OR - Teko socks - Ray
- Hello all,
One last one for the month. HTML may be found here;
Teko EcoMerino Wool Midweight Hiking Socks
By Raymond Estrella
February 06, 2009
NAME: Raymond Estrella
LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in
many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and
average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to
lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike
hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a
freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I
am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.
Manufacturer: Teko LLC
Web site: www.tekosocks.com
Product: EcoMerino Wool Midweight Hiking Socks
Year manufactured: 2007
MSRP: US $18.95
Size reviewed: Large (Men's 9-12 Women's 10-12 US)
Other sizes available: Medium and Extra Large
Color reviewed: Olive and Rust (Also available in Storm and Charcoal)
Weight listed: N/A
Weight per pair (measured): 2.8 oz (79 g)
The Teko EcoMerino Wool Midweight Hiking Socks (hereafter called
Midweights or the socks) are medium weight socks suggested for uses
like backpacking, hiking, ice climbing, mountaineering and
snowshoeing. As I do all but the ice climbing I figured they were made
These 64% EcoMerino Wool, 17% Ecopoly Recycled Polyester, 16% nylon,
and 3% Lycra socks boast a bevy of construction features. The hang tag
that they come with tells of these features along with a lot of
information about the company and their manufacturing philosophy.
While I am not supposed to review these practices I can say that their
stance sits well with me.
The socks have a 3.5 in (9 cm) body (leg) topped by a 1.75 in (4.5 cm)
high seamless cuff. The cuff has fine vertical ribs and is interwoven
with Lycra for support and decreased bunching. At the back of the cuff
is the Teko logo. The body has wider ribbing.
It has what they call a Y-heel, which along with the toe area is
reinforced to add durability. An even denser, more reinforced area is
the all grey sections seen above. It employs a Lin Toe flat toe seam
for smooth fit and comfort.
A triangular area sits to either side. These areas have vents running
lengthwise to add breathability. Above them is a Lycra ribbed area for
comfort and support. The material is woven with terry loops on the
body, along the entire bottom of the socks and around the heel and toe
to provide comfort.
When turned inside-out the Teko name can be seen along with the size
designation of the sock. Either it means that I have a size Large or
it means I got two left socks Here is a diagram courtesy of Teko with
a showing the locations of all the features.
A: Anti-welt double cuff for comfort and fit
B: Interwoven Lycra for support and decreased bunching
C: Lycra holding rib for superior comfort and support
D: Reinforced toe and Y-heel for durability
E: Air vents for breathability
F: Lycra holding rib for superior comfort and support
G: Medium terry cushion from heel to toe
H: Lin Toe flat toe seam for smooth fit and comfort
The care instructions are as follows: Machine wash warm inside-out,
tumble dry low, no iron, no bleach.
Here are some of the trips I have worn the EcoMerino Wool Midweight
I wore them the first day of an overnighter to Mt San Jacinto State
Park where Jenn and I camped at Lower Chinquapin at 9000'. The low was
38 F and the high was 54 F (3 to 12 C) but felt warmer because of the
bright sun. There was still a lot of snow with the trails being about
50% covered. I only put 6 miles (10 km) on the socks here as I was
trying out new boots that I was testing. Starting pack weight 26 lb
Three days later I wore them for the first day of this hellish trip.
This from my hiking log: Dave and I went to Fish Creek trailhead and
took the Pacific Crest Trail to the top of a ridge north of the
Whitewater River and back. It was a grueling 30 mile (58 km) trip.
6000 ft (1829 m) of downhill in new boots with a too-roomy toe-box
made for some bad blisters. We found a pretty nice camp site on
Mission Creek, the low only got down to 57 F (14 C). It was pretty
hot, 86 F (30 C) and the climb back with 10 miles (16 km) of almost
uninterrupted climbing was torture. We crossed creeks and springs 78
times in two days with trails consisting of dirt, sand, scree and
exposed granite. Starting pack weight 28 lb (12.7 kg).
I wore them for the second half of a 41-mile (67 km) extreme day-hike
on the Pacific Crest Trail through the north-east end of the San
Bernardino National Forest and into the Angeles National Forest. This
hike had 8600 ft (2621 m) of elevation gain on terrain that ran the
gamut of sand, packed dirt, shale, loose rock and even some snow.
Temps ran from a chilly 45 F to almost 80 F (7 to 27 C) in weather
that went from wet mist (in clouds) to bright hot sunshine.
The first day of a tough 2-day 11 mi (18 km) trip to the top of Mt San
Jacinto by way of the Marion Mountain Trail. I spent the night in
Little Round Valley. This rough hike gains over 4400 ft (1341 m) in
5.5 miles (9 km) in temps that topped 80 F (27 C). This is where the
picture above was taken.
The next weekend I took Jenn to the same place, but made a three-day
trip out of it, stopping the first day at Little Round Valley where we
made a base camp. I wore the Teko socks the first day and the return
(3rd) day after rinsing them out. Temps ranged from 54 to 81 F (12 to
Next was two days in Yosemite National Park for a very hot and hard 44
miles (71 km) in temps up to 84 F (29 C) with 7790 ft (2374 m) of gain
carrying a 36 lb (16.3 kg) pack.
I wore them on a 23.2 mile (37.4 km) hike in San Gorgonio Wilderness
to Mt San Gorgonio via the Dollar Lake trail. This hike starts at 6680
ft (2040 m) and goes to the summit at 11500 ft (3505 m) elevation. It
is a very rough trail with a lot of loose rock and scree in places.
The trail had a lot of ice in it above 10000 ft (3050 m). The
temperatures only went from 45 to 31 F (7 to -1 C).
Next Jenn and I went to the Ortega Candy Store trailhead and did the
Bear Canyon/Bear Ridge loop in the San Mateo Wilderness. 6.8 miles (11
km) in temps to about 80 F (27 C) on up and down trails that were
either sandy or rocky. We had 1100 ft (335 m) of elevation gain and
loss. Below is a picture from this trip standing (OK, posing) on a
Lastly Dave and I went 27 miles (43 km) on the PCT from Green Valley
to Vasquez Rocks This hike saw 5000 ft (1525 m) of gain as we went
over three passes in temperatures that hit 70 F (21 C). The terrain
was either dirt, scree or rock.
After being impressed by Teko's mini crew socks (see review) I ordered
two pair of midweight and two pairs of heavy weight socks from them.
While I normally like to wear heavy weight socks for my hiking, I
spent much of the summer and early fall of 2008 wearing some Vasque
Kota Mid boots that were too tight to accommodate them. So the Teko
Midweights saw a lot of use with the Kotas. I also wore them with a
pair of Vasque Velocity trail runners on some day-hikes.
Just like Teko's other socks I wrote about, the Midweights had some
ropy looking pilling occur when I first started wearing them. But
again after I pulled it off the pilling stopped occurring. My guess is
that it is just loose wool fibers from the manufacturing process.
The socks are very comfortable and soft. They are not the slightest
bit itchy. The denser areas at the heel and front of the foot stay
springy even after long days in hot boots.
The legs stay up where they are supposed to be too. I hate a droopy
I usually wear a liner sock while hiking, but half the use with the
Kota boots were sans liners. On these trips the Teko socks wicked
moisture away from my feet well. I never experienced any blisters
while wearing them this way. In fact the only blister I had with these
socks on was in Yosemite and it was caused by being forced to go an
extra 9 miles farther than planned and did not stop soon enough to
remedy a spot that my liner sock had bunched up under the Teko sock.
So blame that one on me.
Because I did a lot of hot weather hiking with these socks on, they
have seen a lot of in-camp washing. (Well rinsing would be more
accurate as I do not use soap in the field.) I rinse them a bunch of
times, then wring them as tightly as possible to get most of the water
out. This is much more abusive than the spin cycle in a washing
machine. After wringing I whip them through the air to force remaining
water out of the socks. This too is hard on the fabric. Finally they
are draped on a rock in the sun or hung on a pine branch. The Teko
socks have not lost any of their shape from this rough treatment.
At home I wash and dry them like suggested and have seen no shrinkage
I have midweight merino wool socks from two other manufacturers. There
is a noticeable difference between the feel of the Teko socks compared
to the others. They have more of a bounce to the material. (This is
hard to explain.) This is why I have become a big fan of Teko. While
they are more expensive than others I believe that they last longer
and are more comfortable so it makes them worth it to me.
One thing I really do not care for is the Rust color. It really should
be called orange! I felt like I was wearing hunter safety socks Jenn
called me the Halloween Hiker. Next time all green for me.
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