Steger Moosehide Mukluks are the ultimate winter boot. That’s
why they’re routinely used on major expeditions in the Arctic, Antarctica, and
for events like the Iditarod.
Patti Steger, Steger Mukluk owner and Mukluker-in-Chief, wore them for the
first time on an Arctic
expedition in 1982. That's also when she learned to sew them. By 1985, just three years after that expedition, Steger was making Mukluks out of her house for people
who would provide their own leather. Now, 27 years later, she has a staff of
30, and makes 12,000-14,000 pairs every year.
One selling point that's held since the beginning: They’re twice as warm and half the
weight of traditional winter boots. Made in the northern Cree Indian style,
they have durable, flexible treaded rubber soles, and they stay flexible and
supple for years. "Remember that flexibility, breathability and
insulation are the keys to warm feet," Steger says. "One pound of weight on your feet equals
five pounds on your lower back. Heavier doesn’t mean warmer."
The moosehide and canvas Arctic
model is the top choice for expeditions, and Steger’s warmest Mukluk with the most
Unlike traditional snowboard
bindings that use two ratchet straps to secure your boot to your binding,
K2's National uses Auto, a new device that tightens both front and rear straps with a single ratchet.
Auto saves weight and ups the
speed and ease of strapping in. It's simple in theory, but the mechanics
are unique and fairly complex. An overbuilt ratchet on the upper
strap is cabled to the front, underneath the binding. Tighten the top strap, and the Auto simultaneously tightens the toe. It’s slick and hassle-free, which means speedy strap-in on-the-fly with fewer moving parts, whether you're putting your board on or taking it off.
We're still digging through our notes from Interbike. In addition to our Gear of the Show picks, a flurry of cool new bikes, and stacks of interesting-looking accessories, we also saw lots of good looking new apparel in Vegas. Here's a sampler of what we can't wait to wear.
RAPHA LONG SLEEVE BREVET JERSEY ($300) Just in time for autumn, Rapha unveils a sharp, new full-length rendition of its pavement-tested Brevet jersey. That's brevet, as in 200-kilometer-plus randonneuring rides, which explains the voluminous storage, including the standard triple back pockets and two zipper compartments, front and rear. The high-vis pink and white stripes are stylish but tame enough for most riders, while the included matching pink vest might be a bit much for some. We love the looks of both, and we'll be riding in them all fall to see if they're as comfy as they are fetching.
Boyscout blades are a dime a dozen,
but SOG’s Blade Light Folder (BLT-50N) takes camping knives to a new level.
steel-blade folding knife has six LED lights, three molded into the handle on
either side of the blade, to light up whatever it is you’re slicing shadow-free.
Fold the blade up when you’re done fileting your fish or cutting your Camembert
for the evening, and you have a 35-lumen flashlight—bright enough to get you to
the outhouse and back to your tent.
The knife takes two standard AAA batteries
that power the lights for about 4.5 hours. When you don't need 'em, you can turn the lights off with a simple push button.
Though the complete bikes are the lowest hanging fruit at Interbike, the show floor is full of parts and components bling. Here's a collection of small bits and pieces that we're most psyched to try out in the coming months.
STAGES CYCLING STAGE ONE ($700) Newcomers to the cycling market Stage One have unveiled a power meter poised to revolutionize the market. This direct-measure unit (as opposed to other similarly priced devices that extrapolate data based on an algorithm) is just 20 grams, comes installed in a slightly modified left crank arm (with more than a dozen models available), and will retail for just $700 (less than half of other similar meters). And given the in-crank placement of the device, gathering data in both training and racing should be as simple as flip-flopping left cranks between bikes.