Who should buy the Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT

Add the Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT to your shopping bag if you want a: 

  • skyrunning shoe that's supportive and light
  • fast trail shoe that's agile and offers seamless transitions
  • carbon-plated running shoe that's comfy and impact-absorbing for long miles

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT scarpa

Who should NOT buy it

It might have some room up front, but it's still not the roomiest for wide-footed runners. This said, it would be wise to go for the Altra Olympus 4.0. And if you don't want to rub your pinky toes, the Salomon Sense Ride 4 is the perfect must-have. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT rocker

Run fast in the mountains with the Scarpa Kima RT

In the mountains, the Golden Gate Kima RT is in its "natural habitat," expressed one trail athlete. Another experienced skyrunner also says that among all the mountain running shoes he has, the Kima RT is "arguably the best mountain shoes [he] has ever used," which he admits is a "bold statement!" 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT heel

This is because the shoe offers a springy and smooth ride over rugged and steep terrains. The carbon-fiber plate springs the runner forward and the shoe's geometry allows it to roll smoothly; one of the reviewers claims that the rocker-like shape of the shoe is "letting [him] flow forward." 

Stay safe, stay surefooted

The Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT is a trail shoe that had one exert "leaping from rock to rock," because it's so stable. The reason behind this? The carbon-fiber plate. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT protective ride

It adds some rigidity to the shoe, but not in an "abusive way." It delivers a "reassured ride;" it's confidence-inspiring whether it's on technical trails or longer flatter runs. 

It won't drag you down 

It "doesn't feel as heavy as in your hands," and "lighter than its actual weight" are some of the remarks left by happy trail goers who were excited about the shoe's light weight. 

Another says that he's shocked that the Scarpa Kima RT is as light as it is. So much so that he has found himself "absolutely flying" on the trails. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT weight

For a quick check, trail running shoes, on average, weigh in at 298 grams or 10.5 ounces in US men's 9, which is the same as this shoe's weight. 

Ready for just about anything

May it be mountains, technical rocky trails, snow, ice, slush, mud, smooth cruisy trails, and off-trail grass, the Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT latches. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT grip

"I love it!" and "I never found myself needing to stay focused on my footsteps." These were among the feedback from long-time mountain runners who were impressed by the shoe's sticky traction. 

A mountain-running fit

When it comes to fit, here are some notes and comments given by off-road runners: 

  • "the fit is just amazing"
  • "focused on technical trails yet with no sense of a suffocating fit" 

It might not be the roomiest for wide-footed runners, but if you have medium to narrow-width feet, this shoe is for you. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT lockdown

It has a sock-like wrap that doesn't feel overly snug. It's so secure; "un-moveable" is a term a tester used to describe how his foot feels in the Golden Gate Kima RT. 

Rubs the toes

The toe box is not insanely roomy. Sometimes, it even feels awkward, especially when going downhills fast. So much so, there are quite a few who have voiced out that there's some pressure on the pinky toes. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT fit

Bump into those rocks with confidence

"Bulletproof" is how a trail running athlete describes the shoe's toe bumper. It has a protective rand; it offers THE best protection when bashing around harsh trail elements. 

Another reviewer shares that he often "flinched" at the idea of the shoe having a rock plate (he had bad experiences with rock plates). But with the Kima RT, he says it's "the best shoe I have tried with a plate." 

And the cushion? It does a wonderful job in dampening shock during impact without completely isolating the ground feel. 

Wraps so good

The upper is "way more comfortable than it looks," stated one runner. It is light, is well-padded but breathable, and it hugs all parts of the foot comfortably. On top of this, it also has a gusseted tongue that protects from lace bites, which is reminiscent of the Scott Supertrac RC 2. And the cherry on top—the upper is true to the "mountainous roots of the shoe," meaning it's plenty durable.

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT upper

The Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT is gentle

On the feet, that's for sure. It has a padded feel to it that one critic finds incredibly comfortable. It's not overly soft. It feels cushioned "without being squidgy." The midsole, overall, offers "anything but a harsh ride," complimented another commenter. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT comfort

A heavy-duty beast

After more than 100 miles in the shoe, a wear tester proudly reports that the midsole still feels brand-new! It's not bottoming out at all. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT durable

"I can't see a single trace of wear," shared another (talking about the outsole) after 100 miles with aggressive Alpine terrain in the mix. 

Expensive but worth every penny spent

At $190, many consider the Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT fair-priced. Contrary to the average trail shoe, which retails for $129 a pair, on average, the Kima RT's price is still quite steep. Even when compared to other carbon-plated shoes ($152, on average), its price is still up there. 

However, for its performance, durability, and with the carbon plate on top, runners agree that it's worth the price. One even goes as far as saying that the price intrigued him because the shoe offered so much. 

Looks can be deceiving

It looks like a trail shoe that's "unafraid to get dirty." As one mountain runner would put it, it's "dirt-colors-friendly." Even more, it has a "purposeful, serious, quite low slung" look that makes onlookers unsuspecting that you're wearing a carbon-plated shoe.

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT design

It's unassuming; a lot don't really see it as a fast shoe at first glance. One even says its "looks are certainly deceiving." 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Weight: Men 10.5oz
Drop: Men 5mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: Men 17mm
Heel height: Men 22mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation

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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.