December 7, 2017 George Foster

Gear From The Year – 2017

Snappy title and a subject close to all true kit-pests hearts. Yup, it’s gear review time at Fellicionado apartments!

All opinions are just that, opinions. They’re mine (all mine!!) and they may potentially offend (I have no idea why cos it’s just a bunch of sewn material and some stretches of rubber, no biggie). This is good because it means you know you’re getting the ‘ground truth’ and also, given the awesome relationship that I have with those good folk in the right-hand segment of the screen (‘hi’ Hangar 18, ‘hi’ Mountain-Fuel), I can pull no punches and give you honest feedback without repercussions. Huzzah! (NB: if they do offend, stop reading. Simples)

Straight into it then……..

Injinji Run/Trail Mini-crew:

Gimmicky as all hell ‘toe’ socks. Do they prevent blisters anymore than ‘normal’ socks? Not noticed any difference. My toes get a touch colder though compared to when they’re all snug in conventional sock-wear. I bought them cos I’m a fashion conscious consumer but, at the end of the day, they’re just another fucking sock.

VJ Sports iRock 2:

Believe the hype. These puppies are mega! Just snuck in there to pur-chase them before their recent price hike (yours now for the princely sum of £105, I believe). I was told about 18 months ago that they’re not suitable for narrow feet. That person was wrong. They fit my feet perfectly and the grip is mm-mm-mmmm (for those that can’t see me – which I hope is everyone – I’m doing that thing French folk do when they taste some nice food). Seriously they’re as sticky as shit on a blanket. If you want the techy ins-and-outs try their website; I ain’t into that crap. They work. Really well. On all terrain (unlike those that claim they do).

Adidas Boston 6:

These dudes do not suit me. Got them as I’m doing more road stuff (bleurghhh) and need something that’ll last the sort of mileage these old French-sticks (aka baguettes aka my legs) are pumping out. They do the job of shedding tarmac well but they mess my feet up; too clumpy. On that point, as I’m pretty sure it’s connected, what’s with this trend of knitted uppers on trainers?? My feet flail about all over the shop.

Adidas adizero Boost:

Now then, now then. These work. Super lightweight and mega responsive. Got a good section of material on the heel that grips your foot and helps hold it in place, which I like. The Boost stuff they’re on about is ace.

Inov8 Race Elite 125:

Seems to be common business sense to stop producing something when you’re onto something good and popular, 5.10 anasazi ‘pinks’ or the Rab ‘belay’ jacket to name but two. This short is no different. It makes no sense to me but then I’m probably just missing something dead obvious and as such I am resigned to the fact that if there’s millions to be made, it won’t be as a result of my efforts.

NB: no link to them as they stopped making them… case you were spitting teeth trying to click on the letters.

Hangar 18 ORR Windproof Jacket:

So not strictly ‘new’ to me for this year, but it’s the first time I’ve got to wear it. Twas a busy time in 2016. It works, it’s cheap, it packs into it’s own pocket. All good right? Sure the cut is a bit baggy compared to some of the competition and the zip bust on my ‘pack-into-its-own-pocket’ pocket, thus making the ‘packs-into-is-own-pocket’ pocket redundant, but did I mention it’s cheap and that it works? What else do you want??

UPDATE: Got a nice email from the team at Hangar 18 ORR, which says “…..agree with pocket and zip, think we may ditch it for future production runs. The reason why it is a little baggy than other running ones such as OMM is that you can use ours climbing (in a harness) and for running, so do the ‘put your arms over your head’ check and see if the body moves up.” (NB: I did, and it doesn’t. Ideal.)

So there we go. Can’t say fairer than that and it’s great to have such an immediate and personalised touch from a good, local company.

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