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FR: Montrail Helium GTX hiking boots - Christensen

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  • Ryan Christensen
    Mike, et al: Here is my Field Report on the Montrail Helium GTX hiking boots. The text version is included below. The HTML version is available in the TESTS
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 2, 2009
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      Mike, et al:

      Here is my Field Report on the Montrail Helium GTX hiking boots. The text version is included below. The HTML version is available in the TESTS folder via this link: http://snipurl.com/b7c0y

      Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions. Ryan


      FIELD REPORT
      February 2, 2009

      Summary:

      During the Field Test Phase, I wore the boots approximately twenty days. I have been pleased with their performance thus far.

      Likes Thus Far: Dislikes Thus Far:

      * fit * a little difficult to lace
      * support
      * traction
      * waterproofness

      Field Locations and Test Conditions:

      [PHOTO HERE] In late November, a friend, two of my three teenage sons, and I hiked in to the Catamount yurt, which is located in the Portneuf range southeast of Pocatello, Idaho. The hike into this yurt is 2.25 mi (3.62 km) across mostly open, rolling terrain. Total vertical rise is 816 ft (249 M). We began hiking about 8:30 p.m. The skies were clear, winds calm, and the temperature was approximately 27 F (-3 C) when we began. The ground was bare when we went to bed. However, when we awoke, there was approximately 3 in (8 cm) of new snow on the ground.

      In late January I went on a day snowshoe hike in the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area, which is located 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls in the Targhee National Forest. The Nordic Area starts at an elevation of approximately 5,900 ft (1,798 m) and reaches elevations of 6,700 ft (2,042 m). Temperatures were below freezing, 32 F (0 C).

      Numerous times during the Field Test period I wore the Heliums on walks and while urban snowshoeing near my home in southeastern Idaho at an elevation of 4,700 ft (1,433 m).

      Observations:

      The Montrail Helium GTX boots have performed exceptionally well thus far. Early in the Field Test Period, I took the boots straight from the box and wore them on my hike into the Catamount Yurt near Pocatello, Idaho. I wore a polypropylene liner and mid-weight merino wool hiking sock. Even though I had not spent any time breaking in the boots, this combination did not cause any problems with blisters, or even hot spots. This was very pleasing and sum what surprising as my initial impression of these boots was that they are best suited for medium to high-volume feet. However, they fit my medium volume feet quite nicely.

      The soles on these boots are quite stiff. Consequently, even though I have worn them to work and just kicking about town, I would not recommend them for that primary use. However, the stiff soles make them ideal for hiking and even snowshoeing. The stiffness of the soles seems to propel me forward as I roll my feet from heel to toe. I have enjoyed that thus far.

      The boots fit comfortably. Although I generally use after-market insoles in my boots. The insoles in the Helium GTX boots seem to be pretty good for OEM insoles. I have also been quite pleased with the gusseted tongue and padded collar. In addition to being comfortable, they provide excellent support to my weak ankles.

      The majority of my time in these boots has been spent walking on snow, from fresh powder to hard packed, icy stuff. I have been rather impresseed with the traction these boots offer on hard packed snow which is often quite slick. In addition to the traction in the snow, I have been very pleased with how dry these boots have kept my feet in the snow. The Gore-Tex lining has performed flawlessly while snowshoeing in deep snow with gaiters and hiking and walking around town in somewhat less snow. Because I have worn these boots primarily in very cold temperatures (down to -12 F or -24 C) I have not experienced problems with perspiration or breathability. I will monitor this as temperatures should warm as we move into the Long Term Test period. To date, the boots have kept my feet dry and warm throughout Field Test period.

      Thus far, there are only two things with which I am not completely satisfied. First, for me, the boots are a little difficult to lace up. Quite frequently as I lace them up, I miss the second cinch hook which is set back along the ankle bone. This is an annoyance, but does not influence the overall performance of these boots. The second item slightly influences my perception of the boots performance. As stated in the Initial Report, these boots are tall. Being tall, the collar and tongue put some pressue on my upper ankles/shins. I am hopefull this will diminish as I put more miles on these boots. Please check my Long Term Report for further discussion on this particular issue.

      The boots have held up well thus far. There are no loose seams, fraying material, and the soles show no sign of wear. I will continue to monitor this through the balance of the test.

      This concludes my Field Report. Please check back in approximately two months for more test results in my Long-Term Report.

      Thanks to Montrail and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test the Helium GTX hiking boots.





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mike C.
      Ryan, Nice report! I love your html. Below are your edits in the usual form: EDIT=Change, Edit=Change something, Comment=Just that. See you in two months!
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 3, 2009
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        Ryan,

        Nice report! I love your html. Below are your edits in the usual
        form: EDIT=Change, Edit=Change something, Comment=Just that.

        See you in two months!

        Mike C.

        Summary:

        Comment: I just wanted to say how much I appreciate folks that put
        the summary first in their reports. When I'm reading reports on a
        piece of gear I'm considering buying, it allows me to get the gist of
        it and decide whether or not I want to read on.

        <SNIP>

        This was very pleasing and sum what surprising

        EDIT: somewhat

        <SNIP>

        Although I generally use after-market insoles in my
        boots. The insoles in the Helium GTX boots seem to be pretty good for
        OEM
        insoles.

        EDIT: The first sentence here is a fragment. Recommend replacing
        the period with a comma, and making this all one sentence (". . .
        boots, the insoles . . . ")

        <SNIP>

        I have been rather impresseed with the traction these boots offer on
        hard packed snow which is often quite slick.

        EDIT: spelling: impressed

        <SNIP>

        Being tall, the collar and tongue put some pressue on my upper
        ankles/shins.

        EDIT: spelling: pressure

        I am hopefull this will diminish as I put more miles on these boots.

        EDIT: spelling: hopeful

        <END>
      • Ryan L. Christensen
        Mike, Thanks for the quick turnaround on the edits. I have incorporated them and posted my file in the appropriate folder. I also deleted my file from the
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 3, 2009
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          Mike,

          Thanks for the quick turnaround on the edits. I have incorporated
          them and posted my file in the appropriate folder. I also deleted my
          file from the TESTS folder. See you again soon.

          Ryan
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