Friday, October 17, 2008

Shoshone to CMC class & Teva Proton-4 Product Review

Kayaking in October is seldom done in Colorado, except by those who would find themselves in the water every chance they get. October is the time of year when plans for places to go kayaking in the winter are made, and arrangements for a winter of snowy glee are anchored. The changing of seasons takes place as the elemental cycle of the mountains flows from spring runoff to distant rivers and into the Rocky Mountains again for snowsports enthusiasts to awaken. The shifting of hybernation from the essence of living on the river to inner winter passion is whispering in the air and yearning in our souls. Harmonized with the seasonal ebbs and flows of the earth is the passionate spirit of these outdoor athletics. When a skier, kayaker, or snowboarder says “That’s the spirit!” I think that’s what they mean.

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Today was sunny and relatively warm for mid-October. About an hour before Orienteering class with CMC I realized where we would be starting our hike… Grizzly Creek, the take-out of Shoshone! I pulled my things together and was off. It was time to head to the put-in. We have so many opportunities to go places and do things. If kayaking and skiing can be part of the mix, I’m in.

As I changed from Teva sandals to booties, the enticing water nearby was soon to take me through Shoshone to the Colorado Mountain College field-class. Ok, gear on and into the river. The water was cold… cold in the way that really wakes you up… the welcome cold where you feel like you are braving the outdoors with the reminiscent hint of winter on the way… cold penetrating dedication inspiring yearning for the warm water of Costa Rican tropics between seasons.

After lots of recent play boating with a skull cap I was relieved to have gotten from CKS this spring, Shoshone was welcome to be run up right! It felt so rejuvenating to get into the rhythm of the forward stroke last busted out in Gore as I paddled hard to make it to class in time.

Shoshone was a great run as I thought of the 3P: pole, pedal, paddle in Salida that was revived this spring by the Arkansas River Trust after years of being dormant. I had the opportunity to reconnect with my native community through volunteering at a transition station while friends from Summit competed.

Upon arrival at the take-out this was exactly what it was like! I stashed my boat and headed to class.,, up the stairs and under the bridge… yup! The outdoor enthusiast students and instructors were gathering at the trailhead. Ok, with warm sunny weather the capilenes would dry quickly so there was no need to change.

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Oh no! Appropriate shoes? Of course, thoughts of Team Teva trekking in to first descents and isolated mountain creeks were enough to convince me the Teva booties would be great. We set off up the trail, and I immediately realized that the rocky path was an opportunity to break in these new booties and figure out if they’d be of quality for hiking on river trips.

I thought to buy the Teva Proton –4 while playboating in Glenwood Springs. Hobbling barefoot up the sharp rocks to drop in was grueling like a sloth. New booties that would fit in the playboat would be a luxury. Now, the trial question: would these booties hold up hiking into and out of creeks, scouting, and portaging? As the hike continued, especially running down, it was confirmed they would! The traction was welcomed while trailrunning, lightfooted and agile through the rocks. With thick heel reinforcement and toe protection the booties were suitable for hiking through rugged terrain. The arch support was enough to keep my steps stable and in alignment. These shoes were not only comfortable, but sturdy. The Proton-4 booties were made by the company I like, with the comfort I like, the design I like, and the fit I like. Though more at home in the playboat, they were solid on the trail.

"Brooke, Believe in yourself and anything and everything is possible!" ~
Tanya Shuman (Team Teva Paddler)

The Proton-4 did so well from the kayak on Shoshone to Grizzly Creek Trail for orienteering class that I would really like to try out a pair of the P-2 booties sometime. Designed with more of a focus on being sturdy for hiking, these shoes look solid. The mitten-like design for the big toe seems strange. It would be really cool to find out from experience if it really helps with stability through the feet. From a tradition of Teva sandals over the years to the new feminine Kayenta, as well as the quality design of the light-weight Proton-4 to the more hard-core P-2, Tevas are the shoes for me. Are they the shoes for you?

With an active lifestyle on and off the river, footwear you can rely on is essential!

The ideas for the CKS Squad in the invitation sent out this spring mentioned product reviews. After this little adventure today, the Teva Proton-4 booties seemed like a great choice.

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