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Old 01-29-2007, 03:02 PM   #1
daLunartik
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Stabalicers: Sport vs Pro model

Product Tested: Stabalicers Sport and Pro models

Price paid, where purchased: I purchased the Stabalicer Sports inadvertanly, thinking they were the Pro model. I purchased the Sport model for $39 from MountainGear.com (w/free shipping), and I beleive I purchased the Stablicer Pro model in fall of 2005 for around the same price from REI.

Size/Weight: The Sport model was purchased in Small for a womens size 5.5 and the Pro's were purchased in a medium for mens size 9.5

Similar products tried: N/A

How long/where tested:Sport model, 1 hike, 5 miles of open bushwhacking in the Catskills. Pro model, multiple hikes, 30+ miles of mixed trail and bushwhacking

Rating 1 to 5: Sport Model: 4, Pro Model, 5

Summary: The Sport Model uses a stretchy plastic to stick to the toe and heel of your boot, and comes with a set of velcro straps to attach to your ankles to prevent them from coming off. Additinally, the foot bed is not complete, and is similar to a crampon, with a toe/ball of foot and heel bed, and running plastic strip between. Screw heads are positioned around the heel and toe perimeters.

The Pro Model attaches to your boot via a toe and ankle velcro straps. They have a full, vibram sole that is studded with almost twice the screws the Sport Model has.

On a short bushwhack up North Dome in the Catskills, I wore Stabalicer Pro's, while my hiking companion wore the Sport Model. Both the Pro and Sport model provided adequate traction on the mixed terrain. We both seemed to slide in the same spots, and stick in the same spots, though I expect the additional screw heads on the Pro model might make for a sticker grip.

Once I strapped on the Pro model, I never touched 'em again till I got back to the car. On the other hand, my hiking companion started off with the Sport model minus the velcro ankle attachment. On more than one occasion, they did come off and needed to be put back on. Only one velcro strap was readily accessible, so most of the hike, one was velcroed, the other was not. The velcroed Stabalicer stayed on for most of the trip, while the unvelcroed one came off repeadetly (including needed to back track to pick it up).

Both my hiking partner and I agreed that for $10, the Pro model is the appropriate choice for hiking. If you do go with the Sport model, be sure to use the ankle strap - if nothing else, it prevents the stabalicers from completely coming off and getting lost.
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