FR - Wolverine Gauge - Coy Boy
- Hello Kerri Anne Larkin and all, here is my Field Report. My knee is still giving me fits. Right now I think they are hurting worse than the day I got the boots. I explain that in the report. Anyways, I was still able to test the boots in a little snow and under a backpacking load (not at the same time). Thanks in advance for any edits and or comments. Enjoy!
Text below, HTML in test folder located here.
Field Report March 13, 2013
(photo of boots in snow)
Filed Testing Locations and Conditions.
All testing has been here in Northeast Alabama, mostly on local trails or to town and work. I have worn them on 2 overnight hikes, several day hikes and several miles on the road walking my dog. I also wore them on a couple of bike rides, both on and off-road. Since receiving the Gauge boots the weather has been a mix of conditions, ranging from cold and damp to warm and sunny. The coldest and probably toughest testing was on an early morning day hike at 28 F (-2 C) with some snow on the ground. However, I did wear them on a couple of other occasions when it was slightly cooler, just not for an extended period of time outside. Elevations have ranged from around 600 to 1200 ft. (183 to 366 m). One other note, I was expecting my left knee to be fully recovered from surgery by now but still find it tender so I have been limited to staying on trials and trying to avoid rough uneven terrain as much as possible. This also kept me from doing any high mileage hikes. The following observations are from my 2 overnight and one of my day hikes.
Field Test Results
I wore them on a short 2 mile (3.2 km) overnight hike on January 2, 2013. It was a chilly 45 F (7 C) when I left the house and cooled down to 33 F (1 C) by the next morning. My pack weight was pretty low at 24 lb (11 kg) and I basically just hiked down to the creek shortly before dark, set up my hammock for the night and then hiked home the next morning. I used hiking poles to help with my knees. The trail was damp but not muddy. I found the traction and comfort of the boots was very good for this hike and my feet stayed warm inside the boots.
On January 18 I hiked about 4 miles (6.4 km) in them on a 2 hour hike in snow. The snow was actually from the previous day and had partially melted and then frozen overnight. This made conditions slicker than they would have been had I been able to hike in the newly fallen snow. It was 28 F (-2 C) when I left the house but warmed up to 33 F (1 C) by the time I got home. I used my hiking poles, and while I did slide a little on some of the steeper sections of trail, I found the traction of the Gauge boots to be excellent. I was also pleased that my feet stayed warm and dry during this hike. This included several short rest brakes climbing back up the trail.
My other overnight hike was on March 12, 2013. My pack weight was about the same as the last time but I did not weigh it. The high on this hike was 51 F (11 C) and the low was a chilly 35 F (2 C). I had actually planed an overnight hike the previous weekend when it was much warmer but working on a ladder 2 days in a row helping my dad put a tin roof on his shed left me very sore and unable to get around very well. I did wear the boots during the roofing project but I don't think they had anything to do with my knees (both but especially the left)) hurting so much for 2 days afterwards. Anyways, since my knees were still hurting I decided not to hike down to the creek but instead stayed on the trail that goes around the top of the bluff. It has lots of ups and downs but nothing near as steep as the trail leading down to the creek. I hiked 2 miles (3.2 km) to an overlook, then a mile (1.6 km) back to a good campsite and then a mile (1.6 km) home the next morning. Due to some recent rain the trail was damp, but again, not real muddy. I had to cross a couple of feeder streams that I can normally jump, but with my knees hurting like they were, I carefully waded across in places that were not deep enough to get any water over the top of the boots. Considering how cold both the air and water were, I was relieved that the boots did not let any water in and kept my feet warm and dry during the entire hike. And while I avoided the steep terrain of the holler, I found the traction to be very good.
Durability and other Observations.
As might be expected with my limited mobility, the boots are still in very good shape. Other than a few scratch marks around the toe caps the outside of the boots look pretty much new. The sole is also holding up rather well. What I did find interesting is that the writing on the insole of the left boot still looks new. I guess I should not be surprised since this is the knee I had surgery on, and even though I can't tell I am favoring it much, obviously I am. However, I remembered a similar experience testing a pair of trail runners so I went back and looked at that report to see if the left shoe showed the least wear. I'm not sure what to make of it but in that test it was the left shoe that showed the most wear, in other words, exactly the opposite of this time. Below is the insole and the photo in the other report can be seen here.
(photo of insole)
I have also been satisfied with the way the tread does not hold a lot of mud. Even if a little stayed in some of the cracks it would fall out the next day after they completely dried. So far I have managed to get any off the floor before the wife has noticed it. My only other observation is that I really wish these boots had speed hooks for the top couple of laces. It was no big deal when putting the boots on while I was sitting on the couch at the house, but putting them on while seated in my hammock after awaking cold and a little stiff proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.
This concludes my Field Report. Please stay tuned for the Long Term Report which should follow in a couple of months. I would like to thank BackpackGearTest.org and Wolverine for this testing opportunity.