May 23

Gear Shed: Trail Runners and Wool Tees

We’ve been playing around with some impressive gear lately, and feel as though the Scarpa’s Spark trail running shoe and Smartwool’s PHD Wool Tees are well worth a plug.

Without getting too carried away with the details here, we’ve got the following impressions to share. Feel free to click on the product image for more info and to purchase the product (a portion of the proceeds will support AdventureSkier.com) or head to the manufacturers’ websites for more detailed product info:

Scarpa Spark:
• High performance, light weight and very secure-fitting trail running shoe;
• Well designed lacing system keeps mid-foot in place more than most shoes we’ve tested on rough, technical trails and long descents;
• Shoes dry quickly and easily after a good run in the rain;
• Construction is solid overall, but we are seeing reasonable signs of early stitch/glue/seam failure after approx. 40 trail runs (i.e. they are not the most durable trail runners, but for a relatively light weight trail runner, they are holding up quite well);
• We’re not huge fans of the big Scarpa logo/advertisement across the side of the shoe, but then again, who cares if the shoe fits well and runs great!


Smartwool’s PHD Wool Tees
• This merino wool tee, with little more than a good fresh water rinse, will stand up to days and days (even weeks, if necessary!) of odor-free use. Add a few drops of Dr.Bronner’s soap to the wash bucket to freshen things even more. It seems as though we wash cotton and polypro t-shirts four to five times (at least) as often as merino wool tees.
• The PHD tee is semi-form fit for high-octane activities, and its itch-free, merino wool construction helps to wick your sweat away and keep you comfortable as you move;
• Smartwool is a great company for a lot of reasons, and we especially like them for the creation of their SmartWool General Advocacy Fund, which, since 2005, has supported non-profit organizations that get kids into the outdoors while educating them about environmental stewardship. Go Smartwool!


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  1. Forresto

    Smartwool also makes the best bike shorts!

    1. AdventureSkier.com

      So true.

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