Monday, October 16, 2023

Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT Review: Big Mountain Trails Ready!

 Article by Markus Zinkl

Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT (€189,95)


Introducing the Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT, a trail running shoe that embodies the perfect fusion of precision and stability for the adventurous souls who seek to conquer rocky and uneven terrain. Crafted specifically for short to medium-distance trail and Skyrunning, this shoe showcases a remarkable blend of cutting-edge technology and construction. 

Designed with the utmost attention to detail, the Ribelle Run Kalibra HT is a masterpiece of durability, lightweight agility, and high-performance capabilities. According to Scarpa, this shoe has been meticulously engineered to elevate your performance and provide the comfort necessary to conquer even the most rugged landscapes with unwavering precision, boundless dynamism, and uncompromising protection. 

I tested the Kalibra HT on my local foresty trails and in the Austrian Alps. The testing included the Heilbronner Highline trail , which was perfect given it's technical terrain. So let’s see if the Kalibra HT can deliver on those claims in the following in depth review.

Let’s see if the Kalibra HT can deliver on those claims in the following in depth review.


  • Best technical mountain trail shoe 2023 !

  • Midsole blends cushion, stability and ground feel perfectly for rocky and technical terrain

  • Customizable fit due to BOA System 

  • Exceptional stability

  • Grip in dry conditions rivals Vibram Megagrip


  • Ankle collar comes up high, could be a problem for some

  • Heavy


Sample Weight: men’s  12.1 oz  / 345 g (US 10.5) 

Stack Height: 24.5 mm heel / 20.5 mm forefoot, 4 mm drop          


First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Upon first encountering the Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT, I was immediately struck by its thoughtful design and impressive upper. Despite the robust rock protection it offers, the upper material maintains an excellent level of breathability. 

This balance is crucial for those who venture into rough terrain where foot comfort can make all the difference.

A TPU band wraps around the lower portion and extends around the heel. This not only enhances the shoe's stability but also provides an extra layer of protection.

Scarpa's SockFit LW, their take on a gusseted tongue, was a pleasant surprise. It skillfully holds the tongue in place without any annoying distractions or discomfort, ensuring a secure and distraction-free fit.

The EXO SCARPA construction, featuring a thermo welded cage, provides a reliable shield against external elements, further reinforcing the shoe's durability and performance on rugged terrain.

I found the forefoot to be surprisingly roomy, which was a boon for my narrow feet. This generous space allowed for a comfortable and unrestricted fit in the front of the shoe.

The heel area was equally impressive, offering just the right amount of padding to keep my foot snug without feeling overly constricted. 

What truly sets the Ribelle Run Kalibra HT apart is its customizable fit. The Boa 360 wrap system wraps around the foot, ensuring a comfortable fit even when the Boa dial is tensioned tightly. The customizable fit is a game-changer for trail runners who need precision and comfort in one package.

Speaking of the BOA system, the Boa Li2 feature allows for easy adjustments with a simple clockwise or counterclockwise turn to tighten or loosen the fit. Additionally, you can open it swiftly with a pull, making on-the-fly adjustments for both uphill and downhill stretches effortless. This adaptability is a significant advantage for those who frequently transition between varying terrains during their runs.

An aspect to note is the relatively high ankle collar. While it wasn't too high for me, it's worth paying attention to, as it may affect individual comfort preferences.

Regarding sizing, it's essential to remember that US 10.5 corresponds to a EU 44 size, which usually corresponds to EU 44.5. So I recommend sticking with the US sizing when selecting this shoe.


In terms of the midsole, the Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT boasts a medium-density EVA construction, offering an excellent balance between cushioning and ground feel. It's this precise equilibrium that pleasantly surprised me. There is no rock plate. The mid density eva in combination with the substantial rubber outsole does a great job though.I never felt the need for one.The shoe manages to strike an almost perfect blend of comfort and tactile connection with the ground, making it suitable even for longer distances such as a 50k run. 

This aspect stands in stark contrast to the very firm Scarpa Kima RT (RTR Review), which, for me, was a bit too rigid, likely due to the presence of a carbon fiber plate. The Ribelle Run Kalibra HT's midsole, on the other hand, ensures a comfortable yet responsive ride, providing the kind of versatility that's essential for a wide range of trail running scenarios.


The outsole of the Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT is notably equipped with the PRESA® TRN-01 rubber compound. This rubber material truly impressed me with its traction capabilities. When it comes to gripping dry rock and loose gravel, it stands toe-to-toe with the renowned Vibram MegaGrip compound. The shoe offers a level of traction that inspires confidence, especially on technical, rocky terrain where secure footing is paramount.

During descents, the outsole of the Ribelle Run Kalibra HT proves itself as a reliable companion, offering very confident grip and allowing me to navigate steep declines with ease. The shoe's performance on loose trails further highlights its versatility, ensuring that it's equally effective in various off-road scenarios.

While the grip on wet rock is not quite as exceptional as on dry surfaces, it still maintains a very good level of traction. Overall, the outsole's performance on rugged and demanding terrains makes the Ribelle Run Kalibra HT an excellent choice for those who seek a dependable and confident footing on their trail runs.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

The ride of the Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT is defined by several noteworthy characteristics. I found the 4mm drop strikes a perfect balance, allowing for a remarkably stable experience both uphill and downhill. This design feature ensures that navigating varying elevations and terrains is a seamless and controlled endeavor.

One aspect that pleasantly surprised me was how the shoe runs lighter than its appearance suggests. This lightweight feel contributes to the overall agility and responsiveness of the shoe, making it a joy to wear during extended trail runs .

The cushioning of the Ribelle Run Kalibra HT was another highlight. It offers a nice amount of comfort, which was particularly welcome on extremely technical and rocky terrain. Remarkably, this cushioning doesn't come at the expense of ground feel, ensuring that you remain connected to the trail beneath your feet.

However, I did notice that the shoe could benefit from a bit more reactive foam. It's understandably firm, given its focus on technical terrain, but a touch more responsiveness would have been appreciated.

In conclusion, the Scarpa Ribelle Run Kalibra HT emerges as the perfect companion for technical mountain running in dry or slightly wet conditions. Its stability, lightweight feel, cushioning, and overall performance on challenging terrains make it an excellent choice for those seeking a dependable and comfortable trail running experience .

Markus’ Score 9.58/10:

Ride: 9.5 Fit: 10 Value: 10 Style: 8 Traction: 9.5 Rock Protection: 9


2 Comparisons

Saucony Peregrine 13 (RTR Review)

The Peregrine 13 got a bit softer in version 13 and it is higher stack, so in terms of overall midsole cushion it offers quite a bit more than the Kalibra HT. Fit is better in the Kalibra HT for me. The customizable and quickly adjustable BOA fit system really does a great job. On the grip side of things, the Kalibra HT takes the edge again over the Peregrin 13. I would prefer the Peregrine 13 on longer runs. If it is getting really technical and rocky, the Kalibra HT is ahead on all points.

TNF Summit Vectiv Sky (RTR English Initial Review, German Full Review)

Due to the carbon fiber plate, the Vectiv Sky has quite a bit more pop than the Scarpa. For uphill efforts I do prefer the Vectiv Sky. Fit wise, I prefer the Kalibra HT, the upper is much more pliable and offers a more customizable fit. As I wrote in the review, the grip in dry and rocky conditions is on par to a Vibram Megagrip outsole and therefore on top of the outsole ranks. In wet conditions I would rate the Vectiv Sky and Kalibra HT similar. In conclusion the faster shoe is for sure the Vecitv Sky. However in technical, rocky terrain the Kalibra HT takes the cake.

The Ribelle Run Kalibra HT is available from Scarpa HERE

Markus from Germany is mainly a recreational runner, currently running about 5 times per week. He runs about 50:50  on trails and roads. He is also an avid hiker with a focus on ultralight and fast completing the Via Alpina in Switzerland this summer. This is where his geek for gear and shoes comes to light. Likewise, he loves the mountains and tries to spend as much free time there as possible.

His only preference in terms of shoes is that they are not too heavy. Other than that, he runs in everything, from zero drop Altras to high stack Vaporfly. Racing times for the 10k are 39:48 min and 1:51:32 for a half-marathon.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Europe only: use RTR code RTR5ALL for 5% off all products, even sale products 


Men's and Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE


Google "roadtrailrun Shoe Name" and you can be quite sure to find just about any run shoe over the last 10 years

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun


Markus said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Markus! Thank you for your review. It looks like Scarpa is really upping their game (this, Spin Planet, etc.). Two other comparisons I would love to see would naturally be La Sportiva Jackal II Boa (the other new boa technical shoe), and perhaps the Scott Supertrac RC (one of my favs). I know these requests can be difficult given the limited access and time with other shoes. Any other RTR input from others would be welcome. Also, big thanks in regards to the sizing. I always thought that was weird that they list a 10.5 US as a Euro 44. Makes sense now.

Markus said...

Thanks for the feedback. Actually I am currently trying to get my handys on the Jackal II Boa. We will update the comparison if it goes through.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review Markus. My wife and I have put untold miles on the HD (mountaineering boot w/ Vibram), GTX, and Kalibra (a blast in winter, wish they had MG outsole) versions of the Ribelle line. Collectively, they are almost our most utilized footwear in the mountains near our home (Rockies, 8,000’+). The ‘almost’ is because, through experience, we prefer the Vibram MG outsole and have noticed that we both prefer using the spin infinity (gtx and non-gtx) over their comparable ribelle versions. Presa does reasonably well in dry conditions; however, in our experience, it’s not on par with mega grip for mixed conditions found in most mountain settings and is actually a bit sketchy on wet rocks here in the Rockies as well as in loose conditions. Curious, it sounds like Presa worked well for you, have they updated the compound?
FWIW, a beaded insole in the Ribelle GTX and Kalibra adds a bit of rebound and really awakens those kicks (same for the Infinity = mint!).

Markus said...

Thanks for your comment. I also still prefer the vibram mega grip outsole and think it is still ahead and the overall best compound. Only in dry conditions presa is on par. I was only able to test them in slightly wet or rather damp conditions due to the dry dry conditions they did exceptionally well for me and in slightly wet conditions they were ok. Lastly I don't have info if they updated the compound.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of Scarpa shoes and only two from La Sportiva, my Ultra Raptor II and Karacal didn't impress me overly much and felt quality wise not on par either. I am much more getting along nicely with the Scarpa Ribelle Run series (normal and XT), I also like the XT and their Rush Mid fast hiking boots.
I just compared ST and HT, I wonder how much of a difference the sole really will make for MIXED (!) terrain. The ST supposedly also has 2 mm higher stack front and back. Hmm...!
As for BOA, never ever had it before.
I might give the Ribelle Boa a try in spring next year, not sure if ST or HT, though...
Nobody here might have both HT and ST version, I am afraid, they aren't exactly a bargain.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply Markus regarding presa compound. We appreciate the in-depth reviews! Best wishes to you.
Anonymous (above), we can’t speak to the HT; however, for whatever it’s worth, if you’re considering the Spin “ST,” it’s an excellent shoe for technical mixed conditions, imho. It has a 4mm drop (ideal for long days in the mtns), 7mm lugs, and a Vibram outsole. We prefer it over the Ribelle alternatives.

Markus said...

I'm trying to get my hands on the ST as well. We will update the comparison to the ST, if I get one.
Would be really interesting how the Presa TRN-02 compares to the Presa TRN-04 with "Supergum".

Anonymous said...

How pointed is the toe? I have generally found scarpas to be overly wide at the metatarsals and then painfully pointed.... how does the toebox taper stack up against the original ribelle run or the spin infinity?

Markus said...

I can't comment on the Rebell run and infinity spin. I found them not overly pointy. Yes, they are getting a bit narrower towards the toes, but not too much for my taste. For real technical terrain you can't really get around a narrower shape in order to allow a precise footing. In regards of pointy shoes I find the Hoka Speedgoat 4 much more pointy than the kalibra.