Scott T2 Kinabalu Review

T2 Kinabalu

Sage CanadayMarco De GasperiIan Sharman and Joe Gray amongst others are utilising the benefits of the new Scott range of run shoes, you may very well want to take a more in-depth look at the 2013 offerings yourself?

Scott Running brand.

I did a review of the Scott eRide Grip 2 some time ago, I used the shoe extensively on the trails out in La Palma on the Transvulcania La Palma course. In summary, the shoe really impressed me. It had the combination of factors that makes a shoe great to wear. You can read the review HERE

copyright Ian Corless

copyright Ian Corless

Impressions

I have now had the Scott T2 Kinabalu for a couple of months. The design of this shoe has had great input from legendary mountain runner Marco De Gasperi and the T2 Kinabalu shows that all the great features of the Scott eRide Grip 2 have been transferred to the T2 Kinabalu but in a lighter more streamlined shoe. Sizing was true to size and the drop is 11mm.

From the moment I first put the shoes on, adjusted the laces and stepped out of the door and headed of for a one hour run the T2 Kinabalu put a smile on my face. A mile of road to my local trails felt comfortable and the shoes offered grip, cushioning and a wonderful ‘return’ of energy to the next foot strike. I bounced along. On trail the grip was secure and reassuring. I did find that my heel was moving a little initially but I re-laced the shoe differently and suddenly my foot was held secure and tight.

I have been through thick mud, snow, ice, hard trail, rocks, mountains and water crossings and have accumulated some 400+ miles in these shoes. Here are my thoughts.

Upper

At the front of the shoe, protection runs around the toe area providing adequate protection should you strike rocks or roots. The toe box is wide providing plenty of room but not so much room that they become loose. Your toes are able to spread and help provide feel and contact with the ground. At the rear your heel is held firm with no hot spots. The upper is light, breathable and colourful! I like the colour and the boldness of the shoe but some may very well find them a little OTT. It all comes down to personal taste. Within the upper is a support structure (synthetic overlay) that helps hold the foot in place. The laces are not as ‘stretchy’ as those on the Grip 2 but they have a texture too them that ‘grips’. This holds the laces firm and once adjusted I have had no need to tighten them when running. A nice touch is the elastic bungee on the front of the shoe that allows you to pass excess lace underneath so that it does not flap around. It’s not as fancy or extravagant as the ‘Salomon Lace Garage’ but it does the job well.

Midsole

The midsole has ‘Aero Foam’ which is Scott’s own technology and for a more minimalist shoe it provides great cushioning and feel for the ground. After several runs the midsole ‘bedded’ in and started to mould to my foot providing additional comfort. The sock liner is perforated and the midsole has ‘drainage’ ports to allow water to escape. A real plus in wet weather or water crossings. The platform of the shoe is wide and offers great grip, it has no cut away for the arch or any additional features that cut into the sole, so, what you have is great platform that creates maximum contact with the ground. You can really feel it. Without doubt the shoe is neural and low to the ground. It has all the feel and benefits of a minimalist shoe or racing flat but with cushioning.

eRide

One of the great aspects of this shoe is the eRide sole. As I explain below, the eRide technology is designed to make you a more efficient runner. By efficient, I mean striking the ground with a mid to fore-foot toe off. But an 11mm ‘drop’ normally would not promote this run style… step in eRide. Strike the ground with your heel and you feel the shoe propel you forward. Now I am a mid-foot striker but going downhill I felt the shoe throw me forward all the time, encouraging me to make the most of the hill and encouraging me to save my quads by stopping me braking.

Sole

Grip is not as severe as the eRide Grip 2 model but its greater than many shoes in it’s class and provides excellent traction on hard trail, rocks, ice, snow and wet ground. On muddy ground it provides some traction but not as much as the Grip 2. What I love about the T2 Kinabalu is its ability to transfer between all types of terrain providing great feel and comfort. These features are transferred even to road or pavement and I would have no problem running long stretches of road in the T2 Kinabalu.

Summary

I have been testing many pairs of shoes recently and I now use the T2 Kinabalu as my benchmark shoe. It has everything in one package; cushioning, light weight, great feel with the ground, comfort, security and most importantly the ability to handle a multitude of different terrains. If I was only allowed one pair of shoes, the T2 Kinabalu would be it.

A recent shoe test in ‘Trail Runnning‘ magazine also appointed the T2 Kinabalu as “Best In Test’ in the April 2013 edition.

Scott T2

T2 Kinabalu Information and Statistics

The T2 Kinabalu is the ultimate lightweight trail machine according to Scott. Maximum protection and traction with minimal weight. An ideal balance of lightweight materials, cushioning, protection and quick response thanks to eRide Technology. Shaped for smooth transition whether you are striking on the heel, mid foot or forefoot to adapt to the varied terrain. Our lightest trail shoe with uncompromised traction and protection, featuring an AeroFoam midsole, which is 50% lighter than traditional EVA foams.

copyright Ian Corless

copyright Ian Corless

Scott T2 Kinabalu

eRIDE

Get that fleet-footed feeling with our eRide range. The unique rocker shape creates a very stable midstance, promoting the faster and more efficient running style that runners strive for. You`ll be rocking as the miles roll by.

eride

copyright Ian Corless

copyright Ian Corless

The benefits:

1. Healthier body position

2. More energy efficient

3. Natural midfoot strike

4. Lower profile heel

5. Smoother ride

6. Minimal and lighter weight

Aero Foam

Working with our athletes, we always hear that they would like to run in lighter shoes, but are not willing to sacrifice any cushioning performance. So, we found an alternative to the EVA foam used in most running shoes. SCOTT Aero Foam combines lightweight materials with a wear resistant compound, resulting in shoes that are lighter, have more cushioning and last longer than traditional running shoes.

Aerofoam

Scott T2 Kinabalu

Specs

  • Weight 270g for UK9
  • Drop 11mm
  • eRideComposite push-through plate
  • AeroFoamWet traction rubber
  • Lace bungy
  • Upper: Mesh/Synthetic Overlays
  • Lower: EVA/rubber

Scott Website HERE

Scott eRide Grip 2

Scott eRide Grip 2

 

Scott are renowned for cycling and skiing products. I know first hand the quality of the cycling products, In my previous life as a cyclist and triathlete I had used Scott extensively for bikes, clothes, shoes and helmets. However, Scott as a running brand grabbed my attention when I witnessed Marco de Gasperi crossing the finish line of Sierre-Zinal in first place. In chatting with him I became aware that particularly in the UK they are pretty much unknown.

De Gasperi wins

 

As often happens a series of events post Sierre-Zinal meant that I had several samples to test. Ironically this coincided with myself picking up a knee injury and as such I had to pretty much put all product testing to one side until I got better.

eRide Grip2

 

My eRide Grip 2 had tempted me for a few months, the glowing yellow tempting me to take them out. As my injury progressed, finally in November 2012 I was able to resume some running and take the Scott’s for a spin. Or should I say several spins.

Weighing in at 336g for a UK9.5 this compares well to other shoes in direct comparison. For example a Salomon Speedcross 3 is 350g and a Salomon S-Lab Softground is 367g for the same size. For a lightweight comparison, The North Face Single Track Hayasa is 280g and the Salomon Sense Ultra is 230g.

The heel to toe drop is 11mm and as such allows direct comparison to the Speedcross 3 and Softground. Also, a key element of the eRide Grip 2 is the aggressive outsole.

eRide Grip2 sole

 

The outsole really is aggressive and as such makes running on all terrains a pleasure. It grips well on rocks, grass, mud, sand, lava and works incredibly well on road and hard trails. The shoe has a very cushioned feel and provides real comfort over longer distances. I was really impressed how the shoe felt on the road. Of course this shoe is not for that type of surface but if you are ever out training or racing and need to transfer from trails don’t worry. This shoe can handle it!

The upper is a very breathable and lightweight mesh. A bumper at the front of the shoe provides adequate protection from rocks and other objects but not as much protection as other brands on the market. The tongue is free fitting and not very padded but perfectly comfortable.

The laces have an elastic feel and work really well. Get the shoe tightened and tied and then don’t worry. In use I never had to re tighten my laces and that included some outings of up to 9 hours. A neat addition 2/3 of the way down the laces is an elastic that stretches from one side of the show to the other.This allows you to hold the excess laces in place so they don’t bounce and flap around. Not as ground breaking as Salomon’s ‘Garage’ but it does the job and it is a welcome addition

The heel area is reinforced very well and provides a real secure and comfortable area. It is this area that provides real security on the trail holding the foot firm. Padding is excellent but at the back of the shoe this padding may come a little high for some… I had no issues whatsoever but I have heard one or two comments referring to this.

One of the key features of the shoe is eRide. eRide is designed to offer a faster foot transition when on the ground by providing a ‘rocker‘ platform. The unique rocker shape creates a very stable midstance, promoting the faster and more efficient running style that runners strive for.

Scott eRide Rocker

 

Now depending on your foot strike you may feel a real benefit from this rocker or you may feel a faster transition if you are already a mid to forefoot runner. Certainly if you are a heel striker, as the diagram shows you will hit the ground with the rear of the shoe and the ‘rocker’ will then help you transfer quicker to the propulsion phase. This will increase efficiency and reduce strain. On any downhill section, the rocker works really well allowing you to strike with the heel and efficiently move forward to the next step. Another key feature (and you will see this in the image of the sole above) is that the sole has NO raised arch. Therefore the eRide Grip 2 has a solid platform from which to strike the ground and this once again reduces inefficiency.

Scott boast the benefits of eRide as follows:

  • 1. Healthier body position
  • 2. More energy efficient
  • 3. Natural midfoot strike
  • 4. Lower profile heel
  • 5. Smoother ride
  • 6. Minimal and lighter weight

Refreshingly when I looked for technical specifications for the shoe, the Scott website provides minimal information:

  • Category: Trail Running
  • Weight: 340g USM 9
  • Heel to toe drop: 11 mm
  • Technologies: eRide Push-through plate High traction rubber
  • Lace: bungy
  • MaterialUpper: Mesh/Synthetic Overlays Lower: EVA/rubberSize run

It may be me but that really is a stripped down description of a shoe, No fancy names, no technical jargon I don’t understand… it’s simple. The only term that needs clarification is the eRide and they provide a very good description and breakdown of that.

TESTING

Initially I was running in these shoes for 30-45 mins on soft, muddy and wet terrain in the UK winter. Comfort was noticeable immediately. I enjoyed the feel of the shoe around my foot. The heel area offered security and for a mid to forefoot striker the eRide did help propel me forward allowing me to keep my cadence high and short. My runs from home always require me to do at least 1 mile on the road before I can get to the trail. The shoe really did feel comfortable over this hard unforgiving terrain. I was surprised at this particularly considering the aggressive sole.

When on the trail the aggressive sole immediately did it’s job providing security and grip were other trail shoes had failed. I must point out here that it performed on a par with Salomon Speedcross 3, Salomon S-Lab Softground and the Sportiva Raptor.

In December I went to the island of La Palma to run on the Transvulcania La Palama course. The only shoe I took was the eRide Grip 2. It was an opportunity to test the shoe on a daily basis on some tough and gnarly terrain but also a great opportunity to use the shoe for hours in contrast to minutes.

iancorless.comIMGP0727

 

I ran, walked and hiked over the Transvulcania course for 12 days. A short day was 2 hours, a long day was 9 hours. I ran over rocks, ran through lava fields, made my way through pine forests, ran along beaches, navigated through boulders and crossed rivers. At no point did the shoes let me down. No hot spots and no blisters. I had all day comfort in conjunction with firm grip on a multitude of terrain. Was I impressed? Absolutely.

Any negatives?

After two weeks on the Transvulcania course I threw the shoes away. No, not because I didn’t like them… but I had worn the sole away (at least in areas). This makes me question if the compound of the sole is maybe too soft? But then again, would I want Scott to change this? My answer is a definite NO.

I do believe that the sole compound is ideal for offering grip on a multitude of surfaces. On hard and wet rocks the eRide Grip 2 performed exceptionally well, had the compound been harder that may very well not have been the case.

Did the sole wear down too quickly? Arguably yes but then again the Transvulcania course is like running on sandpaper (coarse sandpaper). In addition to the abrasive lava we had to contend with sharp jagged rocks, boulders, gravel and a multitude of surfaces that would have worn any shoe down. My partner ran for 2 weeks with me in a different shoe and brand and had a similar scenario.

photo 2

 

Conclusion

A great trail shoe that offered a secure, firm and cushioned fit on a multitude of surfaces and terrain. The eRide technology certainly helped with an efficient run stride and overall comfort level was excellent.

Sizing is true to size.

If you need an all round trail shoe then the eRide Grip 2 is a strong recommendation.

You can see all Scott Running products HERE

The 2013 model is now available in a new colour way – blue/black

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