Colorado...and that's just where I live.
I have 2 of these, the 1050 and 1020 . Great cases to carry gear you want to protect. Brought them camping, to the beach, and other areas that can be inhospitable to sensitive electronics and they have protected from dirt and water. No submersions so I can't speak to that. The padding on the inside takes up some of the space so I suggest you go 1 size up from what you think you need.
I took a gamble on these based on my experience with the heel support giving out with my Evolution Mids. I needed a light, ventilated trail runner. I currently have the Treksta Kobra II and Evolution GTX Mid. These are comfortable. I have a flat-wide foot that is near impossible for me to find a shoe that I can say is comfortable out of the box (I usually find the lesser of the evils and pound it into submission with my duck foot). The to box is roomy and never had issues with hot spots, heel slip, or discomfort. I used these for Colorado mountain trails as well as work (on feet 9/10 hours running around/standing).
However, after only a few months I noticed that, like the GTX Mids, the heel support seemed to give way. I noticed that my right heel was essentially collapsing into the midfoot and laterally outward. This started to make the shoe uncomfortable and I had to return them. Yes, I took a gamble after having the problem with the GTX Mid hoping it was an isolated issue. I didn't get the GTX Mids from Backcountry (big mistake) so I'm now stuck with them. I have contacted the company regarding this and apparently this has been communicated to their development group (whatever that means). The good news is that I've put my Kobra IIs through a ton more abuse and are still running strong.
So I'll admit, I have a hard to fit foot -- flat and wide. I have always had a hard time finding shoes. I tried these on along with the non-Gore-Tex version and thought they were comfortable; albeit stiff. Gave these some break-in time before hitting the trail. I have never limped the next day because of the torture inflicted upon my feet by a shoe. The foot bed puts the foot into an unnatural, non-anatomic position that can only be described as painful. Having worn these around town, at work (on my feet 9/10 hours running around), and on the trail; I can say that I gave these ample break-in time and testing time.
The only redeeming quality is that they are waterproof but the constant heel slip means you'll probably fall out of the shoe during the stream crossings....
Yes, I have a "less than normal foot" however, the human foot, no matter whose it is, follows general rules of anatomy that these shoes seem to want to overcome with a stiff, unforgiving design. I am writing this 12 hours after wearing them for the last time and my feet are still hurting. I wanted to like them, I wanted to love them, and I gave them the best shot I could but these are the only shoe that I've ever returned that wasn't just uncomfortable but absolutely painful.
Ok, so the 4 star rating is for the increased knee stability and perceivably increased endurance (5 stars if the compression was a little higher -- I fit squarely in the 'large' and would prefer a little more leg squeeze). I originally got these for snowboarding and there is something that is entirely outside of the design of the tight but something potential buyers should know (if you ski and snowboard). The slick nature of tights cause socks to bunch down over time. I used these my first time out with some smartwool ski socks. Got blisters on my heels. Switched out to Icebreaker socks and at the same time had switched to the 3/4 insulator -- no blisters entire season. Got warmer, went back to the full tight and, once again, sock bunching and blisters. My assumption is that the 3/4 gives you enough leg to hold the socks up and keep from bunching. This has happened with snow board boots and will probably happen with ski boots as well. Temp is going down this week so I'll be back in the 3/4 insulator, so I'll update if there is this doesn't hold up (same pair of socks). But if you're looking at the full for snow sports...go with the 3/4.
As it says, I got these as my base-layer for snowboarding this year.
First, sizing -- I fall in the Large sizing on the CW-X chart (6'1" 195). I have a pair of the full length non-insulator in the large....I got these (the insulator 3/4) in a medium...A LOT BETTER. Gave me the advertised support and compression (plus no bunching). Now, I am not a skinny legged person so don't even try, in fact, I have problems with regular pants because I have very thick legs from years of football, squats, and powerlifting.
Form and function -- 4 days of hard boarding and I'll say they earn their keep. The support webbing gives me the stabilization on my battered knees and also give you some hip-flexor support for those hard-charging downhill days. Now I can't say if for 100% the compression gives you any more endurance, but I can say you do feel an extra spring in your legs and I was able to get some very long days on the slopes prior to my legs giving out. Lastly, they stay in place with you socks pulled up over the bottoms.
If you have issues with stuff in your boots, go with the 3/4. Me as a boarder, I'll probably go for the full-length next time since I find my calves take a beating and the 3/4 don't get your calves.
Insulation -- NOT the warmest thing, in fact, I do feel a little chill on my legs through my pants when I'm not moving (for reference: Columbia Men's Ridge 2 Run II pant). Lowest temp in the teens, once you get going though, these are the perfect insulation. WIth my non-insulated stabilyx I mentioned before, I would have to wear fleece shorts or a loose base-layer over top of the tights...not needed with the insulated version.
Bottom-line -- Stabilizes your joints and muscles along with giviing you compression for (theoretically) lactic acid recovery. They are expensive but if you need this type of product, it's worth it...just consider how much you spend for other clothing that aren't as functional in terms of performance.
P.S. I got the CW-X 3/4 Thermals over the Skins Thermal Snow tight (3/4). The CW-X 3/4 come down past your knee far enough to stabilize the joint and not roll up on you. But...the compression was a little better in the Skins (same size). All said and done, the CW-X was better all-around.
So I am 6'1" 190lbs (I'm in the process of cutting weight and aiming for 34 inch waist , currently 36, and about 180lbs) and I got the large. This is the first time I have ever bought a product like this. I got them due to help with fatigue and recovery as well as for football battered knees. My question is how tight should these things be? They fit "tightly" (more or less like any sort of skin-tight baselayer) and I can feel the support areas but should I be feeling a little more squeeze/compression on my muscles and joints? Basically I'm wondering if I should try out some mediums with my next purchase.
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