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FR - Montrail Helium GTX Boots - Bob Sanders

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  • Bob Sanders
    Hi Mike, I apologize, as I am a day late. Below is my Field Report for the Montrail Helium GTX Boots The report can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/alckfm
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 28, 2009
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      Hi Mike,

      I apologize, as I am a day late. Below is my Field Report for the
      Montrail Helium GTX Boots

      The report can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/alckfm

      Thanks for your help,
      Bob

      FIELD REPORT
      January 28, 2008

      As I expected these boots have taken some getting used to. For a boot
      this robust the break-in time has been minimal. I estimate the first
      good 8 to 10 miles over numerous trips has finally gotten me to a
      point where I can slip them on and go for a hike and not have any new
      pressure points, hot spots or rubbing to contend with.

      Testing locations and conditions: These boots have been used on almost
      a daily basis in and around Boulder, Colorado. Between walking the
      dog, daily fitness walks and weekend hikes in the mountains I estimate
      I have traveled a good 90 miles on these boots in the first 2 months
      of testing. They have held up well and have far exceeded my
      expectations. Temperatures have been between 60� and 0� F (16� and
      -18� C) and elevations between 5000 and 9000 ft (1524 and 2743 m).
      They have been used on a multitude of surfaces ranging from asphalt,
      hard-packed dirt, muddy, rocky and rooted trails and on lots of snow
      and ice.

      I have used these boots to climb Mt Sanitas (twice), and on trails in
      Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. My
      normal stomping grounds. The longest single day mileage has been 10 mi
      (16 km) carrying a 8 lb (3.6 kg) day pack.

      Sizing: I normally wear a size 11 and the length and volume of this
      boot seems to be spot on for me. This includes my normal sock
      combination of a midweight wool sock with a thin lightweight wool
      sock. At one point I did replace the midweight with a thicker
      heavyweight wool sock and the fit was only slightly more snug. I just
      loosened the laces a bit and they fit fine.

      Comfort: As I mentioned earlier there has been some breaking in to do.
      The first day I wore the boots 2 areas of concern became noticeable
      immediately.

      First: where the tongue wraps around my ankle at the top created
      pressure points on both sides on both boots. I switched to a thicker
      sock and that helped a little. I went for a walk around the
      neighborhood and when I got back the pressure seemed to have subsided.
      At the beginning of every hike I would notice the pressure on the
      front of my ankles. By the end of the hike it was pretty much gone. I
      believe the tongue and ankle area have loosened up to a point now that
      the pressure is gone.

      Second: There are padded protrusions on either side of the ankle
      inside the boot. They kind of sit in that indented area between your
      heel and ankle bone. First time I wore the boots they were very
      noticeable. By the end of the hike the pressure was tolerable but
      still noticeable. Now you only notice them when you initially put the
      boot on. After a couple of minutes of walking everything seems to
      settle in and become comfortable.

      With a mid-weight wool sock and a thin wool liner my feet have been
      warm (while hiking briskly) down to 0� F (-18� C). These boots are
      uninsulated but well padded internally which gives them some
      insulation. When just standing around in the snow or during brief rest
      periods my feet do begin to chill in colder weather. This would not be
      my boot of choice if I knew I would be inactive in below freezing
      temperatures. The Gore-Tex� lining also adds a small bit of warmth
      because it slows down evaporative cooling. The lining is breathable
      but it keeps that warm moist air around your foot longer than an
      unlined boot or a running shoe would. I have also worn the boots when
      the temperature has been 60� F (16� C) and the boots are a bit too
      warm for me causing excessive sweating. I would consider this a cool/
      cold weather boot as long as you keep moving if it is real cold.

      Moisture management: The Gore-Tex� linings classify these boots as
      "waterproof" and I would have to agree. I have walked through snow,
      mud and on one occasion while crossing an ice covered shallow stream
      my foot went through the ice into 4 in (10 cm) of ice cold water. I
      pulled my foot out and the rubber parts of the boot were shiny and
      wet. The nylon parts didn't appear to be wet at all. I rubbed my hand
      across the nylon upper and there didn't appear to be any water on the
      surface. So no water got in the boot and no water appeared to soak
      into the nylon.

      My feet sweat a lot on a normal basis. During the summer months I only
      wear running shoes with lots of mesh and my feet still sweat a lot and
      my socks collect moisture. The breathability of these boots is there,
      but it is minimal. One of the things that I believe slows the
      breathability is all the padding inside the boot. Most of the padding
      is between .125 and .25 in (.3 and .6 cm) thick. It appears to be some
      sort of open cell foam, but without cutting the lining to see I can't
      be sure. At the end of a good hike my socks are wet. Not sopping wet
      but definitely in need of changing.

      Construction: Overall the boots are very well made. They have held up
      well with only small scratches and scuffs on the rubber parts. The
      rand is still glued tight and all the stitching is intact. The
      gusseted tongue has done a excellent job of keeping debris out of the
      boot and the generous toe cap has protected my toes from rocks and
      roots. The nylon areas are holding up extremely well and still look
      brand new.

      Soles: The soles of the Helium's have a proprietary tread pattern and
      rubber compound referred to as Gryptonite� �sticky rubber�. The soles
      have lived up to their name with good traction on most surfaces. The
      wear to the soles appears to be minimal at this point.

      Summary: After the initial breaking in period these boots are
      beginning to be comfortable. They are lightweight but very robust.
      They have excellent ankle support and give me a great sense of
      stability. The only thing so far I don't like is the breathability. It
      could be better but I think the trade off would be a less robust boot.

      _______________________________________________________________

      Check back in 2 months for my long term report. I would like to thank
      Montrail and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mike C.
      Bob, Sorry I didn t get these back to you last night. My wife and one of my kids are sick, so I was playing nursemaid most of the evening. Below are your
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 3, 2009
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        Bob,

        Sorry I didn't get these back to you last night. My wife and one of
        my kids are sick, so I was playing nursemaid most of the evening.

        Below are your edits in the usual form: EDIT=Change, Edit=Change
        something, Comment=Just that.

        Very nice report. See you in a couple months!

        Mike C.

        <SNIP>

        They have been used on a multitude of surfaces ranging from asphalt,
        hard-packed dirt, muddy, rocky and rooted trails and on lots of snow
        and ice.

        Edit: When I see "ranging from" I also expect to see the word "to"
        later on (e.g., "ranging from 35 to 45"). This sentence sounds funny
        to me because of that. I'd consider changing "ranging from"
        to "including."

        <SNIP>

        I have used these boots to climb Mt Sanitas (twice), and on trails in
        Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. My
        normal stomping grounds.

        EDIT: Mt. (need the period for the abbreviation)
        Edit: "My normal stomping grounds is a sentence fragment. I'd
        suggest, for better readability, putting it in parenthesis between
        area and the period.

        The longest single day mileage has been 10 mi (16 km) carrying a 8 lb
        (3.6 kg) day pack.

        EDIT: an 8 lb (since the word eight begins with a vowel)

        <SNIP>

        Comfort: As I mentioned earlier there has been some breaking in to
        do. The first day I wore the boots 2 areas of concern became
        noticeable immediately.

        Comment: I would spell out "two" here . . . I just think it reads
        better. Entirely up to you, however.

        <SNIP>

        Second: There are padded protrusions on either side of the ankle
        inside the boot.

        Edit: on your "First:" you began the sentence following the colon
        with a lowercase letter. This time it follows with an uppercase
        letter. Please make them consistent (either way is fine . . . I
        think it looks better with the capital, personally, even though most
        grammarians would probably disagree).

        <SNIP>

        With a mid-weight wool sock and a thin wool liner my feet have been
        warm (while hiking briskly) down to 0° F (-18° C). These boots are
        uninsulated but well padded internally which gives them some
        insulation. When just standing around in the snow or during brief
        rest periods my feet do begin to chill in colder weather. This would
        not be my boot of choice if I knew I would be inactive in below
        freezing temperatures. The Gore-Tex® lining also adds a small bit of
        warmth because it slows down evaporative cooling. The lining is
        breathable but it keeps that warm moist air around your foot longer
        than an unlined boot or a running shoe would. I have also worn the
        boots when the temperature has been 60° F (16° C) and the boots are a
        bit too warm for me causing excessive sweating. I would consider this
        a cool/cold weather boot as long as you keep moving if it is real
        cold.

        Comment: I just wanted to say this is a really, really good
        description.

        <END>
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