Mar 29, 2016
Kameng – the Mishmi Takin Hiking Boot
Mishmi Takin, an outdoor brand coming out of the US that designs high-performance boots & jackets, could be the next big thing for all your adventures.
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Industry graded hiking shoes keep you dry, but not in all climatic conditions. Most “waterproof” boots follow the standards of something called a ‘Wet System’ made from a Polyurethane (PU) membrane. In simple words, for your feet to remain dry, the humidity inside the shoe must increase before you actually start sweating.
Mishmi Takin – an endangered species of the goat-antelope family that resides in the Indian, Myanmar and southern Chinese Himalayas – lent its name to a new brand that produces highly breathable and water repelling gear. The founder, Kapil Dev Singh, does things differently. “Our #1 difference is the use of DRY-SYSTEM membranes and fabrics that are microporous and air permeable, resulting in immediate expulsion of water vapor, some air exchange and a big difference in user comfort,” Singh said during his Kickstarter campaign launch.
The eVent membrane technology, that Mishmi Takin has tied up with, is based on millions of micropores that disperse any buildup of vapour within seconds in lieu of a slow 4-step (condensation, absorption, diffusion, evaporation) process that is present in most hiking boots designed for protection in rain. The membrane technology is also waterproof so the shoe works in a wide range of conditions. After hours of hiking through a wet, muddy and slushy forest area in the Alps, I didn’t feel the need to change to another pair of socks.
The Kameng also features a VIBRAM® Megagrip sole (Mishmi Takin has also partnered with VIBRAM) that allows for a great grip on wet and slippery surfaces. I used it for scrambling up rocks in the equatorial heat of central India. The upper Cordura fabric was easy to clean. The Rocker Sole was perhaps a surprise and reminiscent of the industry leader Dachstein’s Super Leggera DDS.
Breathability and Waterproofing
Excessive hours of walking through forests in cold and wet conditions didn’t make me want to change to another pair. I found that the shoe doesn’t even emanate any foul odour that I often associate with my other hiking boots, no matter the conditions.
I have used the shoe in the warm temperate climate of India, while hiking in the Alps in Switzerland, the Black Forest region of Germany and for casual day to day activities during countless rainy days in Switzerland. The shoe has kept my feet dry and free of sweat. Of course it does get cold in there in subzero temperatures but that’s not what the shoe is for.
Weight and Size
I wear a European 42 and most shoes go either way, 41 or 43. This one was a snug fit, and I almost never realized a heavy weight on my feet. At 630 grams, it comes very close to the Super Leggera DDS from Dachstein which is only 560 grams and poses a fair competition.
My absolute favorite thing about the shoe is its rocker sole feeling on steep terrain and the fact that I never feel its weight on slopes while pulling up a heavy pack.
Mishmi Takin’s Kameng series of hiking boots is in line with Singh’s experience in the tropical outdoors and his world class engineering (IIT, India) and management (MIT, USA) education. It has the right amount of aesthetics that bring together a wide-range of necessary features normally found in separate pairs of shoes, almost never together, and keeps you dry across many temperate climates while performing the same in colder regions. The Mishmi Takin species has great feet traction for climbing up and down steep terrain in the Eastern Himalayas and also has an oily outer skin layer that allows for rain to slide off easily. Their evolutionary advantage is what made Singh borrow the name.
Price: $125 – $230