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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baselayer Pantalones - 3/4 or Full?

I've been wearing  full length base layer pants for as long as I can remember. They're always a little too long, but I never thought too much about it. Until - this year.

At the beginning of the season I was fit for new snowboarding boots. They are the first new boots I have bought in years and the heat moldable inserts and custom footbeds are apparently the norm now - so exciting! I did the "stand still for five minutes" act to mold them, fit some SuperFeet liners into the bottom, and hit the slopes. The first day was miserable. MISerable. My shins hurt, the boots didn't seem to be living up to their promise of comfort, and I was swearing the day I bought them!

Randomly, one of my friends told me to lift up my pant let and show them my baselayer/sock combo. Smartwool lightweight pants? Check. Smartwool thin yet lightly padded shinsock? Check! Same as always - pant legs tucked into my socks, foot inserted into boot. Does this sound familiar? My friend quickly pointed out that I should pull my pant legs up and out from my socks and keep them up OUT of the boots. At that point I was willing to try anything so I did - worked. My boots fit better and the rest of the day went AHmazingly well. 

The moral of the story is - 3/4 length pants rock. Why had no one mentioned this to me before? What about you - are you a full length pant fan or have you attempted the 3/4? What other minor tweaks have you made to up your comfort level?


Red Fox

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Socks - keeping feet warm since forever.

In my house there has always been a division between me - the Darn Tough Vermont sock wearer and my pre-hubby (for those of you not in the know, that means "fiance" in Fox) - the Smartwool champion of the PNW.

And in the left corner....! I was introduced to DTVT years ago while at a tradeshow in Fort Campbell, KY. Believe it or not, the AC got stuck on "freeze" and all of us attendees were miserable. The previous year the opposite had happened - it was hot as heck! So there I was, in capris and flip flops, freezing my butt off. Luckily, the DTVT rep was just down the aisle and tossed me a pair of boot socks. I was a firm believer from then on! I personally go with the Over-The-Calf Padded for snowboarding days or the No Show Mesh for my workouts and on normal days.

And in the opposing corner...! On the other hand, the p-hubs was also a hardcore DTVT fan as they're from VT - and he's from ME. Northeastern's have to stick together you know. (He's also a hardcore Boston Redsox fan... you can throw tomatoes at any time.) He was turned on to Smartwool in 2009 and never looked back. As a runner, he wears their PhD Running Light Micro as well as the PhD Outdoor Light Micro. He actually has a few socks he has run straight through after multiple years of wear - YEARS. How they stayed around so long I'll never know.

So the other day I ran out of clean socks. You know, it just happens sometimes. I only wear socks when I'm working out (generally in flips or some other kind of 'no sock required' shoe the other times, in case you were worried) so I don't usually count on running out of them. No worries - I'll just steal some from P-Hubs!

  1. Steal cutest pair.
  2. Insert foot.
  3. Go out for run.

AMAZING. Fantastic! Oh so squishy comfortable! I hate to admit it DTVT fans, but I was instantly switched. The achilles heel padding is extremely nice and also helps to prevent slippage. The wool was softer than soft and fit nice and tightly to my foot so I didn't get sock-bunch when I pulled on my shoe. From there - it was as if Pandora herself had come and thrown open the sock drawer. Next time I went out snowboarding I used the Smartwool PhD Snowboard Medium because I happen to like a little shin cushion. They didn't slip down ONCE, which was obviously fantastic. Then came the hats, and a scarf for Christmas, and then new baselayers...oh my!

Needless to say - our household has made a full transition. What about yours? Which side of the fence do you fall on? Or are you out in left field with a totally different foot preference?

Oh - I almost forgot. My tried and true reminder: wash them well! You know what I'm saying - ReviveX Wool Wash. Do it.

Yours in adventure -

Red Fox

Monday, February 20, 2012

I {heart} boobies! But not the bounce...

So there are two things on my mind: a) how am I going to get my puppy, who refuses to be housebroken, to potty outside and b) HOW COULD SHE eat my CW-X all-time-most-favorite-ever sports bra?! (I've tried the Moving Comfort (various, Juno, Fiona, Cara,...not impressed, or should I say was impressed over Champion's run of the mill pull-over until I learned better!)

I was thinking about these two primary thoughts while I was on my run this morning, fuming over the fact that my new (adopted) puppy chewed through one of the straps on my (can I say it again?? ALL TIME VERY\MOST favorite) sports bra. I run/walk/hike/snowboard/kickbox just about every day so an amazing sports bra is an absolute must! I also receive Outside, Fitness, Self, Shape, and Women’sHealth magazines, read them cover to cover, and pour over the “Best Sports Bra of 20XX!” articles each one produces at some point each year. They’ve been no help for me personally…but an advertisement in Women’s Health did lead to my discovery of THE best bra ever – the CW-X XTRA Support Bra II.

Every year, most women hunt for THE perfect boots. (Admit it, you know what I’m talking about., and I’m not necessarily an exception.) Although for me, I’m generally on the hunt for the perfect sports bra. I’m a small framed (32) yet larger chested (and you thought I was going to tell you) chick and the one-piece wonders you can pick up at Target just don’t do it for me.

In my very overly honest opinion, the CW-X bras (by Wacoal – you know, the amazing yet expensive line of every day bras you can find at Nordstrom…they must know their boobies) get passed over almost every time as THE most amazing bra ever. A bonus? They’ve higher cut in the front so when you’re doing your downward-facing dog you’re not going to lose any coverage!

Runners will know CW-X because of their supportive garments (key word – support) such as their compression tights, socks, and tanks.  I know them by my hoards of their XTRA Support Bra II. Yes, they’re expensive. Yes, they can be impossible to find in-store making online ordering difficult. (For the record, I’ve found that they fit pretty spot on with my normal bra size.) However, they are worth the investment – and so is your health! I won’t go into a PSA about how boobie bounce may be “hot” for the guy on the treadmill next to you while leaving you with saggy super-old woman boobs ten years down the line, but just check these out. Your girls will be happy, the bras last forever (this is not a warranty statement) if you treat them carefully and wash them with McNett’sReviveX Synthetic Wash (don't believe the "washer safe" if you want longevity - this goes for any piece of elite athletic wear). And please, I beg of you – keep them away from puppy-reach!!

In no way do I represent CW-X, I just appreciate the solid line of high-impact sports bras that they have gifted to the world.  If you don’t believe me – check out their testimonials. If this made you decide to invest in one – let me know! Did you love it or hate it?

*Sheepleg is currently looking into carrying CW-X. Stay tuned for an update! Also check out their compression running pants - a must for knee or compartment related injuries! Plus, they make you look fast. 

Yours in adventure -

Red Fox

The title of my post came from a sighting of one of those "I {heart} boobies" bracelets that support The Keep A Breast foundation. They are doing an important job educating young people on the importance of early detection! Please check out their website and educate yourself or the person next to you. 

It's dark, dreary, and raining - where am I? Guess!

Oh yeah folks, you guessed it. I'm in, near, or around Seattle. I'm a Washington native - born and raised. I've tried living in the midwest (Nebraska) but it was toooo cold. I gave my hand at DC/Virginia but it was toooo hot. So I find myself remaining in Washington - where it's juuuusst right. ("Doom and gloom" aside.)

I go by Red Fox - or to some of you, Romeo Foxtrot. It's an old nickname I earned by being born with reddish hair and a quick wit. I also went through a sayings-phase when I used the phrase "like a fox!" as much as possible, but that's another story...

So here I am - stuck in the Pacific Northwest with nothing to do but hike, bike, kayak, backpack, snowboard - ok well, you get the idea. I don't have professional outdoor-person credentials, but I do have a lifetime of adventures and a knack for gear. That being said - I will be doing guest posts here at Sheepleg about my random adventures, my personal quests for specific equipment, new gear (sometimes old gear), and anything else in between. 

Please come here knowing that I will give you my honest and unbiased personal opinion and that I am not endorsed by a single manufacturer! Also, my opinion may not reflect that of the Sheepleg management. If you are curious to have my opinion on something - let me know! However, please keep requests respectful, we will be moderating comments. :) 

**If you have questions about Sheepleg, and order you want to/did place, or anything relating to the purchase of gear, please reach out to the right people back at HQ. Their contact info can be found here.