Kayland Contact 1000 Boots
Reviewed By Pat McNeilly
Initial Review: November 19,
Field Report: January 26,
Long Term Report: March 23, 2007
Review Date: November 19, 2006
Name: Pat McNeilly
Height: 5’ 8” (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: patrick dot mcneilly
at hhs dot gov.
City, State, Country: Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
I have been hiking for at least 20 years but backpacking for only the last four
years. Most of my backpacking is done as
overnight trips and occasional weekend and weeklong trips. My typical packweight is approximately 18 to
20 lb (8 to 9 kg) before food or water.
Most of my backpacking is the three season variety in the mountains of
Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition to backpacking, I also fish,
hunt, and have been involved in disaster relief. As a result, some of my backpacking equipment
gets use in a number of different venues.
Product: Contact 1000 Boots
Size: 9.5 US, 8.5 UK
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Listed Weight: 1 lb 10 oz
Measured Weight: Right Boot 1 lb 11 oz (770 g)
Boot 1 lb 12 oz (790 g)
Pair 3 lb 7 oz (1560 g)
Product Description (as described on the manufacturer’s website):
The Kayland Contact 100 boots are designed as footwear for trekking, hiking,
and via ferratas*.
The boots have a waterproof eVENT liner and feature a “Mountain Asymmetric 2”
last which the manufacturer describes as permitting a high degree of foot roll.
Kayland also states that the upper cradles and supports the foot well and
follows its natural contours.
The boots also have a system that maximizes shock absorption in the heel area
and increases stability and forward thrust while walking, minimizing the
fatigue experienced by the users. The
manufacturer also indicates that the upper enables a 50% increases in foot
comfort, as well as enhanced transfer of energy to the ground which leads to
improved safety and performance.
* A type of European high mountain trek/climb utilizing a series of pathways,
metal rungs and cables.
The boots arrived in a brown cardboard box.
Inside this box was another cardboard box bearing Kayland logos on all
sides. The bottom of the box includes
“Advice for Maintenance” printed in four different languages. Inside this second box the boots are loosely
covered with brown paper. The packaging
also contained a paper packing list.
Attached to the left boot are two hang tags.
The first is from Kayland and describes the product guarantee in four
different languages and has a tear off stub for product registration. The guarantee states “Kayland guarantees its
products for one year against all faults in material and manufacturing.” The
tag goes on to state “Kayland reserves the right to repair or replace the
products and to refuse claims if the product has been abused or subjected to
improper use. All shipping costs are the
responsibility of the purchaser.” The
second hang tag is from Vibram, the manufacturer of the boot soles. This tag is written in six languages and
provides a brief description of the Vibram and provides their contact
The boots themselves are a made of multiple layers of suede leather over a
heavy duty mesh fabric and have a Kayland logo on the lateral side of each
boot. The boots appear to be very well made and there do not appear to be any
defects in the materials or the stitching.
The boots have an overall height of 8 in (20 cm) and measure 7 in (18
cm) in the rear. Each boot has a 1 in
(2.5 cm) metal eVENT logo located on the lateral side at ankle level. Based on my review of the Kayland website,
the Contact 1000 appears to be as they are described on that site.
The boots have a
Vibram Foura sole which include an aggressive tread and have a rather sticky
feeling to them. The spacing between the
various lugs on the soles measures between 0.125 in (3 mm) and 0.5 in (13 mm).
The bottom portion of the uppers is made of black suede and there is a 0.625 in
(16 mm) high bumper on the toe. A 1.5 in
(4 cm) rubber rand also covers the toe portion of the boots. The heel section is attached to the sole via
a hard rubber-like material which measures approximately 1 in (2.5 cm)
high. Higher on the lateral side of the
uppers are two more sections of gray suede followed by what appears to be a
sturdy mesh fabric. However, the medial
side of the uppers has only one additional layer of suede. At the very top of the boots wrapping around
the rear of the ankle is a strip of smooth black leather measuring 1 in (2.5
cm) at its widest.
The lacing system of
the boots is very interesting. The
system consists of a series of metal loops and hooks. There are seven loops/hooks on the medial
side of the boot whereas there are eight loops/hooks on the lateral side. The lower loops are not paired directly
across from each other but are offset slightly.
At the toe end, the laces run through a leather and synthetic loop. This loop is also offset to the medial side
on the Contact 1000. Most boots I have
seen with such a loop have it centered at the toe end. There are upper three hooks on top portion of
the boots. The bottom most pair of hooks
is designed to lock the laces in place during the lacing process.
The interior of the boots around the ankles appears to be molded to accept the
contours of the ankles. The Contact 1000
has a padded gusseted tongue which has a roughly 3 in (8 cm) x 3.5 in (9 cm)
suede patch with a Kayland logo. The
interior of the boot and the tongue is lined with a soft synthetic mesh. The
boots have orange removable insoles.
These insoles appear to be made of a fibrous synthetic material, as
opposed to molded foam, as I have seen in other boots.
The fit of the boots is just about right for my foot size. When fully laced the uppers wrap firmly
around the foot and ankle and I can feel a significant amount of arch
support. The manufacturer’s website
provides information about the importance of the amount of contact between boot
and foot. This is noticeable,
particularly in the arch area. There
appears to be adequate room in the toe box and little heel movement when
wearing only a medium weight hiking sock.
I can move my toes in the boots and there does not appear to be pressure
on any of my toes from the boots.
Although the boots weigh over 3 lb (1360 g) per pair they don’t feel
particularly heavy. We’ll see if I say
the same thing after a long day on the trail.
The soles of the boots are quite stiff.
The Kayland website indicates these have a stiffness rating of 5 (out of
10) with a 1 being a bare foot and a 10 being an extreme mountaineering
boot. The Contact 1000 boots are stiffer
than I typically wear but this is not of particular concern for me at this
point. The weight of the boot is of
greater concern to me than the stiffness.
I plan to use the Contact 1000 boots as my primary footgear on any backpacking
or hiking trip I take during the course of the test period.
Some of the features I would like to evaluate on this product include:
Size/Fit: How is the overall fit after
wearing the boots for a while? Is there
enough room in the toe box particularly on downhills? Is the fit better with thick or thin
socks? How is the fit around the
ankle? Is there sufficient arch
support? Is there enough padding and
support underfoot to hike long distances over rocky terrain or with a heavy
load comfortably? How is the overall
weight and stiffness of the boot on a long hike? How long does it take to break in the boots?
Waterproofness/Breathablity: How well
does the eVENT liner keep out water? Does the eVENT liner truly allow the foot
to breathe or is my foot soaked from sweat on a dry day? Does the waterproof fabric become compromised
after the boots are broken in?
Features: Does the tongue and collar provide better foot to boot contact as the
manufacturer describes? Does the unusual
lacing pattern provide better comfort or help prevent movement of the foot
while in the boot? Is the shock
absorbing nature of the midsole noticeable?
Can this be felt over varying terrain?
How well do the soles hold in varying conditions, such as on wet rock or
ice. Do the soles pick and hold onto mud
Durability/Care: Is there any separation
of the rand from the upper? How well do
the uppers handle abrasion? Does the
stitching weaken over time especially at stress points? Do the laces appear to be of good quality and
will they appear to last over time? Are
there particular areas of wear on the soles?
Do the insoles hold up well?
Review date: January 26, 2007
I have worn the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots on a variety of trips, including
overnight trips in Maryland and northern New Jersey. I have also worn the boots on a number of day
hikes throughout central Maryland and northern
Virginia. Temperatures on these hikes ranged from 18-60
F (-8-16 C) with varying wind conditions.
My pack weight on these trips did not exceed 25 lb (11 kg). On a few of these day hikes, I did run into
mild to moderate rain. Distances covered
on these trips ranged from 5-20 miles (8-32 km) daily. Trail conditions included gentle smooth
trails as well as muddy rocky trails. I
also used these boots off-trail on a hunting outing in central Maryland. Elevations for all these trips ranged from
300-1500 ft (91-457 m).
After wearing the Contact 1000 boots on a number of outings, I am impressed
with the quality of the product. The fit
of the boots is quite remarkable having not tried them on prior to their
arrival. The Kayland
website indicates that many of the features of the boot are aimed at maximizing
contact of the boot with the foot and allow for better comfort and
performance. The boots wrap the foot
well and provide great support which I found to be a great benefit on the rocky
trails I typically encounter. I have not
had a single blister while wearing these boots which I thought was a little
surprising. The only time I ran into
even a hot spot was at the end of a 20 mile dayhike
along the C&O Canal in Maryland. I have worn the boots with everything from
heavy weight socks with liners to mid-height light weight socks alone. These boots seem to wrap the foot so well, I am comfortable wearing any thickness of sock. I found that when I wore liners they tended
to slide forward on the foot and bunch at the toes. I did not find this problem when wearing one
sock alone. As a result, I prefer a
single pair of socks as opposed to socks plus liners.
In general, I prefer stiff hiking boots over softer ones even though I lean
more toward lightweight backpacking.
These boots provide great support and are comfortable enough for a long
hike on uneven trails. I find that I do
not have as much foot fatigue after a hike wearing these boots. The Kayland website
suggests that better contact between the foot and the boot can lead to more
efficient energy transfer from foot to ground.
After wearing these boots, I note that I can feel a greater contact with
the ground particularly in the toe region when pushing forward. This phenomenon is most noticeable when going
uphill. Is it more efficient? I’m not sure about that, but I can certainly
feel a difference between the Contact 1000 and other boots I have worn.
Although the Contact 1000 boots may be somewhat overkill for a well groomed
nature trail, they certainly perform well on most hikes. I was somewhat concerned that these might be
too stiff a boot for a dayhike. After wearing the boots for the past couple
of months, I believe I would wear these on any trail where I expect to
encounter rocky terrain. The only trails
that I have found problematic were flat paths or roads with gravel on
them. I found that the boots tended to slip
on this type of surface. Soft flat
trails are not as much of a problem and the boots hold well on hard rock. I am very impressed with how well these boots
perform on rock trails.
I have not noticed any problems with loose seams or separation of the rand or
sole from the upper. The rand covering
the toe area does take quite a beating and appears to wrap far enough around
the boot to handle most abrasion. I have
noticed that there is some wear on the lateral side of the boot from contact
with rocks but I do not believe this to be anything other than normal wear.
The Contact 1000 soles show little signs of wear. The soles do have a tendency to pick up mud
which can make walking a bit tricky. I
have found that if I move to a firmer surface I am able to remove mud and
debris fairly easily by stomping my feet to banging the boot with a trekking
One area that I
do not agree with the manufacturer is with the comfort of the tongue. I have not noted any particular aspect of the
tongue which makes it unique. In fact, I
have noted that if I am feeling any pain associated with the boots it is
typically in the area of the tongue. It
may be that could be being caused by having the lacing too tight, causing some
rubbing. I have been able to alleviate
this by adjusting the lacing on the boot.
I have found that I usually have to readjust the lacing on the boots after
wearing them for while particularly before long downhill sections of
trail. This is not unusual for most
hiking boots but I have noticed that the asymmetric lacing on the front of the
boot makes it easy to get just the right amount of snugness around the arch
which ensures that my toes do not jam against the front of the boot. This has been particularly important since my
right foot is slightly larger than my left and I have been closely monitoring
whether the right foot has problems with the toes jamming. I have not noticed any up to this point.
The eVENT liner on the boots does seem to provide
adequate breathability. On most hikes my feet are completely dry when
I remove the boots. There were a couple times when my feet were a bit damp but
certainly not soaked from sweat. I have
only encountered mild to moderate rain on my hikes but did have opportunity to
hike some trails with multiple stream crossings. I have not found any water entering the boots
under these conditions.
Review date: March 23, 2007
I continue to wear the Kayland Contact 1000 Boots on
just about any outing I go on. I have
worn the boots on numerous day hikes throughout central Maryland
and northern Virginia. I also wore the boots on a weekend hike in Maryland with a total
pack weight of approximately 35 lb (16 kg).
Temperatures on these hikes ranged from 18-45 F (-8 to 7 C) with varying
wind conditions. On a few hikes I
encountered snow and ice on the trails but was not hiking while it was actively
snowing. Distances covered on these
trips ranged from 5-7 miles (8- 11 km) daily.
Elevations for all these trips ranged from 500-1500 ft (152-457 m).
I like these boots more and more as I wear them. The fit is just great and I have not had a
single problem with blisters while wearing these boots. The rubbing of the tongue that I mentioned in
my Field Report has lessened somewhat but I still notice it.
I find that the stiff soles make for a more comfortable hike particularly with
a heavier pack. On one hike I carried a
pack weighing approximately 35 lb (16 kg) (which is more than I would normally
carry) over rocky trails. The Contact
1000 boots provided excellent stability in this situation. The trade-off is the weight of the boot. The bottom line is that if I will be on rocky
trails, I would not hesitate to wear these boots.
Winter seemed to come late this year to the mid-Atlantic. For a while I thought that we might not get any
snow worth reporting on. Well, then
February came and along with it – winter.
I took the opportunity to test the boots in fresh light snow [no more
than 1 in (2.5 cm)] on both smooth and rocky trails. I was a little disappointed in the traction
of the boots on the snow. I had to be
aware of my footing all along the hike so as not to slip. I did encounter some ice on the trails as
well and the boots did not perform any better which is what I might have
expected for icy conditions.
I have been able to see how well the eVENT liner perform in wet conditions. I was able to hike over some very wet and
muddy trails and found that I have never detected any water entering the
boots. I have noticed also that after
most hikes my feet were quite dry which I attribute to the breathability
of the liner.
The boots have held up very well and show little signs of wear other than
scuffing from rocks and the like on the trail.
I have not seen any loosening of the seams or separation of the rand or
sole. The soles show little more than
typical wear for four months of use. The
insoles look almost as they did when brand new.
The laces do not show any visible wear.
I have had boots where the manufacturer provided laces so long that I
could probably lace two sets of boots with them. Although a very minor issue, I will note that
the length of the laces were just perfect and I didn’t
have to think about the possibility of tripping over loose laces.
The Kayland Contact 1000 boots are a solidly constructed
boot for backpacking and hiking featuring a waterproof eVENT
fabric lining. The uppers are made with
both natural and synthetic materials and the soles are stiff with an aggressive
tread. The Contact 1000 provides good
arch support and an ample toe box. The
boots handle rocky trails well but may be a bit too much for flat or paved
Things I like:
1. Solid construction
2. Arch support
3. Ample toe box
Things I don’t like:
1. Fairly heavy
2. Tongue rubbing
3. Poor traction in snow
This concludes my testing of the Kayland
Contact 1000 boots. I would like to
extend my sincere appreciation to Kayland and BackpackGearTest.org for the
opportunity to test this product.