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robhart

robhart

robhart's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Climbing

robhart

robhartwrote a review of on May 20, 2012

5 5

I have organized, and run in, 25 back-country Ultra's in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, anywhere from 26-65 miles. For years and years I have bitched and moaned about every "trail" shoe out there, spouting about how I would make a shoe if I had a company, about how they need this and that, all the while duct taping my current shoes back together in a field of talus. Well, last year I discovered the Raptor, and my dreams have come true. They grip like a climbing shoe, brake in loose dirt, lace up tight and pull your lateral foot into the center of the shoe so it doesn't roll off the edge when you are side-hilling through boulders for two miles. They are durable, have protection in all the right places, the uppers are soft and the position seems neutral to me. The flat laces lock together well, the tongues stay put, and the contoured heels have not broken down. In fact, I have purchased three additional pairs and placed them into storage, just in case Sportiva wants to screw with the formula. I can not say enough good things about this shoe. Next month I am trading out my current pair for another from the stash, just in time for the 25th year of the Ultra this July. Only downside I have - is that I'm not sponsored.

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robhart

robhartwrote a review of on December 3, 2008

5 5

I miss the old green leather Trangos of the past. I had to finally give mine up when they failed at the soles somewhere in Nepal, but it took ten years of hard use to accomplish this. I replaced them with the new red Trango S EVO GTX (what the hell is with that name - have the guys in Italy completely lost their minds? Should they come up out of the boot cobbler's dungeon and get some fresh air?) and, I have to say, that I love them! They are super light (a future drawback that I will have to pay for I'm sure), have good support, and just fit like a glove. I am, and always will be, a Sportiva man. Whatever last they build shoes on seems to be the perfect fit for my hideously deformed foot and toes. But I know two other people that have them, taken them to the Alps and Tetons, and are also in love with them. I once wore them on a late fall climb up the Kautz headwall on Rainier, and other than cursing the lack of rigid crampons, they performed well - even with the foot of snow, the roaring wind, the whiteout, the descent into the abyss, becoming lost on the Nisqually Glacier, and the cold and rain - they did well. I can, however, see wear in them that is quite accelerated when compared to a full leather boot. I would guess that with heavy use these will see half the years of my old green Trangos, but they are so light.

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robhart

robhartwrote a review of on December 1, 2008

5 5

So, I wanted something as warm as the traditional Sorrels, not as high cut as a mukluk, and without that industrial Canadian timber harvester look. I just got finished wearing these boots for 4 days in the sub-freezing, snowing, raining, red dirt hell that is the Southern Utah desert in winter - and my feet were as warm as if they were cradled in my girlfriend's cleavage. I loved the softer sole, as it didn't collect the mud in the treads that the regular meat-grinder pacs do. It was a delight not to have to drag twelve pounds of sticky red mud with each step, stop every five minutes to clean out the tread with a stick, and generally swear much more than usual.
I would recommend these to anyone looking for a non-traditional hipster winter casual boot that didn't need to occasionally strap on a crampon, wade through hip deep pow, or kick a wounded badger.

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robhart

robhartwrote a review of on December 1, 2008

5 5

Alright, I don't own a brand new model; in fact, I have had my Alpha SV since 1999. It has been up peaks in Nepal three times, shipwrecked on an island in the Strait of Magellen in Patagonia, to Yosemite, Zion, Rainer, Hood, and all over the United States, climbing and hiking and getting abused. It has at least 400 ski days on it and has been stuffed and un-stuffed an incalculable number of times. The zippers are still fine and functional. All of the moving parts are fine and functional. The DWR finish has been touched up about once a year with that washing machine stuff that is so expensive, but it is still super waterproof. I have never owned a piece of clothing that was so tightly constructed - it is what converted me to Arcteryx, and what keeps me coming back. It is pricey, but I bought it nine years ago! If I had gone with a lesser brand I might have had to replace it twice by now. Do yourself a favor...work an extra shift or two, sell some plasma, forgo buying that boxed set of Madonna CDs -- buy this jacket!

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