Here is my very first initial report.
Thanks for the opportunity to take these for a spin.
Initial Test Report: 32North STABILicers Sport
Name: Karin Claus
Height: 5' 6" (167 cm)
Weight: 120 lbs (54 kg)
Shoe Size: 40.5
Email address: KarinClaus �AT� yahoo �DOT�com
Region: Evergreen, CO USA
Date: February 2 2002
Backpacking background: I live and play in the
Colorado Rockies. I have section hiked the entire
Colorado Trail. I through-hiked the Appalachian Trail
in �02. I plan on through-hiking the Pacific Crest
Trail in �04. I hiked the Appalachian Trail solo, but
plan on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with my
husband. This year I started updating my gear to
lighter weight equipment. I have been backpacking and
bike touring for the past twenty years. I have
climbed 38 of Colorado�s highest peaks. I enjoy
getting out in the woods almost every weekend.
Manufactured by: 32 North
Manufactured date: 2003
Manufacturer URL: http://www.32north.com
Listed Weight: none
Delivered weight: 10 7/8 ounces (300 grams)
PROPOSED GEAR TEST LOCATIONS
I will test the 32North STABILicers SPORTs in my steep
driveway and on walks around the neighborhood park. I
walk along the icy neighborhood road, to get to the
icy park trails. Currently the park trails are quite
icy, and I had a few close calls this week while out
My driveway is generally icy all winter, and I
generally shuffle my feet slowly, to try to escape
falling. Walking down to the mailbox (and back) is a
great use for trying the STABILicers Sports. I
generally take a few walks per week. I would also
like to test these for night hiking. When it is icy
in the winter, I stop night hiking. I would like to
see if these make night hiking safe. I live in a
small mountain community, where the roads are plowed,
but remain icy. I would test these at 7,400� (2255
m)elevation to 8,500� (2300 m)elevation. Weather
varies from �20F (January) to +60F (June).
I received these in the mail with a package of 25
extra cleats, a letter from the VP of 32North, and a
shoe-shaped template with marketing information. The
SPORTs came wrapped in a plastic bag, with two small
plastic stays to keep the toes rounded.
The marketing information was perky. This consisted
of a shoe shaped template that is catchy and nicely
done. The minimal packaging is nice; there are only
two small plastic stays to dispose of. The plastic
bag comes in handy to store the SPORTs in the pack
after using them.
The SPORTs are black rubber on the top, and blue
rubber on the bottom. The fancy name is
�Lightweight, Dual Density TPE Elastomer�. The blue
rubber is an extended wear outsole. The toe has 5
cleats evenly spaced around the outside of the toe.
The heel has 4 cleats evenly spaced. The binding to
hold the SPORTs on your footwear has no clasps or
buckles. You stretch them over your footwear. The
toe has �STABILicers Sport� written on each toe. The
bottom of each STABILicer has the size marked, in the
middle of the black rubber.
The size is stamped fairly small, and it took me a
good while to actually find the size. I was trying to
figure out if I had actually received the size that I
requested. I had decided that the size wasn�t stamped
on the SPORTs at all. Then, I found a little �S�,
which I mistook for just part of the design.
There is no designation on the SPORTs for right and
left. The left SPORT has, in very small print,
disclaimer information. I can�t read it. The right
SPORT has the web site and phone number. This is in a
much larger print, but is also hard to read, because
of lack of contrast.
The SPORTs are very flexible.
I tried the SPORTs on in the house. They were quite
tough to get on over my boots. I really had to yank
hard. I wasn�t sure from the directions if it
suggested getting them on while wearing the boots, or
with the boots off. The directions say �Wiggle, tug,
yank� to get them on. I tried wrestling with the
SPORTs with my boot on. Then I took my boot off, and
it was easier to wrestle the SPORTs on with the boot
in my lap.
We started hiking at 9,2000 ft (2800 m) and hiked up
to 11,800 ft (3600 m) on easy grade over 3.5 miles
(5.6 km). The trail was dry to start, so I had the
SPORTs in my pack. Gradually the trail turned to
intermittent ice. There were some large blow downs
from the strong winds we�ve recently had. There were
sections of very smooth ice flows where streams cross
the trail. Once we got to 11,000 ft the trail turned
to continuous snow. We kept hiking until we were
breaking trail through knee-deep snow.
When I hit the first patch of intermittent ice, I put
the SPORTs on. They went on much easier than the
first time in the house. I think they just needed a
little pre-stretching. I did not fall once!
Generally, when I walk on the ice, I find myself
suddenly on the ground, and wanting to cry from the
pain. But, being an adult, I usually just think about
crying, and pick myself up, and examine the colorful
bruises for the next few days. Today, there was no
falling. The two other members of the hiking party
both slipped a few times (couldn�t get them to cry).
One of the hikers went tree bashing to get around the
biggest ice flow. The other one got a silly grin on
his face, and decided to use his hiking poles and
slide like a seal down the ice flow. I got to �laugh
at the ice�.
The toe of the SPORTs kept coming away from my boot.
The first few times, I stopped and pulled, yanked and
tugged, to get them back on tight to my toe. I was
wondering if this was just because I was going uphill.
After I while, I would just kick the toe of the SPORT
into the ground, and that would get the SPORT tight
against my boot. After another long while, I figured
the toe being away from the boot wasn�t hurting
anything, so I just left it that way. On this hike, I
failed to notice any improvement when going downhill.
The SPORTs were also getting twisted up a bit (they
didn�t stay square on the bottom of my boot).
When I came home, I rinsed the SPORTs in the sink to
get rid of all the debris and snow they had picked up,
and hung them up to dry. They are still dirty, but
there is no visible wear or abrasion.
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