Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Food and Wine Blogs

I'm always looking for interesting food and wine blogs. Not that there aren't a plethora of well-written blogs out there, just not many that have really grabbed my attention. One of the problems with food and wine blogs I've found is that either: 1. the blogs are just too serious, 2. they are overwhelming visually, 3. the sites are sporadically published, or 4. the blogs aren't that interesting, regardless of the level of writing.

A few I enjoy: The Noshery (where I got the amazing recipe for the bacon in toast cups in photo above), HoseMaster of Wine, Notes From the Vegan Feast, Just Grapes, Lot 18, Post Punk Kitchen, Everything Is Better With Bacon, Chicago Bites, Smitten Kitchen,  and Punk Domestics, but there have to be more, many more.

Help me out here. What's your favorite food or wine blog?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Branca Barefoot Running Sandals

Brant from Branca sent me a pair of their new leather running sandals ($74, includes free shipping and a free pair of original Brancas, a $40 value) to try out recently. Initially, I was pretty skeptical, though also intrigued. I am definitely in the camp that advocates for some barefoot running within most runner's training plans, but have only dipped my toes into the minimalist running shoe market. However, I'm open to trying new things and this is definitely new for me.

One of the neat things about these sandals is that each pair is unique and made to order from the customer's measurement. The company has upgraded to Vibram Newflex soles and also developed a method to curve the soles so that they don’t flap and bend under the toes. They are constantly upgrading the adhesive that attaches the sole, so the sandals can be repaired if the glue ever fails. According to Branca, these sandals (and other minimalist footwear) reduce the risk of laceration and microbial infection over just running barefoot.

The sandals I received, made of leather, also have the option to add a perforated sole for increased breathability and traction between the foot and sandal, though only 30-40 will be manufactured. The sandals come assembled, but uncut, so that each customer can trim the sandals to the shape of their foot, as shown in the photos below. Nice touch.

The sandals were comfortable from the get-go, though initially the heel straps felt rigid and did not snug the heel particularly well, not unexpected since they are fresh leather. I wore the sandals at home around the house, then spent some time doing yardwork (mowing the lawn, cutting up some branches), before attempting some running. Branca suggests the following progression: Run in the Brancas 1 minute/day the 1st week, 2 minutes/day the 2nd week, 3 minutes a day the 3rd week, and so on. Gradually increasing the duration allows for a safer transition to minimalist running.

Munchkin was so excited by them that he tried to take them for himself, but happily they were too large for him. :)

My overall impressions? These seem to be well-made by a small company based here in the United States. The idea is simple and well-executed, and the customization possibilities are a welcome addition to footwear purchasing options. If you like flip-flops, you'll love the fit of these, with the supporting heel strap for snugness. I thought they had a slight gladiator look, but Laima thought they were a bit feminine looking.

Running: These were very comfortable to wear walking around, so I was excited to try them out running, though I did have some trepidation. Surprisingly, they were very comfortable. Maybe since they are not shoes I didn't have the unsupported feeling one sometimes gets from minimalist footwear, but I definitely felt like I was running barefoot, yet protected from anything I might step on. If you're interested in trying barefoot running but are worried about injuring your feet or stepping into something discgusting, these might be a good option. On the Run Branca Facebook page, a fan shared an alternative way of lacing the sandals, more comfortable, in his opinion. I completely agree, definitely worth trying it out.

You can get more info or purchase sandals at the Branca website and also like them on Facebook.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Branca Barefoot LLC. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give it a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.

Would you like your product reviewed? Contact me at 

Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 Chicago Kids Triathlon

This weekend Tazer and Gaigai participated in the 2011 Chicago Kids Triathlon - some of their friends were there as well, so it was a really great morning. We checked in with no problems and the kids got really cool tech shirts, a nice improvement over last year. This year's theme was "It's Monster Fun!, so all the designs (except. oddly enough ,the race logo) featured a 3-eyed monster a la Monsters, Inc."

The organization seemed a bit better this year, except for the transition area, where there was no direction. It seemed like there must have been a lot of novice parents this year, as MOST of the bikes were set up under the bike racks, rather than to one side or another. It really limited the available spaces, but we managed to find decent spots for the kids to have their bikes together, which was a real plus. We couldn't have asked for nicer weather, with a cool and balmy morning, though it did get hot and windy as the day progressed (we were okay in the shade).

The kids had a great time, the medals were very cool and completely different than last year, so that was neat as well. Both kids felt like they did better than last year and are already recruiting friends for next year. If you're looking for a well-run kids' tri or an introductory adult tri, the Saturday of the Chicago Triathlon offers both, with a Super Sprint available for those just starting out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

RecoFiT Armcooler Compression Sleeve

Susan over at RecoFiT sent over some RecoFiT Armcooler Compression Sleeves ($34.95) for me and Laima to try out. I have to say, these sleeves are amazing. If I hadn't tried them myself, I would have never believed that an arm sleeve could have an air conditioning effect on my arms, but these really do, it's actually kind of bizarre.

The armsleeves feature Xylitol embedded in the fabric (Icefil™ cooling technology) that literally lowers the surface temperature of the skin by up to 6 degrees, light compression, 50-plus UV protection and anti-microbial properties — great for cyclists, triathletes, runners, golfers, tennis players and anyone outside under the hot sun. A fun fact to know: the Icefil™ fabric was developed by Ventex, a Korean textile company, when the military asked it to create something that would disguise soldiers’ body heat from night vision goggles. That is really neat.

Living in the Midwest, it's important to acquire products that can protect us both from the heat and the sun - this is a must-have for anyone who runs during the hottest parts of the year. Since some of my running occurs in the dark, I don't need sun protection as much as heat relief, and these do the trick. However, they do work in the sun, as Laima and I can both attest (read her thoughts over at Women's Endurance Gear). It's also nice that these do double duty as compression gear, for those who appreciate its effect.

Definitely recommended for those who run in the heat or sun, as well as those who like compression gear.

Visit the RecoFiT website and follow RecoFiT on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of RecoFiT. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give it a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.

Would you like your product reviewed? Contact me at 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Return of the Native

Monday, we returned to the States after a 10 day trip to Lithuania. Now I’m not actually a native of Illinois, but it felt like coming home when we landed at O’Hare Airport near Chicago, plus I've lived here long enough and have the ties to fake it. Also, who doesn't have a little bit of a Thomas Hardy fan inside them?

We headed out on our grand adventure and American Airlines immediately dropped the ball, as the plane provided us had some sort of leak inside, necessitating a delay while they scrounged up another plane. This delay, of course, had a cascading effect, as we missed our connecting flight to Vilnius and had to sit in the Helsinki airport for the better part of a day. Add to the fact that every other modern airline offers individual entertainment units, which Airline did not on this flight, nor on the trip home, and my belief that American Airline sucks was not assuaged.

With an amazing amount of foresight, I phoned Hertz to let them know we were delayed and, lo and behold, the local agent had remained open at Vilnius Airport to ensure we got our rental car – he also upgraded us at no charge to a larger vehicle, which was a true lifesaver. (Note to American Airlines – THAT is good customer service.)

We spent several days at my parent’s house outside of Alytus, helping them celebrate 50 years of wedded bliss (or facsimile thereof). With all 5 siblings, attendant spouses and children as well, things were not all peaches and cream, with the inevitable tension and bickering. Overall, however, we made do and enjoyed a nice celebration. Spending those days in bucolic splendor once again makes me want to move to the countryside (having room for a vineyard would just be icing on the cake). Plenty of Lithuanian food and wine (as well as many other cultures) kept us content and placid. Despite not running a step and gorging myself repeatedly, I actually came home lighter than I left, most likely due to becoming dehydrated on the plane trip home or, as Laima suggested, not running meant I had lost muscle tone, replaced it with fat, and therefore was lighter. I'm sticking with the Cepelinai Diet as a miracle weight-loss option.

I also finally got to try out some basic paddleboarding, as my brother had brought his windsurfing board to use on the lake - awesome sport, will now be looking for an old windsurfing board to replicate this experience!

After several days of rural enjoyment, we headed for the port town of Klaipėda, where Laima’s parents own a beautiful apartment smack dab in the heart of the Old Town. You'd have to experience it to believe it when I tell you that there is nothing more confusing than driving in Lithuania, which literally has a sign posted for each intersection, statistics for how dangerous a section of road is, a name for each little rivulet that passes underneath, but cannot post a route number, speed limit, or arrows towards the airport. But I digress. When we got to Klaipėda, Gaigai discovered a map of sculptures scattered about, so we spent several days on a very enjoyable treasure hunt peeking into obscure corners to find all the pieces, 23 in all! We also got in a side trip to Raganų Kalnas (Witches’ Hill), a beautiful dune covered with a forest and endless large wooden sculptures. On another day we took the ferry over to the Baltic Sea, where we were rewarded with an opportunity to pick up small pieces of amber that had been washed ashore, great fun for all of us and a true souvenir. The Tall Ships Fesyival also coincided with our visit, truly impressed by the size of some of these sailboats!

Heading back to my parents, we spent several more days unwinding and preparing to head back to the States. I must say that overall, Lithuania seems cleaner than when we visited several years ago, the people a tad less surly (really, would it kill the Lithuanian population to crack a smile?), and the drivers much less manic. The kids were troopers, hiking endless miles to look at sculptures, sitting on planes and in cars with minimal complaint, and schlepping heavy backpacks (did I mention we went carry-on only?) wherever we dragged them. I really am the luckiest man alive, with an amazing wife and four of the greatest kids any man has ever been blessed with. Ask me again after a couple of days at home though.

The trip home was completely uneventful, though since we were all exhausted, it was still difficult. I must say that American somewhat redeemed themselves by the food on the return flight (amazing, right?) by serving delicious ravioli for dinner and then individual deep-dish pizzas as a late snack before landing. Even the surly service by an angry cabin crew could not take away from a surprisingly tasty treat. So American, even though you suck, you suck a little less than I normally think.

It’s good to be home, somewhat pleasant to be back to work, and I’m looking forward to getting back on track with the blog. LOTS of product reviews over the coming week or so!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Be Back Soon...

I have decided to take some time off from blogging and concentrate on family for a few weeks. My parent's 50th wedding anniversary is coming up, the kids are headed back to school, and summer is almost over (at least for our family).  And then I'll be back: tanned, rested, and ready. Besides training and product reviews, wine and food will make more consistent appearances, along with, hopefully, more family adventures in the great outdoors. I'll continue to share interesting health and nutrition tidbits, along with random items that catch my interest. It's been a while since I made fun of mentioned ChrisK, so that's a definite as well. 
See you in a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I received some PR*BARs to try out some time ago, and have finally gotten around to trying them out.

PR*Bar’s adaptive Fastburn formula eliminates hunger, increases mental focus, and optimizes performance by controlling blood sugars and using body fat for fuel. By controlling blood sugars, PR*Bar’s all natural, gluten-free, awesome tasting product eliminates hunger while using body fat to fuel your daily activities and allows everyone to set their own personal record.

The PR*Bar and Fastburn Nutrition Program are designed to enhance your body’s natural ability to burn body fat while maintaining or increasing lean body mass (LBM). Diets high in carbohydrates can store as much as 40 percent as fat. Diets low in protein can leave you weak and without the nutrients your body needs to help rebuild LBM (muscles, bones, and other tissues). Low-fat, low-protein diets can cause you to feel tired and crave sweets.

The PR*BARs also come with a “personal” nutrition plan, where you have a PR*BAR for breakfast, followed by suggested foods at mid-morning, lunch, a midday meal (another PR*BAR), dinner, and an optional ½ PR*BAR in the evening. I didn’t follow the meal plan, but it looks varied, balanced, and thorough.

The Taste Test (Quotes from the whole family, ages 4-45):

Double Chocolate: “Good, not as sweet as I thought it would be.” “Yummy! Tastes like chocolate!” “Super.”

Yogurt Berry: “Very sweet.” “Not the best…” “Good.” “A little bit too sweet, but smooth and soft.”

Peanut Butter: “#1 – liked it best for texture, crunchiness and that it’s not too sweet.” “Pretty good.” “It’s awesome.” “Not much flavor, crunchy texture.”

Iced Brownie: “MMM – tastes like a brownie!!” “Yummy!” “Awesomely epic, good flavor, my favorite.” “Definitely tastes like brownies, but what’s the white stuff?”

Apple Pie: “Very sweet.” “Wow, amazing!” “Epic.” “My favorite, though it didn’t taste like apples.”

Chocolate Peanut: “Sweet.” “Great – I love it! (2nd favorite).” “Awesome.” “Tastes like KitKat wafer – yummy!”

Overall, it seemed to me like these tended towards being very sweet, maybe too much so for a breakfast item. That, of course, is very subjective. They did, however, make me feel full almost immediately and, at a couple hundred calories, could see how they might help with weight loss. Even though they are touted as all-natural, I was surprised to see such ingredients as partially hydrogenated palm oil, corn syrup, and so on. Their PR material claims that “sugar is sugar – the body doesn’t discriminate,” but from the research I’ve read, that’s not entirely true. However, I’m not a nutritionist, so… If you've got a sweet tooth and want to feel full from a small amount of calories, these really do the trick!

You can follow PR*BAR by visiting the PR*BAR website, liking them on Facebook, and following on Twitter .

(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of PR*Bar, via Kel and Partners. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

Have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Recommended Reads

Summer is winding down and you've gone through your reading list, but you still have time, right? I recently received three books for review, spanning a wide range of topics. All are well-worth picking up, for different reasons.

For the Metrosexual Triathlete within you:

Robert Valdez-Rodriguez' "Men: 10 Essential Skills" (New York, NY: RVR Publishing, 2010) is a primer on 10 things the author wants you to know to be a professional gentlemen. Valdez-Rodriguez (or RVR) doesn't claim to know it all, and has recruited 9 other pros to share their wisdom. From tying a bow tie to driving a stick shift to keeping your girl happy, RVR and his buddies give simple advice on achieving success in 10 skills. Lighthearted and well-meaning, this is a book that can be read in one sitting or one chapter at a time. My 10 year old has picked it up and, while he's years away from playing poker, lighting and smoking a cigar, or driving a stick shift, I'm happy he's getting a heads up on some basic things he might run across in his journey to manhood. Ladies, this isn't your typical Cosmo How-To-Please-Your-Man, but it might be worth paging through anyway.

If you love the outdoors:

John Larison's "Holding Lies" (New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, 2011) is set among the steelhead guides of Oregon's wild Northwest. Larison writes about life on the river, weaving in musings on relationships (guide/client, parent/child, husband/wife, and so on), our impact on nature, and how we treat outsiders. A murder spices things up and adds another layer of complexity to the novel. While I feel it started slowly, the novel is well-worth sticking with, as it slowly builds to its crescendo, with false starts, sidetracks, and clues to the murderer along the way.

For the Baha in you:

Bob Seebohar is well-known in the endurance community as a nutrition coach and endurance enthusiast. He's updated his book, "Nutrition Periodization for Athletes" (Boulder, CO: Bull Publishing Co, 2011) with the most recent research and knowledge he's come across.

This book was a complete shocker for me. I thought I had a decent handle on sports nutrition, well,as much as a layman could, but Seebohar has turned many of my conceptions upside down. Gulp your water, don't sip? Complex carbs are not necessarily better than simple? Wow.

Do you follow the ‘old school’ approach to sports nutrition–only paying attention to food the week or so before a competition? Yeah, I used to and still try to eat a bit better the night before a workout of longer duration. However, this is not enough. Seebohar presents a ‘new school’ approach–an innovative method that allows you to discover the benefits of a year-round, periodized nutrition plan.

Whether you're training for a long-course triathlon, your first century ride, running an ultra, or just want to keep up with your kids, this book should become an indispensable addition to your training plans. A single read-through is nowhere near enough to get more than a surface understanding of what Seebohar is suggesting, but there are so many simple tweaks that can be assimilated one at a time that it would a shame not to take advantage of this read.

Depending on your sport, be it cycling, triathlon, running, or a combination of the above, your nutrition goals may include such as losing or gaining weight or decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. This book will help you do that.

(Disclaimer: I was sent these books for free to review on my blog - courtesy of the publishers. I did not pay for the items, receive payment for these reviews, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company websites, the opinions are my own.)

Have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at

Monday, August 8, 2011

Barefoot Running No More

So after 6 weeks of the 12 week plan, I decided to take a week off barefoot running, which became two weeks, then three. During the break, I don't think there was ever a time when I actually missed having barefoot running as part of my training. In retrospect, there were some things I appreciated about barefoot running, but not missing it shows me quite a bit as well.

So what were the takeaways?
  • Barefoot running really made me conscious of what I was doing, no more autopilot runs where I didn't think about what I was doing.
  • Including barefoot running improved my running form - thinking about bending my knees and focusing on lifting my feet rather than pushing off always makes me feel less tense, though no less dorky.
  • Barefoot running made me slow, which is a good thing, since too many of my runs were at a singular pace, when the LSDs should be much more relaxed than the tempos.
  • Barefoot running never felt "natural" to me, perhaps if I ever ran barefoot on trails or for a complete run it might have been different, but the lacing/unlacing, putting socks on and off became more of a hassle than it was worth. On the positive side, it was good practice for starting up again after a break, which is a useful skill in ultrarunning.
  • Coinicidentally or not, I haven't had much foor or ankle pain in the last few weeks of this 10 week interval. Perhaps the barefooting strengthened my body, perhaps the improved form helped, or maybe it was just a cyclical thing.
So now what?

I think that barefooting will have a place in my training, not sure that it will be the minimum 25% that Barefoot Ken Bob suggests, but there was enough there that once a week or so I think I'll be baring my soles, reconnecting with the ground, and working on my form.

Friday, August 5, 2011


3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ....into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films..... = a trip of a lifetime.
move, eat, learn

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Guest Post: Average Ironman

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” — Theodore Roosevelt


“Could I do that?”

That was the phrase that I could not get out of my head as I stood in Madison, Wisconsin in 2006. It was raining as I stood there watching the finishers cross the finish line. It was my first ever experience with an Ironman and I was cheering on two of my friends from Omaha, Nebraska. They were, in my opinion, crazy. In fact, I couldn’t imagine that I actually even knew someone attempting an Ironman. It had never even so much as crossed my mind that one day I might be the one in the race. I stood on the water’s edge completely in awe as I heard the cannon fire and watched over 2,000 people start the swim at 7 o’clock that morning. The energy in the air was almost tangible. The atmosphere was electric. There was more human emotion in the air than I’d ever witnessed before at any sporting event. The rest of the day only got more intense.

If you’ve never before watched an Ironman in person, you are missing out on the most exciting sport in existence. (This is a proven scientific fact and in no way an exaggeration). As the night gets later and the midnight cutoff approaches, the tension peaks.. Standing at the finish line in Madison, I watched as hundreds of folks poured across the finish line in a steady stream that went on for hours. Some of them did cartwheels. Some cheered. Some cried. There were those who limped, those who sprinted and those who puked. Some looked elated and others looked half-dead. I could not look away. These people had been swimming, biking, and running for nearly seventeen hours. The professionals that won had long since showered, eaten dinner and gone to bed. But for the Average Joe’s still out there on the course, the day was still far from over. I watched dumbfounded as fit twenty-something’s failed to finish in time, as senior citizens completed the race, and as wives, husbands, and children hugged and cheered with their family members as the announcer proclaimed, “You are an Ironman!” It was fantastic. It was the greatest show on earth and it didn’t even charge the spectators for admission.

It set the bar high for sporting events, and ever since I’ve been unable to care about the World Series or the Super Bowl, all of which are now mere smoke and lights with silly half time shows and seventh inning stretches. No one blacks out, pukes, or crawls to the finish line. All I see is million-dollar deals, commercial breaks, and timeouts. These are not sports. These are just games. I had been spoiled by what I’d seen; I had become infected with the Ironman bug. As I watched the show of human emotion spill itself over the finish line, I heard the question in the back of my mind, and asked myself for the first time:

“Could I do that?”

At first I dismissed the question entirely. There were plenty of distractions in my life, such as family and work, that I could use to help silence that haunting question. These were noble distractions. Certainly no one would think less of me for focusing on family and work instead of chasing an endurance event that is certifiably beyond all reason or good sense.

For billions of fortunate people in the world, that seems to be sufficient. They are able to move on and live their lives and forget about the question, or maybe they are blissfully unaware that the question even exists. “Could I do that?” Unfortunately, I was not in that blissful majority that remains immune to the Ironman fever and its haunting, infectious question. “Could I do that?” I was, unfortunately, in the very small minority that must (for better or worse) have that question answered.

This is an excerpt from the upcoming book The Distance: An Average Joe’s Path to Balancing Family Work & Triathlon by David Mills. To pre-order your copy of The Distance go to and follow David on Twitter @AverageIronman.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blood Into Wine

It’s kind of amazing where an interest in wine will take you…

I was in the library the other day and came across a DVD entitled “Blood Into Wine,” a documentary about the Northern Arizona wine industry focusing on Maynard James Keenan and Eric Glomski , who together produce Caduceus wine. Who knew Arizona had wine? It even has a wine trail – the Verde Valley Wine Trail!

If you didn’t know (and many of you might not), Maynard James Keenan (born James Herbert Keenan) is the singer and songwriter of the rock bands Tool and A Perfect Circle with whom he has released five and three studio albums, respectively. In 2003 he created Puscifer as a side project. Since rising to fame, Keenan has been somewhat of a recluse, although he does emerge to support charitable causes and his winemaking endeavors.

Keenan is the current owner of Merkin Vineyards and the associated winery, Caduceus Cellars, and has part ownership of Stronghold Vineyards, all located in Arizona, where he lives.  As the winery began to take off, he began scheduling all records, promoting and touring around the winery's most important weeks shortly after its establishment. From the movie: "The guys know that I've gotta be in Arizona for the harvesting and processing, and then I'll need to be back there again for the bottling. We'll be working our touring schedule around it."

(The caduceus is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology.)

Really fascinating that this part-time recluse and worldwide celebrity (of sorts) has put so much money and energy into this. And in Arizona, of all places. I looked around the Chicago area for a place to buy and try the wine, but to no avail - it appears that there is no distribution in this area.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TrekSta Men's Kisatchie II

This summer, I have had the pleasure of trying out the TrekSta Men's Kisatchie II amphibious shoe. This sandal is now built on the innovative NestFIT last. Plus, it's new lightweight sole makes your water and land excursions all the more enjoyable. Features of this multi-use footwear:

• NestFIT system cradles your feet, accounting for every contour as it follows the natural flow and design of the foot. Upper, insole, midsole, and outsole come together like never before.
• HyperGrip sole provides sure footing for amphibious expeditions.
• Lightweight EVA midsole for cushion and flexibility.
• Rubber toe cap protects against wear and abrasion.
• Perforated EVA insole drains and dries quickly.
• Boa Lacing system locks the foot securely in place.

Like all TrekSta products, this amphibious shoe is overbuilt and appears like it will last forever. The first thing one notices is that this sandal, like other products of theirs, curves, with the longest point at the front at the big or second toe, mimicking the curvature of the human foot. The toe bumper and thick upper give lots of protection while still allowing the feet to breathe and water to drain. The Boa lacing system allows for complete individual preference for tightness – adding to the cradling of the foot by the NestFIT last, this shoe really hugs your foot. The stout sole armors the foot against rocks or other sharp objects, while also gripping the ground, preventing slips and falls.

I’ve worn this shoe in many conditions and even tried running in them – while it was comfortable for me for a short duration, have not tried it for anything longer. The only time this shoe was at all uncomfortable was on a brutally hot day on the Lake Michigan shoreline, when the larger openings allowed burning sand in – I’m not sure that this is a design flaw, as the sand would probably have entered any shoe that was not fully enclosed.

Mud, rocks, water, I even washed the Kisatchie II’s in the washing machine, and they still look brand new out of the box. I look forward to many years of service from this quality American product.

Laima reviewed the Women's Kisatchie II over at Women's Endurance Gear, so head over there to find out what she thought.

More information can be found at the TrekSta website, by subscribing to their channel on YouTube, and liking them on Facebook.

(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Treksta USA. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

Have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at

Running, Skiing, and Endurance Sports -

REI: Gear for the Great Outdoors

UnderArmour - I WILL

Outdoor DIVAS - Adventure Gear for Active Women