Weaknesses: Bad fit and double skin is fiddly. The only sock that has given me blisters!
Overall: Not a great sock. In theory the double skin should work, but even after fiddling with them on several occasions to make sure boths skins were smooth, they still kept giving me blisters. The heel also kept slipping under my foot, causing further blisters. I normally NEVER get blisters, so not positive about this sock.
Overall: An ok sock, and very durable. I bought one pair to try a couple of years ago, but have not bought any more, as I foudn the sock too thick and bulky. I suppose this is because of the padding, which some people may find helpful, but even in an unpadded fell shoe I find this sock too thick for my liking. It also makes the toes feel squashed, because the toe is overly padded as well. All in all, an ok sock, but because of the thickness of the padding this one does not suit me.
Strengths: Great fit, extremely hardwearing, have had my oldest pair for over two years and I run about 35/40 miles a week.
Weaknesses: Its colour, they go grey and grimey after a few times washing, but frankly this does not matter!
Overall: A great sock, very comfortable fit with padding in the right places. They have never given blisters, not even when wet from running through bogs or rivers. Extremely good sock for both road and off road running. They have carried me through three marathons and lots of fell races!
Strengths: Brilliant divice for measuring speed and distance and keeping me well paced in both training and racing.
Weaknesses: It takes a long time to log onto the satellites in a built up area and it looses signal under trees. Heartrate monitor strap is uncomfortable.
Overall: A great tool for pacing your racing and training. Until I got my 301, I kept getting injured and have disappointing race results, as I was incapable of estimating my pace, so I was never quite aware of how hard I was training and how I was not racing hard enough!
The 301 is easy to use, with an intuitive menu. I have only once consulted the manual. It works well on the laptop with both motionbased and the Garmin's own software. I purposefully choose the 301 over the 305, as the 305 does not fit my wrist as well as the 301. The heartrate monitor strap is not as comfortable to wear as I would like, too many hard bits. Also, it really needs to be wetted well and I often have to fiddle with it in the first couple of kilometers of a run before it registers the heartrate accurately. Other than that, an excellent tool for racing and training. It has transformed my running!
'GREAT ALL ROUND SHOE, GOOD BOTH OFF AND ON ROAD.'
Strengths: The fact that I can also run on the road on it for several miles, without problems. It has great grip off road on wet rock, mud and grass. It also is comfortable allbeit a bit heavy and ploddy on the road. I'd say you can run 10k in them without a problem on tarmac. The guy who sold them to me ran a marathon in them when he had forgotten his road shoes!
Weaknesses: I did get some blisters on the inside of my big toes and side of the balls of my feet. Never had blisters from running before! Think the toebox is a bit roomy for me.
Overall: Great all round shoe, good support and grip on and off road.
Weaknesses: Very basic stopwatch function, so not so suitable for running. Also, needs calibrating for each loaction for the altimeter and compass to work properly.
Overall: I bought this to keep track of how much altitude I was gaining and losing in a days climbing in the Himalayas, to avoid altitude sickness and to better navigate. It does do a great job! I have used the compass function, a bit awkward as, to use it properly, you need to take the watch off your wrist to use it. The altimeter is great and easy to use. It has a nifty little screen on your watch where you can see how many metres you are gaining per minute, which I like. At high altitude you don't want to climb too much... also, it has a great logbook function that stores a whole days worth of climbing for you, so you can evaluate later on how much you have climbed and descended in a day. The barometer is good, as it helps you predict weather changes. The functions on this watch are great for climbing and hill walking. The stopwatch is a bit basic, but does the job as long as you don't want to record split times. Initially I did not find it easy to use, I had to study the manual a few times to work out how to do things with the Vector. However, once you get to grips with which of the four buttons to push for which function, it is easy to use. A bit bulky on my wrist though, and I am not a dainty girl! I use the Vector for running but now that I am running more seriously I find the lack of split time facility lets it down for running. Still, a great watch for mountaineering though and good value for money! I never travel without it!