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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie

Wasatch Mountains

Matt Zabriskie's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Running
Biking
Climbing

Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on April 9, 2013

5 5

I don't run road all that often, maybe once a week for a speed workout, or an occasional 5k race. Normally I stay to the trails. I wanted to find a road shoe that was light and minimal. I got exactly what I was looking for with this shoe. I have run using minimal trail shoes (NB 110/1010) for about a year and I didn't require any extra time adjusting to this shoe. My feet feel extremely light and fast with this shoe. I highly recommend it!

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on April 9, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been using this as a base layer for snowshoeing and mountaineering. Overall it's a great piece. It is light weight, wicks moisture well and provides enough warmth when paired with a fleece. My only complaint is the durability. I have patches of holes throughout on the back, arms, etc.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on April 8, 2013

5 5

This is the fourth model of New Balance trail shoes that I have owned and it ranks as my favorite. I have owned every generation of the minimus, from the 10, to the 110, and now the 1010. The 10 had no rock plate and while it was nice to have good sensitivity of what was underfoot, it could also be painful when what was underfoot was hard and pointy. The 110 introduced a rock plate under the forefoot which was a tremendous addition, but you could still get attacked by rocks at the insole. It also had much better traction than it's predecessor. The 1010 has a much better rock plate providing ample protection without sacrificing sensitivity. It also introduces a Vibram outsole which has proven to provide very good traction and durability. There have been a lot of complaints about poor durability. I have not experienced this. I run very rugged, technical trails. After four months of heavy use they show no signs of wear. I just ordered a second pair to have available at a midway aid station of an upcoming 50M ultra.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on April 8, 2013

5 5

I recently bought a pair of these to replace a pair of last years split version that I had been using. A few differences that I have noticed are the gel pockets on each side at the back are larger and have two openings each vs last years had only a single opening and were noticeably smaller. The zipper pocket on this years model is smaller than last years, though I can still fit an iPhone 4s inside (albeit a tight fit). I also like that this version is shorter than last years split short. The split short felt too long and due to the split the flaps kind of got annoying as you were running. Overall a fantastic pair of shorts.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on April 2, 2013

5 5

I was first introduced to Shot Bloks six months ago on an 18 mile trail run. I had previously been using GU gels. On my run I made the bone headed mistake of leaving my stash of gels in my car. I had a few in my short pockets so by the time they ran out and I realized that I didn't have any more in my waist belt pocket I was already 8 miles into my run. Fortunately my running partner had a bunch of Shot Bloks and was willing to share. I have never embarked on a long run without Shot Bloks since.

For long runs I typically prime myself right before the run with a GU, banana, a handful of dates and water. Once on the run I eat one Blok every mile and follow it with a swig of water. When it's hot and I'm sweating a lot I alternate one Strawberry (or whatever flavor), followed by one Margarita the next mile. The extra sodium in the Margarita helps maintain your electrolyte balance.

I prefer Shot Bloks over GU because they go down a lot easier for starters. GU requires a lot of water afterward, Bloks don't. Bloks also offer more calories per package. A single GU is 100 calories, a package of Bloks is 200 calories (100/3 Bloks).

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on February 5, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been using this shoe for a couple years now and have loved it. These fit the niche for climbing crack, or all day multi-pitch routes very nicely. I found them to be comfortable enough to wear for 6-8 hours straight, yet still capable of performing well.

This shoe does not work well for technical, steeper routes. I don't view that as a con for this shoe as I am a firm believer in buying gear that is well suited for the need at hand. Trying to find a shoe that is well rounded for all types of climbing usually leaves you with a shoe that does okay in some situations, but doesn't do really great in any one situation. Buy this shoe for trad and it will serve you well.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on February 1, 2013

Great Minimal Trail Shoe
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have had these shoes for six months and have logged hundreds of miles using them. I almost exclusively run trails in UT. Most of the trails are rocky and technical. I really like the rock plate in the forefoot, especially coming from the MT10. The shoe is very light weight. It breaths very well. I have been using them without socks. They shed water very well. I have crossed streams ankle deep and expected the shoe to feel soggy afterward, but it drained almost immediately after exiting the stream. The lugs on the outsole are outstanding. They provide good traction on dirt, road, and snow. The only place I found poor traction was on hard packed, nearly icy snow.

The only cons that I have experienced is that the sole started coming unglued at the heel after about 250 miles. I noticed it early and was able to repair it with shoe goo, and have had no further problems. Also since I run sockless I have had a problem with my shoes smelling terrible. Bad enough that my wife won't allow them in the house. A running buddy of mine also bought these shoes and uses socks and has had no odor problem.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on November 7, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have three other shorts that I used to rotate pretty regularly. Once I came across these all of my other shorts suddenly found themselves never getting used. The name describes these perfectly, better than naked because they are light enough, stretch in the right places so that you don't even notice they are there. But even BETTER than naked because they have pockets for gels and car key, and protect your nether regions from getting scratched up from branches and such. The liner brief is super comfy and provides good support. Best of all they don't stink. I can get away with not washing these for a week, even when hitting the trail five days straight, so long as I hang them up to air out after. I am an avid trail runner, and will wear these for every run from a 5k to an ultra.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on July 11, 2012

5 5

I love these shoes. They are great for trail running. I love how light they feel and the mesh upper makes them breath very well. These are also my go to shoe for hiking. I use them as an approach shoe when I am rock climbing and they provide great traction while scrambling. They also provide reasonable support when carrying a heavy pack. I use these on day hikes while carrying my two year old daughter in a child carrier (plus water, etc. roughly 35+ lbs). Just be careful where you step as you can really feel the rocks through the sole. All in all great shoe, I highly recommend it!

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on August 23, 2011

3 5

I was recently in search of a replacement for my old approach shoe. I am a fan of Five Ten so I though I would give this shoe a try.

Pros:
- Super sticky rubber
- Durable construction

Cons:
- Heavy/bulky
- Very wide last

I ended up returning them because they didn't fit my foot shape at all. I have a narrow heal so while the forefoot was great, even with the laces cinched as tight as possible, my heal slid around a lot.

I think this would have been a solid shoe aside from how it fit my foot. It is still a bit heavier than I would have wanted though, so if I were to rate it without considering fit, I would have given four stars.

In the end I went with the La Sportiva Fireblade (http://www.backcountry.com/la-sportiva-fireblade-trail-running-shoe-mens). Technically a trail runner, but super light with very good traction.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on June 23, 2011

5 5

I tried the Kayland Hyper Traction, as well as the La Sportiva Trango Extreme and Nepal before finding this gem. I believe that Kayland's craftsmanship is second to none. While comparing the M11+ to the Trango Extreme I almost felt like I was comparing a Ferrari to a Festiva. Hyperbole aside though, the M11+ felt much more solid and durable. This does result in a bit more weight but not enough to turn me off and still lighter than the Hyper Traction or Nepal.

I have found that Kayland fits my foot very well. My feet are very flat with a wider fore foot and narrow heel. I went back and forth on sizes and ended up going with a size 13. I typically wear a size 11 street shoe and have the Kayland Contact Rev in a size 12. I use green Superfeet in both of my Kaylands and find it to be a good setup.

I wore this boot straight out of the box on an ascent of Mt Hood in June. I was worried about wearing a new boot, but realized by the end of the climb that I had not thought about my feet the whole time. They never felt heavy or uncomfortable not to mention I didn't have so much as a hot spot. During the climb I found that they trekked well on the lower grade snow, they were very solid when kicking steps and plenty stiff for front pointing on a steep chute.

I absolutely love this boot and highly recommend it.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on March 22, 2011

5 5

I bought this boot last summer after reading Backpacker magazine's review of it in their editor's choice issue. I have put it to the test through a pretty wide range of conditions for nearly a year and feel that I am now able to write a worth while review.

First as a bit of background, I have very flat, medium volume feet with a wider forefoot and a narrow heel. I aslo have bad joints, especially in my knees and ankles. I went with a boot that offered such a high cuff with the hope that it would provide good support for my ankles, especially on downhill with a large pack.

My first outing in this boot was up the Primrose Cirque route of Mount Timpanogos, UT last July. Kayland boasts a zero break in period on this boot. I took them at their word, but within the first mile I began getting hot spots and had to stop to apply mole skin to both heels. Hoping that would be the end of my difficulties I continued on. Not a mile later I had to stop once again to apply more mole skin to my right ankle where a seam from the tongue was rubbing. In spite of the irritation my feet were receiving, the support of the boot was very good. The Timpanogos Basin was still covered in snow from Emerald Lake to the saddle which required kicking in steps. The boot performed the task well thanks to it's 1/2 shank. Throughout the rest of the hike I had no further problems with the boot. The downhill, which I typically dread due to my ankles, was not a problem thanks to the high cuff which supported my ankles very well.

The next major outing, and the sole reason I went with this boot, was a weeklong trip to the Wind Rivers, WY. I logged over 50 miles most of which was done carrying a 45+ pound pack. The boot performed amazingly well. My feet never felt too heavy even though I was wearing such a heavy duty boot. The breathability and waterproofing of the eVent was outstanding. Even when crossing several rivers with rapid water nearly as deep as the top of the eVent liner, my feet never got wet and the traction on the slippery stones was stable. While climbing Fremont Peak with a lighter day pack I found the boot to be adequetly nimble especially considering the level of support provided.

Most recently I have used this boot for some winter ascents of some peaks in UT (Everest Ridge) and AZ (Humphreys Peak). Even though the boot isn't insulated, I found that my feet stayed warm with only a liner and midweight wool sock (both SmartWool brand) so long as I kept moving. While waiting for my group to catch up at around 11,500' with temperature in the low 30º range my toes did get chilly after 15 minutes or so and I had to get moving again. The boot has worked very well with the Black Diamond Serac strap crampon. Definitely not stiff enough for vertical ice or anything technical, but more than capable for moderate snow slopes.

After nearly a year this boot has seen a vast variety of conditions and has held up very well with nearly no signs of wear. The quality and workmanship is superior to any other brand I have tried. I am very impressed with Kayland and this boot, so much so that I have aquired the Kayland M11+ as my four season boot.

Here's a few useful tips that have helped solidify this in my book as a five star boot. I found that swapping out the footbeds with a pair of green Superfeet greatly improved the arch support especially with my flat feet. I experienced a bit of heal lift initially due to my narrow heal, which is likely the reason for my blisters. I have remedied this problem entirely by altering my lacing to wrap around the back of the boot at the ankle.

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a question about on February 17, 2011

I am looking for a well rounded four season boot. I need something that I can use for ice climbing in the winter, ascents of Rainier in the summer and general year round classic alpine climbing.

I own a pair of the Kayland Contact Rev, which I absolutely love, and as such have become a bit of a Kayland loyalist. At the same time, I have had my eye on the La Sportiva Nepal EVO for quite some time, and cannot find a single bad review on it.

It seems natural to draw comparisons between the Hyper Traction and Nepal EVO. I am trying to discern how comparable they really are, and where the differences lie between the two. Which boot would best suit my needs?

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Matt Zabriskie

Matt Zabriskie wrote a review of on February 7, 2011

5 5

I absolutely love these pants. I bought them for alpine climbing and they are exactly what I was looking for. I honestly don't have a single bad thing to say about them.

I took them out on Utah's Everest Ridge this weekend, and was very impressed by their performance. They breathe very well. They are incredibly comfortable. They are non-binding allowing a good range of motion. They blocked out the wind, and we were getting hit hard. Most important of all they kept me warm, paired with a mid-weight merino base layer, even while sitting on the snow to eat lunch.

The fit is exactly where I would want it for an alpine pant, trim but not tight. I would say the fit compares very closely with my MH Mesa pants. I wear a 30x32 in jeans, and wear size small in MH pants, which fit perfectly.

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