Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave

Utah's Unparalleled Outdoors

Jared Hargrave's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

Jared Hargrave's Bio

Backcountry skier, mountain biker, rock climber, hiker, backpacker and avid beer drinker (good beer mind you.) I grew up skiing in Colorado but soon found Utah's powder to be better, so I made the Wasatch my home.

Backcountry skiing is my true passion and I've explored mountains all over Utah on my skis. But my favorite skiing moment came when I got to ski tour in Patagonia, Argentina.

When I'm not inhaling cold smoke or tailgating in Alta's parking lot, I write about skiing and mountain biking on my website, UtahOutside.com, and for print like the Utah Adventure Journal and Backcountry Magazine. I'm also a television producer for the KSL Outdoors show.



Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 27, 2014

Comfort and stability in one
3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

Out of the box, I found the Verterra to fit quite well. They are true to size and I was immediately struck at the way the Stratafuse upper wraps around the top of the foot. Also, the cushion is very plush with a much more trail running shoe feel than a hiking shoe. Clearly, there is no break in needed here. Regardless, I wore them to work and around town a few times before hitting the trails.

On the trail, comfort and stability are excellent. Despite looking like a pair of sneakers, the Verterra are, well, sneaky. Underneath the toe box, the insole feels thinner, which allows for great ground feel, more like a minimalist shoe. I could literally feel the rock and roots through the shoes, but it was never too exaggerated or painful. Meanwhile, the heels are beefy and stable, with good squish and rebound.

I also found them to be very fun while rock hopping and even scrambling. Traction is average to excellent on dirt and rock, though on a snowy section on the north side of Sunset Peak at Alta I felt unwanted slippage over exposure. My guess is that these are not meant for winter weather. Speaking of winter, these shoes BREATHE! The uppers are so ventilated I could literally feel air moving through them… but that also means my feet got chilly on cold-weather hikes.

One minus I found is that the Verterra do not handle sand very well… at all. There is a short section of trail on Sunset Peak that consists of fine sand. It’s only about 30-yards long. But in that short time, fine particulates strained through the upper mesh and into the shoes. I had to stop on both the up and down to pour sand out and wipe those rough grains out from between my toes. So if you plan on hiking in the deserts of Southern Utah in the Verterra, be warned!

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 19, 2014

Good for carrying an SLR camera
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It is a true, one quiver piece of gear, but born from the womb of mountain biking. As such, I took the Escapist out on all of my mountain bike rides in Utah and Colorado this year and put it to the test.

As far as bike specific packs are concerned, the Escapist 30 goes beyond by literally packing everything you could want inside. There is huge main compartments that fit whatever you would need to pack for a long day in the saddle or multi day bike packing trips. There is also internal organizer pockets for bike tools that keeps things like pumps, chain tools and tire levers right where you need them for when you need them.

There is also an attachment for a blinker light and reflective detailing that rounds out the Escapist 30 bicycling oriented features. I am also really impressed that they even included a rain cover that stores inside the bottom compartment that you can whip out at the threat of a storm.

This pack is big, and really meant for very long days in the backcountry, bike packing, or bringing along a bunch of extra layers if you are riding in cold weather or expect a drizzle or two. However, the size also works out for shorter rides as the bottom pocket fits my SLR camera perfectly. In fact, I have been bringing my SLR along on rides far more often since I got the Escapist 30 as it makes carrying the big camera so easy.

My only real complaint with the pack is that I found the shoulder straps to be a bit uncomfortable. The bottom part of the straps dig into my ribs, despite all attempts at adjusting the straps to make it ease the pain.

In all, I’d say the Osprey Escapist 30 can be your go to pack for just about anything. Although its features make it look like a bike specific pack, with additions like the rain cover, ventilated back panel, and myriad pockets on both the shoulder and waist straps, make this gear hauler efficient for anything the outdoors calls you to partake in.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 19, 2014

May or may not attract the ladies
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Many companies say their shirts are appropriate for the outdoors as well as dinner that night, but the Granite Creek really means it. I never wore it at a local beer joint or sit down restaurant, so I cannot speak to an ability to attract the ladies, but I did take it out on multiple hikes and peak-bagging expeditions in the Wasatch.

I really like this shirt. The trend these days is for outdoor shirts to have ventilated backs, a collar high enough when flipped up to protect the neck from the sun, chest pockets for small item storage, adjustable snap cuffs, and hidden Napoleon zip pockets for security against thieves when used as a travel shirt. The Granite Creek has all this and more.

On hikes when temps reached the upper 90s in the Salt Lake Valley, I took to the high country where 80s was the norm. While I still got hot and sweaty, the Granite Creek performed well considering conditions. Under the pack, the shirt got saturated with sweat stains, but the pack also prevented the mesh back vents from doing their jobs. However, once the pack came off after reaching my destination, the vents made the back of the shirt dry really fast, especially if there was any sort of wind. The sleeves roll up easily if you need your arms to cool off, and snap back into place when those pasty white twigs get too much sun. The seams never chafed under pack straps, and the button-down front was nice to unbutton to ventilate the chest when things got really hot.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 14, 2014

Stiffy for the resort
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I have only skied these in the resort, so...

Initial impressions are these could be the ultimate one boot quiver that ski in bounds as awesome sauce as the best of them. At least that was the mantra in my brain when skiing in these at Solitude.

Wearing these, I feel like I am in alpine boots. While the original Factors left some unimpressed with its stiffness in a resort setting, I was driving my skis through moguls and tearing up the corduroy as if my Head racing boots were on my feet.

I am also amazed at how much range of motion the boots have in walk mode considering the 130 flex. While I did not actually tour in the boots, I would say they felt very similar to my Quadrants.

I don't hesitate to ski these in bounds, and look forward to getting them out on the skin track.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 14, 2014

Good airbag pack at a reasonable price
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The BCA Float 32 seems to be an all around touring pack that is just the right size for all day tours that is too big for sidecountry laps and too small for avalanche pros who carry a lot of extra gear. The spacious 32 liters, I think, is just the right volume for day tours.

While touring in the La Sal Mountains above Moab, I was surprised at how light weight the bag felt on my back. Compared to my 32 liter Black Diamond Avalung pack, I did not notice any measurable amount of extra weight. I liked how the bag felt on my shoulders as the straps are very cushy and comfortable. But I was disappointed in the waist belt. It did not seem to carry much of the load on my hips, which means my shoulders got tired pretty quick, and the safety buckle is difficult to adjust to my bony frame compared to traditional snap buckles. I also took issue with the back panel. It is thin and not terribly sturdy, and even caved in the middle if I stood upright and moved my shoulder blades back. I suspect this non-burly back panel saves weight, and is a lesson not to overpack the thing.

Dislikes include the two compression straps on the sides of the bag. They are pretty much worthless for carrying gear, are thin and cheap, and really only serve the purpose of compressing the bag down if it is not completely full. I also find this to be a problem as I like to strap my climbing skins to the outside of my pack when skiing down.

One of the key features of the Float 32 is the fact that the cylinder uses compressed air rather than nitrogen or CO2 gas. That means if you deploy the airbag, it is super easy to refill the cylinder at outdoor and scuba shops.

Design wise, it could use some work, but it is probably the most user friendly airbag pack in the market, and is one of the most affordable. If you are looking to purchase one, I do not think you will find a more functional avalanche pack at a better price.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 14, 2014

Makes backcountry touring even more fun
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Okay, so it is well known that Dynafit bindings are lighter and therefore more user friendly than more burly offerings. Well burliness is not even a question, especially after hammering the TLT Radical F. I am a measly 150 pounds and don’t even come close to needing the DIN setting screwed up to 12 (I set mine at 8) but I still was tentative when I took them to Snowbasin on a hardpack day.

At the resort, these bindings performed almost as well as my alpine setup. While bashing moguls, carving mach turns on groomers, and jump-turning through sluffing steeps, the bindings never pre-released or felt unstable at any time while in ski mode. However, I did notice a little bit of play in the toe when skate skiing across flats or going really fast with tight turns, and the toe piece would sometimes rattle annoyingly. Further research on the subject led me to believe that this toe-play likely has more to do with the tech inserts on my Black Diamond Quadrants than the binding design.

So, the Dynafit TLT Radical FT passed the resort test. But the backcountry is what they are made for, and they excelled. Honestly, owning these paired with the Voile Chargers made me excited to tour again, and provided motivation to get out more. When skinning uphill, the heel lifters are super easy to engage. I had issues at first by using my pole basket to grab the lifters, and discovered that turning my pole upside down and using the rubberized grip makes going from flat to heel lifted super fast and easy. Same goes for putting them back into the down position.

I am absolutely in love with my Dynafits. The total lack of weight while skinning uphill, coupled with user friendly heel lifters, and confidence-inspiring downhill capability make these bindings an obvious choice for backcountry skiers looking for the ultimate in touring and freeride performance.

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 10, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

They say no B.O.

To test, I wore my Tech T Lite for three straight days. First, I went mountain biking in the foothills of Salt Lake City. Daytime highs were is the 80s, and I was nervous about being too hot in a black, wool shirt. My fears were quickly put to rest however as the shirt felt great. While I could feel the black color soaking up the sunlight, I never felt more sweaty than usual and it was obvious that the shirt was expelling moisture away from my body. The only place the shirt got soaked was underneath my pack. Color me impressed.

To test out the odorless claim, I wore my mud splattered, sweat soaked shirt to work. Once again, I felt not to hot, and not too cold the entire day and into the night, and none of my co workers made any mention or stink face at me despite my wearing a shirt I went mountain biking in… either that or my cohorts are really polite.

On to day three and it was time to head out for some ski touring. I love merino wool as a base layer in the mountains, and the Tech T Lite did not disappoint. I layered it underneath a light mid layer and a windbreaker as temperatures were expected to climb into the 60s at 10,000 feet. For 10 hours we biked, hiked, skinned, boot packed and finally skied down Deseret Peak, and the shirt was a comfortable and versatile layer. As temps rose, I peeled off the windbreaker and mid-layer, and finally just wore the Tech T Lite under the spring sun while making turns on manky snow through the trees.

Even after all of that, the shirt doesn’t have a whiff of B.O.

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 10, 2014

Love in a MTB pack
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The first thing I noticed with the Raptor 10 is how well it fits my body. Easy-to-adjust hip and shoulder straps make cinching the pack down to size a snap. I really appreciate that the straps have clips at the ends so they attach to themselves and do not annoyingly flap around when I am bombing down the singletrack.

The back panel is very well designed with airflow padding, concave shape, and a mesh fabric overlay to keep air flowing. Of course on hot, strenuous climbs nothing will keep my back from becoming a swamp, but it is nice to have a little help from the pack.

For such a small pack, this thing is loaded with storage space for just about anything you would need to carry on a short to medium-long ride. First, there is a large, zippered main pocket with room enough for a couple tubes and a jacket. The main compartment also has a mesh pocket where I keep an energy bar, plus two vertical interior sleeves that are perfect for stashing air and shock pumps. That's just a taste of the storage space.

The best pocket of all, is the tool pouch. It is located at the bottom, and once unzipped, reveals a roll-out tool box for things like chain tools, tire levers, multi tools, hexes, and spare parts such as shifter cables, chains, patch kits and lube. It is all kept tidy in zippered, mesh compartments that roll up and cinch down tight.

Plus you can't beat Osprey's hydration system. Pure gold.

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 10, 2014

Minimalist hikers
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I have been walking the earth in the Proterra Sport shoes for two months now, both on and off the trail, and found them to be comfortable and well-suited for outdoor adventure. I primarily work outdoors, and hauled them on miles of mountain trails, both dry and muddy, and came away impressed with the breathability and waterproof qualities. They are pretty light weight and super flexible, definitely minimalist.

On muddy trails, I found good traction, but mud had a tendency to get caked up in the diamond-shaped lugs, which generally was not a problem as the shallow lugs are easy to clean. Stability underfoot is good with superb ground feel. Unfortunately, minimalist shoes have limits, as my feet would start to hurt after about 6 miles on the trail. So in my opinion, the Proterra shoes are best for short day hikes. Best leave them at home on backpacking or multi day excursions.

The uppers are super comfortable, with a thin quality that reminds me of rock climbing approach shoes. The tongue especially has a climbing shoe quality to it. But the fact that the uppers are waterproof with Gore-Tex Performance Shell does not mean you should be crossing creeks or hiking in a deluge.

Overall, good light hikers for mild weather days.

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 10, 2014

Well, the name is apt...
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

The Mountain Khakis Quilted Reversible Jacket is exactly what it says it is. It is a jacket, it is quilted, and it is reversible; one side is a solid color and the other is plaid. Gotta love outdoor gear with a name that makes sense.

The nylon side looks like a light weight, insulated puffy, and in essence, it is. The wool side is for your Paul Bunyan personality as the plaid pattern screams mountain man. You can choose your look based on the situation or mood, or make it weather dependent as the nylon side repels the elements far better than the wool side.

Case in point: on a recent trip to Denver, we went to an IPA festival in Boulder. So I went with the plaid side and fit right in with beer-swilling, bearded brew connoisseurs. Later that night we went out to dinner and by simply turning the jacket inside out, I was dressed up enough to not feel like a redneck at a high tea.

The 600 grams of synthetic insulation is plenty warm on a brisk fall day, and I stayed toasty as temperatures dipped below freezing. But overall I wouldn’t call the MK Quilted Reversible Jacket a terribly technical piece. It’s not super warm for bitter cold, the nylon side isn’t confidence-inspiring when weather gets very nasty, and there’s no way to cinch down the cuffs and waist to prevent cold air from seeping in.

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 9, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

To really test out the user friendliness of the thing, as soon as I got the Arva Neo, I tossed away the user guide, and did not read any instructions. I performed a multi burial beacon drill in a parking lot below the Abajo Mountains, using Ortovox and BCA transceivers as buried victims. Sight unseen, I found 4 beacons in under 4 minutes. The LCD displays, buttons, and audio cues were totally intuitive and finding the buried signals became a no brainer. The flag button worked flawlessly as, after I ticked off a found beacon, the Neo promptly picked up the next-closest signal and away I went.

What I did not like, is if I could not find a buried beacon within 2 minutes, the Neo automatically switched back to transmit mode after a countdown warning, which was annoying. But I was able to go into the menu settings and with Auto Revert, change it to active at 2, 4, or 8 minutes. Also, if the countdown starts, I simply pressed the flag button and the search continued without interruption.

Overall it's pretty user friendly.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 9, 2014

Snappy and Fun All-Mountain Skis
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

My first impression of the Salomon Q-105 is that they are really light for a wide, rockered ski. Not only are they light when carrying them to the Collins lift at Alta, but also underfoot. Those honeycomb tips make a huge difference in swing weight when turning.

On powder days, for me, skiing groomers is simply a means to get back to the lift line. But on these skis, I actually had fun carving corduroy under Collins and Sugarloaf for the first time since who knows how long. They felt super snappy going from edge to edge and were very quick to respond. I actually could not believe I was skiing wide skis considering their performance. I think I may have even giggled. With that flatter, tapered tail, I was able to engage the full edge and whip myself out from one turn to the next, whether I wanted to swing wide or carve tight crescents in the hardpack.

But the powder is where I feel most at home, and the same can be said for the Q-105. Off the groomers, like at Wildcat, they furiously gobbled up any soft snow that Alta threw at them. The rocker tips float nice in both the powder and choppy snow, and the practically non-existent swing weight in the tips made fast turns possible, which was especially important in steep, tight trees. In fact, I only had to think about turning, and they responded.

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 9, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Alright, so the Camber 105 are not exactly technical, seeing as how they are 98% cotton. But not every day outdoors is in bad weather. In fact, most of the time I am rock climbing or hiking in the sun, and these pants rock in mild conditions. They are not too heavy, which makes them good to wear on those not too hot (shorts weather) and not too cold (snowpants weather) days.

The 2% spandex… now there is where the Camber gets its steeze. The spandex gives the Camber 105 just enough stretch for superb range-of-motion. I use these pants for rock climbing on almost every trip, to the gym and outdoors. Whether reaching for a toe hold far off to the side, or high-stepping onto a ledge, I have no issues to constriction with these pants. The stretch, combined with the diamond-shaped action gusset (read: super roomy crotch) and articulated knees, make the Camber 105 my new favorite for any rock climbing activity.

Hiking and backpacking are the other adventures the Camber 105 went with me on. On a recent trip to the Uinta Mountains, the pants were the workhorses I needed. Total comfort on the hike into camp, burly enough to kneel in the dirt when setting up tents, and perfectly clean after washing them at home.

Finally, I loved to wear the Mountain Khakis Camber 105 in my fishing waders. The comfort and soft, cotton material slide into the waders easily and don’t bunch up. Plus, they are just the right amount of insulation to keep the cold, river chill away from my skinny legs.

On a side note, I am a waist size 32, but I have had to wear size 33 Mountain Khakis in the past. For some reason, MK waists have always been way too tight. But the Camber 105 are the first MK pants that fit true-to-size for me. I am back in a size 32 and they feel perfect!

Double Bonus: The Mountain Khakis Camber 105 come with a Bison Bottle Opener Keyring. Getting beer into my stomach easier is the fastest way to win me over.

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 8, 2014

Backcountry masters
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Got to spend a full backcountry day with these skis at Alta last season. On a powder day in the Catherine Pass area, The rocker tips let me float without having to lean back on my tails, and the camber popped me out on every turn. These skis are springy and fun, gobbling up powder like it is made of bacon.
The skis are agile and nimble. I could open them up and make fast, sweeping turns. The skis transitioned flawlessly and felt super stable no matter how fast I revved them up. Basically, the Salomon Q BC Lab are easy skiing. There’s nothing to figure out… they just work and do what you tell them to do.

On the technical side, I took them to The Scythe couloir in Wolverine Cirque. At the top, the snow was windblown and hard. I dropped in gingerly and skidded to a stop below a large wind lip. Carefully, I made a few jump turns to test out the skis, and soon found complete confidence in them. The sidewall construction, sidecut and bit of camber allowed the skis to bite into the hard stuff, giving them total edge grip… unusual for a ski that is 114 underfoot.

On the skin track, I am very impressed at how well these skis tour. They are super light weight, are easy to kick around on switchbacks, and my legs never got fatigued all day. These sticks are a huge step in the right direction for Salomon’s backcountry lineup.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 8, 2014

A different breed of pow ski
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Skied them at Alta last spring.

Groomers: I found the skis perform reasonably well. While they did anything but carve, they were stable and surfy on corduroy, and the tips didn’t exhibit the slightest “rocker flap.”

Packed Powder: These sticks are like tanks that gobble up everything in their path. Although the tips and tails are beveled with HRZN Tech, and are therefore lighter than most, I never felt that they folded under pressure when the going got rough.

Ice: I slipped and slid on ice like never before and sometimes got seriously spooked when side-stepping over exposure. I’m used to skis with more camber, flatter tails and ample sidecut for times like these, so the Bent Chetler were not fun until I got into softer stuff. To be fair, these are powder-specific skis, so nobody can reasonably expect anything more from them while staring down a chute covered in wind-scoured styrofoam.

Powder: With the bindings at a more center mount, I had to keep my stance far more forward than usual and really dig in with the tips to the point that I felt like I would tip head over heels. But those tips don’t dip with the HRZN Tech that acts like the hull of a boat. Now that I figured out how to manage the rockered, beveled tails, I’m in love with the new Atomic Bent Chetlers. Those “spooned” tips and tails could probably scoop ice cream, and they love to make wide-sweeping turns on open faces, but also do well while tree skiing in the deep.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 8, 2014

Smooshy and stashy
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Hydrapak SoftFlask is exactly what it sounds like – a water bottle that is soft rather than hard. When filled with water, they expand to their full capacity. But when your water is all gone, they collapse down to the size of a crushed beer can. This makes them easy to stow in your pack or pocket instead of taking up a ton of needless room.

The main thing I like and dislike about the SoftFlask is the size. They I like that they are small, which makes them perfect for carrying around in a pocket or in your hand. But I also dislike that they are small, because they don’t carry enough water for me on a typical day-hike/trail run. This supreme mobility, however, makes them so easy to stash into a pack as the soft material conforms around whatever gear you have in there. I’ve been known to keep them in my back pocket, or even in my hand as they are totally unobtrusive. They even have loops so you can hang them from a climbing harness or a pack strap.

Once the water is gone, the flasks collapse on themselves flat as a pancake. They take up zero room, which provides space for more stuff/less weight in your pockets or man satchel.

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 8, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

These shoes are decidedly meant for trail running. On my first foray, I took them on a road run around my neighborhood in Sugar House. Immediately, I noticed a lack of cushioning, and the fact that they are neutral was evident under my high arches. I kept running for around 3 miles total, however, and came away unsullied. Although the Tsali 3.0 are meant for trails, they worked adequately well for road running, but I don’t think I would attempt a marathon on city streets.

On the trail, the Tsali 3.0 felt more at home. I always like my trail shoes to have less cushioning for good ground-feel, but not so little that every pebble feels like a nail is being driven into my metatarsals. These shoes have a nice balance. Traction is adequate in the dirt, even when going up and down steep pitches, and I like the way they corner like agile puma paws. But while the soles are pretty much just there, doing the job, the thing I’m over the moon for are the uppers. They are flexible, breathable, and the fact that they are welded (meaning no stitching) means that I never got any hot spots or chafing on my feet, even during long runs. The lacing system also works to the upper’s advantage for a super comfortable fit.

Sizing is inconsistent though. The size 8 feels too small, but the size 8.5 feels too big. Also, they're slap-happy. They make an obnoxious slapping noise on a level that I’ve never encountered with other running shoes. It might be the neutral position they are built with, and I need to get more on my toes, but the result has seen me increase my music to an unhealthy level to drown out the sound (I want to apologize to anyone I pass on the trail for scaring you with my psycho stomping.)

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Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 8, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I’ve been wearing the Splice for weeks now, and have come to like them in surprising ways. First off, they are extremely comfortable. Wearing them is like wrapping your feet in a pair of slippers. As such, I’ve made it a habit to wear them around the house after work. These are great post bike-ski-hike shoes for the drive home from the mountains.

On the trail though, I was a bit disappointed. Yes, they are approach shoes, but because they are a lighter version than I’ve seen, foot and ankle support are very low. As a result, I found that hiking to a crag that requires a long scramble (I’m talking miles) made my feet hurt. However, these shoes do climb really well with the sticky rubber soles and climbing-style edges on the toes.

On a side note, they make awesome travel shoes when flying.

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