Hopefully we've all read Alicia's post on what the TS expectations are for a good review. In a more recent topic there was a bit of differing opinion from those of us in the peanut gallery regarding when a review should be done, and what the expectations are. Much of the opinions seemed in-line with Alicia's post, though some (even a moderator) seemed like they were MUCH more critical about what they feel needs to be done for reviews here at TS. Based on some of that more critical feedback (especially the moderator), I'm doing less reviews but am making the effort to add more depth.
After reading the thoughts in that last topic, I was still left with the question of when a review should be done. Personally I think a review is a good thing if you have anything utilitarian to share at all... really, just that simple. I won't vote up a review that tells me they don't like the color, but it would be helpful to know that a hat is hot pink, rather than the red you'd see on the manufacturer's website. (I actually had this issue - the hot pink hat got returned) :)
So now I have a situation, and what better way to explore my "when to review?" question than a specific example? Case in point, I did a review on some Merrell boots some time back that didn't seem to get received too well. I have to think that was at least partially because I hadn't given them too much use at that point, but who knows. As the weather improves, I've been getting more trail miles and I thought I'd do a side-by-side review of a new pair of inov-8 trail shoes with my Merrells. The inov-8 shoes proved to be as grippy as their reputation suggests (like WOW, really), but after two trips and 17 miles I just couldn't wear them anymore. After two trips it doesn't seem like that qualifies for what folks around here are looking for. Without launching into a full review here, I can tell you that inov-8 shoes have a fit issue with at least certain types of foot shapes. As I continued on with the trail miles, I stopped using the inov-8 shoes and just focused on the Merrells. The Merrells now have almost 50 trail miles on them and about 12,000 feet of ascent. It's clear which one of these two are better in my book. Thanks to REI for taking back the inov-8 shoes.
I just updated the Merrell boot review to reflect what I've learned. Check it out and let me know what you think or if you have questions.
For this topic, my question is: would you all like to hear from me about the inov-8 shoes or not? If I was considering purchasing a pair of inov-8 shoes, I'd like to read a dissenting opinion. However, it seems (from the last topic on this subject) that two trips and 17 miles may not be enough experience to qualify for a review.
Please weigh in: what do you think?