LTR - WildernessWear Kosciuszko Socks - Liz Neely
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WildernessWear Kosciuszko Socks
Long Term Report April 30, 2006
<picture of socks in packaging here>
Name: Liz Neely
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 145 lb (65.8 kg)
Email address: liz at armory dot com
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I've been day hiking for many years, and started backpacking in 2005. My hiking
and backpacking has been primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area of California,
on designated trails, with occasional stream crossings. I've been on six
weekend backpacking trips, all in state and national parks in the San Francisco
Bay area. The temperatures I encounter range from 25 F (4 C) to 75 F (24 C),
the elevations are between sea level and 3500 ft (1067 m), and my pack weight
is between 30 to 35 lbs (13.6 to 15.9 kg).
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Materials: 80% Australian Pure Merino Wool, 15% Nylon, 5% Lycra
Listed Weight: not listed
Measured Weight (size 7-11 Aust & UK; 8-13 US)*: 4.5 oz (127.6 gm)
* The packaging and website do not mention whether these sizes are men's or
women's, but, based on fit, my guess is that these are men's sizes.
Available Colors: Black, Blue, Bone, Brunswick Green, Burgundy, Cappuccino,
Cherry, Cobalt, Eggplant, Electric Pink, Ensign Blue, Gold, Graphite, Grey
Marle, Gun Metal, Jade, Lilac, Magenta, Natural, Navy, Oatmeal Fleck, Purple,
MSRP: 18.95 AUD (14.08 USD based on exchange rate on March 7th, 2006)
Care: Turn socks inside out, machine wash warm, do not bleach, do not tumble dry
These socks are Boot Length Socks made primarily of Merino wool, with a small
amount of nylon and Lycra for durability and stretch-ability. These socks are
heavy-duty outdoor socks, ideal for hiking and backpacking.
Here are the features the manufacturer highlights on their website:
Flat toe seam
Y Gore seam keeps the heel in place
Nylon reinforced high abrasion areas
Full Terry cushioning
Lycra in the ankle and arch areas for support
Forward flex support
Double welt band at the top reduces calf
These are some additional features that were advertised on the packaging the
socks were in:
Fully reinforced heel and toe provide increased durability and wear
Ribbed arch for maximum support and stability
High density cushioning for extra comfort and protection
Heavy wicking action draws moisture way from the foot and prevents rubbing and
To read about my initial impression of these socks, before field testing,
please read my Initial Review.
Impression after two months of use:
To read about my impression of these socks after two months of field testing,
please read my Field Report.
Field Information during four month test period:
In addition to the uses of these socks described in my Field Report, I have
worn these socks on three ski trips, one backpacking trip, and a few more days
On the ski trips, the elevations were between 6230 to 9400 ft (1899 to 2865 m)
and the temperatures were between 25 to 32 F (-4 to 0 C). On the backpacking
trip, the elevations were between 1150 to 2600 ft (351 to 792 m) and the
temperatures were between 45 to 68 F (7 to 20 C).
Over the course of the full four month test period, I have worn these socks for
approximately 80 mi (129 km) of backpacking, hiking, and walking, plus three
full days of downhill skiing. The 80 miles (129 km) includes 52 mi (84 km) of
backpacking carrying a 30-36 pound pack, 19 mi (31 km) of day hikes carrying
minimal weight, and 9 mi (14 km) of short walks on city streets and sidewalks.
I have worn them in weather varying from sunny to heavy rain to snow,
temperatures ranging from 25 to 70 F (-4 to 21 C), and elevations ranging from
sea level to 9400 ft (2865 m).
Overall Feelings About These Socks:
One situation I had not tested these socks in until my most recent backpacking
trip was hiking in them while wet. On my most recent backpacking trip, I spent
two days hiking in these socks while they were completely wet. Even while
soaking wet, they remained very comfortable. They still provided enough padding
to keep my feet comfortable while carrying a heavy pack, and they still kept my
feet warm. I did not get any blisters or sore spots during the first day on
which I wore them completely wet for the entire day, which was approximately
nine and a half hours of backpacking. On the third day of this backpacking
trip, I spent about half the day in these socks entirely wet, walking through
water for several hours. I feel that these socks performed as well wet as dry,
however, I must mention that I did find two worn spots on my feet at the end of
this day. My feeling is that these spots were due to my skin being so soft
after four days of hiking in wet boots, and were not related to the performance
of these socks.
In addition to my opinion that these socks perform well when wet, my
impressions about the comfort and fit of these socks remain as I reported in my
Field Report; they are ideal for me in temperatures from 30 to 55 F (-1 to 13
C), there is no problem with itchiness, and, while they are not snug, they fit
well and do not fall down or slip around.
These socks have now been machine washed 13 times, and hand washed a few times.
They have not shrunk or faded at all, and the only wear they are showing is the
pilling noted in my Field Report. The pilling now looks about the same as it
looked in the photo included in my Field Report; it does not appear to have
gotten any worse, and has not affected the performance of the socks at all.
Additionally, none of the stitching or fabric on the socks is showing any signs
of wearing out or breaking down. I feel that these are very durable socks.
In my Field Report, I commented that these socks took a very long time to
air-dry in my humid environment. During the long term test period, I had the
chance to air dry them during a day when the humidity was slightly less humid,
and I found that they did dry faster. The outside humidity was 55 percent, and
while I don't have a way to measure my indoor humidity, I would guess that is
was similar. I found that in this lower humidity, the socks dried in about one
day, hanging outdoors for several hours, and indoors the remainder of the time
I also had the opportunity to try washing and drying them during my most recent
backpacking trip. I washed them in the morning, then hung them off the back of
my pack, to dry while I hiked. I found that this worked fairly well, and at the
end of the day, they were only slightly damp, certainly dry enough to wear the
next day. I believe that washing them on the trail is something that will work
for me at any time of year other than winter, when the temperatures are too
cold and the air too wet to allow them to dry in one day.
I would recommend these socks for someone looking for durable, comfortable,
well padded socks for use in cool temperatures, or for someone looking for
socks that perform well when wet. I would not recommend these socks for use in
warm temperatures because they do tend to make my feet hot when it's warm
Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and WildernessWear for giving me the opportunity
to test these socks.