Our Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra G Review explores a fully featured winter running shoe incorporating Boa and Polartec technology. We hope you find it useful.
For year round runners in both the U.K. and many places overseas, winter throws up many extra challenges. That could be snow and cold or wet and mud. On any given run it is often likely to be a combination of them all! Running in comfort in these conditions becomes an additional challenge. In recent years several manufacturers have responded by producing products to help. These might be modifications on existing products or purpose made items.
The Scarpa Ribelle has been an award winning and market leading shoe for some time. It is highly regarded for its precision, adaptability and comfort on varied terrain. Now, Scarpa have added a winter version called the Ribelle Run Kalibra G. Please read our Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra G Review to find out more about this innovative product.
On first inspection the stand out feature for the Ribelle Run Kalibra G will be the tall zipped gaiter. This is designed to offer warmth alongside weather protection. It is constructed from Polartec Windbloc fabric and features a weather resistant zipper. Scarpa say this is the first time Windbloc has been used in a shoe and was chosen for the combination of weather resistance and breathability. The gaiter closes around the ankle with an elasticated band and velcro tabs.
The shoe also incorporates the Wrap360 lace system. This was developed in collaboration with BOA and offers complete wrap closure around the foot. There will be more about the BOA system later, but the Ribelle’s use the Boa Li2 dial adjuster combined with Dyneema laces. The BOA dial is deliberately placed outside the gaiter for on the go adjustability. It is also designed for easy adjustment while wearing gloves.
The inner shoe is designed for lasting comfort with a supportive and protective gusseted tongue and well padded heel collar. The lining is stretch textile. The tongue also needs sufficient support to protect the foot from the skinny laces. Protection also comes from the firm and durable toe bumper and 360 degree rand.
The Run Kalibra G features Scarpa’s Presa outsole. This has 5mm lugs and features Scarpa Compound H rubber. Scarpa refer to the sticky sole material as Supergum. This was developed in house and aims to offer maximum performance and versatility on various surfaces and particularly when the going gets slippy. Scarpa describe it as perfect for middle distance running in more extreme conditions or on summer trails with softer or more technical terrain. The shoe has a 4mm drop.
Presa TRN-04 Midsole
Scarpa have used a Presa TRN-04 midsole which incorporates a TPU dynamic stabiliser torsion frame. The frame wraps under the arch and along both sides of the heel and aims to be cushioned and compliant while offering enough support and lateral stability on technical ground. The midsole incorporates into the outsole offering 7 independent shocking absorbing zones. The midsole materials are also tested to not become unduly affected by extreme cold.
For temperature control Scarpa have incorporated a WINTHERM layer. This combines two thermo regulatory elements of insulation and reflectivity. This combination aims to keep feet warm when it’s cold, but also should keep the feet cool in hot weather. So far the testing has focussed on the cold of a Peak District winter and they have certainly kept my feet warm. I will be interested to test the coolness capabilities once the warmer months arrive.
I found the Ribelle Run Kalibra G to fit true to size although there is also room in the shoe for a thicker sock. This has been welcomed while running in the colder months. The wrap around closure system allows the shoes to compensate for foot width variations. I have tried them with a variety of sock thicknesses and they have felt snug yet comfortable each time.
The shoes have proved to be fully compatible with micro spikes (tested with Black Diamond model but should work with any others). The shoe weighs 370 grams in a size 42 (UK 8). They cost £240.
There are several comparable options to the Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra G. La Sportiva have the Blizzard and Adidas have their Agravic Terrex Tech Pro (I tested a summer version of the Adidas Agravic Terrex with integrated BOA system here). There are similar style shoes with integrated spikes such as the Salomon SnowSpike CSWP and Hoka offer their Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX. They all have their specific design features. Also, some are lighter and some are cheaper. Although I haven’t tested all of these alternatives and this isn’t a comparison review, in a busy market it is useful to consider where the Ribelle’s stand? Especially, as well, because a shoe of this type is an expensive investment.
In terms of styling, my personal view is that Scarpa have done a brilliant job. The combination or black main body and gaiter combine with blue accents on the outsole and heel. There are also stylish blue flashes on the outside and blue accents on the gaiter and heel. FInally, the branding sits across the outside of the heel. The Ribelle’s look great. They also appear and feel like the top quality product you would expect from Scarpa. The shoes are also quite streamlined. I’m not sure the accent flashes will help you run faster (!) but the shape looks perfect for technical trails.
As soon as I tried the Ribelle’s on I was smitten. For my foot they fit superbly and strike a balance between comfortable snug fit and yet with enough width for wriggle room. They do fit true to size, but there is enough room for a medium thickness sock. Perfect for cold conditions. I knew immediately they were going to become a trusted companion.
They are very easy to put on. The BOA system allows the laces to be long enough for an easy on/off, but then they can be fastened and ready for action in a second. The BOA system also allows immediate micro adjustment of the fit. Having the BOA adjuster on the outside of the gaiter allows this simple on the go adjustment. However, the downside to this is that it is potentially quite vulnerable to damage if you caught it on something. I haven’t had this happen yet, but it is something to be aware of.
The gaiter is simple to fasten via a weather resistant zipper. At the top there is a broad elastic and velcro closure that offers a great seal. The gaiter doesn’t affect running performance in any way that I’ve noticed. You wouldn’t even notice they were there.
They certainly do offer a significant level of weather proofing. I have used the Ribelle’s in recent Peak District snows and in the muddy conditions that followed. I have had no ingress of moisture at any point. But what I have also noticed is their breathability. The shoes have stayed comfortable and my feet and ankles dry even on higher intensity runs. I also tested them on an indoor gym session (I did get some rather strange looks!) and again they breathed really well.
I have been really impressed with the Presa outsole. It strikes the perfect balance of grip on loose or slippy surfaces like grass, mud or gravel. It also has enough stickiness to cope when boulder hopping or travelling across rock. This is something we do a lot on Peak District runs and a very important performance feature.
Comfort & Stability
Finally, what about running comfort and stability. Well, I simply love the way these shoes perform. They inspire confidence and have felt comfortable from day one. They also fit my feet exceptionally well. This also translates to their performance on the trail. They offer plenty of support and lateral stability. The shoes also have enough cushioning for pounding hard surfaces. They are marketed for middle distance runs and this seems their perfect audience.
A last note should go to mentioning their versatility. Although designed as a running shoe, they have a lot more scope. They would, for example, work with snowshoes. They would also be great for climbers approaching routes through wet or muddy terrain. There are certainly plenty of options with these shoes.
My Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra G review reveals an excellent and innovative product. It incorporates a range of cutting edge features and offers a very versatile shoe suited to many users. It will suit its target market of middle distance trail runners extremely well, but will also be perfect for several other pursuits. The Ribelle’s are also enhanced by the use of Polartec Windbloc and the addition of a BOA closure. A big thumbs up from me. Full details on the Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra G can be found on the Scarpa website here.
We hope you found our Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra G review useful. We have tested a number of products for running and a selection featuring BOA technology. Please have a look at our recent Rab Windweil review here. We also reviewed the Osprey Duro 6 running vest here.
We tested the Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro shoes here and the La Sportiva Cyklon shoes here. Both feature BOA closure systems.