EZEEFIT ANKLE BOOTIES
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
July 14, 2012
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
Manufacturer: eZeefit Sports
Year of Manufacture: 2011
|Manufacturer's Website: http://www.ezeefitsports.com|
MSRP: US $15.95 to 19.95 (depending on thickness **
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 0.5 oz (14 g)
Colors Available and Reviewed: Reversible Black/Red
Sizes Available: XS (youth to 5), S (women's 5-9), M/L (men's 7-12), XL (men's 12-14)
Size Reviewed: Small
Three Thicknesses: Ultrathin, 2mm , 3mm
Material Used: Ultrathin - custom bonded lycra
2mm - superflex hi-tech neoprene with "micro-plush" lining
3mm - standard neoprene, superlfex hi-tech neoprene & "micro-plush" lining
Thickness Reviewed: Ultrathin
|Photo Courtesy eZeefit|
At first glance the eZeefit ankle booties look rather odd. The bootie consists of two pieces of black fabric stitched together with contrasting deep red thread in an overstitch, almost honey-comb pattern. The seams are flat-lock construction so there is no overlap or bulk at the seams. This forms a sort of "sleeve". From top to bottom, the bootie measures 5.75 inches (15 cm) with a circumference of 7 inches (17 cm).
Three openings are formed by the material - one at the top, another smaller one at one corner and the third which is the largest of the three at the corner opposite the smallest one. The openings are not hemmed or overstitched but "raw" edges.
In white and red, the eZeefit sports.com logo can be seen just below the top opening of the bootie on the outside of the foot. The logo is one of those "hot peel" transfers that feels slightly raised and - for lack of a better word - rubbery.
Inside the bootie is a finished red lining that is bonded to the outer covering so the bootie can be worn inside-out as well.
FIELD USE AND PERFORMANCE
Locations and Weather Conditions
Over the last 11 months, I've put a good bit of miles/kilometers on these ankle booties; I estimate about 100 miles (160 km), wearing a backpack weighing anything from 5 lb (2 kg) to 25 lb (11 kg) and averaging 15-17 lb (7-8 kg).
| ||Outside of the state of Colorado, I was able to wear these booties on a 2011 mid-September trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Wyoming and a two-day backpack in Dinosaur National Monument, in Utah. In-state, but out of my immediate local area, the booties were worn on a two-night snowshoe near Rocky Mountain National Park in December 28-30, 2011.|
However, most of my day hikes and short overnights (1-2 nights) were spent exploring the Bureau of Land Management wilderness that abuts our northern property line. There are thousands of acres/hectares of the Rocky Mountains between us and Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. This land ranges in elevation from 5400 ft (1600 km) to 14,000 ft (4300 km) at Pikes Peak. I'd say that average elevation for overnights is around 6000 ft (1800 km).
As would be expected, the rough terrain is often very rocky with lots of limestone boulders for climbing on and around and granite slopes to slip on. However, I'm almost just as often in very dusty, powdery dirt and there are large tracts of broken up shale in exposed areas.
Vegetation in the mountains is very typical of the high desert of southern Colorado - heavy old-growth juniper, pinon pine and cactus, both cholla and prickly pear with the odd small barrel cactus thrown in. The valleys between the ridges have been especially dry this past year, so the floor is dusty and sparsely populated with scrubby grasses.
And speaking of dry, which about sums up the weather conditions these booties have seen - lots of dust, and no moisture other than lots of snow on snowshoe hikes. Looking over my notes, not once did I encounter rain while backpacking or dayhiking.
The above listed trips were supplemented with lots of casual usage at home. Living out in the boonies on a building site means dirt, rocks and desert vegetation - prickly stuff. And when there has been rain, we have the stickiest mud on earth. I mean the kind of mud that sucks the shoes right off my feet - no kidding! No cute sandals for me! If I step out my door, I've got boots on and if I have boots on, I have the eZeefit ankle booties on. I also wear the ankle booties when running on a treadmill and when riding horses.
Putting the ankle booties on for the first time was enlightening. Looking at them, I was skeptical as to how my size 7.5 (US women's) foot was going to fit into the top and bottom openings. Actually, putting the booties on was effortless. I just gathered one bootie from top to bottom as I would with a sock and put my foot through the two openings. Once I wiggled the scrunched up bootie over my arch, I simply pulled the top (cuff) up and over my ankle and adjusted the heel opening. I felt the bootie to be comfortable right from the start. Surprisingly, even though one seam runs right up the back of my heel and the other is centered over the front of my foot, I've never had any irritation or rubbing from those seams. The smooth outer surface of the bootie allows my socks to glide right over the top of them. I wear mid-to-heavy-weight wool or wool-blend socks at all times.
When I first received the booties I actually had a blister under a callus on the outside of my left heel. This developed after some hard treadmill training on a 15% grade incline in preparation for a planned 16-mile (26 km) uphill hike. My foot hurt like crazy and I was really worried about the upcoming hike. I couldn't afford to stop training by waiting for the blister to subside. With high hopes, I tried on the booties and although they felt odd, it was a "good" odd. I'm not going to say my blister magically stopped hurting and instantly healed. It didn't. But what the booties did do was allow me to continue hard walking without favoring my left foot, without having my socks continue to abrade my heel and giving the blister a chance to go away. I was able to complete my backpack as planned and I became an eZeefit convert for life!
It seemed like having a "hole" at the very back of my heel might actually cause blisters as that part of the skin is exposed to my socks. However, the minimal thickness of the bootie is just enough to actually prevent the skin from rubbing my socks by lifting my skin ever-so-slightly off the sock. I have yet to develop any blisters, experience any hot spots or even notice any irritation at all since I began wearing the booties.
For me, an additional side benefit of these being "ankle" booties is the height over the booties means just an extra bit of support around sometimes wobbly ankles.
As I expected, the ankle booties get sweaty and wet after a hard day on the trail, particularly when temperatures are over 80 F (27 C). I always wear heavy to mid-weight wool or wool blend socks, no matter what the temperature is for protection from the prickly-stickies and for extra padding and sole support. After a couple of days on the trail, the booties need to be washed. I've rinsed them out in cold water in streams and I've hand washed as well as machine washed them at home. The booties get tossed in with the rest of my outdoor clothing and are washed with a tech wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. After an hour or so in the sunlight, the booties are air-dried.
The booties have not faded, stretched nor shrunk after dozens of washings. The only evidence of age is the peeling of the logo.
1.) Keeps my heels blister and callus-free.
2.) Adds support for my ankles.
3.) Dries out quickly when washed and/or from sweating.
1.) After wearing for a year and over 2 dozen washings, the stenciled logo is peeling off.
When backpacking, hiking or participating in any strenuous activity, I don't want to be aware of any part of my body. If I am, it is probably because that part hurts! Not a good thing to be sure and the last body part I want to hurt when backpacking is my feet. Blisters are not an acceptable "no pain, no gain" result on the trail.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
With the eZeefit Ankle Booties, I don't have to worry about blisters or annoying hot spots any more. That's what the manufacturer promises and that's what they deliver. My feet thank you, eZeefit!
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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