One of my favorite parts about Outdoor Retailer is associating with new folks and new brands in the industry or just new brands to me. So, when I got a call from Kayland (an Italian bootmaker) , I was eager to see their product line and get to know their great people. I met with Brent Merriam who gave me the lowdown on a few key items from Kayland.
Kayland has been around for 13 years with distribution in the United States since 1998 and a physical presence here since 2006. So, hence why they weren’t on my radar previously! Since establishing that US presence, the brand has expanded and received the laud of Backpacker Magazine who awarded the Vertigo High hiking boot its editor’s choice for 2007. Kayland utilizes eVent Fabrics in many shoe styles, which (in all my tests) breathes much better than Gore-tex.
Kayland Dragonfly Trail Running Shoes
Built with eVent for a waterproof and breathable exterior, the Dragonfly trail runners look like great everyday trail shoe that will excel in wet conditions. Tipping the scales at just over 11 oz. each, they are on par with the majority of day-in/out trail runners. One cool feature is the wraparound lacing, called Heel Lock, that pulls the heel of the shoe in for a snug fit (notice how the 2nd lace loop is actually pulling the wraparound lace). The composite Surefly sole provides sure-footed traction. MSRP is $120 and these shoes are currently available.
Kayland Crux Grip
A re-design for 2009, this approach shoe is built with full suede and sports Vibram treads for long-lasting durability. Laces are low-slung to ensure a snug fit all the way down to your toes with a durable toe rand for wedging. Profile is low with a very simple foam cushion midsole. MSRP is $100 and should be available Spring 2009.
Kayland Legend Trail Leather
Blending an approach shoe with a casual/trail shoe, the Legend Trail looks like a great “do it all” shoe. I like how far down the lacing is placed to provide a snug fit when needed (hence the approach shoe roots). Though not a super-technical shoe, the Legend Trail looks like a great shoe for day hikes or hanging out downtown. Built with a mixture of leather and softshell fabrics, this should prove to be durable and weather-resistant. MSRP is $110 with availability this Spring.
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