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EDIT - Owner Review - REI Monarch IV GTX Hiking Boots - Men's

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  • edwardripleyduggan
    Good morning, Scott! Glad you decided to persevere. Edits follow. Your weighing suggestion s fine by me--please include it in the HTML version. Best, Ted BGT
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
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      Good morning, Scott!

      Glad you decided to persevere. Edits follow. Your weighing
      suggestion's fine by me--please include it in the HTML version.



      BGT OR Editor

      > Backpacking Background:
      > I'm not an ultralight backpacker to an extreme but the gear I own was
      > specifically purchased with minimal weight in mind. If I'm
      > backpacking with my large 4700 cu. in. pack, the pack, tent w/ fly and
      > footprint, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, first aid kit, headlamp
      > and extra pair of socks weighs 13 lbs. I'm unsure of total weight
      > once I include clothes and food although for a 2-3 day hike I'm sure
      > it weighs less than 20 lbs.
      > I usually go on outings for the day. I hike anywhere from a few hours
      > to between 8-10. As the weather warms up between the cold nights in
      > California and the hot summers as well as in the fall, I try to go on
      > over nighters whenever possible. I'm in school and work full time so
      > weekend excursions for the time being happen whenever time permits.

      ### EDIT: I was looking for around 100 words (the stated BGT
      standard). This is much more informative than ver. 1, and I thank you.
      I'd like to propose the following compressed version (104 words, which
      is OK).

      "I'm not an ultralight backpacker to an extreme but the gear I own was
      purchased with minimal weight in mind. If I'm using my large pack, the
      pack and main contents (pack, tent with fly and footprint, sleeping
      bag, sleeping pad, stove, first-aid kit, headlamp and extra pair of
      socks) weigh 13 lb (6 kg). With clothes and food enough for a 2-3 day
      hike I'm sure it weighs less than 20 lb (9 kg). I usually go on day
      outings. I hike anywhere from a few hours to between 8-10. Where time
      and weather permit, I try to go on overnighters whenever possible."

      > Product Information
      > Manufacturer: REI
      > Year of Manufacture: 2006
      > Manufacturer's Website: www.rei.com
      > MSRP: $119.00 US
      > Listed Weight: 50 oz (1400 g)
      > Measured Weight: ***Pending***
      > Boot size: 10.5 in US (44.5 EUR & 10 UK)
      > Description
      > REI's description of the boots follows and I have provided my input
      > about their product claims.
      > * Amazing performance, fit and durability for wet weather. These
      > waterproof hikers handle mucky trails with ease and are a true value.
      > * Pliable nubuck leather uppers with 1,000-denier Ballisticore(TM)
      > nylon panels ensure rugged durability and water resistance
      > - For my feet, these boots do a wonderful job. Obviously, out here in
      > Southern California, we don't get wet (rainy) weather very often.
      > When we do I'm not exactly jumping at the opportunity to go hiking.
      > However, from the little bit of puddle hopping I have had to do, my
      > feet have stayed dry. The little bit of hiking I've done this year in
      > the snow, my feet have stayed dry. I have come onto a few occasions
      > where my ankle has wanted to roll and the boot upper has minimized the
      > injury. I have been able to stop, assess what happened and simply
      > continue walking.
      > * Waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex(R) drop linings keep feet completely
      > dry and wick away sweat for quick evaporation
      > - The boots do seem to wick sweat away however, my feet usually have
      > some level of moisture after hiking. I don't believe the moisture is
      > more than it should normally be though.
      > * Fully gusseted and padded scree tongue seals out trail debris and
      > relieves lace pressure
      > - The boot tongue is double stitched into the boot creating a web-like
      > appearance when fully expanded. It does keep debris out of the boot.
      > No matter how tight I tie these boots, I never feel it's too tight
      > where the laces overlap the tongue area until the laces are around the
      > upper portion of the boot in the high ankle area. Normally though, I
      > don't have any strain from the laces at all if they are properly tied.
      > * Full-length Air Cushion(R) EVA midsoles and tapered nylon midsole
      > supports deliver shock-absorption and stability
      > - I can say that I do not have foot fatigue from anything other than
      > my need for new insoles. The OEM ones provided are thin and flimsy.
      > Honestly, I expect a generic insole in a boot that costs less than $200.
      > * Removable EVA foam insoles add cushioning; heel pull loops aid entry
      > and exit
      > - As stated above, the insoles are not adequate. Any hiker should
      > consider replacing the insoles in these boots prior to leaving the
      > store or at least before wearing for extended periods of time. The
      > insoles themselves do not have pull loops nor does the boot itself so
      > I cannot support that portion of the manufacturer's claim.
      > * Vibram(R) Chisel(TM) rubber outsoles feature oversized peripheral
      > lugs for extra bite
      > - These boots grip the ground great. When I hike, the ground varies
      > in material from large rocks, to small pebbles. I never have a
      > problem with footing.
      > * Made exclusively for REI by Merrell

      ### EDIT: Sorry to say, this is still not quite as it should be. Your
      evaluation of the claims should be in the "Field section," and perhaps
      reiterated in a summary at the end. Look, what's needed here is the
      REI description (if you indeed wish to keep it--it's not essential)
      together with a description in your words of the boots.

      I don't wish to hold my style of writing out as an ideal (far from
      it!), but just to give you an idea of the sort of verbal picture
      needed (and incidentally, a photo, if available, compliments the
      verbal precis nicely) here's the text of a boot description that I
      wrote last year.

      "The construction of the boot is pretty straightforward. The scree
      collar is well padded, as is the top of the tongue, which ascends
      about 1" (2.5 cm) above the rim of the boot. Gussets extend on either
      side to the rim of the boot, providing good protection when wading
      shallow streams. The collar and gusset are attached to the Gore-Tex
      liner by sewing.

      The bootlaces pass through a series of five pairs of loops on each
      boot, three of which are brass and two of which are fabric tape. The
      latter seem to be strategically placed to control tension at critical
      flex points. Above this section of lacing there are two pairs of
      standard brass speed hooks. There's also a central tape on the tongue,
      sewn through into loops, and it's possible to pass the laces through
      this to keep the tongue centered, and I in fact I do this, and it
      works well. The laces are round, and have a tendency to fray at the
      ends. I have flame-whipped mine by melting the ends and rolling them
      smooth. The laces hold fairly well using a special knotting that I
      learned some while ago, but a conventional lacing knot soon comes
      undone, a common problem with round laces, I've found. My preference
      is always for flat laces, which I feel hold any knot very much better,
      and I'd certainly have been happier with these, but what is supplied
      isn't so bad that I've gone hunting for replacements.

      The toe has a textured "rubberized" covering. I have no idea if this
      is indeed rubber or a plastic, but it helps create a solid toe box.
      It's quite stiff and abrasion-resistant. There is a contoured rand
      around the circumference of each boot. On the sides, above this rand,
      is a panel of a material that looks like nothing so much as heavy
      cardboard. What this actually is, I don't know. It has a slightly
      fabric-like appearance, but seems to be impregnated with some kind of
      flexible resin. Whatever it is made of, it is very strong, and has
      largely resisted wear. "

      Whatever its strengths and weaknesses, this tells the reader

      1. The construction of the boot where it meets the ankle (scree collar
      and gussets).

      2. Lacing arrangement

      3. Composition of the boot (materials).

      4. Description of toebox (important, this).

      5. Rand etc. I covered the soles elsewhere.

      Note that this doesn't draw on the manufacturer description at all. I
      do sometimes do so, but more commonly I'll take specific items, e.g.
      the materials used, and use that supplied information for my own
      description, e.g. "The boot uses Vibram Chisel outsoles. They are
      heavily lugged." You can talk about the grip in the field section.
      However, a few direct quotes are fine too, provided that there is a
      word-picture of your own.

      > Field Information
      > I purchased these boots at the very beginning of 2007. I was wanting
      > to get back into hiking and set goals to hike the Bright Angel Trail
      > at the Grand Canyon in a year's time and Mount Whitney in two years.
      > I needed a good relatively inexpensive boot that would hold up and
      > give me the foot and ankle support I wanted. I tried a couple
      > different brands but I didn't like how they felt. The REI boots
      > seemed a perfect fit and feel.
      > Currently they are used in and around the Mount Baldy area.

      ### EDIT: You need to say where these are. I've hiked around CA, and I
      have no idea.

      > primarily hike Icehouse Canyon to Icehouse Saddle (elevation gain/loss
      > equals 2700 ft / 823 m)

      ### EDIT: while elevation gain is a useful figure, it's also necessary
      to state the actual elevations at which you hiked and backpacked. It
      helps to give the reader a baseline for comparison to their own use.

      and Icehouse Canyon to Telegraph Peak
      > (elevation gain/loss equals roughly 4800 ft / 1463 m). This trail is
      > an established trail but is fairly rocky in sections. I have hiked it
      > in while the trail is clear as well as covered in snow, ice, and
      > water. In all instances the boots handled up to expectation. I was
      > able to carefully navigate some icy patches with careful foot
      > placement without the requirement for crampons. It's important to
      > note that the elevation grades in the icy sections was not that much.
      > These boots have kept my feet dry thanks to the Gore-Tex lining. The
      > soles are rugged and I do not feel rocks too much under foot but I do
      > retain the ability to plant my foot firmly on the side of a large rock
      > and know that it's PLANTED.
      > So far I have hiked with a daypack carrying 5 liters

      ### EDIT: 5 liters (5 quarts)

      [this is a "close enough" conversion that I usually use]

      of water, some
      > trail grub, and my crampons. On moderate (7.4 mi / 11.91 km)

      ### EDIT: (7.4 mi / 11.9 km)

      [in converting to metric, try to keep the same approximate accuracy].

      > my feet do not feel exhausted however on longer (13 mi / 20.93 km)

      ### EDIT: (13 mi / 20.9 km)

      > hikes I do begin to suffer from foot fatigue. I currently only use
      > the OEM

      ### EDIT: OEM's a term more closely associated with computers. It's
      also not universally understood. Just "...use the manufacturer's
      insoles..." is better.

      insoles that were in the boots when I purchased them.
      > The boots took about a week to break in. I wore them for 13 mi /
      > 20.93 km

      ### EDIT: 13 mi / 20.9 km

      worth of trail hiking and all day at work where I'm on my
      > feet all day. There is plenty of room in the boot for wool rag socks
      > if I needed to wear them. I currently wear a double layer hiking sock
      > and while the boot allows ample room for larger socks, especially up
      > front in the toe area, my feet do not move inside the boots. My toes
      > do not contact the front of the boot on steep descents.
      > I have hiked roughly 60 miles

      ### EDIT:[ metric conversion with mileage, please]

      in these boots and I'm happy with my
      > choice in purchase. They fit well, and perform up to the
      > manufacturer's claims.
      > I have an average foot. My foot width is medium, I have good arches,
      > and a normal heel.
      > Thing I Like
      > 1. They are comfortable enough to wear all day at work and on moderate
      > hikes.
      > 2. Break in was very fast.
      > 3. They grip the ground pretty well rock, snow, or water.
      > 4. Plenty of room for heavy socks and even without, they keep the
      > feet stationary inside.
      > 5. The shoe lace loops are all metal.
      > 6. Soles can be replaced.
      > Things I Don't Like
      > 1. The insoles are not good for lengthy hikes. I definitely
      > recommend replacing them.
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