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Initial Report 32North STABILicers Sport

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  • Karin Claus
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2003
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      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
      Age: 42
      Gender: Female
      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.

      Product Information:
      Manufactured by: 32 North
      Manufactured date: 2003
      Manufacturer URL: http://www.32north.com
      Listed Weight: none
      Delivered weight: 10 7/8 ounces (300 grams)
      Size: small


      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
      walking.
      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).




      Initial Inspection:
      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.


      Product Description:
      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.

      First Outing:
      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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