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LTR - Bite XTRAC OS Sandals

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  • JimSabis@aol.com
    Here it is, another Long Term Report for your editing pleasure: Long Term Report - Bite XTRAC OS 6501a Sandals Date: January 30th, 2004 Reviewer Information
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2004
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      Here it is, another Long Term Report for your editing pleasure:

      Long Term Report - Bite XTRAC OS 6501a Sandals

      Date: January 30th, 2004

      Reviewer Information

      Name: Jim Sabiston
      Age: 49
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
      Weight: 207 lbs. (94 kg)
      Shoe size: 12 US (11 UK) (47 EU)
      Email address: JimSabis(at)aol(dot)com
      City: Bay Shore (Long Island)
      State: New York
      Country: USA

      Backpacking Background:

      I've been camping for several decades. I joined the Adirondack Mountain Club
      four years ago, the Appalachian Mountain Club a year later and am active in
      both. I have also expanded my backpacking to include more winter trips,
      mountaineering and backcountry cross-country skiing, and participated in the AMC's
      Winter Mountaineering training program with Chauvin International Climbing
      Guides. More recently, I have actively studied ways to backpack lighter and more
      efficiently. During the summer months, my style tends toward very light, but not
      quite ultralight. I use a hammock or tarp for warm weather, and a small four
      season tent for winter trips. Most of my other gear is very changeable, as I am
      constantly experimenting with gear and techniques.

      Product Information:

      Manufacturer: Bite Footwear
      Year of Manufacture: 2003
      URL: http://www.biteshoes.com/
      Sandal size: 12 US (11 UK) (47 EU)
      Listed weight: N/A
      Weight as purchased: 35.75 oz. (1013 gm)
      MSRP: $99.99 US

      Overview:

      Here it is, the middle of winter and the Bite XTRAC OS sandals have been
      gathering dust for a couple of months now. I love these sandals, but cold weather
      has a way of cooling the romance, so to speak! But I do look forward to the
      arrival of warm weather so I can enjoy putting them through their paces again.

      A few years ago, the change from being a traditional hiking boot kind of a
      guy, to wearing trail runners, proved to be quite a revelation to me. The change
      to sandals has proven to be a similar experience and it looks like the change
      will be permanent.

      My feet have never been so happy on the trail as when I was hiking while
      wearing the Bite XTRAC OS sandals. The sandals have a bit of a weight advantage
      over the trail runners, but where these sandals truly excel is when it comes to
      comfort and ventilation, making the small weight advantage almost irrelevant.
      Using the Bite XTRAC-OS Sandals on the trail has provided my first experience
      with dry, absolutely cool and comfortable feet while hiking. It is truly
      difficult to convey the shear pleasure of finishing the day's hike and discovering
      that your feet are already dry and cool!

      Long Term Observations:

      There are no unusual wear and tear issues to report at all. The overall
      construction of the Bite XTRAC-OS sandals appears to be holding up very well. In
      fact, the sandals continue to become increasingly comfortable as the leather
      straps soften with use. The soles show no wear to speak of and show every sign of
      lasting for years. One of my primary concerns as far as durability is
      concerned was the hook and loop closure on the heel strap, as this is used every time
      the sandals are put on or taken off. While the material has collected its
      share of lint and dirt, it still works as good as new. I think part of the reason
      is that the stress loading is in the lengthwise direction of the strap,
      across the fastener, which is the strongest orientation for hook and loop
      materials.

      These sandals have proven to be more capable and flexible in application than
      I ever expected. They have been excellent in the predictable places, around
      town and for light trail work. But the big surprises came on the hard hikes and
      even strenuous climbing in the higher peaks of the Catskills, even with a
      thirty pound pack. With some limitations in difficult conditions, such as very
      steep terrain, these sandals are real performers. Traction has always been good,
      with some limitations on wet rocks.

      Combined with socks, the comfort range for wearing these sandals can be
      stretched considerably, allowing me to use them well into the northeast fall
      season. On cool mornings, the socks keep kept my feet warm, but socks breathe like
      no boot or sneaker can. During long, hard ascents, when sweat was streaming
      from every pore, my feet were the picture of cool comfort.

      However, this comfort does come with a price. First, when wearing the sandals
      without socks, wet ground barely gets noticed. Stream crossings can be a
      pleasurable dalliance. When wearing socks with sandals, think sponge. Also, there
      are limits as to the temperatures where I find the sandals comfortable. Once
      the temperatures fall below 50 F (50 C), hiking boots or trail runners become
      more attractive to me. Needless to say, the sandals will hibernate in the
      closet during the snowy season!

      Likes:

      1 - These things are comfortable! Cool, airy and with good support.
      2 - They work in a wide range of conditions and terrain.

      Dislikes:

      1 - Remember to remove the liner sole and clean it periodically, or else!

      Long Term Summary:

      I am pleased to report the Bite XTRAC OS Sandals have exceeded my
      expectations on nearly every front. They offer good foot protection for a sandal. The Toe
      Guard ™ is surprisingly effective for its small size. My feet took occasional
      hits from sticks and other trail debris, but the Toe Guard ™ seems to take
      the brunt of it.

      My feet have never, and I mean NEVER, felt so good after a hike or a climb.
      They remained cool and comfortable at all times. The biggest surprise was how
      good my toes felt. I have always ended up with the bottom of my big toes being
      battered after a long and steep descent. For the first time ever, my feet,
      including my toes, felt as good at the end of the climb as they did at the
      beginning.

      These sandals are definitely keepers!



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