SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Keep Knees in Line with Sleeves Ergodyne

Go ahead, admit it. Your knees aren’t quite what they used to be.

Forget discussing other body parts, focus on your knees. Years of grinding away on dirt and snowshoe trails, pushing forward regardless of the challenge, has extracted a toll not unlike those charged by so-called sane lanes of traffic, those special ones where you’ve got to take the day’s receipts and pay for the privilege to drive.

Governments want your money; pay up. Pain wants relief. Sleeve up.

You’ll recognize a challenge when it reflects as a wobble in the joint connecting the leg bone to the thigh bone as the song goes; what we affectionately call a knee. Or, in pain it’s more like “neigheeee,” a horse-like sound that will startle those running nearby.
“You alright over there?”

“Yeah, sure, just a tenderness twitch in my knee,” as you double over in insane pain.

You can now relieve with a Knee Sleeve (top photo), a creation of the Ergodyne Tenacious Work Gear products think-tank. This team thinks in terms of “battle tested” and “heavy metal thunder,” just the ticket for helping snowshoers and trail runners survive grueling USSSA National Snowshoe Championship courses or steep hill climbs on ranges that just sound hard like, say, the Rockies.

“But I’ll just go to the corner market and pick up a wrap, and that’ll fix it.” Yeah, sure. “And the check is in the mail” will satisfy the IRS, too, right? Wrong!

The supports from Ergodyne are made for the job whether in a plant or the forest. There is no second chance; you can’t do it, you’re a goner. So when they say their “gear you use on the job has to be as top-notch and tough as you are,” they’re not joking around, which means it’s good enough to use in your favorite sports. These are not foo-foo products; they’re made to make you whole again, to allow your knees and other joints to work properly with support and comfort.

Best of all, they do. I’ve worn mine in heavy lifting, hill climbing, trail running, and a moving project with the experience that once slipped on, you forget it’s even there. But your knee or other joints don’t because they reward you with pain-free operation for your task at hand.

Ergodyne designed versions of knee sleeves with and without cutouts and with and without double layers of protection. I tested the No. 615 Knee Sleeve open patella and anterior pad. It is simple to use, just slipping it up the leg like a sock with no toes. Position where comfortable on your leg, and off you go. The neoprene sleeve stays right where you put it as the design conforms to your leg’s natural shape plus the material has a natural four-way stretch property. With double thickness protection on the leading edge, your knee is provided enhanced protection like when kneeling.

Workmanship is impeccable, and the fitting works perfectly.

Cleaning after a dirty trail run is easy. Just slip the sleeve with stinky into a cold-water sinky, or a cold-water gentle wash works, too. Hang to dry, and then you’re ready to rock again.

Should you need additional knee and quad support, they offer enhanced buckling systems with spiral stays, too (see lower photo), with plenty of soft fits. Similar designs are available for elbows, wrist supports, and back supports.

Crossover products like Ergodyne’s, where they’re made as work gear but used for sports applications, are particularly interesting because they’re often built stronger and tougher, which means they last and work even better out in the wild. They say it in a different way: “When the job demands more from you, demand more from your gear. Always put the best stuff in the universe between you and the task at hand.” Or said another way, let Ergodyne take you beyond the reaches of the tree line.

See more of the Ergodyne Knee Sleeve . . . and other helpful products for attacking one’s trials on trails: http://bit.ly/kx99Av

write phillipgary@snowshoemag.com

visit Phillip’s author’s page for Ultra Superior, the book, and HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life: www.amzn.to/dIdqQw.

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About Phillip Gary Smith

Phillip Gary Smith, Senior Editor, published "The 300-Mile Man" about Roberto Marron's historic doubling of the Tuscobia 150 mile endurance snow run. He publishes "iHarmonizing Competition" on various forms of competition including drag racing, his favorite motor sport. Earlier, he wrote "HARMONIZING:Keys to Living in the Song of Life" as a manual for life with chapters such as Winning by Losing, Can God Pay Your Visa Bill?, and a young classic story, The Year I Met a Christmas Angel. His book, "Ultra Superior," is the first written on the Superior Trail ultra distance events. He mixes writing with his profession--the venture capital world--a dying art. He is a creator of CUBE Speakers, a group espousing themes in "HARMONIZING:Keys" in a unique way. Currently he has two books in the works. Twitter: @iHarmonizing