zoso

zoso

PA, Laurel Highlands, Ohiopyle

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Matthew's Passions

Nordic Skiing
Backpacking
Mountain Biking
Hiking
Mountaineering
Alpine Skiing
Bouldering

Matthew's Bio

Hydro-Geologist in Southwestern PA. Don't be jealous, but I'm paid to hike, climb and explore :)

zoso

zoso wrote a review of on May 11, 2010

5 5

These have been my go-to field work, hiking, adventuring and backpacking boots for two years. I have the 08 version, which features a rubber toe guard (more on this). They must have seen over 300 miles of bushwacking and technical trails with pack weights of up to 50 pounds (yeah, part of what I'm paid to do). They are, simply, the best footwear I could have for their role.

The leather is durable, but not overly heavy. They required the expected amount of break-in. I regularly treat them with Nikwax. As expected, they are 100% waterproof - even after long days. They have simple, but high quality support padding that dries quickly. The sole is a good, well-rounded hardness. It is slightly too firm to be perfectly confident while scrambling. I am just now thinking of resoling after 300+ hard miles.

In my travels I've found the rubber toe rand to add HUGELY to the durability of the boots. The durability of this boot with the toe-rand, compared with other all-leather hikers I've used in the past, is above and beyond expectations. I am truly sorry to say that I would NOT purchase a new pair at full price until they reintroduce the rubber toe rand.

I wear size 11 street shoes and size 11 boots. I have a mid volume foot, average arch and a medium width. No complaints with the fit of the boot, whatsoever.

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zoso

zoso wrote an answer about on May 10, 2010

Really depends on too many factors to answer offhand... The general answer would be "no", this would not be big enough. 3800 cu inches is more in the range of a weekend trip or light, fair-weather weeklong.

Are you carrying cook wear, stove and fuel? Are you washing clothes weekly or daily? Tent? How much weight do you want to carry? How many in your group to share the load?

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zoso

zoso wrote a review of on April 11, 2010

5 5

It's simply a high quality wicking, breathable base layer. Has the details and craftsmanship we've come to expect from Stoic. The Polartec fabric is soft with a good amount of stretch. Care instructions say to dry on low heat, or hang dry - a little more work than a cheapo base layer, but meh.

I've even been rocking them as a MTB'ing jersey this week, and no tears yet!

Well worth the price on SAC :)

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zoso

zoso wrote a review of on March 28, 2010

4 5

I have a setup of Alpina BC 1550 Boots driving these on Fischer Snowbound Crown 189s. As an experienced XC and Alpine skier, I was wicked happy with how well this setup controls downhills. Still have to step-turn on technical trail descents, but long, sweeping carves are easy on open ground. Even possible to hockey stop in the right conditions, now - hockey stopping with XC skis, wicked cool :)

One star off for cosmetic durability. One plastic shield began separating from its partner (cosmetic problem, mostly), and I had to glue them back together.

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zoso

zoso wrote a review of on March 28, 2010

2 5

Well, my feet have stayed warm and dry while using these, sometimes, 6 consecutive days (XC skiing can sometimes be the only access I have for field work). The ankle support is great, the control with Rottefella Magnums mounted on Fischer Snowbound Crowns is top notch. I have well over 100 miles logged on this setup.

I just can not understand what Alpina was thinking with the design of the toe-cap. While XC skiing, my fore-foot flexes - something the boot allows for - but the semi-rigid toe cap is positioned such that the EDGE of the toe cap SCRAPES into the top of one's toes every single time the foot flexes! I have tried many work-arounds, and have had the local cobbler attach a pad to the underside of the toe cap. Even with this aftermarket fix, I still have to wrap my big toes with gauze and bandage, under socks, to prevent the wicked painful scraping.

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zoso

zoso wrote a review of on March 28, 2010

4 5

WARNING - you will look like a wicked poser in this jacket. EVERYONE wears these around town.

Picked this up on sale last summer, would not pay retail for it. It's a no-frills, basic softshell with good quality craftsmanship. It breaths better than a 3L Gore, it breaths MUCH LESS than a light weight Gore. It insulates a little. It sheds a little water. It sheds dirt and stains. It resists snags. It is not highly technical and the fit is for average joes. Heavy, boxy, lots of extra fabric on me.

The adjustable wrists and waist cinch are a nice bonus. Neck and collar have a funny, tight fit and too stiff to be practical.

Works well enough for backcountry adventures, but only because it was on sale.

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zoso

zoso wrote a review of on March 28, 2010

5 5

There's no topping the crocs. Size 11 boots, 6'1" 185, and crocs size L has been solid. From my mountaineering boots, to old-school little XC ski boots - and everything in between - they fit.

I use mine for FOUR-season adventuring and work. For me, they have shed just as much mud as they have snow. However, because of their durability, they do have a maximum temperature at which they're comfortable, depending on activity level.

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zoso

zoso wrote a review of on March 28, 2010

5 5

Uh, velcro tabs rubbing your skin? Must be a bad fit, but NOT a bad design.

6'1" 185 lbs, I wear XL (even though I'm 34/34 pants). This is odd, because according to this sizing chart, I should be swimming in a size XL. With fully done zipper and velcro, the waist comes to approx 35-36 inches. This leaves me the perfect fit to add layers and tuck in.

Hard to imagine a better lightweight softshell pant. They're comfortable, they're simple, they're light, they're flexible, they're functional. They dry fast, they breath, they wick. Full length zippers add a little weight, but I use them just enough to be glad I have full-length.

The ankle is a little narrow and can look a little queer when not wearing gaiters. When working as a mid-layer: To cap my mountaineering boots, I have to unzip a bit; to cap ski boots, have to unzip a bit more and let them dangle inside my shells.

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zoso

zoso wrote a review of on March 28, 2010

4 5

Firstly, I have the pant version of these - not the bib version.

Secondly, Conduit is not Gore-Tex. I try to treat my gear with G-Line regularly, but Conduit just is not 100% perfectly all-day waterproof. The lack of seam tape also becomes evident after long days.

With that said, the durability is outstanding. The full length side-zips are a wicked nice feature, although they are a leak point. The zippers do tend to get caught in the baffling a little, but meh. The gaiters would be better with a lace hook added, rather than just rubberized elastic grip. And there are loops for a cord to run under the boot.

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zoso

zoso wrote a review of on March 28, 2010

4 5

Firstly, these seem to have been discontinued, but seem to be very similar to the new Mont Blanc.

These boots have turned into my go-to cold-weather adventure boots, but they prefer to go UP. Do not expect these to fill a long approach or too-warm-weather hiking role. Needed an expected amount of break-in. Rubber rand almost makes for decent scrambling, but the shank is just too stiff to be practical for any non-tool scrambling. Durability and craftsmanship could not be better after ~50 days of use this winter.

With all that said, this is a top-notch Lower-48 mountaineering boot. Dries wicked fast; breathes a little; haven't found any compatibility issues with crampons, gaiters. Perfectly waterproof (I regularly treat the suede to prevent soak-in) even while hiking streams and icefalls, or standing around on drill rigs for 12 hours.

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