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Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Kayland Contact 1000 > Ken Bigelow > Test Report by Ken Bigelow
Kayland Contact 1000 Boots
Test Report Series By Ken Bigelow
March 20, 2007
Personal Biographical Information:
Name: Ken Bigelow
My adventures vary in length from a weekend to over two weeks. I am slowly shifting my backpacking style to a lightweight approach. I recently upgraded to a hammock to reduce weight. From spring through fall I typically backpack in the mountains or desert, while in winter I often go snowshoeing. I typically see a wide variety of climates ranging from -5 F (-20 C) with snow to 90 F (32 C) and sunny with just about everything in between.
Initial ReportProduct Information:
November 19, 2006
Year Manufactured: 2006
Listed Weight: 1 lb 10.5 oz (750 g)
Measured Weight: 1 lb 12.4 oz/boot (810 g)
Size Tested: Men’s 10 US (9 UK)
Color Tested: Black (Brown & Avio also available)
MSRP: None Listed
& Initial Impressions:
The Kayland Contact 1000 boots are advertised
trekking, via ferratas, hiking” footwear.
Kayland’s logo appears on the boots both on the tongue and just
the outer ankle. A metallic eVENT logo
is located just above the outer ankle.
The boots came with a Kayland, Vibram and eVENT hangtags. The Kayland tag describes the one-year
warranty and a voucher to be returned to the manufacturer (along with a
of purchase) within a week of purchasing the Contact 1000.
The Vibram tag describes Vibram soles and the
eVENT tag has an enhanced image of eVENT’s pores.
The Contact 1000 has a Vibram outsole and a rubber
is claimed to be a ” Shock Absorber Microporous + I.A.D.S”. According to the manufacturer, the I.A.D.S.
system is designed to maximize “shock absorption in the heel area and
stability and forward thrust while walking, minimizing the fatigue
by the users.” A rubber strip runs
across the toebox of the boots essentially covering the toes on three
(front, left and right). The heel
counter and upper portion of the boot are a mix of suede and mesh
fabric with a
leather collar covering the rim of the boot (except on the tongue,
still a mesh/suede
The boots interior has mesh for the top inch (2.5
cm) or so
with a white tag on the inside of the tongue noting the size and model
as the country the boots were made in (Romania).
The orange inserts seem standard to me. The
eVENT lining covers the rest of the
interior. It has a much smoother texture
than the mesh and feels comfortable to my skin.
Interior of the Contact 1000
The Contact 1000 boots seem to fit me quite well. After trying them on I could not detect any
foot slippage or any unusual rubbing against my feet.
My toes are not cramped and seem to have
adequate space in the toebox. Judging
from this initial experience, I’d say that Kayland’s sizing chart is
Over the course of the
test period I intend to test these features and answer
the following questions about the footwear:
& Comfort – Does any
part of the footwear constantly rub
heel or shins and cause blisters? Is
break-in time for the footwear reasonable?
Are the manufacturer’s insoles comfortable on my feet? Is there enough room in the Contact 1000 to
replace the manufacturer’s insoles with thicker ones?
Is the tongue and collar of the boots
properly padded for comfort as the manufacturer claims?
Will the tongue shift around while I’m hiking
on the trail? Does the Contact 1000
comfortably fit my snowshoe bindings and non-technical crampons? Are the boots easy to lace up?
Can I comfortably wear socks of various
thicknesses (i.e. thick backpacking socks or thin trail running socks)
heights (crew versus mini-crew) with the Contact 1000?
– Is the eVENT lining system breathable or will my feet
become drenched with sweat? Is the
lining system really waterproof? While
wearing the Contact 1000 will I develop hotspots or blisters? Will the
wear down quickly or will it degrade at a reasonable pace?
Will the “shock absorbing microporous”
midsole be able to take the constant pounding dealt out by the terrain
boulder-hopping or hiking over slickrock in canyon country while
20-25 lb (9-11 kg) pack? Will the Vibram
provide enough traction while hiking on slickrock, mud, snow, ice or
climbing ladders into and out of canyons so I don’t slip and fall? Can I detect any flexibility in the footwear
while climbing ladders in the Canyonlands of Southern Utah? Will the eVENT lining keep my feet dry when I
go snowshoeing in the Contact 1000? Will
my ankle be properly supported in the Contact 1000 and will it be
against slippage in the footwear? Does
the footwear adequately secure my heel in the heel cup and prevent heel
lift? Will the Contact 1000 cause any
pain in the arch of my foot? Does the
upper suede section dry out in a reasonable amount of time?
January 16, 2007
For the first two months of testing I have used the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots in the Wasatch Mountains, Uinta Mountains, Canyonlands National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, around Salt Lake City, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado. Elevations have ranged from 2,600 ft (792 m) to 9,000 ft (2,743 m). Temperatures have varied from 12 F (-11 C) to 67 F (19 C). I have seen strong wind, light snow, light and heavy rain, a touch of hail, and skies with just about every degree of cloud cover. The terrain has included slickrock, sandy washes, rocky trails, muddy paths, snow covered corridors and icy trails.
Within two days of receiving the Contact 1000 Boots I hit the trail in Canyonlands National Park for a three day trip and a week after that I headed down to the Grand Canyon for a few days. Two weeks later I hit Zion for another two day trip. With these backpacking trips coming after just receiving the boots I did not really have ideal time to break in the boots so I was worried about a massive blister outbreak. I am pleased (and even surprised) to report that I have not yet developed a single blister since the boots arrived.
The eVENT lining system may very well be one of the reasons that blisters did not form on my feet. The system allows my feet to breathe superbly. I have not detected any buildup of sweat on my feet at all while hiking in the Kayland Contact 1000. This astounds me as I have never had this experience when hiking in boots before. They rival my trail runners in this category.
The boots also fit quite well. Through two months of testing I have not found any hotspots or places where the boots continuously rub against my feet. The Contact 1000 supports my ankle and secures my heel just fine. I have not noticed any part of my feet slip or lift while inside the boots. I have not experienced any arch discomfort either so I assume they are doing an excellent job there too. The laces are easy to operate (both with and without gloves) and I have not had any problems with them repeatedly coming undone (thank goodness).
The tongue is padded enough for my liking and does not shift around while hiking (as far as I can tell anyway). I should note here that the interior padding does feel odd against my naked skin when wearing mini-crew length socks. Not bad or even uncomfortable, just weird. I think this is me and not the boots because I normally do not wear shorter length socks with mid-high boots (I typically only wear them with trail runners).
I have used a variety of socks with the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots. I have used heavy backpacking socks (which are crew length), mid-weight hiking socks (I have used both crew and mini-crew length), light trail running socks (mine happen to be mini-crew length) and just my everyday non-hiking cotton socks (when wearing the boots around town). I prefer the heavy and mid-weight socks to the lighter ones with these boots, but have found any sock I try seems to be adequate.
The only features that I do not find completely comfortable are the boot’s shock absorption and the manufacturer’s insert. My feet really feel the pounding of the rocky terrain I typically encounter in the desert. Boulder hopping, rocky wash walking and trails consisting of pebbles and stones usually leave my feet feeling sore at the end of the day, but it seems to be slightly worse in the Kayland boots than what I am used to. I hope this is more a problem with the insert than the shock absorbing properties of the boots as I intend to switch inserts for some, if not all, of the remaining test period.
This rough desert terrain is one of the reasons I started to wear thicker inserts in my footwear. The insert supplied with the boots does not cushion my feet adequately compared to what I am used to. This is not to say that the insert provided is any worse than other manufacturer’s inserts, but I normally replace the manufacturer’s inserts with thicker ones that offer more support and cushioning. I have not yet done this with the Contact 1000, but expect to for the final months of testing.
I have exposed the boots to an abundance of moisture and found them to be waterproof just as the manufacturer claims. I have hiked in Zion National Park on a day where the rain was unrelenting, through some muddy washes in Canyonlands National Park and numerous snowshoeing/winter hiking trips where I encountered snow covered, icy or muddy trails (sometimes all three at once). Neither snow, rain nor any other moisture have penetrated the boot’s lining system to this point. As far as I can tell the only way moisture can get inside the boots is from above the ankle (wearing gaiters seems to prevent this from happening) or from severe perspiration from the feet themselves (which I am yet to experience as they breathe quite well).
I have noticed that occasionally my feet do become quite cold in some circumstances, but I have only been wearing a single layer of socks so I am not too surprised by this result. In previous winters I have used a double layer of socks (with different boots) to combat this problem. I should also note that I have not noticed the boots stretch after breaking them in or exposing them to moisture. When the exterior of the boots become soaked they seem to dry in a reasonable amount of time (no more or less than any other boots I have worn).
The boots worked perfectly with all of the snow gear that I’ve tried so far including Atlas 1030 snowshoes, Redfeather Explore 36 snowshoes and Kahtoola Steel KTS non-technical crampons. I had no problems with fitting or using any of the mentioned items with the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots. I should note that debris does seem to easily become trapped in the tread. Muddy clay, gravel and goathead thorns (from tribulus terrestris) all seem to find themselves wedged in the tread and occasionally need to be removed by hand. I have experienced this same problem with most boots I have tried so this was not a huge surprise, but can be annoying when the debris works its way loose onto my floor after returning home.
Snowshoeing with the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots
LONG TERM REPORT
March 20, 2007
Long Term Testing Conditions:
For the final two months of testing I have used
Contact 1000 Boots in Canyonlands
National Park, the Wasatch and
Uinta Mountains and the Southern Utah
Desert (a.k.a. the middle of
nowhere). Temperatures have ranged from 5 F (-15 C) to 65 F (18
The elevations have been between 4,000 ft (1,220 m) and 10,000 ft
m). The terrain has included snow covered trails, icy pathways,
muddy corridors, rocky terrain, dirt paths and slickrock.
Long Term Results:
after completing my Field Report for the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots I
the manufacturer’s inserts with my SOLE inserts. I
should note that the manufacturer’s inserts
were replaced for comfort (see my Field Report for a more thorough
and not deterioration. My SOLE inserts
are quite a bit thicker, but I still have room for my feet in the
Boots. The thicker inserts do make
doubling up on socks uncomfortably tight (which was not a problem with
manufacturer’s inserts) so I will probably end up switching back and
between the manufacturer’s and my SOLE inserts depending on the terrain
expected temperatures (SOLE inserts for warmer weather and canyon
hiking, manufacturer’s for colder snowshoeing trips).
Overall I would have to call the traction on the Contact 1000 Boots slightly better than most boots I have tried. In Canyonlands I climbed six ladders, traversed a ton of slickrock (both wet and dry) waded through numerous creek beds (both with and without water) and did a fair amount of scrambling. The boots performed superbly in allowing me to maintain my footing and balance throughout the trip.
Climbing a ladder in Canyonlands wearing the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots
exploring a canyon in Southern Utah I
chimney through a slot section. The
Contact 1000 Boots had no problems maintaining traction on both walls.
truly grateful for this because I don’t bend like Gumby (which would
happened to my body had I lost my footing while maneuvering through the
canyon. I have
slipped a few times while wearing the Contact 1000 Boots.
I slipped on drenched slickrock in
Canyonlands, an ice patch while shoveling snow and while descending
from a peak
in the thick mud just below snowline. I
believe that the first two falls mentioned should have been expected
lack of friction provided by both terrains at the time.
The third was complete carelessness on my
part and had nothing to due with footwear.
Resting in the slot canyon
delighted to report that I experienced absolutely no durability
problems at all
during the four month testing period. The
eVENT lining system has not been damaged at all as far as I can tell
and I have
not needed to provide it with special care or treatment.
Examining the tread I can certainly tell that
the boots have been worn, but there is still plenty of tread left to
deteriorate on future excursions.
Tread on the Kayland Contact 1000
laces held up to my testing just fine and the rubber toe has not come
(thank goodness as this is a pet peeve of mine when it comes to
footwear). While the Kayland Contact 1000
definitely do not smell as fresh as the day they arrived (in fact ripe
term I would associate with their odor) they do not reek any more or
other footwear I’ve logged long miles in.
My only real complaint about the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots (and all boots in general) is their weight. Where trail runners can be used I will still choose them over the Contact 1000 simply for this issue. Where I find trail runners less practical (snowshoeing, swing season hiking, etc.) I intend to use the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots. As boots go, these are by far and away one of the best boots I have ever used.
The Kayland Contact
1000 Boots have been an excellent boot for me.
They are completely waterproof and breathe more like my trail
than any other boots I have worn. Their
traction has been able to grip some trickier terrain and the boots have
rather well after four months. They do
allow my feet to become chilled, but I will happily trade that for the
these boots provide (I can always add socks and toe warmers).
Things I like:
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