Posts tagged 'Exit Aero'

Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slams & Salomon Exit Aeros – final reviews

Posted by on May 31st 2011 in My reviews

These items for review were supplied by Adam Smith while he was a representative of Fitness Footwear Ltd.

The Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slams have done a fair few miles now, I've been wearing them either with very thin socks or with no socks at all because of the sizing problem. With socks they still squeak quite loudly so I tend to wear them only when I'm on solo walks, obviously when I'm going sockless they're a tad more partner-friendly but the range of terrain is restricted accordingly. Aside from the noise they've been fine on all sorts of non-icy terrain, they're not waterproof but are quick to dry. Grip has improved with use. They've been through the washing machine on the "sports shoes" cycle with no detectable detriment. If I had the correct size I'd wear them a lot more and in more testing places. Oddly, I find that they are a really good choice for driving - I think it's something to do with the way the heel grips the foot-well carpet.

The Salomon Exit Aeros haven't done as much mileage but have proved to be fine for casual, mainly indoor wear. I still don't trust them in the wet - the grip seems to have worsened with wear. Again, they're not waterproof but they do dry amazingly quickly. I've decided that they have too much flex for me to wear them on long dry walks so they've been relegated to the role of slippers - they see a lot of use during YHA stays. Shape-wise they do fit me well and if I did acquire any more Salomons I'm confident that they'll suit my feet, but there's no way that I'd get a model like this until they've sorted out the sole/grip problem.

I've come to the conclusion that footwear such as these items doesn't suit the outdoors stuff that I do, although the Wrap Slams have been OK for general outdoor wear. Maybe I've not tried them enough, maybe I've been expecting too much of them, but I really can't get on with them. My feet still feel better in more substantial footwear, and I feel more confident when my feet stay where I put them. That's why I keep going back to the AKU Croda GTXs.

The Buttermere trip – a quick gear roundup

Posted by on November 4th 2010 in Bargains, Great Escapes, Shiny new kit

Just thought I'd do a short post about some of the kit that my family used during our recent trip to Buttermere. There's not much here to excite the lightweighters out there but when kitting out a family sometimes value-for-money is a more important consideration than grammes-per-litre, and often cheap doesn't mean bad.

Footwear

I wore my AKU Crodas, Ella wore hers. Neither of us had any issues, they were nice and comfy. Chris was breaking-in her Scarpa Mantas - it was her first full-day outing in these stiff boots and they were obviously overkill for the route and the conditions, but they did need to do some mileage before being used in anger. Aside from an issue with the fit around her ankles, they were fine. Anna wore an old pair of hand-me-down Hi-Tec mids, no idea which model, they were fine too. We've promised her some new boots next year. Despite the bog-trotting and beck-crossings, we all enjoyed dry feet all day.

Regarding the performance of the Fitness Footwear test-and-review samples, I wore the Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slams for the walk to and from The Fish on Thursday night and they were fine (apart from the squeakiness), even in the wet. If Friday hadn't been forecast to be wet all day, I'd have worn them on the hill too, but the AKUs got the vote at the last minute. The Salomon Exit Aeros were a dead loss - comfy for driving but dangerously slippery even when getting out of the car and stepping onto a damp motorway-services car-park.

Other Clothing

I was trying out some different socks - for many years I've used only Thorlo KXs, KXLs or STs, but I'd seen some Wed'ze RNS 700 ski/snowboarding socks in Decathlon and I'd decided to try a pair. Actually, they're not bad - nice and long, padded in the right places, thin in the right places, and they stay up!

Packs

I carried the LA Alpine Attack 40 - my standard any-season day-pack for a few years now. It's a tough, solid performer with few techie bits, the easy-access external crampon-pocket this time being used for the bothy-shelter instead of the JetBoil PCS. Ella used her Berghaus Womens Freeflow III 35+8, the shape and the back-size are both perfect for her. Chris was using a new Quechua pack - the Forclaz 25 Air - she said it was a good carry. It's got some nice features for a sub-£25 pack, such as decent-sized and well-placed belt-pockets, a lurid green stowaway rain-cover, and a comfy air-cooling system mesh back. With the rain-cover deployed, there was no way that we would have lost her! Anna had a new Quechua pack too - the Arpenaz 20 - and it was just right for her slight frame.

Shelter/Safety

I figured that having some sort of shelter for the kids during snack-breaks would be a good idea, so I took the Terra Nova Bothy 4. It turned out to be a good call - the kids enjoyed sitting/eating/playing in it. I might invest in a bigger version for whenever we walk with another family.

Obviously we carried, used or wore many other items, but other than the above there was nothing to write home about.

Review – Salomon Exit Aeros – First Thoughts & The First Two Weeks

Posted by on August 27th 2010 in My reviews, Shiny new kit

A couple of weeks ago Adam at Fitness Footwear Ltd. was kind enough to supply me with a pair of Salomon Exit Aeros for review.

I'd opted for the Swamp, Dark Grey and Moss version, on the basis that after a good walk they'd probably end up with that colour-scheme anyway. They don't look too bad:

 

 

After the sizing confusion with the Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slams I was expecting similar issues with these Salomons, but these were fine - definitely size 8s and they fitted reasonably well - there was much more room in them, enough to allow a decent pair of socks without feeling too snug. The arch-support is a little less that I'd usually choose, but it's acceptable in such bendy footwear. They do move around on my feet quite a bit though, so the feeling of security is less. The soles flex and twist a bit too much for my liking, but bear in mind that I'm used to stiffer footwear. Grip-wise, they're rather odd - in the dry they grip well, and they squeak like crazy on polished floors, but on wet ground they've been rubbish - I've already slipped over on the damp yard while wearing them, and they've been no good on damp grass or up ladders either. They do dry quickly, however, and the meshy uppers allow remarkably good airflow to the point where I get noticeably colder toes whenever I wear them in a breeze.

Like the Wrap Slams, they're still waiting for a decent test off-piste, but I know now that these aren't going to be the footwear of choice for my next outing to the Lakeland Fells - the risk of slippage is just too great. Maybe I'll wear them for the walk down to the Fish Hotel and back again, that way I can blame any slippage on the beer-intake!

In short, I don't like them for any of my usual outdoor activities, but that doesn't mean that I won't wear them - to dismiss them so soon would be unfair. I'll try to give them a fair work-out over the coming months and then report back in due course.

If you're interested in laying your hands on some Salomons, have a look at the items here.

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