Scott T2 Kinabalu General Information
The Scott T2 Kinabalu is an updated version of Scott’s previous trail shoes which received positive reviews overall. It is designed with faster trail runners in mind, but provides enough cushioning for Clydesdale athletes to still enjoy the ride.
The ‘rocker’ technology moves you fluidly from mid-foot to forefoot with each stride, and the wide-berth of the toe-box provides plenty of room for full ground contact and toe splay. The shoe is most impressive on muddy/icy trails where traction is of high importance.
Road running in the shoe was not as pleasurable, but still comfortable for short asphalt crossings en route to your next trail head.
Scott T2 Kinabalu Impression
Out of the box, I was immediately impressed with Scott’s new color pattern for the Kinabalu. It is a bright blue and orange, but still looks organic in its overall tone. The shoe feels relatively light and well-balanced in the hand with a fairly minimal heel-to-toe offset.
The laces are made with a ‘grippy’ coating to prevent untying during runs, and also features a fastener to tighten the shoe across the forefoot located below the laces. My first run in them was a short jaunt on a mix of asphalt and packed limestone to break them in a bit; it took a few runs for the shoe to feel natural on my foot, so I would recommend about a 25ml break-in period before heading out on a serious trail run.
The shoe has performed very well on rugged terrain, in snow, over ice, and through mud. It is stable and secure around the ankle, but quick switch-backs do cause the ankle to roll a bit; just be sure that the shoe is not loose on the foot, and this problem vanishes.
My only complaint was a recurring hot-spot under my left arch while running in the Kinabalu. I fixed the issue by adjusting the lacing a bit and relaxing the inner strap so it was snug, but not overly so. There is an individual lacing sweet spot for this shoe, I would assert.
Faster ascents and strides in the shoe were very enjoyable, but the shoe may be a bit heavy for harder workouts where one would be aiming for a certain pace or course time.
Scott T2 Kinabalu Sole Unit
The midsole features Scott’s ‘Aero Foam’ technology which is very light yet well-cushioned. It molds to the foot well after a few runs, and conforms to your natural arch type quickly. The outsole is lugged with rugged triangular notches to aid in traction and ground control. The shoe is reasonably flexible with moderate give affront of the arch, but in my experience a firmer, more rigid outsole is best for trail running.
The unit as a whole is very neutral with a flat platform and no artificial stability features. It is accommodating enough for mild to moderate over-pronation, and I found it very pleasant to allow my foot to supinate a bit without hindrance (I tend to do that at slower speeds).
Scott T2 Kinabalu Upper
The upper on the Scott T2 is quite the work of art for a performance trail shoe. What it lacks in not being made of the most lightweight material, it more than makes up for in protection and ability to repel water. There is a narrow but deep creek crossing on one of my favorite trails, and the shoe splashes right through it without wetting my socks at all.
This is fantastic when you still have eight or nine miles to go in your run. It seemed a bit stiff at first, but like the outsole it relaxed quickly to the contours of my foot and does not interfere with a powerful toe lift/dorsiflexion of the foot.
Scott T2 Kinabalu Opinion
Overall, the Scott T2 Kinabalu gets high marks for being a go-to trail shoe for a variety of terrains and conditions. It feels best on softer ground and shines in adverse weather, but is still flexible enough to log a few miles at a time on a paved surface if needs be.
While it wouldn’t be my top choice for trail racing over shorter distances where speed is important, I think it deserves an A+ for versatility as a well-rounded trail shoe or as an ultra-marathoner’s ace in the hole for cushioning and comfort over the long haul.
We thank the nice people at Scott for sending us a pair of T2 Kinabalu to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.