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REPOST - APPLICATION TO TEST - X-Hale Socks - Greg Mehojah

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  • gcmehojah
    Woops! Uploaded the non-spell checked version :) Sorry bout that. Please accept my application to test the Mens X-Hale sock. I have read the requirements in
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2006
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      Woops! Uploaded the non-spell checked version :) Sorry 'bout that.

      Please accept my application to test the Mens X-Hale sock. I have read
      the requirements in the BGT survival Guide, Ch 5 (v. 1202), and will
      comply with each and every requirement detailed therein, including the
      four-month test period. My signed Test Application Agreement is on
      file with Stephanie. If chosen for this test, I would need a size
      Large, and I have no color preference (they will be inside my shoes
      afterall!)

      Biographical Information:

      Name: Greg Mehojah
      Age: 34
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
      Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
      Waist: 40" (110 cm)
      Email: gmehojah3@...
      City, State, Country: Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Backpacking Background:

      I began backpacking last year to reintroduce myself to the outdoors,
      and introduce my 10 year old son to backpacking. My trips have
      typically been 1-2 nights with my son and 2-3 nights when I solo. My
      first season has taken me through desert terrain and high-altitude
      meadowlands throughout New Mexico, as well as day hikes of the
      foothills and ridgeline trails of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque.
      I tend to carry most of the gear when I hike with my son, so I am not
      a lightweight hiker, but plan on moving that direction as my son gets
      older.

      ------------------
      Field Information:
      ------------------

      Due to my family and work commitments, I am not always able to head
      into the wilderness for overnight or multinight backpacking trips as
      often as I would like. Thankfully, I have the Sandia Mountain
      Wilderness in my backyard which offers nearly endless hiking
      opportunities. I day hike when I cannot get out for true backpacking
      trips, and use the local trails as a supplement to my exercise
      regimen. One of my goals is to hike all of the trails in the Sandia
      Mountain Wilderness over the course of the next 12 months. I am also
      an avid mountain biker, and I get out for at least two rides per week,
      including some night rides during the winter months. When I hike
      locally, I generally wear my cross-training trail runners, and not my
      mid to full height backpacking boots. When I mountain bike, I wear my
      clipless mountain bike shoes made by Specialized. Because I do not
      wear ankle-level socks when I wear my hiking boots, I would only wear
      these socks when day hiking, and then only in my cross trainers, but I
      would also wear them when mountain biking. If chosen, I will use the
      X-Hale socks on each and every day hike I take, as well as every
      mountain bike ride during the length of this test.

      ---------------------------------
      Footwear Applicable to This Test:
      ---------------------------------

      Hiking Shoes:
      -------------

      *New Balance ATs.

      I wear these shoes during all of my local hiking trails in the Sandia
      Mountains. The trails are not sufficiently rocky enough, and I am not
      carrying a high enough pack weight to need more supportive hiking
      footwear. They are a bit slippery at times on some of the loose
      gravel, but they are more enjoyable to hike in than heavy hiking
      boots. The shoes are considered cross trainers/trail runners, and are
      used by some thru hikers in lieu of hiking boots. They are primarily
      mesh to aid in ventilation.

      *Specialized Mountain Bike Shoes.

      I wear these clipless pedal shoes when I mountain bike on my local
      trails. They employ a solid foot-bed to provide a stable pedaling
      platform and allow for more pedal power to be transferred to the
      cranks. Like my Newbalance shoes, these are primarily mesh and vent
      very well. When it is colder, I wear noeprene sock covers as a wind
      barrier to prevent cold feet. When I mountain bike, I wear
      Coolmax-type socks when it is warm, and wool over socks and neoprene
      booties when it is cold.

      *Hiking Boots - REI Monarch II GTX.

      My primary hiking boots are of a synthetic construction (as opposed to
      full leather) with a GoreTex liner to provide water proofing. These
      boots are great for when I carry heavy pack weights over rough
      terrain, but are REALLY heavy, and do not provide very good
      ventilation! I like take breaks and remove my boots to let my feet
      cool off, or dip them in a cold stream if I happen to be near one. I
      generally wear these boots during all of my overnight and multinight
      backpacking trips.


      Terrain:
      -----------------

      My day hikes are generally in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
      where the hikes range from easy going to extremely strenuous. The
      elevation gains can be brutal but the trails are generally well
      maintained. The trails are made up of loose sand, pebbles, gravel,
      rocks, and in the higher, forested elevations, packed dirt/mud
      depending on whether there has been any rain. The elevations range
      from 7,000 ft to 10,000 ft above sea level. Temperatures at the base
      of the foothills range anywhere from 35 in the early mornings to 95 in
      the afternoons, depending on the time of year (though it has been
      pretty warm lately). The ridgeline trails average 45 to 85 during the
      intended test period for the X-Hale socks. Given our mild winter this
      year, the temperatures may end up being warmer in the afternoons, but
      the mornings generally remain cool.

      Because of the steep hiking trails, the X-Hale socks will get a great
      workout during both the climbs and descents. The warmer temperatures
      near the end of the test period will provide a great opportunity for
      me to test the wicking and ventilation features stated on the
      manufacturers website. Additionally, I intend to wear the socks while
      mountain biking on my regular bike trails. During these rides, I wear
      my clipless mountain bike shoes that have a solid footbed (no flexing)
      and are made up of a combination of mesh and leather for ventilation.
      Because it is cold in the evenings and early mornings when I do ride,
      I have to wear a wind barrier over my socks to keep the windchill down.

      I will likely also wear the X-Hale socks when I walk my daughter
      through the neighborhood in her stroller, and on paved walking paths
      that border the Rio Grande. I walk my daughter every evening before
      dinner regardless of temperature for about 45 minutes to an hour.
      These walks alone give my feet a good workout!

      ----------
      Test Plan:
      ----------

      As previously stated, I intend to wear these socks during every day
      hike and mountain bike ride throughout the test period (even if I do
      not get a chance to wash them routinely - (more on this below!) and
      during my regular mountain bike rides. During the test period if
      chosen for this test, I would intend to answer the following questions:

      Quality/Durability:

      For a manufacturer to offer a three year warranty on a pair of socks,
      I would expect that it is constructed with the utmost quality and
      durability.

      * How well made are these socks? Is the stitching close and tight?
      Does it easily pull apart when tugged by hand?
      * What is the quality of the wool? Does the wool pile easily after
      normal use?
      * How well does the color wear over time? Do the dyes fade after many
      washings? Do the colors bleed onto other fabrics (my wife will kill
      me!). I will likely wear these socks quite a bit if chosen for this
      test, and will wash them a great deal.
      * What is the quality of the elastic in the sock? Does its elasticity
      reduce over time? With normal wear?
      * Do the socks unduly wear in the toe, heel, or the area under the
      ball of my foot under normal use?

      Functionality:

      * My feet tend to sweat a lot while hiking and mountain biking, so I
      would be interested to test the venting ability of these socks. How
      well do the X-Hale socks wick moisture from my feet? Can my feet stay
      cool and dry as advertised while wearing these socks? Can they keep
      my feet from feeling clammy? How well do the "toe vents" work to
      release moisture away from my feet?
      * Do the socks feel comfortable in my trail runners?
      * Does the stitching cause any discomfort in my shoes, especially in
      the toe area?
      * I am generally prone to blisters, so I would be very interested in
      testing this aspect of the socks. What is ShockZone®, and how does it
      perform at preventing hotspots? Do the socks perform well at
      preventing blisters, even when the weather is very warm?
      * Does the extra padding in certain locations protect blister-prone
      areas of my feet?
      * While Merino wool tends to handle odors well, do these socks? The
      X-Hales are a blend of Merino wool and Isofill, which is a synthetic
      fiber. Does the synthetic Isofill cause the socks to retain odors?
      Though I will wash them a great deal, I would like to test the odor
      resistance of the X-Hale socks by not washing them after each use.
      How well will the X-Hales perform under this particular condition?
      * Similarly, how well do the socks clean up? Do they require any
      special care? Do the socks release stains and odor with a normal washing?
      * Do the socks stay put on my foot? Do they tend to slide down during
      long descents on the trail? Do I have to routinely pull them back up?
      * I generally wear coolmax-type socks as liners to my hiking socks,
      can I wear the X-Hales in a similar fashion? If so, how well do they
      perform in this function?


      Reviews Completed:
      -------------------

      Owner Reviews:

      I have completed two Owner Reviews:

      Marmot Eiger 36 Pack
      MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter

      Both reviews can be seen here:

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/NM%20Newbie

      Completed Tests:

      Outdoor Research Prism Cap - Not Yet Received.

      Ongoing Tests:


      Thank you for your consideration of my application to test the X-Hale
      socks. I do hope it meets with your favor.
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