scarpa south africa

Golden Gate Kima

Scarpa golden gate kima running shoe


August 2021, Manuel Merillas SET TWO RECORDS:

… and on his feet were the SCARPA Golden Gate Kima shoes…

scarpa golden gate kima trail running shoes
scarpa running shoes


After two years of scientific research, we’ve realised every trail runner’s dream: it’s called the Golden Gate Kima RT. On ascents it gives energy savings of 2%, and during the development stage it clocked up two FKTs on the feet of Manuel Merillas (Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa).


Every trail runner’s dream is to run in shoes that help the stride on the way up and guarantee complete control on the way down. Shoes with excellent grip on both dry and wet ground, but that are also comfortable and give effective support.

Following more than two years of investigation, our research and development team, led by Marco De Gasperi, has succeeded in making that dream come true. Hence the Golden Gate Kima RT, a name inspired by the Kima Trophy: 52 kilometres on a massively technical course that winds among seven mountain passes with a total of 8,400 metres’ height difference plus moraines, snow fields and exposed ridges. We decided to identify with that route in our design of the Kima: it’s the first shoe with a carbon fibre plate, created specifically for skyrunning.

The aim of the project was to bring to the trail the same technology used in our running shoes; sheets of carbon embedded in the soles, which can enhance the elastic response, accelerate the gait and even break world speed records.

To prove that the results were also positive in the mountains, we relied on an eminent laboratory connected with the University of Bologna, which developed a series of strength tests. Prior to this study, there was no scientific literature examining the effects of carbon shoes on trail running performance.

Three tests were conducted, two of which compared a shoe with carbon and one without. Starting with an incline of 9%, the slope increased by 2% every 3 minutes, until maximum effort was reached.

And from the outset, the scientific ‘blind’ testing (with and without the carbon plate) showed that on average, at the same slope and speed, the shoe with the carbon fibre resulted in a saving of 2.1% of oxygen consumed. This means the athletes were saving 2.1% of energy.

But the real challenge came later: we had to design a plate that was not too rigid on the ball of the foot, but able to adjust to uneven footholds on rocks or tree roots. In fact, due to the ruggedness of these trails, the foot sometimes rests on the inner edge, sometimes the outer. We therefore decided to make a carbon plate in the shape of a V, patented and able to adapt to uneven terrain.

Having completed this carbon revolution, the rest consisted of corollaries resulting from the latest innovations. Improved grip in the ball area for dry terrain; on the heel we added materials suitable for wet terrain, perfect for braking on descents. We also added a feature at the back of the collar: a soft section that almost embraces the Achilles tendon and gives a feeling of protection on the descent.

Other features include the compounds and technical details of the upper, and the sock-fit system, a kind of inner sock that ensures total comfort. Completing our work are the abrasion-resistant mesh and protective films, the small window that shows the carbon plate and the truly resistant nature of this product.

The Golden Gate Kima RT guarantees a highly technical fit for professional athletes, but is also suitable for amateurs wishing to try the top technologies available.

And it’s more than just words. In testing, the Golden Gate Kima RT has already achieved two Fastest Known Times on the feet of Spanish runner Manuel Merillas, one of our best athletes. Merillas successfully conquered the White Lady: 49.6 kilometres with a positive (and negative) height difference of 3,750 metres, from Courmayeur to the summit of Mont Blanc and back. He did it in 6h35’32”, knocking more than 8 minutes off De Gasperi’s previous record. What’s more, Merillas’ Golden Gate Kimas also took him to the top of Monte Rosa: he flew up and down the mountain (2,900 metres’ ascent over 31 kilometres) in 3h59’18”, more than half an hour faster than the previous record holder, Franco Collè.

The shoes every trail runner was dreaming of really do exist.

scarpa golden gate kima womans trail running shoes
golden gate kima womans mountain and trail running shoes

Reviews From South African Runners:

Devon Ross Coetzee
Devon Ross Coetzee@DevonCoe13
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"So far I am very impressed with the Golden Gate Kimas. They have such a solid feel about them without compromising agility and comfort. The first thing I noticed about them was the initial comfort. Far more comfortable than my previous pair of shoes from another brand. Whilst running, the grip is exceptional. That coupled with the lowish profile provides a great sense of confidence on the trails. It's obvious that SCARPA was born and developed in an alpine setting. The Golden Gate Kimas strike a pretty good balance between underfoot feedback and comfort, which is very difficult to find in any other shoes on the market. A final note is that I have been on the comeback from a long term ankle injury, and I found it easier and more comfortable to extend my mileage in the Golden Gate Kimas without much trouble. A huge bonus!"
Robert Le Brun
Robert Le Brun @brundle3
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“So I had a good few people ask me soon after receiving the Golden Gate Kimas, “So, how the shoes” and my answer was “I am currently unsure but give me three weeks I will let you know”. The reason that all I needed was three weeks to test them was because they arrived perfectly in time about 10 days before Expedition Africa, a 450km expedition adventure race in Lesotho, which I was about to partake in. I was very excited to specifically test the shoes toughness and their durability as this, for me, is the most important. The strength and longevity of the shoe is important because I am very hard on shoes - not necessarily because of my strike or being heavy on my feet but more because of the sports I do and the terrains it takes me through. Adventure racing is tough on gear, often we spend most of the time off trail with little to no path. I raced the entire race (besides the bike section of course) with the one pair of Golden Gate Kimas and they were superb. The route was rugged, rocky & often off camber and off trail. The shoes gave me solid grip and basically no blisters and have little blemishes on them yet - they really were a phenomenal set of shoes. I look immensely forward to many more adventures in them… “

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  1. Pingback: Win Scarpa Golden Gate Kima trail shoes - TRAIL magazine South Africa

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