Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry X mas to me!

...and merry Christmas to you.  Santa is bringing me new Shoes!!

The Merells I was using which had about 1000km have blown out on the sides (see picture below) and were no longer suitable for trail walking so needed replacing.  For me, Santa and Bivouac are one and the same.

New Zealand is similar to the USA in many ways if not a decade behind, but some of the prices blow me away.  My Garmin GPS which I also purchased from Bivouac, barely cost more than in the states. Yet my MSR Reactor , if you can even find one in New Zealand is over 400 dollars here, about twice as much. Shoes are unbelievably expensive with high end trail shoes costing 300 dollars for the pair. In the states similar shoes would be about $150.

Bivouac, my favorite sporting good store in New Zealand sponsors dbBrad with fantastic savings on gear including these new shoes from Patagonia. Thank you Bivouac and particularly Zak in the Auckland store.

Since all the shoes are expensive and I've worn out Solomons and Merell's recently, I'd try a company with the best green/PC record I know of which is Patagonia. I had a pair of Patagonia shoes last year at home and loved them. I think these shoes have great potential and so far I love them too. Thanks you Santa, Bivouac, Mom and Dad and all who helped get me to New Zealand and hiking the Te Araroa trail.

The Merell shoes did okay. I'm hoping the Patagonia shoes do much better. The soles seem of a higher grade and the way the shoe meets the sole is simpler and confidence inspiring as opposed to the Merrel that's just too complicated and as a result, failing.

In hind sight, The Merell shoes did okay. They supported me and a pack on over 1000km of trail, roughly 600 miles. Unfortunate the shoes are separating as shown in one place, rendering the rest of the shoe fodder. dbBrad thinks too much design for marketing and not enough design for longevity have led to the failure of these Merell shoes.

Church and student housing in Auckland NZ on Christmas 2011.

On my way walking back from purchasing shoes I spied this church and thought I'd substitute it on my blog for the Christmas tree I don't have in my tent!! Merry Christmas to all.

GORE TEX doesn't work in shoes, and this is why--
dbBrad also thinks these manufactures don't understand how GoreTex works. It's simple: Gore Tex is a material treatment that is opaque to water molecules yet transparent to water vapor. Rain stays out but steam is released. In the shoe world feet do get hot and steam, but mostly if you step in water, water will run into your shoe. Making it water proof simple means the water is stuck in your shoe, so what good is the breathablity?


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