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Smartwool Hikers Owner Review

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  • sohclara
    Here s an Owner Review of my favorite socks. I found a similar review but of a different model on the site. I didn t have a scale sensitive enough to weigh
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 2, 2004
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      Here's an Owner Review of my favorite socks. I found a similar
      review but of a different model on the site. I didn't have a scale
      sensitive enough to weigh the socks, so i just included the
      Manufacturer's listed price. any feedback is always helpful and

      Smartwool Outdoor Classic Series Socks - Hiker - Owner Review

      Manufacturer: Smartwool
      Product: Outdoor Classic Series Socks - "Hiker" model
      Color: Assorted
      Year of Manufacture: 2000
      URL: http://www.smartwool.com
      Manufacturer listed weight: 2.8 oz (80 gm)
      Material: 70% "Smartwool", 29% nylon, 1% elastic
      Sizes: S, M, L, XL;
      fits women 4 - 12.5/men 6 - 14.5 (US), sizes 2 - 13.5 (UK), sizes 34 -
      49 (Euro)
      MRSP: none given
      Price quoted on 3 online retailers: US$15.95

      My size medium Smartwool Hiker socks rise about 6 inches (15 cm)
      above my ankle to mid-calf height. The outside of the sock is
      smooth, while the inside of the sock is made of small fuzzy loops
      of "Smartwool." I think the fuzzy loops of material keep the socks
      from chafing, and the packaging that came along with my socks quoted
      a money back guarantee against blisters. The top of the socks are
      ringed with a 1/4 inch (.6 cm) of elastic around the top, and the
      socks are thicker on the soles and ankle areas. The thicker insole
      area provides extra cushioning and some mild arch support. The socks
      have "Smartwool" in huge letters on the underside of the socks, which
      I found a little gauche, since I'm not a big fan of ostentatious

      I own 2 pairs of Smartwool Hiker socks and use them whenver I'm
      hiking, snowboarding, or want warm socks. The most rigorous use I
      put them to was during a hike up Table Mountain in Cape Town, South
      Africa, and a climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. On Table
      Mountain, I ignored all advice to consult a detailed map before
      setting off on my hike. Suffice to say I ended up getting
      horrendously lost after dark and spent 14 hours wading through ankle
      deep pools of water and mud, scrambling up and down rocks, and hiking
      through the bush by headlamp. I also was wearing boots that were
      fairly new, and had not quite been broken in. Because I waded
      through so much water, my socks got soaked fairly early into my
      hike. While they were uncomfortable because of the wetness, I was
      shocked when I finally took my shoes and socks off to discover that I
      hadn't gotten a single blister. At that point I knew these were some
      seriously well-made socks.

      During my climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, I also used just one pair of
      Smartwool hiker socks for the 6 day climb. I literally never took my
      socks off, and while they filthy and stinky at the end of the hike,
      they were impressively comfortable for the majority of the trek.
      However, because I didn't wear any sock liners, by the time we
      reached an altitude of about 10,000 ft (3060 m) my feet were
      constantly cold. The day that I summitted, I got a mild case of
      frostbite on one toe. I don't think the socks were designed to be
      used alone on glacier hiking at high altitudes, especially with ill-
      fitting boots. Considering how poorly prepared I was for the climb,
      I credit these socks with saving my feet from further damage. Again,
      after 6 days of heavy hiking and climbing, my feet didn't have a
      single blister. I have had so many other experiences where I have
      hiked in broken, in comfortable boots with regular socks, and have
      almost always gotten a few blisters, so I was very impressed with
      these socks.

      Because these socks are a little thicker than most, and are made of
      mostly natural material (non-synthetic) they take a little longer to
      dry. While hiking, I almost always handwashed my clothes, and hung
      them to dry. I would wring the socks out as much as possible, but
      they were always the last article of clothing that I had to finish
      drying. Back at home, I toss my socks into the washer/dryer without
      a second thought, and they have held up well. Considering how much
      abuse they take while out on a hike, I'm not surprised that they
      don't require special treatment in the wash. The material has gotten
      fuzzier and pilled, but I haven't noticed any decrease in comfort
      level or performance. I can't see any areas where the fabric is
      close to wearing out after 5 years of use.

      Comfort and Fit
      The Smartwool Hiker socks seemed like ordinary socks when I first put
      them on. The only noticeable difference that I could tell was that
      they were a little thicker than regular athletic socks, and the
      thickness varies across different locations on the sock. At first
      glance, they really seemed like nothing special, and I was fairly
      skeptical of the manufacturer's claim that guaranteed "blister free
      hiking" as I am somewhat prone to blisters. The toebox of the socks
      is a little loose, but that could be because I received these socks
      as a present, and would probably have bought a size small instead of
      medium. My feet are also usually always cold, but the Smartwool
      Hikers kept my feet fairly warm at all but extreme temperatures. I
      use thse socks when I snowboard and I've noticed they do a better job
      of keeping my feet warm than my other (Burton) snowboard socks. I
      used them once on a climbing trip, but had to take them off because
      they were too bulky and I couldn't feel the rock in my climbing shoes
      for edging on nubs. However, I always use them for the approach, and
      for general backpacking/hiking use they are extraordinarily
      comfortable. I find that many hiking socks are either too tight
      around the calf, or too loose and slide down. With these Smartwool
      socks, I had neither problem.

      The Smartwool Hiker socks are the best socks I own. While they are
      too bulky for climbing, for all other activities, I don't even think
      about using any other socks. These are the first pair of socks that
      I have hiked in that absolutely prevented blisters. I don't know
      exactly how they do it, but for me, the manufacturer's guarantee for
      blister-free hiking lived up to its promise. They usually keep my
      feet warm and happy, and if I could just learn to be a smarter hiker
      from wearing Smartwool socks, I wouldn't have to test my gear so

      Things I like:
      1. Very comfortable
      2. Prevents blisters
      3. Easy to care for (can be washed with regular laundry)
      4. Very durable

      Things I don't like:
      1. Somewhat expensive
      2. Takes long time to line-dry
      3. Slightly bulky

      Name: Clara Soh
      Age: 26
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5'5" (1.65 m)
      Weight: 120 lbs (54k g)
      Shoe size: US 7.5 (5 UK, 38 European)
      Email Address: sohclara(at)yahoo.com
      City, State, Country: Brooklyn, NY, USA
      Date: 02 January, 2004

      Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking for about 5 years.
      One of my goals is to eventually through-hike the AT. Most of my
      backpacking experience has been overseas, I spent about 3 years in W.
      Africa, sporadically hiking and backpacking. The most beautiful
      places I have been were Zimbabwe, Ghana, Lesotho, and Nepal. I
      climbed Kili a few years ago, and would like to learn more technical
      mountaineering so I can climb more peaks. I also spent a season in
      California in the Sierra Nevadas doing some backcountry
      snowboarding. I'm not a very big person so I can't carry heavy loads
      so I usually get the lightest weight equipment I can find and would
      rather leave things behind than be burdened by a heavy pack. I also
      enjoy rock climbing and travel in general.
    • Graham Blamey
      ... Hi Clara, Thanks for this Owner Review. Just incidentally, don t worry if you want to do a review of a product we already have on file. Reviews of the same
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 3, 2004
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        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "sohclara" <sohclara@y...>
        > Here's an Owner Review of my favorite socks. I found a similar
        > review but of a different model on the site. I didn't have a scale
        > sensitive enough to weigh the socks, so i just included the
        > Manufacturer's listed price. any feedback is always helpful and
        > appreciated.

        Hi Clara, Thanks for this Owner Review.
        Just incidentally, don't worry if you want to do a review of a
        product we already have on file. Reviews of the same product from
        different perspectives are always welcome.

        Do not worry if nothing happens with it for
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