When it comes to footwear, Scott initially made more of a name for themselves in the road running and triathlon circuit. However, their trail running shoes are proving to be very capable. After several months testing the T2 Kinabalu trail running shoes I’m going to put these up with some of the best trail runners on the market.
Scott T2 Kinabalu Features:
- eRide rockered sole
- Aero Foam midsole for improved performance and lighter weight
- Composite trail plate for forefoot protection
- Drainage ports in heel and forefoot
- Lace bungy
- Drop: 11mm (seems crazy, I know)
- Colors: Blue/Orange or Green/Black (tested)
- MSRP: $129
A Hullabaloo in the Kinabalu’s
One of the first questions I got when unboxing the T2 Kinabalu’s was, “Whoa, Scott running shoes? Don’t they make goggles?” Yeah, Scott makes goggles (the Scott Fix remains one of my all-time favorites) and Scott also makes supreme road bikes (like the all-new Addict Team Issue), but Scott also makes a full suite of running shoes and apparel to complement the hard goods. So “yes, they do make goggles.”
The T2 Kinabalu’s do have quite the name — coming from the Kinabalu National Park on the island of Borneo — but that name quickly became synonymous with performance in my book. On the surface, I knew that the eRide rockered sole would be a draw for me. I quite prefer rockered soles and tend to gravitate to those shoes that have them. For my mid-to-forefoot running style, I notice a huge improvement in efficiency and stride motion while running in rockered shoes. If I had my druthers, it’s all I would run in.
Since the eRide soles had me at hello, what else makes these shoes so darn impressive? Well, lets talk about traction. The outsole on the Kinabalu’s is aggressive, but still low profile enough to not get in the way. To illustrate just how good the traction is, I’ve run in a wide variety of terrain — from snow to dry sand — and every condition is met with top-notch traction. They don’t provide superhuman traction, but on par with the best shoes in all these conditions.
Speaking of conditions, the Kinabalu’s are built with water ports on the forefoot and heel. Drop into a creek and just keep on running in feet that are a little less wet than with shoes not sporting these ports. While most of my time is spent avoiding creeks and rivers, I did submerge these on one errant step. While the water ports are good, I’d have much preferred a water-resistant coating on the uppers to prevent water from penetrating. Rain and water does soak right through the uppers, but does dry relatively quickly.
One of the attributes that makes for a great trail running shoe is the right balance of trail protection and trail feel. These are more on the protective side of that spectrum, but I’m not complaining. Most of the terrain I run is littered with sharp, pointy granite bits so not feeling that at all has been nice. However, purists may wish for a little better trail feel. I’m liking the overall comfort of the Aero foam misdole and found it to be very cushioned while remaining responsive. Not “squishy” by any means, but a nice balance of squish and firmness.
On paper, the 11mm drop seems ludicrous. I mean, whoa. Well, don’t let that measurement deter you as these shoes don’t feel at all like you’re wearing high heels. I think the eRide sole plays a factor in that measurement as I’ve not felt like these are overly-ramped. Definitely not minimalist, but I’m pegging the Kinabalu’s as a great everyman’s shoe that most runners will appreciate on both long and short-distance outings.
- Great traction
- Love the eRide rockered sole
- Cushioning is excellent
- Drainage ports for water crossings
- Just right protection for my tastes
- Can run for miles and miles in these
- Shoe lace bungy should be on all shoes
- Toebox may not be great for wide feet (my normal-width feet are just fine)
- Sit up a little high
- Could have a little wider platform
The Bottom Line
T2 Kinabalu, from the goggle makers, Scott. Yes, Scott makes goggles and they also make some pretty awesome trail running shoes. The T2 Kinabalu’s offer excellent traction, smooth stride and enough comfort to cradle my feet on the longest of adventures.
Buy Now: Available on Amazon.com