This is the shoe that everyone has been waiting for, in a mixture of disbelief (how could Camper, a city shoe brand, do better than Salomon, Kilian’s former sponsor?) and envy (he did win the UTMB with these shoes!) So here it is, on our feet and on the mountain trails.
When you take them out of the box, you find these Kjerag surprisingly light. They are even lighter once you remove the paper stuffed inside. 215g in size 42, that is to say the low range of trail-running shoes. Everything in this shoe transpires minimalism: the tongue is very thin, the upper too, the stone guard at the toes is reduced to the strict minimum and the sole is almost invisible from the side. We are well on the way to putting on a shoe without any superfluous.
The foot is positioned rather well in this Nnormal Kjerag. The elastic tongue like a sock sticks well to the instep and presses on it evenly, provided it is well positioned from the start. The toes are clearly visible when you move them, showing the thinness of the Matryx upper (made in Ardèche!). This thinness reminds some very light models of the Swiss brand On Running. The feeling of lightness is impressive. The lacing is simple and effective. No fuss, nothing but very classic.
ON THE GROUND
We ran a little less than 100km with these Kjerag, on various mountain trails. The cushioning is pretty good and provides a surprising bounce and comfort for such a minimalist shoe. On the downside, stability is not great and you’ll need a sure footed attitude to take full advantage of this demanding shoe’s potential.
The toe box is rather bulky, leaving room for the movement of your ten toes. If Kilian won the Ultra trail du Mont-Blanc with these shoes, we still doubt that the common runner can use them in ultra, as the comfort is limited. The grip is quite good as well as the adherence on wet or soaked ground.
The support is good but not excessive. The upper goes down quite low and clears the malleolus, leaving a great freedom of movement. But the heel is not very rigid and if it wedges the foot well, it is not concrete either. Good for you, you might say, unless you’re looking for more ankle stability.
Specs PRICE: 180€ / 195$ DROP : 6mm WEIGHT : 215g / 8UK FABRICS : VIBRAM® Megagrip / VIBRAM® Litebase, drastically reduces 30% of the overall sole weight, through a reduction of the sole thickness by 50%. While retaining the perfect shape, 3.5mm lugs / Matryx® Jacquard The exceptionally breathable and durable upper is weaved from individually coated polyamide and Kevlar® yarns. Produced in Ardèche, France, the dyeing process uses between 50-95% less water than other methods / EExpure midsole, a new generation of foam engineered specifically for trail-running shoes, used on 6mm overall drop.