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Martin Axe

Martin Axe

Neither here nor there

Martin Axe's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Snowshoeing

Martin Axe's Bio

AmeriCorps VISTA and forester, trail crew member, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, fisher, hunter, cyclist and beer enthusiast.

Starting to learn primitive skills and looking to start fly fishing and kayaking.

Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on August 17, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: 13m

I bought these boots from the Danner website and planned to slowly break these in and have them replace my current Asolos, but I have been disappointed. I've owned them 5 months and just finally decided they weren't for me. It wasn't a "they didn't fit" issue. The sizing is spot on and these boots have a lot of the features I like such as a high ankle full leather upper. The tread is nice too.

Instead the rubber mold on the inside of the right boot started to peel away from the leather. I am still trying to break these in, and haven't done anything more than wear them around town and spend a few hours of ranch work in them. I find that unacceptable.

Another annoyance is the inside stitching. Running vertically up the heel is an exposed vertical stitch which rubs intensely on the heel. Just walking the mile to work this morning was enough to cause a blister. Were I to keep these, I would just put a cushion patch there. Nonetheless, it's a poor idea in planning.

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Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on August 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: 13m

I've had these boots since 2010, and they are still my go to. They have survived two years of Peace Corps (my only pair of shoes to do so), the snow and mud of the Michigan Upper Peninsula, the deserts of Arizona, and are currently chewing up the Colorado Rockies. It's been a wild 5 years. I admit I was hesitant to buy boots which couldn't have new soles sewn on, but this is not an issue. Everything is still tightly held together. The only issue I have ever had was the outside clasp on the right boot broke, but a couple twists in the laces and I don't even miss it. The tread is wearing down, but I think I can get another 3 years from these. So long as Asolo keeps making this style, I will buy another pair. These boots have never given me blisters. <You read that right.

A couple things for those interested in these boots:

It's all leather, so expect some break in time. I don't think I put in 50 miles before they were comfortable.

Because these boots are meant for kicking *** and taking names on rough terrain, the tread is extremely hard and stiff. This means though that in wet (leaves, downed dead wood without bark) and icy terrain, they don't have great grip. That's just the nature of the material and is the same with similar boots. When you're boulder hopping at 13,000 ft., you'll appreciate the stiffness. I use SuperFeet inserts and can (and have) walked all day in these.

Less stitching means fewer things can go wrong. You're not going to blow any seams here, which was always my problem with previous boots.

Again: leather. Apply saddle soap and some waterproofing agent (mink oil/bear grease/Pecards) regularly to keep the leather supple and weather tight. I do this at least 6 x's a year.

Because of the Goretex, these boots are warm. There is a non-Goretex model made. These are not the best to have in the middle of summer in the Sonoran desert.

These are an investment. I have a friend who refuses to buy hiking boots over $100. He goes through about a pair every 1.5 years. He's spent more money on new boots (plus the break in time!) than I have with this one time purchase. And mine only become more comfortable with time. I know it's a chunk of change to drop, so ask for some gift cards at Christmas or your birthday. I promise they're worth it!

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Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on April 16, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is not your typical compass. This model is better suited for foresters, land surveyors, or people need to lay in highly accurate lines/boundaries. If you're a recreational outdoors person, you're better of looking at mirrored or lensatic compasses. Also beware, this compass is put almost right to your eye, if you wear glasses with metal frames (like me), the frames will throw off the reading. Read the manual thoroughly. All the complains I've heard from this compass were from people who didn't read the manual, and tried to use it like a mirrored compass.

With that preface, this is the most accurate hand compass you can find. I'm a forester, and have used this for laying out contract and property boundaries. While in school, I used this for a compass and pacing navigation test course, I nailed the location markers every time.

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Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on December 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought two of 1 liter bottles four years ago and it wasn't until recently that one of them sprung a tiny leak. I am amazed they lasted for as long as they did considering the use I got out of them. These bottles survived two years in the Peace Corps, and travelling through Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, and Germany, and backpacking in Arizona, and the Michigan UP. They've been dropped, stepped on, and used as pillows. The biggest plus is that they take no room when empty, unlike hard case bottles. You can fit them in your pocket when empty. Everyone who has seen them, asked where to find them. An absolutely wonderful product.

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Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on November 24, 2013

2 5

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

So yes, this are warm. 25 degrees F, and worn with a pair of jeans works well if you're moving a bit.

The one set back: these do not eliminate odor, they just trap it in. Without going into details, that is a set back if you've been real active all day.

After not even a couple weeks of wearing them, the stitching became undone along the waist and side leg seam.

I'd say it is true to size, but others are right, some quick adjusting is needed to get them fitted on properly. I wouldn't recommend these, unfortunately.

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Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on March 19, 2012

5 5

Yes, that is where I found it, and it was also embroidered with the New Belgium Brewery Fat Tire bicycle logo on the sleeve. Sweet snag for only $8! This is my favorite sweater, and like a previous reviewer, I find it to run a full size large. The fabric could not be softer. I would not recommend this as an outdoor sweater unless it is a simple day hike. This is a good sweater for cold nights when you are pub hopping or grilling in the Spring or Autumn.

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Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on March 6, 2012

4 5

First, this is a layering item. This should not be the outerlayer. Wear a softshell or rain jacket over it. That being said, this is an extrememly warm jacket for something that weights practically nothing, and fits into an included stuff sack. I highly recommend buying one if you can find it.

My only complaint, there is no latch, or special pocket for the stuff sack. And because the material is so slick, it can easily slide out of the pockets.

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Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on May 21, 2011

5 5

When I first tried these on, I was amazed at how thick these socks were. The cushioning some superior in comfort and despite this they breath very well. I recently was wearing these in some cold and wet weather in Michigan and my feet were completely comfortable. I would suggest these as a great investment.

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Martin Axe

Martin Axewrote a review of on April 24, 2011

4 5

I was in an AmeriCorps conservation corps program and chose this tent as my shelter. I slept within this tent more than I did my own apartment. It is lightweight, easy to pack, and sturdy. I needed a couple practice attempts to get it to roll up to fit in its stuff sack, but this was a quick process. I used this tent from temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit down to low teens, and from weather ranging from dust storms to torrential downpours to blizzards. It only failed me badly in a dust storm that occured in Yuma, AZ. Fine dust completely covered everything inside. My tent was not the worst victim though and compared to some others nearby, it still held up admirably. The vent at the top of tent works well in heat and humdity. I am 6'2" and managed to sleep comfortably, albeit it was tight. The big fail here: no vestibule! This is a real minimalist tent. I could line my boots up against the wall outside, and for the most part they were protected, but they did get very wet on one occasion. A wider spread from the tent on the door side of this tent for a backpack or even boots (ah-hem), would make this the ideal solo tent. Still, I never had a pole break, a zipper fail, or any stitching come undone. This will hold up beautifully in any conditions and kept everything inside nice and dry. Do invest in a footprint.

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