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Monday, March 19, 2012

Mechanix M-Pact Trail Fail Test

Have picked up trail running, a few add hazards came into play from down hill sprinting. After taking a fall and shredding my hand in some small gravel, I thought a little hand protection may suit me well, especially since my natural reaction was to do a slide hands first after going air born. Sure the elbows and knees get in the way along the way of a good splash in the dirt, but those scrapes were rather minor and less a hindrance for daily activities. 

Mechanix M-PACT Fingerless After Shot
After gathering some recommendations and a quick look around online I settled on Mechanix M-PACT gloves. I gave them a call just to get a little background and suggestion. I liked the fingerless version since it gets quite hot on the mountains of Phoenix and figured a bit of venting would help in keeping my hands too sweaty. The sales rep told me otherwise and suggested the entire glove for full protection. Being a pain in the ass, you can see here that I went with my initial inclination. 

The padding on the palm and rubber top give a lot of protection, especially if you have big hands and tend to scrape your knuckles when reaching into top spaces. In my case I was prone to smacking my swinging knuckles into the mountains rock face or pushing off it when coming around a tight curve in the trail. The all around protection worked great without a problem. I had been meaning to do a review on the gloves since they turned out to fit great and form to the hand well. I figured I would wait till I had a good fall to see how things turned out and it only took about 4 months before I tripped on a down hill sprint yesterday and had a good slide into some good sized rocks. 

Hands Sans Glove After Fall
Needless to say the sales rep was right in the assumption to have full finger protection. Some decent sized rocks stopped my downward momentum which I caught with my left shoulder and right hand. For some reason I always have a good laugh a these events, while being pissed that I lost focus enough to not pick up my feet. Then you have to do a quick damage assessment to see if there is any blood involved. Not too shabby with a few scrapes on side of my left leg and elbow, along with a bruised shoulder. I decided to finish the run to get cleaned up fast before the adrenaline wore off and avoid any infection from possible dog or horse excrement possible ground into the dirt, which is a common site on my runs of these trails. Half way down I felt the blood dripping down my thumb realizing the tip hand been ripped back and impacted with some dirt or who knows what. 

M-PACT Gloves Ready to Go
The gloves were certainly none the worse for wear. They definitely saved my palm which you can see in the second photo. Its a bit tender now, but no bruising to speak of. I cleaned out the thumb and bandaged it up, but I am pretty sure this would not have been an issue or would have been saved from scraping out dirt with a subsequent alcohol bath had I listened to the experts. Obviously this is no tragic event and probably will happen a few more times in the future, but the gloves performed their function and I can now dole out some more cash on gloves to make up for being pig headed. 

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