Footwear

Winter poses an annual dilemma for many outdoor adventurers in the winter months: Do I need some form of traction gear? And if so, what kind? Whether you run, hike, snowshoe, ice climb, or simply want to make it home safely on a slippery sidewalk, a little extra grip can go a long way. And…

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After nearly a year of planning and training, the big day is almost here: In a few weeks, two friends and I will wake up early and make our way to the Appalachia trailhead for the beginning of our attempt at the Presidential Traverse. The Presidential Traverse (or Presi) is a roughly 20-mile journey that…

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‘Tis the mud season in the mountains of New England, a good time to review how to keep stuff—including mud and slop—out of your footwear when you’re hiking. A key way to do this is to wear ankle gaiters over your hiking footwear, which blocks mud, grit, and other debris from getting inside, because hiking around…

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If your boots have been languishing in the closet all winter, or you’ve been using them to stomp through the snowy season, it’s time to get them cleaned, conditioned, and ready to go. Here’s the three-step process I recommend. (And while this post is geared toward all-leather hiking boots rather than boots constructed from fabric…

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As a general rule, snowshoes are heavy. Very heavy. Most models weigh anywhere from 3 to 4 pounds or more per pair, which greatly increases the amount of energy you expend lifting your snow-stomping Sasquatch feet over and over and over again. Given that every ounce on your feet matters way more than the equivalent…

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Aerogel is amazing stuff. Made almost entirely of air encapsulated in an ultra-light silica matrix, aerogel is the lowest-density solid material that exists. In fact, one kind of silica aerogel weighed, at its creation, just three times more than air and could be made lighter than air by extracting the air from its pores. Aerogel also…

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Merino wool comes from a particular variety of sheep that produces extra fine and soft wool. In the outdoor world, it is commonly used in socks and long underwear, among other uses. A natural fiber, it is warm and comfortable against the skin and a popular alternative to synthetic options like polyester or polypropylene. Smartwool may…

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The summer hiking season is fast approaching, which means that many folks will soon be pulling their boots out of the closet or shopping for a new pair. Here are three common (and easily avoided) mistakes people make that can lead to misery on the trail. Failing to break in a new pair of boots before…

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I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I hate carrying extra stuff when I’m running, whether in my hand or on my back. I still wear shirts, tights, and jackets that I’ve had for 15 years, and I’m one of those snobs who scoffs at wearing headphones on a run. But that doesn’t…

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  Last month I acquired a new pair of winter boots featuring Vibram’s new Arctic Grip technology, which is designed to provide extra traction and grip on slick, wet ice. Here’s my verdict. Vibram introduced its Arctic Grip technology in 2016 with much hype, many a rave review, and an exclusive one-year deal with footwear…

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