Zhik 360 Grip II boot? Poor quality - yes this is Laser related

thieuster

Active Member
Thread starter #1
Normally I wouldn't write on an open forum about a 'below par' product. Certainly not about a personal gear item in relation to Laser sailing. However... in this case there's a connection (pun intended) between the shoes and the boat.

For years, Zhik Hiking straps were readily available and were a great product. Until they stopped producing them and replaced them for the Grip II: a strap with a 'velcro-ish' underside. The idea was (is) to combine the hiking strap with a pair of Zhik's 360 Grip II shoes. The shoes have a velcro-ish upper layer. You guessed it: the sticky parts interconnect.

The idea is great: the contact between one's feet and the hiking strap is better, providing better hiking. And in real life, it works perfectly. But...

...the quality of the shoes ( 150 euros) is abominable! They last one month before they fall apart.

Then they look as if they've been run over by an Abrams Tank. Everything gives up: laces, sole, upper parts. Fresh water, salt water. No matter what. The construction of the shoes' inner side is worse than the outside. As if the inside of the shoes isn't well designed and not strong enough. In general, Zhik produces good stuff: they wetsuits, PFD's etc are all well worth the money. They last two seasons (with 100+ days sailing/year). But this is garbage.

All's quiet on the Aussie (Zhik) side of things. Emails aren't answered until now. Currently, the shoes are unobtainable. There's talk about a new shoe in September. All I know that it's more expensive...

There you have it: one cannot use other shoes with the Grip II hiking strap. So, think before you buy a new hiking strap for your Laser!!!

Menno


 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#3
The Zhik website crashes my browser before any pictures show up :confused:

But isn't the "II" the "studded" strap? Why couldn't you use it with any footwear? (Probably wouldn't work with bare feet :D )

_
 

thieuster

Active Member
Thread starter #4
But isn't the "II" the "studded" strap? Why couldn't you use it with any footwear?
With other footwear, it acts differently: it gets more slippery and therefore more difficult to hike. It's indeed the 'studded strap'. :( when using it with bare feet.

I know that some other hiking straps leave 'burn marks' on feet when sailing without shoes on. A few years back we went to Bandol with the (then) oppi team. Weather was fine, one of the kids sailed with bare feet. Later that day, one of the accompanying mothers ( she is a paediatrician) had to come into action because bare feet, burn marks and salt water don't mix well!
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#5
With other footwear, it acts differently: it gets more slippery and therefore more difficult to hike. It's indeed the 'studded strap'. :( when using it with bare feet.

I know that some other hiking straps leave 'burn marks' on feet when sailing without shoes on. A few years back we went to Bandol with the (then) oppi team. Weather was fine, one of the kids sailed with bare feet. Later that day, one of the accompanying mothers ( she is a paediatrician) had to come into action because bare feet, burn marks and salt water don't mix well!

Yep. Conner Byrne, (2006 Irish National Champ) now lives in Columbia, SC. Anyway, he contacted me and I set him up with a boat to come race a regatta in Charleston. The boat had a new Intensity hiking strap. He had what appeared to be diving or surfing neoprene booties that were below the ankle. He had to quit after the first two races on Saturday as the edges of the strap were about to rip the tops of his feet apart! The next day I let him use a spare pair of Zhik boots I have and no foot issues. Fortunately my feet are the same size as the 2006 Irish National Champ!
 
#7
So, think before you buy a new hiking strap for your Laser!!!
You could always use an old cargo strap off an 18 wheeler truck. They are stiff enough that they don’t double over while hiking and the material is course enough to provide good grip. I’ve always used these or something similar.
 
#8
Hey comrades,
I've been using the 360 boots with the matching 'studded' hiking strap for the past 2.5 seasons and all is well.

The only issue is that the base of the large velcro strap on the boots is showing small signs of separating from the boot - but that is probably because I used to hang them up (to dry) by the velco straps.
I have stopped doing this now.

Michael in NZ.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#9
my original Zhik strap is at least 10 years old and still works great.
Same here. I've had mine for five years but bought it as a spare much earlier. I almost always use Gill boots with it. (Which are almost 15 years old, and are only now beginning to fall apart.)

On the Lightning, I recently changed the traditional athwartships strap to fore-and-aft Roosters for the forward crew (me). I often wear 2012-vintage slipper-style Zhik shoes as well in that class.

_
 
#10
With other footwear, it acts differently: it gets more slippery and therefore more difficult to hike. It's indeed the 'studded strap'. :( when using it with bare feet.

I know that some other hiking straps leave 'burn marks' on feet when sailing without shoes on. A few years back we went to Bandol with the (then) oppi team. Weather was fine, one of the kids sailed with bare feet. Later that day, one of the accompanying mothers ( she is a paediatrician) had to come into action because bare feet, burn marks and salt water don't mix well!
I disagree. I am one of the top US junior and sailed for about 6 months with a Zhik II strap and normal zhik boots with no issues. When the normal boots got worn out I got a pair of boots with the grip and they work fine.
 
#11
No doubt Zhik makes some great stuff. I’m sure I would love hiking on one of their straps. But I would hate for some kid out there to think that they have to have a delux padded strap. Save the money for a good breakfast and regatta registration, or a new sail. I use the strap below with Hiking boots. I found the material in the shed behind my house. Used a hack saw to cut the metal ring off. Burn the holes in the strap with a hot nail.
 

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thieuster

Active Member
Thread starter #12
No doubt Zhik makes some great stuff. I’m sure I would love hiking on one of their straps. But I would hate for some kid out there to think that they have to have a delux padded strap. Save the money for a good breakfast and regatta registration, or a new sail. I use the strap below with Hiking boots. I found the material in the shed behind my house. Used a hack saw to cut the metal ring off. Burn the holes in the strap with a hot nail.


/QUOTE]
Nice!

I disagree. I am one of the top US junior and sailed for about 6 months with a Zhik II strap and normal zhik boots with no issues. When the normal boots got worn out I got a pair of boots with the grip and they work fine.
Perhaps it's a matter of different shoe brands. Windesign and Grip II don't go well together. Apart from the fact that the Windesign are better shoes. (I guess, I'll have to ask the owner of Windesign to come up with stubbed Windesign shoes...)

BTW, what was your end result in Kingston? Any success?
 
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