Women's X-Hale Trail Diva Socks
Series by Jennifer Koles
Skip to my Initial
Report- April 27, 2009
Skip to my Field
Report- July 7, 2009
Skip to my Long Term
Report- August 29, 2009
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Shoe size: US Women's 8-9
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California,
After getting into the outdoors
scene camping while 4-wheeling and day-hiking, I switched
to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked
extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California,
Pennsylvania and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting
my base weight to be able to go longer in duration and
distance. I have done so mainly by using better gear
and dumping heavy luxuries. I backpack year round in
all weather, and usually take a free standing tent and
a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.
The author in the Narrows at Zion
National Park, Utah.
Trail Diva Socks
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer Website: www.bridgedale.com
None indicated on the manufacturer's website or
Actual Weight: 1.65 oz (46 g)
Sizes Available: Small US 4-6,
Medium US 6 1/2-8, Large US 8 1/2-10 (European
and UK sizing information is available on the
Size Tested: Medium US 6 1/2-8,
UK 5-6 1/2, Europe 38-40
Available Colors: Heather/damson,
Color Tested: Natural/blueberry
MSRP: Not indicated
on the manufacturer's website
Care: The recommended
washing instructions on the packaging are as follows.
"For best results wash inside out. Wash dark
colors separately. Do not use fabric conditioner.
40 C (104 F) wool cycle. Do not bleach. Do not
iron. Tumble dry on LOW Heat. Do not dry clean."
The Bridgedale Women's X-Hale
Trail Diva Socks are part of the Fast and Light
Series of the Bridgedale sock line-up. The manufacturer
indicates on the product website that this series
of socks "are designed to be worn with lighter
more breathable footwear in warmer conditions
and during more fast moving activities. Whether
hiking in the Summer, adventure racing or training
The Trail Diva Socks have a cushion
rating of 2 (lightweight) out of a maximum of
5 and a warmth rating of 1.5 (cooler) out of a
maximum of 5.
The socks are made of 44% nylon/polyamide,
27% Merino wool, 27% Endurofil/polypropylene, and 2%
Lycra/elastane. The Lycra is knitted under the arch
and above the heel to prevent the sock slipping down
while in use. Lycra is also used in the cuffs of the
socks to help them stay up.
These socks have a double cuff and
are 3/4 height (crew type of sock). There are supportive
weaved ribbed bands that surround the socks at the ankles
and the mid-portion of the socks, supporting the arches.
The bony prominences of the ankles (the malleolus) are
cushioned with extra padding. There is also extra padding
on the Achilles tendon, the heel bone, the toe region,
and the bony prominences below the large toe and the
small toe (this also covers the ball of the foot). The
area of extra padding is a combination of a light and
dark blue color. The rest of the sock is a medium gray
The socks have two small Tactel mesh
woven areas on the bottom and a larger area on the top.
These areas are woven in dark gray and appear to have
a larger weave than the rest of the socks. The
Bridgedale name is woven in dark gray near the toes.
The sizing of the socks is woven in dark gray on the
bottom just below the toe area.
The Trail Diva Socks are manufactured
with Merino wool and Endurofil. The purpose of the Merino
wool is to absorb moisture and the Endurofil is to help
wick the moisture away. This is Bridgedale's WoolFusion
technology. This technology is claimed to result in
socks that perform at the highest level. The WoolFusion
technology is claimed to provide supreme lasting comfort.
This technology is unique to the manufacturer.
The socks have an anti-compression T2
knitted loop construction that is claimed to rebound
the cushioning by using a resilient inner loop to help
the outer loop stay aloft, the end result being optimized
padding without bulk.
I was quite surprised on how much
padding these socks have for being designed as
a light-weight sock. I like the extra padding
on the normal wear areas and the bony prominences
of my feet. Since these socks have extra padding
I have no fear of using them with my mid-height
backpacking boots or with my trail runners while
carrying my fully loaded backpack.
I looked at the socks on the manufacturer's website
and the information about the fibers, sizing information,
and the sock warranty was not listed on the main
product page for the Trail Diva socks. The only
information on the product page was the colors
that are available. I would have liked to see
some product information/specifications about
the socks listed. The information used in my report
was obtained from the sock packaging.
The size medium socks fit perfectly. They are
not too snug even though I normally wear a women's
US size 8-9 shoes and boots. I did not want to
try the large size as I was afraid that the heel
would be too big and the socks would not be snug
enough for my liking.
The socks are soft against my feet and I did
not feel any itching from the Merino wool. I can
feel the extra padding against my feet and it
has a soft cushiony, supportive feel.
During the field reporting phase the Women's
X-Hale Trail Diva socks were worn in the following locations.
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, California: I
wore the Diva's on two day hikes to this park during the testing
period. They were worn with trail runners and low boots. The
day hikes ranged from 3-5 mi (5-8 km) at a starting elevation
of 800 ft (244 m). The temperatures ranged from 65 F (18
C) to 85 F (29 C) on my visits to the park. I also wore the
Diva's during a mountain bike ride in this park.
Aliso and Wood Canyon Regional Park, California: I
wore the Diva's while mountain biking and with my low boots
for a 5 mi (8 km) day hike after my mountain bike ride. The
high temperature was around 77 F (25 C) and the average elevation
was 300 ft (91 m).
Wasatch-Cache Mountain National Forest, Utah: On
one day-hike in the area totaling 5 mi (8 km). The temperatures
were in the mid 40's to low 70's F (7 to 21 C) and it was
partly cloudy to raining. The Diva's were worn with low boots
at a starting elevation of 7,760 ft (2,365 m).
Huntington Beach, California: I wore the
Diva's for 7 days with my trail runners on the beach path
during my fitness walks. The temperatures were in the mid
70's F (24 C). Typically I walked 4 mi (6 km) on the beach
path which is located at sea level.
Costa Mesa, California: During evening fitness
walks on the river trail and my usual loop around the neighborhood.
Typically the walks were 3 mi (5 km) in length at an elevation
below 100 ft (30 m).
Performance in the Field
I must say that so far
I am very impressed with the Bridgedale Women's
X-Hale Trail Diva socks. The socks are what I would
consider to be a great lightweight blend for summer activities.
The main body is vented enough for ventilation in the
summer heat. But there is also enough cushioning to
help prevent blisters and to increase comfort, especially
in the high wear areas of the socks.
I received two pairs of socks to test, but I have only
worn one pair of the socks, primarily to test the durability
and the wear. They have been worn with trail runners
and mid-height lightweight hiking boots. When I wear
them with my trail runners the more highly cushioned
areas (blue areas) are highly visible on my foot. This
does not have the most fashionable appearance. In my
personal opinion I would rather the socks to have a more
subtle change of color for the more cushioned areas.
During the field report phase of my testing
the socks have been washed almost after each time I
wore them. There are times I worn them for two days just
to see if there was any odd odor. They do not smell odd
after being worn, even with perspiration and when they
became wet. No stinky wool smell here! I would have
to estimate that they were washed over 20 times. I tried
to remember to turn them inside out when washing them,
but there are times I forgot. They were dried in the
dryer or overnight on a drying rack. They were not stiff
when air dried at room temperature. The Diva socks have
not shrunk or stretched out yet. The elastic cuffs still
give enough support to prevent the socks from migrating
down my legs. The Lycra knitted around the arches
and above the heels is not stretched out and is still
keeping the socks from slipping down. The Diva socks
now have a slight fuzzy appearance, and this is most
noticeable in the high cushioned areas (blue areas).
The extra cushioning of the socks seems to
be targeted for all the right areas. The heels, balls of the
feet, toes, and the ankles have this extra padding. My mid-height
hiking boots were causing blisters on the one heel of my foot
and the Diva's provided the extra padding needed to help prevent
further hot spots and blisters. I actually love all the extra
cushioning in a sock that is intended for summer use.
During the past two months the Diva socks
were worn on one backpacking trip, three hiking trips, around
town, mountain biking, and on the beach path (rollerblading
and walking). I wore the socks about 25 times during the
Wasatch-Cache Mountain National Forest,
Utah: I wore the Diva socks here on two day-hikes
that turned into night hikes. The hikes were from
4 to 6 mi (6 to 10 km) in length. The temperatures ranged from
the upper 50's F (10 C) to the upper 60's F (16 C).
The elevation range was from 8,200 ft (2,499 m) to 10,220 ft
San Jacinto State Park, California:
This was originally a backpacking trip that turned into a day
hike, due to me having an injured toe. The high temperature
was 78 F (26 C) and sunny skies. The high elevation was 9,400
ft (2,865 m).
Yosemite National Park, California:
Three days backpacking in Yosemite National Park. The temperatures
ranged from 43 to 80 F (6 to 27 C) mostly sunny skies except
for a thunder, rain, and graupel storm our first afternoon.
The trails were mostly dirt, rock, and wet rock down the Mist
Trail. The trip was approximately 20 mi (32 km). The starting
elevation was 8,600 ft (2,621 m). I wore the Diva socks the
first day, at night, and around camp.
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, California:
The Diva socks were worn at Whiting Ranch Wilderness
Park while mountain biking two times during the testing period.
The temperatures ranged from 70 F (39 C) to 92 F (51 C).
Huntington Beach, California: I
wore the Diva's for 6 days with my trail runners on the beach
path during my fitness walks. The temperatures were in the upper
70's F (24 C) to low 80's (27 C). I also wore them three times
while rollerblading at this location.
in the Field
I am very pleased with the performance of the
Diva socks. The only thing I can possibly complain about is
the eye sore of the contrasting colors of the cushioned areas.
They hold their shape, do not stink or stretch, have great cushioning,
and are not too warm for summer use.
During the long term reporting phase I wore
the Diva socks with my trail runners and with my mid-height
hiking boots. There is nothing really new to report from my
field report. The socks have good ventilation and help keep
moisture off my feet. I encountered a blister while wearing
them with my mid-height hiking boots. But, I do not necessarily
believe this is from the socks since I got blisters in those
boots while wearing other socks.
I also had the opportunity to try the socks
while mountain biking and rollerblading. My feet were comfortable
while wearing the socks during these activities.
My feet were slightly warm while wearing them rollerblading,
just because my rollerblades do not offer much ventilation.
However, the extra cushioning of the socks was a plus. As
it helped dampen the vibration from rollerblading. While mountain
biking I tend to hike some sections of the trail. The socks
were more comfortable than my light weight biking socks.
This is because of the extra cushioning. I had no ventilation
issues and my shoes still fit even though the Diva socks are
slightly thicker than my biking socks.
The socks have not stretched or shrunk during
the entire testing period. I was concerned that the ribbed
bands would stretch, but that is not the case. The socks stay
up in place and the ribbed bands around my arches provide a
supportive feel. There is a fuzzy appearance on the cushioned
areas of the socks, but this is not affecting the performance
of the socks. I washed the socks at camp and they dried in
the sun within a few hours. During the testing period I washed
the socks at home over 15 times.
Things That Rock:
- No odor
- They did not stretch out or shrink
Things That Are So-So:
- The contrasting colors of the cushioned
I am very pleased with the Women's
X-Hale Trail Diva socks. They are lightweight, comfortable,
breathable, do not stink, and provide padding in the areas
that I feel I need it most.
my reporting on the Women's X-Hale Trail Diva
Socks. A thank you goes to Bridgedale Outdoor Limited and backpackgeartest.org
for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.