REPOST - APPLICATION TO TEST - X-Hale Socks - Greg Mehojah
- 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
Name: Greg Mehojah
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Waist: 40" (110 cm)
City, State, Country: Albuquerque, New Mexico
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
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:
*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
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!
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:
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
* 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
* 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?
* 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?
I have completed two Owner Reviews:
Marmot Eiger 36 Pack
MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter
Both reviews can be seen here:
Outdoor Research Prism Cap - Not Yet Received.
Thank you for your consideration of my application to test the X-Hale
socks. I do hope it meets with your favor.