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Reviews > Footwear > Footbeds and Insoles > Stuffit Shoe Savers > Test Report by Michael Mosack

STUFFITTS SHOE SAVERS
TEST SERIES BY MICHAEL MOSACK
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - February 07, 2010
FIELD REPORT - April 11, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - June 05, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Michael Mosack
EMAIL: mosack at earthlink dot net
AGE: 46
LOCATION: San Diego, California USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 236 lb (107.00 kg)
US HAT SIZE 7 5/8 (61 cm)

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, doing solo and group trips, with and without kids. I do day trips, weekenders and week long trips throughout the year. I backpack in all climates and seasons and rely on my backpacking equipment constantly. I prefer to go light, but quality and reliability of items I carry are paramount to me over price and weight.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 4
Website image of product

Manufacturer: Stuffitts Shoe Savers, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.stuffitts.com
MSRP: US $24.95
Measured Weight: 11 oz (312 g)
Other details: There are 4 sizes which range from kid's sizes 12-6 (30-26 European) through men's sizes small
There are 5 colors available to include royal blue, red, black, light blue and pink.
The color I tested was black.
The size I tested was men's large 10-12.5 (43-46 European) equivalent to women's size large 10.5+ (41+ European)
Manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Return Policy -
•Item must be returned within 30 days of receipt of goods
•All returns should include a purchase receipt but they will try to help authenticate original purchase date and amount
•Customer is responsible for the return shipping
•There is no restocking fee
•Allow approximately 10 business days for return to be processed once it has arrived at the warehouse

IMAGE 1
Stuffitts Shoe Savers Color and Sizing Chart

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Website,
My initial impression of the website was that it was clean, simple and direct. Navigation was easy and quick. The website refers to the name of the manufacturer both as Stuffitts, Inc. and Stuffitts Shoe Savers, Inc. There is a U.S. sizing chart available on the web page that is simple to follow. There was no European conversion chart for the shoe sizes or a link to one from the website, however there were plenty to choose from through a quick internet search.

IMAGE 2
What's inside the box



Packaging,
Within the packaging I received the Shoe Savers, black in color, size large, connected by a 35.5 inch (90 cm) removable black colored nylon connecting strap, a manufacturer's advertising/instruction card and three manufacturer advertising stickers. The Shoe Savers arrived in good condition and were immediately ready for use; no assembly required.

Initial Impressions,
I should note here that I originally ordered the Shoe Savers in men's size extra large 13+ (47+ European), but actually received men's size large 10 - 12.5 (43-46 European) instead. Since this really isn't a fit for comfort issue, I chose to keep and test this product and size as received. I do not know if the difference by utilizing the smaller size will have any effect on the test results and will just report what I find.

My initial impressions were that this appears to be a well-made product. I was immediately impressed by the pleasantly strong odor of cedar that this product emits. The connecting strap seems unnecessary unless it is intended to hang the Shoe Savers to dry in between uses. I plan to set the Shoe Savers on the floor or ground in between uses to dry. I do not see any weight/volume versus benefit to carry this product on any backpacking or hiking trip, but do see a potential value to utilizing this in between outings, when at home. The Shoe Savers are weighty, malleable and soft, but not compressible. These attributes cause me some concern to their value in a backpack, but I have no such reservations for keeping and using this product at home. This will be a point of my testing and I will report my findings as a result.

Materials,
I did not locate anywhere on the website or on the included informational card that came with the Shoe Savers where there is a list of materials that the product cover is made of. The insert states that it contains Aromatic Eastern Red Cedar and to replace it every 6 months for maximum effectiveness. The attachment strap is nylon webbing with a snap fastener at each end. The outer cover appears to be a thin and tight weave material possibly of nylon or polyester that stretches and is soft to the touch. There is open cell foam inside the "toe" of the shoe savers.

Construction,
There is a definite attention to detail in the product's appearance and construction. Seams are well sewn, stitching is trimmed neatly, zippers are easy to operate and the zippered opening for the insert is large enough to easily remove and replace the insert. I can find no defects in the construction and am quite impressed with its quality. I can find no mention as to where this product is actually made, but the company address is in Marietta, Georgia, USA.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The manufacturer claims that the Shoe Savers, "Absorbs moisture and eliminates shoe odor". There is also a short video available on the website, showing an independent firm testing the product, which aids in understanding how they are used properly.

The instructions for use were listed on the included and attached informational card when received. These instructions state the following...
3 Easy steps
1 Insert into shoes.
2 Let Stuffitts absorb moisture and odor.
3 Remove and reuse.

Additionally, the card states that for more information, go to www.stuffitts.com however the website only adds that the inserts should be replaced every 6 months for maximum effectiveness.

IMAGE 3
Size compared to my size 14 shoe

TRYING IT OUT

My initial experience with this product is that it is easy to use.

My first task was to sniff my hiking shoes, both left and right. I dreaded this part of my test, but accomplished this in complete privacy so as to not cause my friends any concern that I may have lost my mind. I found that both shoes had a similar smell and could not distinguish one from the other by odor alone. I then inserted one of the Shoe Savers into my right shoe only and found that it went in easily. The right shoe will be my test shoe as I maintain my left shoe as the control shoe, so that I can do a side by side comparison of just how effective the Shoe Savers are when all conditions are consistent with the pair of hiking shoes I am wearing and using to test this product.

I will note here that the Shoe Savers I received are one size smaller than what would normally be ordered and used for my size shoes. I wear a size men's US 14 (48 European), so it would normally be recommended that the Stuffitts Shoe Savers used for my shoe size would be men's US 13+ (47 European).

I kept the Shoe Savers product inserted in my dry hiking shoe for 24-hours and found a distinct difference in the odor from the two shoes. My left one definitely still had a smelly foot odor where my right shoe had a relatively strong odor of cedar. I am not sure if the foul smell was actually eliminated or just covered up and I hope to be able to address this during the testing period.

SUMMARY

Initially, my experiences with this company and their product are positive. I am impressed with the website, product information, available sizes, colors and description. I appreciate the short video of the 3rd party firm that shows an independent test of the product in use and a graph of the ability of the Shoe Savers in how they aid in drying time. I believe that this shows integrity by the manufacturer to include this. There is a plethora of customer's testimonials, but they are all positive, which makes me wonder if this is truly a superior product or if the manufacturer doesn't want to display any negative remarks. The Shoe Savers arrived pretty quickly and appear to be well constructed and everything the company claims. I look forward to putting this product to the test.

I want to thank Stuffitts Shoe Savers, Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to have the opportunity to test this product.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Well my Shoe Savers certainly have a lot of miles on them. They have flown to Afghanistan twice, making two round trips to California. Is there a special prize for that?

IMAGE 5
My pack with the Shoe Savers attached



On a more serious note...
During this test phase, I traveled within the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. This is a desert area with a mostly rocky and relatively level terrain at approximately 3345 ft (1020 m) above sea level. I have about 45 days and nights in the field during this testing phase. This includes roughly 20 day hikes and 35 night hikes and the temperature ranges were from about 35 F (2 C) at night to 95 F (35 C) during the day.

Additionally, I traveled to Anza-Borrego Desert in California, USA. I completed two day hikes, composed of mostly flat terrain, with a temperature of approximately 80 F (27 C) each, and an elevation range of approximately 610 to 1375 ft (186 to 420 m). This is another desert area that consists of mostly rocky and sandy terrain. My feet got pretty sweaty though as I tried to keep moving and I covered about 11 miles.

I also did another day hike near my home in Lakeside, California, USA of about 5 miles, at a temperature of about 82 F (28 C) and an elevation range of around 435 to 760 ft (133 to 232 m).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I should note that I have ensured that whenever I have taken my shoes off for any period over an hour, that the Shoe Savers was inserted into my right side shoe, while my left side shoe went without. During this phase, I compared the smell of the two shoes regularly. I noted that there is a distinct odor of cedar from the right side shoe that the Shoe Savers had continually been used in, while the left side shoe had no such pleasant odor. I could not detect any stinky foot odor from my right side shoe, while the left side continues to smell the same.

The cedar smell was strongest initially upon taking out the Shoe Savers, but would fade in short time. So there is an obvious and initially strong cedar odor upon removal of the Shoe Savers from the shoe. I tested the Shoe Savers ability to maintain a pleasant smell in my shoe after an extended period of time where they were not installed. I found that after about 24 to 36 hours of sitting without the Shoe Savers inserted, the interior of the shoe still maintains a light cedar smell where there is no detectable stinky foot smell at all. This to me, lends credibility in the manufacturer's statement that the Shoe Savers also eliminate odor, rather than just cover it up.

I have found that over time, I have noticed that the odor from the two shoes is distinctly different. The right side is now a shoe that I have no reservations of allowing anyone to be near me when I take it off while the left one is still a shoe that I would prefer to be in another room or outside when I take that one off.

Testing the Shoe Savers drying ability...
My test was conducted this way...
I weighed the left and right shoe separately and found their dry weight was 1.54 lbs (0.7 kg) each.
I then soaked both shoes, taking advantage of washing them inside and out and filling them with water. I let the water drain out and reweighed the shoes separately while wet and found them to weigh 1.87 lbs (0.85 kg) each.
I placed one of the Shoe Savers into the right side shoe only, leaving the left side shoe without and allowed them to dry side by side in direct sun. I noted the time at 2:50 pm.
The outside temperature was 84 F (29 C), clear skies and dry.
I returned to the shoes every 20 minutes throughout this part of the test to do a "feel test". I noted that the shoe that had the Shoe Savers in it (right side shoe) had a distinctly dryer feel than the left side shoe as the test went on. At approximately 5:20 PM, I noted that although the test shoes were close, the right side shoe felt completely dry on the inside and that the left side shoe still felt a little wet. I then reweighed the two shoes after removing the Shoe Savers and found the following...
The right side shoe weighed 1.54 lbs (0.7 kg) and the left side shoe weighed 1.65 lbs (0.75 kg) verifying that the shoe without the Shoe Savers in it takes longer to dry than the one with them inserted.
The temperature was still at 84 F (29 C), clear skies and dry. I should note that it took an additional 20 minutes approximately for the left side shoe to completely dry.


SUMMARY

So far, my feeling towards the Shoe Savers has two distinct directions...
I am pleased with their performance and what they do for me while I am at home or base camp, but to date I have not seen a benefit of carrying them into the field when considering that they are weighty and take up valuable room in my pack. Additionally, I have yet to see a benefit to the attaching strap other than to possibly hang the Shoe Savers when they are not being used.

I find that the description of these by the manufacturer to be relatively spot on. The Shoe Savers have not shown any wear and have performed consistently throughout this test phase. The materials used in the manufacture of the Shoe Savers are durable, quick drying and allow for the easy insertion of them into my shoes.

This concludes my Field Report. Please return in two months for the Long Term Report. I would like to thank Stuffitts, Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

During this testing phase, I have used the Stuffitts Shoe Savers in Afghanistan, on over 30 days and nights in the field and continuously in my day to day life throughout the 2 months of this test period. I have experienced different weather conditions to include rain, overcast and sunny / clear skies. The temperatures have ranged from approximately 25 F (-4 C) to over 115 F (46 C) at night. Daytime temperatures have reached 133 F (56 C), in full sun. The terrain has been mostly dry desert conditions consisting of extreme dust, dirt and barren rocky areas with flat to rolling hills and crevasses.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

During this testing period, I have found that the Shoe Savers have held up to day-to-day use and show no signs of wear. They still retain an odor of cedar, but it is evident that the smell is not as strong in them, as when they were new. I continued in my plan to use one of the shoe savers in my right shoe and leave the left shoe without, so that I had a control for use in comparison of their effectiveness. I continued to insert the Shoe Savers into my right shoe each and every time when I knew I was going to be out of my shoes for a period of an hour or more and this procedure, has become a habit. The Shoe Savers have shown themselves to be well constructed and easy to use. The material is resilient and shows no deterioration or pilling from being inserted into my shoes daily throughout this entire test.

SUMMARY

Wanting to test this product as backpacking gear, I took the Shoe Savers with me during all of my trips / hikes into the field. I felt it important to test that aspect of use because this is BackpackGearTest.org and I wanted to stay in line with the intent of the name.

Overall, I like this product. I have used it daily and have developed a routine now where I almost instinctively insert the Shoe Savers immediately upon taking off my shoes. I have found them easy to use and in line with the manufacturer's claims. The Shoe Savers were more effective during the earlier testing period as the odor from the cedar was stronger, but I believe that this was more of a cover up scent that was overriding the stinky foot odor smell from my hiking shoes. Nonetheless, the Shoe Savers did reduce the foul shoe odor and replace it with a much more pleasant smell of cedar. I appreciate the reduced drying time when using the Shoe Savers to help soak up moisture from my shoes, but I do not plan on taking them into the field with me any longer. It is rare for me to get my feet that wet where this might be a benefit for me to plan for or to add to my packing list. I would rather save the weight and take something I know I'd use more.

So in short, as a result of my trips, I find little benefit to carrying these into the field except when moving long-term campsites. The weight of the Shoe Savers is not highly noticeable, but it is there and not a compromise I want to make when I am deciding what to load into my pack. I prefer to leave the Shoe Savers at home and have found that these are great for stinky shoes.

CONTINUED USE

I have every intention to continue to use the Stuffitts Shoe Savers. I like the Shoe Savers as an item to use while at home for the odor control of my worse smelling shoes. I am also planning on ordering 4 more pair to give to each of my teen age kids for use in their shoes and it is my hope that they use them daily!

I want to thank Stuffitts Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test this product and I have truly enjoyed the experience. This concludes my report of the Stuffitts Shoe Savers.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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