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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MORE ON THE PRIOS FROM XERO SHOES-PRETTY SERIOUS FIELD TEST

I previously did a video review of the Prios that I had the good fortune to test.  I had received them a fairly short time before and had worn them around and run in them some, so I had a decent baseline for a review.  After this review, I have continued to wear them, and recently had the good fortune to give them a real baptism by fire, er actually, snow, rocks, rivers, wet logs, ice-covered stone steps, etc., etc.

      My family recently had a chance to spend a few days in Sequoia National Park.  We had a chance to do some hiking, and I thought that was a good opportunity to give the Prios a real test.  We initially hiked to the top of Moro Rock.  Not a huge hike, but a couple of miles, and then about 1/4 mile of stone-carved steps to the top.  The Prios' chevron design gave me plenty of traction, even where the steps were wet.  (There was a LOT of snow up there this year.)  What surprised me was how they performed on the parts of the stone that were still ice-covered.  Careful steps taken, to be sure, but no slippage at all, even on the ice.  That, though, was the easy part of the test.

      On our last day at the park, we were looking for a shorter, kind of a wrap-up hike before we drove back home, about 5 hours away.  The ranger at the park suggested a nice hike "more of a walk" he said, to Tokopah Falls.  "It's only a couple of miles".  "Do you think we need snowshoes?" I asked.  "No, they recently did a hike there, and none are required.........."  (His pants are bursting into flames as I write this!)  We started through the parking lot of a closed campground, and noticed that, although the lot was clear, there appeared to be a wall of snow about 3-1/2 feet deep right next to it.  Probably a stray drift, I thought.  We crossed a little bridge, (at least I think it was a bridge, although it was totally covered in snow, ) and struck out through the woods, following the footprints in the snow as we paralleled a meandering, but roaring, river.  The Prios gave me good traction in the snow, as well, and then we began to experience the longest 4 miles that I can remember.  Drifts were covering downed trees (big trees), boulders, bridges, you name it.  Some drifts were in excess of 10 ft.  There was a light crust on the snow, however as the 50 degree day wore on, it became less reliable.  My wife is not much heavier than my 11 year old son, and the snow seemed to support them.  Prios are really good shoes.  Even in size 13, however, they are NOT snowshoes!  I spent the next 3-12 hours, mostly up to my knees as my weight 190+ repeatedly broke through the crust.  We crossed wet logs, wet, moss covered rocks, and my feet plunged into the freezing water more than once.  Each time, the grip on the Prios held fast, and the water drained out of them like they were water shoes.  Don't know if that is the design plan, but they do very well in water.  They are now my new kayaking shoes!  We crossed a bridge that was drifted over so heavily that there was only one bridge railing left exposed.  We had to pick our way down a steep snowbank, ease onto the railing, and inch our way sideways, hoping not to slip an plunge 10ft. into the freezing, fast flowing river.  Good old Prios performed like champs there, as well.  We eventually made it to the Falls, and shortly afterward, began the trek back the way we came, encountering some other hikers with...........SNOWSHOES!  Don't know how they made it across all those river crossings.  Must have been a pain to keep removing those.  The Prios performed beyond any expectations, and even with feet soaked and 4 miles of rough trail, I had no blisters or even hot spots.  They held up great, stayed tied well.  (Only had to re-tie one during the whole hike), and cleaned up nicely afterward, with no discernible wear.  I gave these high praise during my first review, and can seriously heap it on, now that I have had a chance to test them further.  These are great, quality shoes, and seem to be up to just about any task that you have in mind for them!

3 comments:

Bob G. said...

Hi Bob....thanks for your words...entertaining, meaningful, and sobering.
I love my Prios as well. I did have to do a size exchange; I didn't follow the sizing instructions completely. They seem to be very well built, with nice clean stitching, and no glue where it shouldn't be. Recently, my Z-treks took an unscheduled flight and crash landing on the NY Thruway...yep, left them on the roof!

RTygart said...

Bob, Thanks for your kind words! Glad you like the Prios. Hope you retrieved your Z-Treks!

Bob G. said...

Original Z-treks long gone, but already have new ones. The new ones have more substantial strapping with a woven, multicolor look. I also like the plastic travel bag that comes with them! Great all-around sandal, and not just for Summer, if one can un-learn that whole seasonal footwear thing!

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