FR: Darn Tough Vermont CoolMax Micro Crew socks - Christensen
- Gail, et al:
Here is my Field Report on the Darn Tough Vermont CoolMax Micro Crew socks. The text version is included below for your review and comment. The HTML file is available via this link: http://snipurl.com/ti0op
Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions. Ryan
November 30, 2009
During the Field Test Phase, I wore the socks approximately twenty-two different days. On average, I wore the socks 12 hours per day. These included one overnight backpacking trip, and numerous days to work and walks around the neighborhood.
Likes Thus Far:
- quality of workmanship
- feel of fabric
- toe seam
Dislikes Thus Far:
- do not wick moisture very well
Field Locations and Test Conditions:
At the end of September, I wore the socks when I accompanied my boys' Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Venturing Crew on an overnight backpacking trip to Aldous and Hancock Lakes. These lakes are north of Kilgore, Idaho near the Continental Divide Trail, in the Centennial Mountains. Located along the Idaho / Montana border, these mountains are one of the few mountain ranges in the United States that run east to west. Aldous Lake is 7,340 ft (2,237 m) above sea level. It is a steep 1 mi (1.6 km) hike from Aldous to Hancock Lake. However, the trail drops down into Hancock Lake, which sits in a bowl formed by a landslide. Weather conditions were ideal, clear skies, no wind, and over night low temperature was near freezing.
I have worn the socks approximately twenty additional days. These have included wearing the socks to work, kicking about, and on my walks around the neighborhood.
The socks have performed very well thus far. On my trip to Aldous and Hancock Lakes, I wore them in a new pair of mid-cut, Gore-Tex lined hiking boots that I literally pulled right out of the box. Although it was not a long hike, the socks provided great comfort and protection from both hot spots and blisters.
The socks continue to fit my feet snugly, but not too tight. I really like how they fit my feet and the support provided by the elasticized arch support. The socks continue to be very comfortable to wear. In addition to the synthetic material, the "cushion" areas located in the toe, heel, and bottom contribute greatly to the overall comfort provided by these socks. Furthermore, the socks stay up on my calf.
COOLMAX is a performance fabric with an effective fiber-based moisture management system. It can wick perspiration away from the body, and through the fabric, where it can evaporate quickly, allowing the wearer to feel cooler and more comfortable. I have worn the socks inside leather, Gore-Tex lined boots. However, my feet feel damper than when I wear merino wool socks with the same boots. I am not sure whether this is due to the socks or the boots, or the combination of the two. Nevertheless, this is something I am going to pay particular attention to during the next phase of the test where I will be wearing these socks in heavier hiking/mountaineering and cross-country ski boots. During the winter months ahead, I will also test how well these socks perform when doubled up for warmth. I have laundered these socks numerous times. They show no signs of fading, pilling or other wear. Overall, I have been very pleased with the socks thus far.
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