Kayland MXT Review Part II

In May of 2011 I wrote a gear review on Kayland’s MXT mountaineering boot. Since completing the initial review I have had a few experiences with the boot that Seattle Backpackers Magazine (SBM) thought we should share with you, our readers.

We we put a high priority on honest gear reviews. We never write a product review after a weekend of testing (or have the manufacturing company itself write the “review” as some other sources do).  There has been a lot of discussion as of late among our staff on how to improve our product reviews and consequently we have updated our internal gear review policies. If you have any ideas on how we can improve our gear reviews please let us know.

My initial review  on Kayland’s MXT was very positive. I had tested the boot for three and a half months. During that time I averaged two to three hikes per week that were approximately ten miles each for a total of about three to four hundred miles in the test period. I hiked a lot and put those boots through nearly every condition imaginable. About one month after the review went up the left boot developed a small leak in the forefoot near the sole. The water would only saturate through the leather and the liner after several hours of very wet conditions. I tried applying a synthetic waterproofing spray to see if that would help (which it did a little) but the leaking did not go away completely. However, summer quickly arrived and the wet conditions went away and thus so did the leaking issue. My best guess is that I tore the liner in just that one spot which led to the leaking.

©Isaac Tait

Fast forward to my first fall hike where I tore a two-and-a-half inch hole on the leather of the inside of the right boot. I have no idea how it happened; one minute everything was fine and the next my boot was filling up with dirt. Obviously, I called Kayland and they were more than happy to warranty the boot. Their customer service was extraordinary and overall was a pleasant experience. They did not have me send the boot in, saying a picture of it would suffice, and within one week I had a new pair of Kayland MXT’s.

The first thing I noticed when I pulled the new boots out of the box was that they had tweaked the boot a bit since my previous model. The biggest change was that they had switched to Gore Tex as well as made a few cosmetic changes (different shoelaces and the midsole no longer looked like carbon fiber). The switch to Gore Tex was like night and day. No matter how hard I tried I could not get the boot to leak (trust me, I tried really hard). So with a bit of sadness I retired the old boots and began enjoying my new ones. I would like to mention that I experienced zero break-in time with both pairs of boots – right out of the box comfort and no blisters both times! However, the enjoyment was short lived. After three months of use (and significantly less miles this time due to a newly acquired full-time job) I tore out the double stitching on the back heel of the left boot. I have worn out probably close to one hundred pairs of shoes in my lifetime and this was the first time I blew the heel out before anything else.

©Isaac Tait

If gear fails once it does not mean that it is a bad product, especially when the company honors their warranty (which Kayland did) rather than shirking responsibility to the user. However, when it fails twice in less than a year it raises an eyebrow. I have sent the boots back to where I bought them and will be looking for another pair to replace my well-loved Kayland MXT’s. One last thing I would like to note is that I adored these boots. They were very comfortable and worked great for what I like to do. I realize that some folks may hike three to four hundred miles in several years rather than a few months, so these boots may last them much longer than they lasted me. I feel that my experiences warranted a follow-up report on my initial review though.

Manufacturer: Kayland

Date available: Available now

Manufacturer’s Website: Kayland USA

MSRP: US$ 270

Listed Weight: 1lb 7oz

Actual Weight: Same

Materials: Suede upper, rubber rand

Size/Model tested: 9.0

Warranty info: No information listed

Colors Available: Red – Mens   Blue – Womens

©Abigail Tait
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