Men’s Hiking Style Guide

17 - Hiking Style Guide Hero

Function and fashion are important.  When exploring the world function is the most important.  If someone says that fashion doesn’t matter, it can be assumed they probably wears crocs to weddings and have no real say on the topic.  Get outside and look good exploring this beautiful world of ours.

3 - Down Jacket v2Arc’teryx Cerium SL Jacket

Perfect for layering on those blustery days, the Arc’teryx Cerium SL Jacket for men is the piece your wardrobe has been missing. Outstanding in its warmth to weight ratio, this cozy jacket will keep you going through plummeting temperatures and blustery conditions.  [PURCHASE]


3 - Rain Jacket v2Helly Hansen Loke Jacket

The Helly Hansen Loke Jacket is an essential light weight shell. Practical for a variety of weather conditions with full water and windproof yet breathable construction. With front storm flap to keep out wind and rain, and with vents to prevent overheating.  [PURCHASE]


3 - Hat v2Columbia Trail Dryer Cap

The Trail Dryer Cap has a sweat-activated, super cooling headband, offers UPF 50 protection from the sun and has a hook-and-loop back adjustment. Sometime the future is so bright you ahve to block it out with a brim.  [PURCHASE]


3 - Shoes v2Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Hiking Shoes

For lightweight performance on and off the trail, lace up the Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Hiking Shoes for men and get outside this season! Designed to be as comfortable as they are effective in wet and slippery conditions, the Terrex Fast X hiking shoes are made with a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner to keep your feet dry and happy no matter where the trail takes you.  [PURCHASE]


1 - WatchFreestyle Navigator 2.0 Watch

The Freestyle Navigator 2.0 Watch has a built in digital compass with 1° of resolution and declination adjustment to help make navigating a breeze. The Navigator 2.0 also features three alarms, a calendar, and a timer useful for many outdoor activities including hiking and running.  [PURCHASE]


1 - pantsMountain Hardwear Warlow Hybrid Pants

The perfect alpine spring climbing pant designed in collaboration with Mountain Hardwear’s athletes. Minimal design with maximum stretch and superior fit make the Mountain Hardwear Warlow Hybrid Pants the most versatile and well rounded outdoor pants know to man.  [PURCHASE]




Style Guide: 2014 Men’s Spring Fashion

Style Guide 2014 Men's Spring Fasion

Men’s Spring Fashion

It feels great to shed some layers after piling them on throughout winter.  Spring is a transitional season to freshen up a wardrobe and change the pace of life.  This is the first Style Guide of many installments; enjoy some of our favorite pieces that rolled out recently.

1 dc-duster-ls-shirt-indigo-11-zoom1. DC Duster Shirt

There are articles of clothing that stand the test of time, one of them is the oxford shirt.  The DC Duster Shirt has a timeless design with a modern approach.  Unlike your father’s casual dress shirts the DC Duster has a slim fit that looks great tucked in or out.  This 100% cotton beauty has a rich indigo color with perfectly contrasting buttons and a button down collar.  It’ll be the most versatile shirt in your collection that you can dress up with a blazer for a date and wear with jeans getting beers with the boys.  [PURCHASE]

1 - volcom-killingit-cap-khki-13-zoom2. Volcom Killing It Cap

Everyone and there mothers know that 5 panel hats are what the cool kids are wearing.  The design has slowly been emerging from the 80’s and the one size fits all adjustable Volcom Killing It Cap is at the forefront of the fight.  The 100% cotton khaki color looks great with a mounted heat embossed leather logo patch.   The best thing about the Volcom Killing it Cap is the fit; it’s flawless – it’s not to deep and not too shallow.  [PURCHASE]

1 - matix-gripper-twill-pants-rust-13-zoom3. Matix Gripper Pants

The slim straight fit of the 5 pocket Matix Gripper Pants is relaxed enough to offer room in thighs and knees while having a slim leg opening that looks great with any footwear.  The detailing of the 98% cotton 2% elastane twill fabric matches the intricate Matix logo placement on the buttons, pockets, and rivets.  Of all the skate lifestyle brands making pants Matix is ahead of the pack with the Gripper Pants by far.  [PURCHASE]

1 - poler-field-pack-grn-13-zoom4. Poler Field Backpack

The simple design of the Poler Field Pack combined with it’s versatility make the bag appealing. The camo colorway’s 1000D Campdura fabric is as abrasion resistant as they come and it’s perfect for urban adventures or deep forest hiking.  The internal soft 420D nylon fabic protectively sports a padded laptop sleeve and whopping of 14.5L of volume.  With fully adjustable shoulder straps (duh), exaggerated zipper, and a drawstring top access flap this Field Pack has a heritage look that stays connected to style were every it ends up.  [PURCHASE]

1-northface-bernalchukka-sh-minkbrwn-brtshkhki-14-1-zoom5. The North Face Bernal Chukka Boots

Trudge through anything on earth with the The North Face Bernal Chukka Boots.  The waterproof full grain leather upper is rugged enough for trekking through wooded trerrain yet refined with simple lines for the city life.  The lightly padded gusseted tongue provides comfort along with the Vibram CHRISTY sole.  The Bernal has a vintage american look that will look great on your feet now and in 20 years.  [PURCHASE]

1 - electric-fw01-nato-watch-whtolv-13-zoom6. Electic FW01 Nato Watch

With a complete rebranding Electric takes a tick into timepieces.  The Electic FW01 Nato Watch is a classic field watch with modern twists and 3 hand Japanese quartz movement.  High contrast between the hands and dial make for easy time telling and the second hand’s lighting bolt shape is a well thought through touch.  The 40mm face is a great size for making a subtle statement to those looking to notice details above and below the water (Water Resistant to 600 ft.).  [PURCHASE]

1 - ashbury-griffin-spanky-sngls-brwntortbrwn-zoom7. Ashbury Griffin Sunglasses

The James Dean cool Ashbury Griffin Sunglasses are a show stopper.  The hand crafted acetate frames cradle the Carl Zeiss CR-39 Lens and provide 100% UVA & UVB protection.  Adjustable nose bridges ensure a proper fit and the stainless steel optical hinges are bombproof.  Look better than you already do and get the Griffins.  [PURCHASE]

1 - stance-sockmonkey-socks-brwn-12-zoom8. Stance Sock Monkey Socks

If there’s one thing that gives confidence in a day it’s the comfort of good socks.  The Stance Sock Monkey Socks will be the best socks in the drawer.  A 80% combed cotton, 12% polyester, and 8% spandex never felt better.  Great socks make a difference and with a deep heel pocket and elastic arch support the Monkey will keep your feet smiling.  [PURCHASE]

Camping Checklist


The list
The Boy Scout Motto is simply “Be Prepared.” Preparation is essential for any outdoor adventure. Having the necessary supplies and equipment can make or break your overall enjoyment, experience and likelihood of spending time in the great outdoors again.  Checklists are a great tool to help with your organization and to ensure that you don’t leave any essentials behind. Your camping checklist will vary according to the type of camping and activities you have planned, the time of year and the length of your trip. Add or remove items to suit your individual needs and desires…

Shelter and Camp Checklist – New campers often over look what sort of gear they’ll need besides the tent. Where will you sit by the fire? On the ground? Sure, but a folding chair is much more comfortable. Check out the items that made it to our shelter and camp checklist…

  • Tent
  • Tent footprint, tarp or ground cloth for underneath the tent
  • Extra stakes
  • Shade tarp or screen house
  • Mat for tent entrance
  • Folding chairs
  • Folding table
  • Musical instruments
  • Hammock
  • Rope or clothesline

Bedding – A sleeping bag and a sleeping mat are really all you’ll need. Some people, especially people with babies, prefer air mattresses with sheets and blankets. Stick with a sleeping back to start, then see which you prefer!

Food – Now of course, your camping meals are a matter of preference. Some campers go all out with marinated steaks, corn on the cob with herbed butter and freshly roasted potatoes. It’s certainly possible to prepare a gourmet meal in the wilderness! However, don’t spread yourself too thin at first. Keep it simple and satisfying for your first couple of family camping trips with the food basics below.

  • Coffee and/or tea
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Granola/oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Energy bars
  • Pancake mix and maple syrup
  • Butter
  • Bread or bagels
  • Jam and peanut butter
  • Meat (fresh and jerky)
  • Cooking oil
  • Vegetables
  • Drink mixes or electrolyte mixes
  • Trail mix
  • S’moors fixins (graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmellows)
  • Fruit (dried and fresh)
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Jarred pasta sauce
  • Canned soup
  • Crackers/chips
  • Spices and herbs

Kitchen – You can set up a mini, functional outdoor kitchen in no time. Grills are often the norm at campsites, but don’t rely soley on the grill unless you’re planning to fire it up for burgers and grilled veggies three times a day. To vary your meals, you’ll need a few pots and a pan to place on top of the grill for cooking. Again, not every item below is essential, but take a look and decide what you’ll use most.

  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Matches/lighter
  • Charcoal with firestarter
  • Frying pan
  • Two different sized cooking pots
  • Portable coffee maker or coffee press
  • Bottle opener
  • Plates, bowls, mixing bowls and utensils
  • Chef knife and paring knife
  • Table cloth
  • Resealable food storage bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Coolers with ice
  • Water bottle and hot/cold thermos
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board
  • Sponge
  • Dish towels
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Collapsible water container
  • Portable or standing camp sink

Clothing and Footwear – Check the weather several times before you leave for your camping trip. Assume that it could change at any moment and be prepared with the essentials below.

Personal Items – Roughing it is fun and all, but you’ll certainly want a few items to feel clean, fresh, and protected from the sun on your camp trip.

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Toilet paper
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First-Aid kit – Check out our First-Aid Checklist
  • Personalized toiletry kit
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Shower shoes/flip flops
  • Personal medications

Tools and Gear – Your last bit of gear includes some miscellaneous items that will be handy and/or fun to bring along. The more you camp, the better an idea you’ll have of what’s most important and useful to you from this list!

  • Hammer
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Headlamps
  • Flashlights
  • Lantern with fuel
  • Candles
  • Water purification/filters/treatment   – How to purify water?
  • Park map/area guide
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Notebook with pen/pencil
  • Games/cards
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone and charger and 2-way radio/walkie talkies
  • Work gloves
  • Daypack  – Review of best daypacks

Happy Camping!

Salomon Hiking Shoes Review: XR Mission

Salomon XR Mission Review

Come ye road and trail runners, unite with the Salomon XR Mission!  This short to mid distance trail running shoe is designed for avid trail runners who may not live next to trails, but run on roads to get to them.  This versatile shoe, with many unique features, can pound the pavement and the dirt giving the XR Mission’s mission – door to trail.  This lightweight, comfortable, and responsive shoe is a true athlete’s dream come true.

The men’s XR Mission and the women’s XR Mission were designed  in collaboration with 2 time Olympic Marathoner and 6 time Moutain Running World Champion Jonathan Wyatt, yet were designed to be gender specific.  The women’s version of the Salomon XR Mission hiking shoes isn’t a smaller size of the men’s XR Mission, it was designed with similar components distinct to women’s needs.

The men’s Salomon XR Mission Hiking Shoes are the most well rounded training shoe I’ve ran in in the last decade.  I can wear it in the gym, glide through a 20K, and rip through the trails with comfort and confidence.  Not only that, but it looks cool and I’ll probably buy a second pair to wear around the office.”  says House employee Matt Gustafson.


 Salomon XR Mission Upper

The combination of the following features is almost unreal.  The XR Mission shoes are light, and is unbelievable to think that Salomon can pack so many features on it without having the shoe weigh 12 lbs.  One feature people often overlook is the gusseted tongue – it keeps dirt, mud, and basically all debris out of your shoe.


Kevlar fibers make the Quicklace what it is; strong and efficient.  With one pull you’ll have a snug fit.  After initial tightening, the section closest to the Quicklace pull cord will be tighter than the bottom, but after a short 50 yard jog the pressure equals throughout the shoe.

Lace Pocket

You’ll find, on the top of the tongue, a Lace Pocket to hide the Quicklace system.  There will be no more of that annoying tap of a lace on your foot.  It’s easy, simple, and brilliant.


Protective TPU Toe Cap

Never mind bothersome stumps, bumps, or roots – the Protective TPU Toe Cap is a shield of confidence at the forefront of your action.  It’s tough enough to kick a nail in an oak door without adding any major weight.



SensiFlex offers support and freedom near the medial and lateral knuckels of your foot.  The hexagon TPU material allows the farbric to expand and contract which drastically reduce the chance of bunions and offers unparalleled  comfort.  For the first time ever you’re foot won’t have to mold to your shoe, your shoe molds to your foot.


Sensifit reduces the amount of material slippage by wrapping overlays around you foot.  The firm hold keeps your foot where it needs to be, over the tread.


Friction Free Lace Eyelet

Never worry about going over and under or under and over again.  The Friction Free Lace Eyelets are breeze.




Salomon XR Mission Outsole

The wide cushioning of the Salomon XR Mission Outsole is quite remarkable.  The chevron Contagrip pattern assists your acceleration and breaking making the shoe handle like no other while the OS Tendon saves precious energy.

Non Marking Contagrip®

The cross road junction of durability and light weight ingredients are combined to make the Non Marking Contagrip outsole unbeatable.  The Contagrip LT is light weight and the traction pattern amplifies your skills on technical terrain.  Contagrip HA softens the harsh striking areas on rough trails and reduced outsole wear.

Contagrip LT

The Contagrip LT has grip like a mudding truck without the heavy rubber.  The soft light material reduces the XR Mission’s overall weight and increases traction.


Contagrip HA

The high abrasion areas of the heel and ball of the foot are the dedicated areas when the Contagrip HA is located.  This dependable material won’t wear away like common outsole material and it offers great support and impact resistance.



OS Tendon

When the Oversized Tendon (OS Tendon) flexes it quickly rebounds into it’s original position; saving you more energy than you can imagine.  The OS Tendon midsole integration acts like a tendon, making your strike more stable and powerful.


Salomon XR Mission Midsole

If there is two words that could sum up the Salomon XR Mission is would be…rugged cushioning.  The outsole makes for the first half of the sum were as the second half emerges from the midsole.  Salomon has branded the XR Mission as a short to mid distance running shoe, but with the shock absorbing midsole you’ll run longer and harder than ever before.

Light Weight Muscle

A witch’s brew of dragon tears, leprechaun hair, and blueberry Jelly Belly filling make the Light Weight Muscle (LT) possible.  Actually it’s just 2 different EVA composites, but it’s just as magical.

Molded EVA

That’s right, the EVA is molded.  Molded to be the most effective cushioning midsole thus far in the Salomon line.


Compressed EVA 

Salomon has put this EVA to the test, compressed it, and designed it to take a beating so you won’t have to.



XR Mission Sockliner


Your feet will stay cool throughout your whole run because of the moisture wicking Ortholite Sockliner.  You’ll receive unconditional love from the EVA heel cup, just like from your parents.




Choosing the Right Hiking Boots

Choosing Hiking Boots

Choosing Hiking Boots

One of the trickier aspects of hiking is choosing the right boots. With so many styles and types available, it can be difficult to figure out which boots will be best for you. Rather than solely relying on online reviews, it’s best to first break down hiking boots as a whole and decide what exactly you are looking for in a hiking boot, how often you’ll be hiking, where you’ll be hiking and dialing in your foot print (wide, narrow, high arch, etc.). Read on to educate yourself in finding the perfect hiking boot…

Types of Hiking Boots 

  • Light Hiking Shoes – Mostly for day hikes, light hiking shoes look more like a beefed up sneaker. They can be useful for longer hikes so long as you aren’t carrying a pack loaded with several days worth of gear. Light hiking shoes are also popular for everyday wear.
  • Hiking Boots – Hiking boots are either mid or high cut. They are constructed of leather or man-made uppers and often have mesh panels for extra ventilation. Hiking boots can be worn for day hikes or weekend light backpacking trips.
  • Backpacking Boots – Looking like a more traditional boot for hiking, backpacking boots are designed for hikes that will span multiple days. Backpacking boots are extremely popular and somewhat essential for long multi-day backpacking trips where the hiker will be carrying a heavy pack. With a heavy load on your back, you’ll need the shock absorbing soles and extra support found in backpacking boots for all day long comfort. Heavier than light hiking shoes or hiking boots, backpacking boots work well for hikes on or off designated trails.
  • Mountaineering Boots – Also good for carrying heavier loads, mountaineering boots intentionally weigh more than the previous three types of boots. They work well with crampons, which are essential if you’ll be hiking in an icy area. They are the most durable type of hiking boot and also the least popular since most people aren’t backcountry hiking on the regular.

Low, Mid or High Cut Boots?

  • Low Cut Shoes – For day hikes on well-maintained trails, low cut shoes are perfect. They fit more like a sneaker, so they won’t protect your ankles from trail debris. Low cut boots provide less roll resistance for ankles, but hikes with a light load, they’re perfect.
  • Mid Cut Boots –  These boots wrap low around the ankle and offer some cushioning and protection from debris, sand and mud. They best suited for day hikes, or short multi-day hikes with moderate loads.
  • High Cut Boots – For people who carry heavy loads or steer off of maintained trails, high cut boots are key. They offer the best protection from debris, and drastically enhance balance and ankle support. They do require some breaking in, so it’s best to buy them and wear them before going on a hike.


The boot’s weight, breathability, durability and water resistance are directly affected by the materials used to upper portion of the boot also known as the ‘boot upper’ or ‘upper material.’ Different boot uppers can achieve the same or similar result, so preference is often the main factor when deciding on a boot upper. Let’s check out the various types of boot uppers….

  • Full Grain Leather – Durable and supportive, full grain leather It is used in the construction of midweight backpacking or heavyweight mountaineering boots. It’s the best material for hikers who will be carrying bigger loads over unstable terrain. Full-grain leather footwear is heavier and less breathable than lightweight hiking footwear, but is generally more durable and provides more water protection. Be sure to break your full grain leather boots in before wearing!
  • Nubuck Leather – Nubuck leather is a full-grain leather that has been sanded or buffed to resemble suede. It is very soft, durable, and resists water and abrasion. Like full grain leather, be sure to break in Nubuck before hitting the trail.
  • Nylon, Mesh and Split Grain Leather – Such materials typically don’t need time to break in. They are breathable and lightweight making them great for summer day hikes. Synthetic materials are less expensive and perfect for newbies or those who won’t use them on a weekly basis, but they won’t provide as much water protection as full grain or nubuck leather.

Waterproof Protection

Waterproof barriers are built into many hiking boots and shoes to enhance water resistance. From lightweight hikers to heavyweight mountaineering boots, the performance of these waterproof barriers depends on the type of waterproof material used and how well you care for your boots or shoes.

  • Waterproof Linings – Waterproof/breathable membranes such as Gore-Tex® or eVent® are often built into hiking shoes or boots to prevent moisture from passing from the outside materials through to your feet. The downside is that such boots are often a bit too warm for hot summer hikes.
  • Waterproof Leather – Some leather is topically treated to resist moisture. However, if the boot is of poor quality with faulty seams, water will find it’s way into the boot. Check for lose threads on the seams. Also, if soaked for extended periods, the boots will eventually become very wet.
  • Waterproof Construction – For extremely wet climates or multiple encounters with water obstacles on the trail, waterproof construction with seam sealing or specialized stitching is beneficial to keep your feet dry. Such construction is usually combined with topical waterproof treatments for maximum moisture resistance.

Dial In a Perfect Fit

The most important factor to consider when buying hiking boots is how they fit. You should have room inside of the boot to wiggle your toes easily. The boots should not be so wide that your feet slide around, nor should they be so loose that your feet slip inside of them. You should not have any heel lift when walking. This is why it’s especially important for women to stick to women’s specific hiking shoes.

When trying on hiking boots, you should wear the socks that you would be wearing while hiking so that you can get a feel for how the boots will actually fit you. You should also lace them however you would lace your boots while hiking, and take some time to walk through your house so that you get a good idea of what the boots will feel like as you are hiking.

There you have it! Now you’re set with the most important basic knowledge of how to choose the best hiking boots for your feet. Check out The House’s selection of men’s and women’s hiking boots!

Gore-Tex Care: Maintenance, Washing & Restoring Gore-Tex

Taking good care of your waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex jackets or pants is very important when you consider the cost of wearing Gore-Tex.

Care of Gore-Tex

You love your Gore-Tex®. Admit it. Whether it’s your shoes, your jacket, or your gloves, you rely on Gore-Tex to keep you dry and comfortable for hours, days, months and years on end. Fortunately, Gore-Tex is easy to take care of as long as you keep the following in mind:

How to Wash Gore-Tex

Before you throw your Gore-Tex gear in the wash, be sure to read the cleaning instructions carefully. The first thing to note is that Gore-Tex should not be dry-cleaned if it uses both Gore-Tex fabric and down insulation. However, some outerwear garments that use Gore-Tex fabric also use silk or wool and these garments should be dry cleaned only. Be sure to request clear, distilled solvent rinse and a spray-repellent when dropping your Gore-Text off at the cleaners.  If you decide to wash your Gore-Tex at home skip the fabric softener (including dryer sheets) since they contain, among other things, fragrances, waxes and oils that will adhere to your Gore-Tex and lessen it’s ability to breathe and repel water. Never use chlorine bleach on your garment.  Machine-wash your outerwear in warm water using liquid detergent, preferably in a front loading washing machine. If you have a stain, you can use a stain remover such as Spray n Wash™ or Shout™.

*Always check the individual care label and follow those instructions first. This advice is not intended to override any specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Drying Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex Volcom Snowboard Jacket

Gore-Tex Volcom Snowboard Jacket

When drying your garment in the dryer, tumble-dry warm is the recommended setting. The heat from the dryer helps to reactivate the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your garment’s outer fabric. DWR is a repellent for outdoor fabrics and is recommended for use with Gore-Tex products. However, it is not recommended to use the wash-in treatments as this may affect the garment’s breathability. DWR is available at your local outdoor retailer. If you need to restore the water repellency after being caught out in a rainstorm, simply machine wash the garment, rinse, and put it in the dryer. Washing will remove dirt and other contaminants and the heat from the dryer will redistribute the DWR treatment on the fabric surface. If the DWR treatment is no longer effective after washing, it can be restored by applying a topical DWR treatment.

Ironing Gore-Tex

If your jacket or pants are wrinkled after coming out of the dryer, it is acceptable to pass the iron over the garment. Only use a warm steam-iron. Be sure to place a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. You do not have to iron the garment until it is completely dry. Be very careful not to melt the outer fabric.

In summary, Gore-Tex products such as Gore-Tex JacketsGore-Tex pants and Gore-Tex Shoes are built to last and are easy to take care of. Taking care of your Gore-Tex will ensure that you get your money’s worth from the product. Routine care and maintenance on your part will ensure the highest performance from them and extend their useful lifespan. So, follow the instructions carefully on the label to help your Gore-Tex product looking fresh and new for a very long time.

Pretreating Gore-Tex

If you are taking on the responsibility of cleaning it yourself be mindful of a few thing before jumping in. It is safe to use a pre-wash treatment such as Shout or Spray ‘n Wash as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. And always be mindful to rinse well. Bleach is something that you should never allow to come in contact with your Gore-Tex jacket or pants, as this will likely damage your garment.

Repairing Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is guaranteed for a lifetime against manufacturer’s defects. Gore isn’t afraid of anyone putting it to the most extreme tests! Accidents do happen, however. Gore makes a repair kit that comes with two patches that press on if you in the field and happen to tear your jacket or pant. It’s not a bad idea to stash one of these in your pocket. Once you get home, ironing the patch increases its performance. Patches should last just over five washings. A more permanent repair is recommended, so take your damaged Gore-Tex gear to an authorized repair center or contact Gore directly at 1-800-431-GORE.

Gore-Tex Footwear

You can clean the outside of your Gore-Tex footwear using a brush or a cloth and tepid water. When drying your shoes, remove the laces, loosen the tongue, avoid direct heat and allow them to dry naturally. Gore recommends applying a topical water repellency restorative (DWR treatment) for outdoor fabrics. They do not recommend wash-in treatments as they can affect breathability.

Gore-Tex Gloves

First off, Gore-Tex gloves rule! Say good bye to swampy, cold hands. Your Gore-Tex gloves should be hand or machine washed in warm water with powdered detergent. Follow the same rules (no bleach, no fabric softener) as you would with your outerwear. Gently squeeze the water out of your gloves, but do not wring or twist them. Allow them to drip-dry with the fingers pointing upward.

Restoring DWR

Gore-Tex is treated with DWR, or durable water repellent. It is an extremely thin polymer that causes water to beadupon the surface of your gear and roll off. DWR is not permanent, however. Dirt, exposure to insect repellents, detergents, and normal wear and tear will eventually cause the DWR to stop working. Normal washing and tumble-drying outerwear will redistribute DWR over the surface, thereby reactivating it. Over time, however, a topical DWR treatment for outdoor fabrics will be needed and can be applied to the garment. Never use wash-in treatments, as they will affect the garment’s ability to breathe. If your footwear needs its waterproofing refreshed, a DWR treatment for shoes will do the trick. Unless it has been specifically approved for use on Gore-Tex, never use any waterproofing waxes, greases, or polishes on your Gore-Tex shoes.

Merrell Chameleon Shoe Review

This is a technical guide to Merrell Footwear. Today, we’ll be talking about the Chameleon Stretch. Hi, my name’s Chris and I’m gonna be talking about the Chameleon Stretch Gore-Tex. The first thing you notice when you pick up the product is that there’s a good lug depth at the heel of the shoe. It’s got a Vibram outsole, so it’s gonna be really durable but also really tacky and sticky for the trail when you’re walking on uneven or slippery ground. The second thing you’ll notice is the cushioning unit inside the shoe. It’s actually hidden so if we take a look at the cutaway of the product, you can see there’s a good amount of cushioning in the back heel of the shoe that runs all the way to the front. Also, you have this little cushioning unit in the back. It’s Merrell’s Air Cushion technology. It’s gonna give you extra stability control on the trail and also extra comfort. Possibly, the best characteristic of this product, though, is the slip-on construction at the top. This is a gasket right at the top with the bungee cord elastic. You know, when you’re coming back from the trail and you’re tired and you wanna kick off your shoes, the great thing about this is that you can just kick it off in the back (or likewise when  you’re dashing out the door and ready to go), you can slide right in, pull the toggle, and you’re all set. I hope you learned a little bit more today and as we say at Merrell, let’s get outside.

Columbia Drainmaker Mens Shoes Review

Today we are going to talk today about the Columbia Drainmaker and have you ever seen anything like this?

It looks like a running shoe but it’s not. It’s actually a water hybrid shoe meant to be in and out of the water, meant to dry quickly, meant to be worn everywhere.

The focus here was to create a shoe that felt like a running shoe and that’s what we achieved. How we achieved that was with our Techlite midsole. It’s fully drainable, but it’s also very well cushoned. You could stand around in water – or not, you can be on land and it’s going to be comfortable – but if you are in water it’s going to drain fantastic.

On the outsole we’re using our omnigrip technology. The rubber is called wet-grip, so it sticks to any wet surface. How we achieved that is through these lugs. The lugs are great for land, however those lugs are also great for wet surfaces because they are razor siped. The siped lugs are sort of like a tire that works in wet weather. The Drainmaker is a fantastic shoe. Any water that goes in is going to come out. It feels good, it’s light weight. You’re not going to be disappointed.

Choosing the Best Travel Shoes

Choosing the Best Travel Shoes

The Right Travel Footwear

The footwear you choose to bring on your travels can truly make or break your trip. Whether travel plans include hiking, extensive touring on foot, water sports, biking, or just casual strolling, wearing the right shoes for your activities of choice is absolutely essential. Having comfortable feet is a luxury we all deserve!

All shoes are constructed out of basic components; an upper, midsole and outsole. Each of these elements can be made out of various materials dependent on the required support and durability. Support typically comes from a core of either polyurethane, ethyl vinyl acetate, or a blend of the two materials. Most lightweight footwear will be constructed almost entirely from these materials, whereas shoes intended for intense terrain, such as hiking boots, will include embedded metal or plastic rods to improve the shoe’s rigidity.

Match the Footwear to the Activity

All shoes are constructed out of three basic components – an upper, midsole and outsole. Each of these elements can be made out of various materials dependent on the required support and durability. Support typically comes from a core of either polyurethane, ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) or a blend of the two materials. Most lightweight footwear will be constructed almost entirely from these materials, whereas shoes intended for intense terrain, such as hiking boots, will include embedded metal or plastic rods to improve the shoe’s rigidity.

Planning ahead will allow you to make the best decision as to what type of footwear to bring on your trip. It is considered a rule of thumb to bring at least two pairs of shoes – one to suit the majority of activities planned during the trip and one pair of casual shoes to provide comfort during downtime. If you’re going somewhere warm, always toss in a pair of sandals! Besides preparing for a variety of terrain and activities, having a change of shoes will give your feet some welcome relief and stave off fatigue over prolonged periods of movement.

Types of Shoes and Their Intended Use

Shoes can vary in construction from the most basic soles to engineering feats of cushioning, support, and weatherproofing, like hiking shoes or boots. All shoes can fit into three categories – casual, active, and terrain-specific. Choosing the right travel footwear is just a matter of singling out your preferred type.

Casual footwear includes sandals, lightweight sneakers and skate shoes. They are typically constructed out of soft leather, canvas, or synthetics, and provide light support. Such shoes are ideal for urban activities and everyday wear, with emphasis on style and comfort. For most vacations, it is essential to pack at least one pair of casual footwear. And remember, a new pair of clean casual shoes look a whole lot dressier than dirty, worn-in shoes!

Active footwear can be similar to their casual components, but are built with additional support and durability to suit more strenuous activities. This category includes running shoes, walking shoes, and cross-trainers. Brands like Columbia and Nike are known for comfortable and stylish footwear perfect for traveling. While still intended for urban travel or light terrain, these shoes feature improved arch support, shock absorbtion, and repel moisture to provide comfort during rigorous or extended activities.

Terrain-specific footwear is built with very specific activities or terrain in mind. Not intended for casual wear or urban terrain, this category of footwear includes hiking shoes and bootswater and boat shoes, and wake skate shoes. Hiking shoes and boots can vary in appearance from rugged sneakers to heavy duty leather footwear. They typically feature dense padding, protective materials, and heavily textured soles to provide footing on rough terrain. The soles of hiking footwear are often reinforced with metal or plastic rods and are far less flexible than their casual counterparts. Hiking shoes and boots are heavier than casual or active shoes, so only bring these if you plan on hiking for more than three or four hours on rugged terrain.

Water, boat shoes and wake skate shoes are built to withstand a lot of moisture with fast drying materials and soles that provide footing in wet environments. They often feature vents to allow trapped water to drain from inside the shoe.

Fine Tuning your Travel Footwear

After choosing the appropriate footwear and ensuring an ideal fit, it can be wise to add products which boost their comfort and durability. Before making any of these decisions, however, be sure to break you shoes in several weeks before your trip! Insoles can provide additional support while addressing concerns such as longevity, moisture-wicking ability and targeted comfort. Weatherproofing your leather footwear with a spray-on formula can also improve the shoes’ ability to withstand the elements allowing for longer wear in inclement weather. With a little planning, choosing the best travel shoes is an easy first step towards experiencing the trip of your dreams.






Columbia Shastalavista Men’s Hiking Shoes Review

Talking to you today about Shastalavista. This is a fantastic multi-sport shoe from Columbia. It’s meant to do everything. So, whether you’re hiking ot scrambling or mountain biking or bouldering over large rocks, this shoe is the one for you. The thing that makes the Shastalavista so unique from all other shoes on the marketplace is this X frame. We call this our independent suspension. This frame is actually made out of DPU which stands for durable, polyurethane. And what it’s going to allow is for these separate zones here to act independently from each other. The angles have constant ground traction at all times. The heel piece right here that’s separate from all the rest, this is going to allow you to just roll smoothly versus other shoes without that feature, it’s just a constant clunk. Moving on into our mid-foot, we’re using our tech light EDM mixed sole. What that’s going to give us, it’s got nice constant cushioning throughout. Getting into the upper, we’re using leathers, meshes. We have an Omni-Tech version, we have a non Omni-Tech. We have some really simple but iconic design language here that’s going to help and stabilize the shoe as you’re moving over dirt, rock terrain, whatever it may be. At the end of the day Shastalavista is a great shoe. It’s going to allow you to do pretty much anything that you want to do in the outdoors.