Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT review: a precise fitting trail shoe for hard terrain

We dial in the Boa fit system and hit the trails in Scarpa’s Ribelle Run Kalibra HT trail running shoes, designed for short to medium distance mountain running

Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT: close up
(Image: © Alex Foxfield)

Advnture Verdict

A very capable, fast, protective and responsive mountain running shoe that makes good use of the Boa fit system and provides solid traction on a range of trail surfaces. It’s not the most comfortable trail shoe we’ve tested and runners looking to go long would certainly benefit from a more cushioned inner. It’s also expensive compared to much of the competition, making it an investment that suits technical skyrunners rather than the casual punter.


  • +

    Quick and easily adjustable Boa system

  • +

    Nice, sporty looks

  • +

    Protective rand

  • +

    Sole grips most surfaces well

  • +

    Nicely breathable


  • -

    Not the most comfortable

  • -

    Heavier than most

  • -

    Expensive compared to competition

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Few brands can boast the reputation that Italian footwear giant Scarpa enjoys. This is particularly true of its mountaineering and climbing footwear, where it vies with fellow Italians La Sportiva in the upper echelons of its field (or mountain peak, as it were). However, the rise in popularity of trail running over the last couple of decades has seen Scarpa eying up the success of mountain running brands like Salomon.

In 2020, Scarpa turned to legendary skyrunner Marco de Gasperi to inject his expertise into their burgeoning running range as head of development. Success followed with the original, award-winning Ribelle Run, a lightweight performance trail shoe with Salomon style quick lacing.

You may be familiar with the Ribelle in the name, which Scarpa whips out for some of its most technical, cutting edge products. I’ve previously tested the hardiest member of the trail running wing of the family, the Ribelle Run Kalibra G, designed for extreme wintry runs and sporting a protective integrated Polartec gaiter. Meanwhile, we’ve also stomped about the mountains in the Ribelle Lite HD mountaineering boot and were suitably impressed.

I was keen to try out the Ribelle Run Kalibra HT, a technical trail running shoe with the same Boa lacing system as the Kalibra G. The HT stands for hard terrain, so it would be interesting to check out the Kalibra's caliber on some of the grassy terrain found in the UK’s hills and mountains.

Meet the reviewer

Alex Foxfield: on Scafell
Alex Foxfield

Alex is a regular trail runner and loves moving fast and light through the mountains. Among his more adventurous runs, he's taken on Wales' 15 highest peaks in a single circuit and competed (if you can call it that) in the legendary Ring of Steall Skyrace in the Scottish Highlands. As one of our trail running gear experts, he always tests his kit to the max in the hills and mountains.

First impressions

Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT: another close up

The Ribelle Run Kalibra HT is one of Scarpa's less understated pieces of footwear (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

RRP: $167.72 (US) / £170 (UK)
Weight (per shoe): 310g / 28.3 oz
Drop: 4mm
Materials: Mesh and microfiber upper, TPU band, PRESA TRN-01 rubber compound outsole
Colors: Men’s: Lime Green/Deep Lagoon, Oil-yellow/Ivy Green (only available mainland Europe); Women’s: Misty Jade/Deep Lagoon, Lilac/Orient Blue (only available mainland Europe)
Compatibility: Short to medium distance trail runs and mountain terrain

Scarpa’s footwear is either wonderfully understated, like the excellent Crux approach shoe, or it grabs you by the retinas and screams “Look! I’m ready for race day! Where’s the checkered flag?” Predictably, for a speedy trail running shoe, the Kalbibra HTs do the latter in an ostentatious display of colors and stripes. That’s not to say the Lime Green/Deep Lagoon color scheme isn’t attractive and I’m sure I’d fit right in at the Sierre-Zinal Skyrace or in Chamonix.

Upon first wear, there’s a nice amount of wriggle room in the toes, while the ankle feels nicely locked in. These are by no means the cuddliest shoes I’ve ever worn; there’s not a great deal of cushioning to speak of, though they feel as though they’d be nicely breathable on warmer days.


Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT: Boa fit

The Ribelle Run Kalibra HT features the Wrap360 Boa fit system (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

The Boa fit system is the Wrap360, a collaboration between Boa and Scarpa that, as it’s name suggests, fully wraps the foot. This fit is intended to offer great precision and reduce individual pressure points. As with all Boa systems, it also allows the wearer to dial in the desired tightness very easily, while it’s quick and easy to loosen too – just pull the dial outward.

There’s a good level of breathability thanks to the mesh and microfiber upper, which wraps the foot in a sock like fit, working in tandem with the lacing system. Like all of the Ribelle family, the Kalibra HT stabilizes the heel and protects the foot with a TPU band, shielding against rock abrasion on scrambling terrain. This should also enhance the shoes' durability in the long run, though it’s too early to say with certainty just how hardwearing these shoes will prove to be.

Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT: outsole

The 4mm lugs give great performance on most surfaces but don't grip really muddy terrain brilliantly – the ST version of the shoe would be better if this kind of terrain is your norm (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

Ultra runners will be served better elsewhere, as Scarpa have designed the Kalibra HT for short to medium distances. The 24.5mm heel to 20.5mm toe stack and relatively minimal cushioning suggests a shoe built for speed rather than comfort for the sort of epic long distance events that leave runners sleep deprived and questioning their life choices. The tongue isn’t padded at all, though there’s gussets to stop trail debris from sneaking in.

Scarpa uses its proprietary PRESA TRN-01 rubber outsole here, with 4mm lugs that are designed for give solid all-round performance in the mountains, on both wet and dry terrain. It’s more suited to trails and rocky mountain terrain than muddy ground or boggy fells. If the sloshy stuff is your bag, you might want to check out the slightly pricier Ribelle Run Kalibra ST, which boasts more aggressive 5mm lugs placed in a mud-shedding pattern.

On the trails

Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT: Dyfi Hills

High up in the south of Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

I took the Kalibra HTs out on a wide variety of runs of various lengths and with myriad surfaces. From my local haunts and woodland trails in Devon, which have a habit of being extremely muddy in the winter months, to the mountains and hills of Wales’ Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park, I enjoyed galloping about in my sporty Scarpas.

The PRESA outsole provides excellent traction on the vast majority of surfaces and is ideal for mountain goating along granite, gritstone, greenstone, or pretty much all rock types, whether they begin with gr or not. On trails and hard-packed terrain it’s also superb, though it begins to suffer on the really muddy stuff, where the ST version of the shoe, with its more aggressive lugs, would presumably perform much better. On a waterlogged run through muddy woodland, I was like Bambi on ice in the HTs.

Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT: Snowdonia run

Agile and responsive, the Ribelle Run Kalibra HTs are great for short to medium distance hilly runs (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

For me, the lack of padding and the feel of the interior of the upper against the foot makes them slightly uncomfortable and I had issues when flexing the midfoot. Pressure points develop in the parts of the upper where the stitching changes direction. Running my hand along the top of the shoe revealed these sections become raised and more rigid than the rest. It’s almost as though there’s too much material here – it bunches up when the Boa system is tightened. However, I like the ability to dial in the fit with the Boa system and adjusting on the fly is quick and easy too.

Comfort is everything on longer runs, though these minor gripes don’t stop the Ribelle Run HT still being a good option for a speedy trail 10k of similar. They also feel agile and responsive, which is exactly what the doctor ordered for rock hopping outings or fast trail runs. Combine this with the ironclad traction of the outsole on harder surfaces and you’ve got a high performing mountain shoe.

Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT: bunching

Material bunching up causes pressure points (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

Despite being built for speedier runs over short to medium distances, the Ribelle Run HT weighs 310g per shoe, which isn’t as light as some. I’d say that this makes them a solid choice as a good, all-round training shoe if you often take to technical terrain and perhaps even a race shoe for rocky skyraces. For winter, the Kalibra ST may be the wiser choice and for seriously extreme winter adventures, there’s always the Kalibra G.

Alex Foxfield

Alex is a freelance adventure writer and mountain leader with an insatiable passion for the mountains. A Cumbrian born and bred, his native English Lake District has a special place in his heart, though he is at least equally happy in North Wales, the Scottish Highlands or the European Alps. Through his hiking, mountaineering, climbing and trail running adventures, Alex aims to inspire others to get outdoors. He's the former President of the London Mountaineering Club, is training to become a winter mountain leader, looking to finally finish bagging all the Wainwright fells of the Lake District and is always keen to head to the 4,000-meter peaks of the Alps.