The Scott T2 Kinabalu HS is a natural expansion on the popular T2 Kinabalu, but in a foul-weather, softshell package. I really liked the original and have now had time to get the HS flavor nice and dirty this fall.
Scott T2 Kinabalu HS Features:
- eRide rockered sole
- Wet traction rubber outsole
- Aerofoam+ midsole with water ports
- Hydro Shield softshell uppers
- Rock-Plate protection
- Lace bungee
- 360-degree reflective material
- Price: $150
Smooth Ride, Added Weather Protection
With many miles aboard the standard T2 Kinabalu, the T2 Kinabalu HS came in just in time for mixed weather running. The primary difference is the use of softshell uppers that are treated with Hydro Shield for extreme water repellency. Unlike GORE-Tex, eVent or OutDry, Hydro Shield is merely a treatment that’s embedded into the fabric. As such, these are best categorized as water repellent and not waterproof — more on that later.
My favorite feature of the Kinabalu HS is the eRide rockered sole. After spending a fair bit of time in both minimalist and maximalist shoes this year, these shoes feel like Goldilocks to me — they are “just right.” For starters, I’m a huge fan of rockered soles and these are no exception. The natural stride from landing to toe-off is unsurpassed and simply makes these a joy to run in. The superb traction only adds to the performance beyond that.
As far as cushioning goes, these are also just about right with maybe just a tad more terrain isolation than is ideal. But, I’m not complaining and do have sufficient trail feel to be in tune with what’s going on underfoot.
The Hydro Shield coating and softshell uppers are great for both cold, windy conditions and rain/snow. Without a gusseted tongue, these are best for light rain or snow — not drenching rain or super-sloppy trail conditions. For shoulder-season running, the unsung feature that I love is the wind protection. On recent runs with temperatures in the upper 20’s, my feet have remained warm due to the wind protection of the softshell uppers. And, light snow or rain simply beads up for a dry experience.
It’s nice that Scott includes drain ports in the midsole, but it seems a bit gimmicky to me. Aside from that, it would be great to have thin fabric gussets on the tongue to increase weather protection.
- Instant comfort
- Love the rockered eRide outsoles
- Hydro Shield takes the edge off the elements
- Standard laces are easy to tighten and lace bungee keeps things in place
- Enables a fast-paced stride
- Great trail protection
- Gimmicky water ports
- Tongue gussets would extend weather protection
The Bottom Line: T2 Kinabalu HS
These shoes were immediately comfortable with a smooth stride and a foot-cradling fit. Traction is superb and the Hydro Shield-treated softshell uppers take the edge off on chilly and damp trail runs. The Kinabalu HS may very well be the best trail runners I’ve tested all year — they are that good.