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LTR- Thorlo Light Hikers - Thomas Vickers

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  • Thomas Vickers
    Thorlos Men s CoolMax® - LIGHT HIKER Crew Socks Long Term Report April 19, 2005 Thomas Vickers 37 years old Male 5 feet 11 inches tall (1.8 meters) 170 lb
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 19, 2005
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      Thorlos Men's CoolMax® - LIGHT HIKER Crew Socks Long Term Report
      April 19, 2005
      Thomas Vickers
      37 years old
      Male
      5 feet 11 inches tall (1.8 meters)
      170 lb (77 kg)
      redroach@...
      Southeast Texas, Houston Area

      Tester Background:
      I grew up in the piney woods of Southeast Texas. Camping was a quick trip
      into the mosquito-infested woods behind the house. My style has evolved and
      over the last 4 or 5 years, I have begun to take a lighter weight approach
      to hiking gear (I still use sleeping bags and tents, just lighter versions).
      While I have flirted with lightweight hiking, I feel that I am more of a
      mid-weight hiker now. My philosophy is one of comfort, while carrying the
      lightest load possible

      Details from Manufacturer:

      Website: http://www.thorlos.com
      Weight: NA
      MSRP: NA
      Sizes available: 11, 13, 15 ( US Shoe size: 5.5 -15/ EU shoe sizes: 38.5-50)
      Colors available: Walnut Heather, Black heather, Everglade Heather, Navy
      Heather
      Fiber content: 52% CoolMax®, 26% THOR·LON® Acrylic, 14% stretch nylon, 5%
      spandex, 3% cotton
      Thorlo protection level: 2
      Special features:
      Lightweight padding in the heel and ball protect the foot from shear and
      impact forces and helps to prevent painful blisters.

      Lace pad protects the top of foot against boot lace pressure.

      Spandex and low density padding in the arch create a snug fit.

      Ventilation panel to improve fit and wicking.
      Details According to Tester:
      Sock size: 13 (Large)
      Sock color: Black Heather
      Shoe size: US 10.5
      Single sock weight: 1.85 oz (52 g)
      Pair of socks weight: 3.70 oz (105 g)
      Style: Crew
      Location:
      South East Texas

      Conditions:
      Humidity - A minimum of approximately 60% humidity so far.
      Rain - Everything from mist to pouring rain, including snow.
      Wind - Dead calm to breezy.
      Temperatures: 28 F to 80 F (-2 C to 21 C)

      Activities:
      Day hikes and weekend hiking/camping trips
      Fishing
      Jogging
      Work
      Geocaching

      To line or not to line:
      I ran into some bad news when I decided to finally try a liner sock with the
      Thorlos Men's CoolMax Light Hiker Crew socks. I used a full fledged Thorlos
      liner (100% CoolMax with padding in the heel and football areas) for this
      part of the test. I was going to spend a long morning geocaching and I
      figured this was a safe thing to do. The temperatures were around 80 F (21
      C) and I can report that the 'sweaty foot' syndrome didn't happened when I
      used a liner sock. I was also happy that the Light Hiker fit over this
      particular liner since I had convinced myself that it was going to fit too
      tightly to accommodate a liner of this weight. Boy was I wrong. The sock
      went on over the liner and felt comfy. It fit my feet and boots very well.
      The problem cropped up after walking about 2 miles (3 km) while searching
      for several caches and it was a nasty hotspot underneath my right heel. It
      was smack dab in the middle of the bottom of my heel and it was not nice. I
      returned home and yanked the socks and liners off. I haven't had a blister
      in several years and I was not happy about this event. I have worn these
      boots with these socks and footbeds with no problems. I have also worn these
      boots, footbeds and liners with other hiking socks with no problems.

      The next step I took was to put both the socks and liners on and try a
      different shoe. I had my daily run coming up ( 2 miles (3 km)), so I put the
      liners on over the socks, inserted the footbeds into my athletic shoes and
      headed off. The hotspot was gone and the socks performed very well during my
      run.

      The good news is that it appeared to be user error rather than a problem
      with the sock and liner combo. Once the liner and sock was put on again and
      pulled up properly I encountered no further problems with hotspots no matter
      what activity I was participating in.

      Final test issues:
      I have worn these socks with a wide variety of shoes and boots while
      participating in a lot of different activities. They are comfortable and
      provide my foot with the padding that I require, but I have decided that I m
      uch prefer them while wearing a liner sock of some sort. Without the liner
      sock, I tend to suffer from sweaty feet as the temperatures rise. This
      makes any sock/shoe combination uncomfortable for me, but I find it
      especially noticeable with the Thorlo Light Hikers. With a liner sock
      though, there is no sweaty feet problem and I really like these socks. I
      originally thought that they were going to be too tight on my feet to allow
      the use of a liner, but I managed to use several thicknesses of liner socks
      with the Thorlo Light Hikers with equal success.

      The Thorlo Light Hikers have proven durable over the test period despite
      what I consider above average use for a pair of my hiking socks. No snags,
      tears, broken elastic or permanent odors have appeared so far. As with any
      sock, they get stinky from prolonged wear, but washing takes care of this
      issue. Since the washing instructions include directions to use fabric
      soften on the socks, I think this helps keep any permanent stink at bay with
      these socks.

      One last test item that I finally got to check on was how well the Thorlo
      Light Hikers air dry. If wet from washing or puddle hopping the Light
      Hikers can be wrung out by hand and they get almost dry over night. The
      "almost" dry is not a problem for me since I have never owned a pair of
      hiking socks that dry completely overnight. The important part is that
      they are dry enough to wear in the morning with liner socks without
      irritating my feet.

      Final thoughts:
      As far as hiking socks go, I really like the Thorlo Light Hikers for low
      impact hiking. Things like day hiking and geocaching where I am not carrying
      a heavy pack seem like the perfect match for these socks. For heavier loads
      and longer trips I still prefer a heavier sock, but for what I do in the
      spring, summer, and fall in Texas, this a great hiking sock. Without a
      liner I would recommend this sock for cooler temperatures (75 F or lower (24
      C)), but with a liner I like this sock all the way up to the mid 80's F (mid
      20's C).

      They hold up well, fit well, and do just what I would expect of Thorlo
      socks. There were no surprises good or bad with this test. The Thorlo
      Light Hikers are dependable and well constructed which is just what I have
      always expected from Thorlos. Last, but not least I do like the rating
      system which Thorlo uses with the Light Hikers. It makes it much more clear
      about just what activities a sock is designed for, especially in the case of
      the Light Hikers, and makes choosing the right sock easier.

      I would recommend this sock to anyone who needs a well constructed sock for
      light hiking activities in any season.
    • Louis Luangkesorn
      Thank you for your report. My apoligies for the delay in responding. Here are some suggestions. In particular, please look at the discussion on liner socks.
      Message 2 of 2 , May 1, 2005
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        Thank you for your report. My apoligies for the delay in responding.
        Here are some suggestions. In particular, please look at the
        discussion on liner socks. Since the liner is an auxiliary to the
        item being tested, it would be helpful to treat it somewhat
        differently. Please repost your edits. Thank you.

        Louis
        --------
        Thorlos Men's CoolMax® - LIGHT HIKER Crew Socks Long Term Report
        April 19, 2005
        Thomas Vickers
        37 years old
        Male
        5 feet 11 inches tall (1.8 meters)
        170 lb (77 kg)
        redroach@...
        Southeast Texas, Houston Area

        Tester Background:
        I grew up in the piney woods of Southeast Texas. Camping was a quick
        trip into the mosquito-infested woods behind the house. My style has
        evolved and over the last 4 or 5 years, I have begun to take a lighter
        weight approach to hiking gear (I still use sleeping bags and tents,
        just lighter versions). While I have flirted with lightweight hiking,
        I feel that I am more of a mid-weight hiker now. My philosophy is one
        of comfort, while carrying the lightest load possible

        Details from Manufacturer:

        <snip>

        To line or not to line:

        EDIT: For the discussion about liners, remember that you are
        evaluating the LIGHT HIKER and the purpose of the liner discussion is
        as a common auxiliary to these socks. I would suggest rewriting this
        section:
        1. Explain why you think a liner would be necessary, i.e. that you
        would sweat a lot while wearing these socs and this causes . . .
        (examples blisters, loss of warmth, discomfort)
        2. How to use this with a liner and how this resolves the issue (if
        it does)
        3. Optional: considerations that would cause using a liner to
        perform poorly, e.g. poor/incorrect use of the liner, wrong type of
        liner, a use of the sock that a liner would not be useful.
        4. What kinds of liner would you use (since you used several, e.g.
        thick or thin


        I ran into some bad news when I decided to finally try a liner sock
        with the Thorlos Men's CoolMax Light Hiker Crew socks. I used a full
        fledged Thorlos liner (100% CoolMax with padding in the heel and
        football areas) for this part of the test. I was going to spend a long
        morning geocaching and I figured this was a safe thing to do. The
        temperatures were around 80 F (21 C) and I can report that the 'sweaty
        foot' syndrome didn't happened when I used a liner sock. I was also
        happy that the Light Hiker fit over this particular liner since I had
        convinced myself that it was going to fit too tightly to accommodate a
        liner of this weight. Boy was I wrong. The sock went on over the liner
        and felt comfy. It fit my feet and boots very well. The problem
        cropped up after walking about 2 miles (3 km) while searching
        for several caches and it was a nasty hotspot underneath my right
        heel. It was smack dab in the middle of the bottom of my heel and it
        was not nice. I returned home and yanked the socks and liners off. I
        haven't had a blister in several years and I was not happy about this
        event. I have worn these boots with these socks and footbeds with no
        problems. I have also worn these boots, footbeds and liners with other
        hiking socks with no problems.

        The next step I took was to put both the socks and liners on and try a
        different shoe. I had my daily run coming up ( 2 miles (3 km)), so I
        put the liners on over the socks, inserted the footbeds into my
        athletic shoes and headed off. The hotspot was gone and the socks
        performed very well during my run.

        The good news is that it appeared to be user error rather than a
        problem with the sock and liner combo. Once the liner and sock was put
        on again and pulled up properly I encountered no further problems with
        hotspots no matter what activity I was participating in.

        Final test issues:
        EDIT: probably 'other test issues'

        I have worn these socks with a wide variety of shoes and boots while
        participating in a lot of different activities. They are comfortable
        and provide my foot with the padding that I require, but I have
        decided that I much prefer them while wearing a liner sock of some
        sort. Without the liner sock, I tend to suffer from sweaty feet as the
        temperatures rise. This makes any sock/shoe combination uncomfortable
        for me, but I find it especially noticeable with the Thorlo Light
        Hikers. With a liner sock though, there is no sweaty feet problem and
        I really like these socks. I originally thought that they were going
        to be too tight on my feet to allow the use of a liner, but I managed
        to use several thicknesses of liner socks with the Thorlo Light Hikers
        with equal success.
        EDIT: this should be folded into the liner discussion above

        The Thorlo Light Hikers have proven durable over the test period
        despite what I consider above average use for a pair of my hiking
        socks. No snags, tears, broken elastic or permanent odors have
        appeared so far. As with any sock, they get stinky from prolonged
        wear, but washing takes care of this issue. Since the washing
        instructions include directions to use fabric soften on the socks, I
        think this helps keep any permanent stink at bay with these socks.

        EDIT: Fabric softener. Do you mean the instructions say to use
        fabric softener when washing the socks, or do the instructions say how
        to use fabric softeners when washing the socks?

        One last test item that I finally got to check on was how well the
        Thorlo Light Hikers air dry. If wet from washing or puddle hopping the
        Light Hikers can be wrung out by hand and they get almost dry over
        night. The "almost" dry is not a problem for me since I have never
        owned a pair of hiking socks that dry completely overnight. The
        important part is that they are dry enough to wear in the morning with
        liner socks without irritating my feet.
        EDIT: What were the conditions when you did the air dry test(s)?

        <snip>
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