SCARPA’s Golden Gate Kima trail shoes are powered by carbon rebound technology. Independent testing at the University of Bologna revealed a 2% energy saving during mountain climbs.
SCARPA Golden Gate Kima RT R3,599
The SCARPA Golden Gate Kima RT is like an alpine and mountain elevator. A 3D V-shaped carbon fibre plate is engineered to obtain the best rebound while adapting with precision to uneven terrain.
The GOLDEN GATE KIMA RT, the shoe (with a carbon plate) that reduces fatigue
After two years of scientific research, SCARPA have 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, SCARPA’s research and development team, led by Marco De Gasperi, has succeeded in making that dream come true. Enter 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 8,400m height difference plus moraines, snow fields, and exposed ridges. Scarpa 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 their running shoes; sheets of carbon embedded in the soles, which can enhance the elastic response, accelerate the gait and even break world speed records.
In August 2021, SCARPA team runner Manuel Merillas set two records:
To prove that the results were also positive in the mountains, the company 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 three 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: SCARPA 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 SCARPA added materials suitable for wet terrain, perfect for braking on descents. Their designers 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 SCARPA 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 (FKT) on the feet of Spanish runner Manuel Merillas, one of SCARPA’s best athletes. Merillas successfully conquered the White Lady: 49.6km with a positive (and negative) height difference of 3,750m, from Courmayeur to the summit of Mont Blanc and back. He did it in 6h35’32”, knocking more than eight 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 (2,900m ascent over 31km) in 3h59’18”, more than 30 minutes faster than the previous record holder, Franco Collè.
The shoes every trail runner has been dreaming of really does exist.
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Terms and conditions
- Competition started at 8am on 1 August 2022.
- End midnight Sunday 31 August 2022.
- Winner announced on this competition page and social media at 10am on Friday 2 September 2022.
- The judges’ decision is final.
- Prize is not redeemable for cash.
- Winner must be a South African resident, and receive their prize at a South African street address.
- Proof of identification may be requested.
- One overall signup per person. Anyone who creates multiple personas using different email addresses will be disqualified.
- Staff and family of TRAIL magazine and Traverse Gear are not eligible to enter.
- Winners announced on this page and social media.
Thank you to Deidre and team at Traverse Gear for the collaboration.