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Field Report - ECCO Tahoe Trail Shoes - Mark Thompson

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  • Mark Thompson
    Ted, Please find my FR below or by clicking http://tinyurl.com/3asqoj7 Standing by for your edits. Best regards, Mark ECCO TAHOE TRAIL SHOES TEST SERIES BY
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2011
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      Ted,
      Please find my FR below or by clicking http://tinyurl.com/3asqoj7
      Standing by for your edits.
      Best regards,
      Mark


      ECCO TAHOE TRAIL SHOES
      TEST SERIES BY MARK THOMPSON
      FR
      July 25, 2011

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Mark Thompson
      EMAIL: markthompson 242 at gmail dot com
      AGE: 46
      LOCATION: Parker, CO
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 0" (2.10 m)
      WEIGHT: 190 lb (86.20 kg)
      SHOE SIZE (US/EUR): Men's 11/45-46

      Outdoor adventures started for me at an early age, my passions have grown to
      include backpacking, rock climbing, hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, cycling,
      skiing and snowshoeing. Most of my adventures presently take place in
      Colorado's amazing Rocky Mountains. For trail hikes, my pack typically weighs
      15 lbs/6.8 kg (summer/fall), 25 lbs/11.3 kg (winter/spring) and trail speed
      usually ranges from 2.5 - 3.8 mph (4.0 - 6.1 kph) depending on elevation gain.
      For multi-night backpack trips, my pack weighs 40 - 45 lbs (18 - 20 kg) and my
      trail speed drops to 1.5 - 3.0 mph (2.4 - 4.8 kph).


      INITIAL REPORT

      PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

      Manufacturer: ECCO
      Year of Manufacture: 2011
      Manufacturer's Website: <http://www.eccousa.com">>
      MSRP: US$150
      Listed Weight: not available
      Measured Weight: L: 1 lb, 3.8 oz (558 g) R: 1 lb, 3.3 oz (544 g)
      Other details:
      Size: US 11/11.5 (EUR 45)
      Color: Espresso-Coffee

      INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "ECCO Tahoe" IMAGE CAPTION = "Photo courtesy of
      ECCO USA">>

      The ECCO Tahoe arrived in what I would consider better than average packaging,
      with a unique cardboard insert to keep the toe box in proper shape. The
      packaging supported their arrival in fine condition.

      Starting from the sole and moving up, the shoes are made with ECCO's performance
      rubber using their receptor technology. The soul has an aggressive grip design
      for superior traction and wraps around the foot bed, providing solid support and
      strength. Wrapping the soul around the foot shows that the designers aimed to
      prevent premature wear-out due to scrapes and rubs that happen on the trail.

      The foot bed is anatomically-shaped and provides a comfortable feel. My foot is
      narrow at the heel, yet wide at the toes requiring a wide toe box. This shoe
      hits both right on the mark. I admit, prior to submitting the size requirement
      for this test, I went to a local ECCO vendor and tried on some similar shoes to
      ensure I requested the proper size (I hate ordering anything that has to fit
      just right without having tried it on first). The shoe, like many others in
      this category, is fitted with a removable insert which facilitates customizing.

      The interior of the shoe is made of a "textile" lining and the exterior is a
      combination of Yak leather and textiles with a rubber toe and heel cap. Yak
      leather is reported to be 3 times stronger than other common leather materials,
      but I have not been able to find any research to confirm the claim.

      The laces wind through loops made with webbing material and a loop in the Yak
      leather with the final anchor point being through the upper with a reinforcing
      plastic grommet.



      TRYING IT OUT

      I came home late the night the shoes arrived and placed the package in the back
      of my car. I arrived to work early the next morning and opened the box. I just
      had to try them on! The shoes fit very well and felt solid. I did notice that
      the ankle cutouts were a little high for my foot and the shoe did not seem to
      provide much shock absorption (although, I was walking on concrete floors).

      SUMMARY

      The shoes appear to be of solid construction and have all the markings of a
      great trail shoe that should provide years of great service.

      I am quite excited to test these shoes and thank ECCO and backpackgeartest.org
      for the opportunity.


      <a name="FRPT">FIELD REPORT</a>

      FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

      I was able to use the ECCO Tahoe Trail Shoes in a variety of locations and
      conditions, including Minnesota's Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (a
      beautifully rugged area that is only accessible by foot or canoe), the badlands
      of South Dakota and the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

      The Minnesota wilderness is an outdoorsman's paradise, offering some unique
      challenges for outdoor gear, with the elevation rather low at 1,000' (305 m) the
      trails can be dry and soft to wet and muddy. The badlands are typically very
      hot and dry but in June this year, we found the conditions much more favorable
      with mild temperatures and uncommonly green grasslands. The Rockies have kept
      their winter coats on quite late this year with significant snow fields still
      present until late July, especially at high elevations. The frequency of these
      snow fields has required the use of gaiters and thus, has kept me in hiking and
      mountaineering boots longer than anticipated.




      PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

      Despite the limited amount of time and field use I have been able to garnish
      from these shoes, I have grown quite fond of them. They have proven to have
      superior traction, regardless of the weather or the trail conditions.

      From the soles up, ECCO's receptor technology and performance rubber
      consistently provided superior wet and dry traction regardless of surface
      material. Wet or dry, smooth or coarse, the soles consistently provided
      wonderful traction and provided sure footing! Having recently been exposed to a
      variety of elastomers through work, I was really quite impressed with their
      selection of material properties, especially durometer, which seems nearly
      perfect for hiking.

      With the recent purchase of mountaineering boots and other footwear, I had
      anticipated needing to purchase new insoles in order to obtain the proper fit
      with these trail shoes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not
      the case. I must admit though, the interior of the shoe isn't as plush as other
      footwear I have owned, but ECCO certainly seemed to have found the right fit.
      The arch was well located, of sufficient size and the fitting for the balls of
      my feet kept everything in the right place, even going down hill. The toe box
      is wonderful with plenty of room while the heel cup remained snug and
      comfortable.

      The unique lacing style and complementary tongue ensure a snug fit in all the
      right places. I was pleased to find that the lacing remained secure throughout
      each day of hiking, thus requiring no adjustments, with one exception. When the
      shoes became soaked in the rain, they did seem to loosen. I am not sure if this
      was due to changes in my socks, merely a change in sensation or if the leather
      uppers actually grew a little bit as leather frequently does.

      I was also quite pleased to see how well the molded rubber performed on the
      sides of the shoes. I know that I rubbed and scraped the sides throughout the
      climb on Mt Democrat. Yet, at the end of the day, there was no indication that
      these shoes had been beaten up and down the mountainside.

      SUMMARY

      The colorful state of Colorado experienced a rather odd winter this year, with
      much of the snow fall occurring in late winter. My skiing friends certainly
      enjoyed this oddity as some of the slopes remained open well into June.
      Although the weather in my home state of Colorado hasn't exactly cooperated with
      the testing of these shoes, I have managed to get some miles on them and have
      done so in a rather diverse set of environmental conditions. The attribute that
      has pleased me most has been the phenomenal traction regardless of the trail
      surface. Slick wet rocks seem to be no problem for these shoes, and yet, no
      significant tread wear. To sum it all up, here are the pros and cons from my
      perspective:

      Pros:
      - Superb all-weather traction
      - Snug yet comfortable fit
      - Solid foot protection

      Cons:
      - Heavy
      - Excessive drying time

      I am disappointed that I have not been able to put more miles on these shoes due
      to weather but I look forward to future hikes and treks in the weeks to come.



      Addendum: Test Event Notes and Details

      The following provides specific details regarding each test event.

      Seal Rock
      Date: 30 May 2011
      Elevation: 6,200 to 7,100' (1,890 to 2,164 m)
      Terrain: Rolling terrain to steep class 5.4 climbing
      Distance Traveled: 4 miles (6.4 km)
      Time inclusive: 10 hours (appx 3 hours wearing the trail shoes)
      Other gear: 18 lb pack
      Weather: warm and humid with temps ranging from 60 to 75 deg F (15 to 24 deg C)
      Shoe Performance: I was quite pleased with the performance of these shoes! The
      terrain varied from wide, smooth rolling trail to steep mountaineer's trail.
      The Tahoes proved to be quite comfortable and sure-footed, regardless of the
      terrain or trail condition. Especially noteworthy was how well the foot bed
      kept my foot from sliding forward during steep descents.


      Boundary Waters
      Date: 18 - 22 June 2011
      Elevation: appx 1,000' (305 m)
      Terrain: Flat and muddy to short but steep trails
      Distance Traveled: 3 miles (4.83 km)
      Time inclusive: 8 hours
      Other gear: I would take two trips on each portage, one with a 67 lb pack and
      the next carrying the canoe
      Weather: cool and rainy (40 - 60 deg F/4 - 15 deg C) with humidity remaining
      close to 100% for the entire trip.
      Shoe Performance: The shoes performed very well in the rather arduous
      conditions (rain, mud, short trail hikes with heavy loads) I faced in the
      Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The shoes did an excellent job
      of smoothing out the trail and protecting my feet from rocks and uneven
      surfaces. I also noticed that I had much better traction on wet surfaces than
      anyone else in my party. On several occasions, I was climbing up and down steep
      and rocky trails that were very wet while carrying a very heavy pack or a
      canoe. The ECCO Tahoe Trail Shoes provided superb traction making the portages
      from lake to lake significantly easier. ECCO does not claim that these shoes
      are light or waterproof and this point was well proven. The shoes become vastly
      heavier when wet and take an excessively long time to dry. My wife's full grain
      leather hiking boots were dry long before the Tahoe.

      The Bad Lands of South Dakota
      Date: 22 - 23 June 2011
      Elevation: appx 5,000 to 6,000' (1,524 to 1,829 m)
      Terrain: Dry rolling trails
      Distance Traveled: 6 miles (4.83 km)
      Time inclusive: 6 hours
      Other gear: n/a
      Weather: Warm and dry (75 - 90 deg F/24 - 32 deg C) with low humidity
      Shoe Performance: The rolling hills and gentler trails found in the badlands
      and around Mt Rushmore were a perfect fit for these shoes. The shoes were
      comfortable throughout all of our hiking treks and offered superior comfort and
      traction.

      Winfield, CO
      Date: 15 - 16 July 2011
      Elevation: appx 10,000' (3,048 m)
      Terrain: flat
      Distance Traveled: less than a mile
      Time inclusive: 14 hours
      Other gear: n/a
      Weather: sunny and mild (45 - 75 deg F/7 - 24 deg C) with low humidity
      Shoe Performance: I wore the shoes around camp (before and after climbing
      LaPlatta Peak). I had really wanted to test these out on LaPlatta but in the
      end I opted for high top hiking boots as there was still too much snow on the
      peak to risk going without gaiters.

      Colorado Rocky Mountains
      Date: 23 July 2011
      Elevation: appx 12,000 to 14,286' (3,658 to 4,354 m)
      Terrain: Various, including steep (portions with scree) and rocky, some snow
      and a couple stream crossings
      Distance Traveled: 7.5 miles (12 km)
      Time inclusive: 4.5 hours
      Other gear: 30 lb day pack
      Weather: cool and sunny (45 - 65 deg F/7 - 18 deg C) with low humidity
      Shoe Performance: Today's test, in my opinion presented conditions above and
      beyond what I expect the manufacturer intended. Rather than use an above the
      ankle boot, I opted to test the Tahoe's while climbing 4 of Colorado's 14er's:
      Mt Bross, Mt Lincoln, Mt Cameron and Mt Democrat. The first mountain (Mt Bross)
      presented a steep scree field for most of the ascent. Other hikers had shared
      their difficulty with the scree while descending this mountain (hence my
      decision to travel in the opposite direction). Hiking on scree isn't my
      favorite, but the Tahoe's did quite well. I was pleased with the traction
      afforded by the tread design and materials. The hike over to Mt Lincoln was
      quite easy and presented a trail like condition that would be more in keeping
      with the intended use of the shoes. After gaining Mt Lincoln's summit, I
      traversed over to Mt Cameron and then descended the steep ridgeline to the
      Cameron/Democrat saddle at 13,000' (3,962 m). It was at this point that I had
      wished for much more ankle support as the trail diminished into a faint line
      that merely went over rocks of all different sizes and shapes. The Tahoe Trail
      Shoes did an excellent job of absorbing the sharp edges and protecting my feet,
      but, being a low cut shoe, afforded no ankle support. It was also at this point
      that I noted the limited shock absorption capability. I continued on my trek
      and gained the summit of Mt Democrat, and since I was testing these shoes, I
      found it interesting to see what others were wearing - anything from sneakers to
      combat boots. I can't imagine that anything on the extremes would have been
      comfortable and suspect that the correct foot wear for this trek would have been
      a high top hiking boot or even up to a backpacking boot. My descent was
      uneventful. At the end, my feet were tired but not painful and I experienced no
      hot spots or blisters. The shoes performed quite well, despite the harsh
      treatment and rough conditions.



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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