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Trial Run – December 2000

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The compliments I received when sporting my Alpine Mocs after the season’s first snowfall had to do with their striking looks. But what struck me is how comfortable, lightweight, and warm these slip-ons are — perfect footwear for après-ski or nippy days. No surprise, given their sleeping-baglike construction — a shell of water-resistant, quilted nylon lightly filled with synthetic insulation with a snug Lycra and neoprene collar. Add the sole — a crisscross pattern of sticky rubber — and I’ll be sure-footed, not to mention styling, for winters to come. –Cindy Hirschfeld $75/Merrell/888-637-7001www.merrellboot.com

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I often find myself trapped between jacket sizes, with large being too big and medium just a shade constricting. HardCorps’ Cobra jacket, offered in traditional men’s suit sizes from 36 to 46, let me find the just-my-size fit. Lightweight and simple, the Cobra typifies the ideal spring jacket. Yet with strategic layering, it excelled during the coldest and wettest of ski days, thanks to its waterproof-breathable shell fabric, full-wrap fleece collar, and zip-off hood. Additional heat was generated by the Cobra’s smokin’ color options, like wasabi green (shown). –Mark North$320/HardCorps/800-937-7462www.hardcorps.com

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Briko’s new Alpha Metal goggle served me especially well on those last few runs before cocktail hour. A new photochromic lens treatment changes the lens color and the light absorption depending on the intensity of the sun. When light gets low, the lens gets lighter; and when it’s bright, the lens gets darker. The lens also filters out blue light, bringing out even more contrast when the light got flat. The goggle’s venting worked well even with a helmet, and its compact, well-cushioned frame fit me snugly. –Iseult Devlin$99/Briko USA/800-GOBRIKOwww.brikousa.com