mountain walking and scrambling boot that would be ideal for many hill-walkers and backpackers.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2010


Kayland Apex Rock 2009

Some winter boots are better for climbing, and others are better for walking. Kayland’s Apex Rock, as the name suggests, is very much a climbing-orientated design. It has a close, narrow fit, which benefits from lacing that extends right down to the toes. The result is a really dexterous feel that means you can confidently place the toe exactly where it needs to go on the rock. This boot is relatively light too, which further enhances its performance when climbing, while the high ankle cuff provides lots of support yet maintains an easy forward flex for walking. It is easy to fit crampons as there is a heel lug and good stiffness. For long-term durability when climbing on rock the rubber rand should provide ample protection. The stiffness underfoot is ideal for climbing and traversing snow, while the smooth climbing zone of the sole unit is again ideal for climbing, as the name of the boot suggests. But some boots are better for walking and others are better for climbing, and the Kayland Apex Rock definitely sits on the ‘better for climbing’ side of that fence. If you just want a boot to walk across snow-covered mountains, then others have advantages such as a better rolling action.

Upper leather and synthetic fabric; eVent lining
Sole Vibram Mulaz
Sizes 7-13 (men’s); 3-8 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B2
Weight 1920g (pair, size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 29

Verdict
If you want a winter boot where performance on rock is going to be a primary requirement then the Kayland Apex Rock is perfect.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2009

 


Kayland Apex Trek 2009

The Kayland Apex Trek 3-4 season boot is very lightweight for its class and yet it benefits from a great package of features and is no slouch in terms of performance either. The upper is made from a combination of fabric and leather with an eVent waterproof lining. The rubber rand extends around the front of the boot for improved durability. The stiffness in the sole is ideal for tackling snow and the ankle will provide good support on uneven terrain. Unlike many more general boots, the toe profile and lacing are both designed to improve the performance of the boot when scrambling and climbing. The outsole provides plenty of grip and wear for many years’ use in the hills on all types of terrain. So this looks like an excellent lightweight, year-round boot that is well-designed for hill-walkers’ needs. But compared to some other boots there is a lot of stitching on the upper of the Kayland Apex Trek, which may fail before a non-stitched single piece leather upper for example. The fit is quite close, which is ideal for scrambling and mountaineering and fine for me, but walkers may prefer something a little more forgiving, particularly if they have a wider foot.

Upper leather and fabric; eVent waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Tsavo
Sizes 7-13 (men’s); 3-8 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B1
Weight 1888g (size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 14

Verdict
The Kayland Apex Trek is a superb lightweight walking, scrambling and mountaineering boot for a wide variety of terrain if you prefer a slightly more profiled fit at the toe.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2009


Kayland Apex Rock 2008

The Kayland Apex Rock is a great 4-season boot for mountaineers, thanks to the narrow style, which benefits from lacing that extends right down to the toes, so a closer and more precise fit is provided. There is also a locking eyelet that allows you to tighten the lower section and lock it off. This boot is relatively light, too, which further enhances its mountaineering appeal. The ankle cuff is quite high and supportive, but it easily flexes forward as well so walking is reasonably natural and comfortable for a winter boot. Crampons are easy to fit thanks to the heel lug, and comfortable thanks to the stiff upper. The rubber rand adds useful protection on rock. Underfoot there is a good stiffness, aggression and cushioning from the Vibram sole unit, which benefits from a smooth climbing zone under the toe. But while the Kayland Apex Rock is superb for mountaineering and climbing, it is not quite as good as others if you just want a pure winter walking boot as the rolling action is not quite so smooth as it could be. The price tag is high too if you don’t need the extra climbing performance.

Upper leather and synthetic fabric
Lining eVent
Sole Vibram Mulaz
Sizes 7-13 (men’s); 3-8 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B2
Weight 1920g (pair, size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 29
Verdict
Perfect for mountaineering, but if you are more inclined towards winter walking rather than climbing then others have an edge on performance.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2008

Kayland Apex Trek 2008

If weight is your priority in a 3-4 season boot, the Kayland Apex Trek is a very good option. But it’s not lacking performance-orientated features either. The upper is a mix of fabric and leather, plus there’s a waterproof lining and a big rubber rand to make the boot ideal for scrambling and mountaineering as well as crunching over mixed terrain in crampons. There’s excellent stiffness in the toe and a good, supportive ankle cuff for stability on uneven terrain. The laces can be locked off below the ankle for better lacing tension, and there is an unusual heel strap that further enhances fit without restricting movement when walking. The outsole is a good, stiff Vibram unit with an aggressive set of lugs. So this seems ideal for general hill-walking with a performance edge towards scrambling and mountaineering. But there is quite a lot of stitching on the Kayland Apex Trek’s upper, so this won’t be as durable in the long term as a simpler, all-leather design. The fit is quite close, which is ideal for scrambling and mountaineering; but walkers may prefer something a little more forgiving. The biggest drawback, however, is the cost as there are lower-priced boots that are almost as good for many people.

Upper leather and fabric
Lining eVent waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Tsavo
Sizes 7-13 (men’s); 3-8 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B1
Weight 1888g (pair, size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 14
Verdict
A superb lightweight winter walking, scrambling and mountaineering boot for those who want great performance at any cost.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2008

Kayland Vertigo High Event

A lightweight 3-season boot weighing 1280g (pair, size 5). eVent waterproof lining; suede upper; rubber toe rand; lacing extends to toe. The very stiff sole flex is ideal for climbing and scrambling, while the deep-lugged Vibram sole is great for scrambling over scree and debris; well-cushioned sole. However, not as comfortable as other boots when walking as this is a dedicated scrambling boot.

Verdict: Superb boot for dedicated scrambling or via ferrata.

 

First published in Trail magazine, April 2008


Kayland Geronimo

This lightweight multi-activity shoe from Kayland weighs 1128g (pair, size 11). It has a suede leather and mesh upper; rubber protection for toe; solid toe box for protection; very supportive heel; good cushioning; good sole grip for climbing and scrambling. However, the sole is quite flexible compared to other approach shoes for climbers and it’s not waterproof. The shoe is not as good for general walking and trekking as other multi-activity footwear.

Verdict: A good climbing or approach shoe, but others have a stiffer sole and a little more all-round performance.

 

First published in Trail magazine, April 2008


Kayland Vertigo High

This is a more dedicated via ferrata boot than some other climbing boots, with a very neat toe profile and extended lacing system that enhances the fit around the toe. The upper is suede with an eVent waterproof lining. A rubber rand protects the forefoot. The ankle cuff is kinder on the body than most as it is quite low-cut and so it allows a very natural walking action. Underfoot you get a stiff Vibram sole unit that feels ideal for general climbing and particularly via ferrata routes and scrambles. At 1708g (pair, size 11) it is lighter than many comparable boots too, which again is a real advantage on more technical terrain. The low price is a particular advantage of this boot compared with many others here. Use this on short, technical climbs and its performance will shine through as the best here. But a full leather upper is going to be more durable than the suede upper provided here, and others have a fuller rand to improve durability still further. The sole unit is not as good as some others either, lacking a dedicated smooth climbing zone and clinging instead to a rather standard-issue cleated pattern. All this points to a boot that is better on the rock than off it, which limits its all-round usefulness.

 

Upper: suede leather, eVent waterproof lining
Sole: Vibram Tsavo
Sizes: 7-13 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Trail fit profile: forefoot 2; heel 2; volume 2; length 2
Crampon compatibility: B0
Weight: 1708g (pair, size 11)
Made in Romania
Stores in UK: England 5; Wales 0; Scotland 1; Ireland 0

Verdict: Buy it if you want a good boot that is dedicated to scrambling and via ferrata rather than a full mountain day.


Kayland Arya Low

This multi-activity shoe features a fabric upper for breathability; leather reinforcement around upper; solid toe box for protection; stiff heel cup for support; good cushioning; Vibram sole unit; reasonably stiff sole for rocky paths. But sole does not have the controlled smooth flex of some shoes, making this feel a little ‘clumpy’; outsole lug pattern is quite shallow, so not ideal for mud.

Verdict: Buy it if you want a reasonable crag approach or walking shoe for drier terrain


Kayland Apex Trek

This is a new 3-4 season boot that’s bursting with credibility. I love the low weight, especially when you realise that it is not lacking performance either. The upper is a mix of fabric and leather plus a waterproof lining and a big rubber rand to prevent scrapes with rocks ruining the upper. There’s excellent stiffness in the toe and a good supportive ankle cuff. The lacing is particularly interesting as it boasts unique locking lace hooks, a heel strap and lacing that extends to the toes to give a precise fit. Underfoot you get a good stiff Vibram sole unit that is ideal for winter and rock. But the upper does have a lot more stitching on it than is ideal for long-term durability, but at least you get a huge rand for protection. The fit is quite close, which is ideal for scrambling and mountaineering but walkers may prefer something a little more forgiving. The main issue though is the price tag as lower-priced boots will do what many winter walkers need.

 

Upper: leather and fabric
Lining: eVent waterproof lining
Sole: Vibram Tsavo
Sizes: 7-13 (men’s); 3-8 (women’s)
Trail fit profile: forefoot narrow; heel narrow; volume low; length medium
Crampon compatibility: B1
Weight: 1888g (pair, size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in UK: 14

Verdict: A superb lightweight winter walking, scrambling and mountaineering boot for those who want the best performance at any cost.


Kayland Apex Rock

This is a wonderful 4-season boot. Slip it on, and the superb lacing and lace locking design is instantly appealing, as it allows you to tighten the lower section and lock it off with unparalleled ease. This boot is lightweight too and has a great dexterous feel that makes it ideal for scrambling and mountaineering. The ankle cuff is quite high and supportive but has enough forward flex to take the pain out of walking. The upper is nice and stiff to resist crampon strap pressure, while the rubber rand adds useful protection. Underfoot there is a good stiffness, aggression and cushioning from the Vibram sole unit, which benefits from a smooth climbing zone under the toe. But the boot has a close fit around the forefoot that makes it ideal for mountaineering and climbing but not quite as comfy as some others for pure walking. The price is high if you don’t need the extra climbing performance.

 

Upper: leather and synthetic fabric
Lining: eVent
Sole: Vibram Mulaz
Sizes: 7-13 (men’s); 3-8 (women’s)
Trail Fit Profile: forefoot-narrow; heel-medium; volume-normal; length-normal
Crampon compatibility: B2
Weight: 1920g (pair, size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in UK: 29

Verdict: A superb mountaineering boot, but those more inclined to walking over winter mountains may benefit more from other boots.


Kayland Super Plume

These fabric boots from Kayland are a fairly narrow fit, but are well-padded comfortable from the box. They lace easily, with a well-placed locking eyelet, and hold your feet stable. A softer midsole than some makes these good all-rounders, yet they feel less agile than others, with a noticeably higher ankle cuff. They also seem to lack robustness, although the eVENT membrane is impressive.

Verdict: Lightweight all-rounders that use the excellent eVENT membrane, rather than the usual Gore-Tex, to keep feet dry and cool. They are on the narrow side so check the fit carefully.

Colours: Blue/yellow trim or brown/orange trim

Sizes: 7-13 (UK), 41-49 (Euro’)

Upper: Suede/fabric

Waterproof/breathable lining: eVENT

Sole: Vibram Foura

Weight: 1,380g

Women’s version: Yes

Contact: 0191 284 8444; www.allcord.co.uk