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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Bridgedale Bambo Crew Socks > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes

Bridgedale Bamboo Crew Socks
Test Report Series by Coy Starnes
Initial Report: May 11, 2010
Field Report: July 12, 2010
Long Term Report: September 12, 2010
 
bamboo socks
Bridgedale Bamboo socks


Tester Coy Starnes
Gender Male
Age 48
Weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Shoe size Mens's 12
Height 6 ft (1.8 m)
E-Mail starnescr@yahoo.com
Location Grant, Alabama, USA

Tester Biography
I live in Northeast Alabama.  I enjoy hunting, fishing, canoeing, and most other outdoor activities but backpacking is my favorite pastime.  I enjoy hiking with friends and family or solo.  I hike throughout the year and actually hike less in the hot humid months of summer.  My style is slow and steady and my gear is light.  However, I will sacrifice weight for comfort and durability.  A typical 3-season load for me is around 20 lb (9 kg) not counting food or water.

Initial Report: May 11, 2010

Item Bridgedale Bamboo Men’s Crew
Manufacturer Bridgedale Outdoor Ltd
Year of Manufacture 2010
URL http://www.bridgedale.com/
Made of 35% Viscose from Bamboo, 35% Coolmax® / polyester, 29% Nylon / polyamide, 1% Lycra® / elastane
Size Mens Large (UK 9-11.5; EU 44-47; US 10-12.5)
Listed Weight N/A
Measured Weight 2.6 oz (74 g)
Color Natural/eucalyptus (Natural/chocolate available)

Product Description
The Bridgedale Bamboo Men’s Crew socks are what I generally consider a summer weight boot sock.  In other words, tall enough for most boots but not real thick or tall like most winter boot socks.  In fact, the website has a chart rating their socks for warmth and cushion and these socks fall right in the middle of the chart in both categories. The real interesting thing to me is the use of bamboo.  I have heard of clothing being made from this material but not socks.  The website has this to say "This cool, comfortable Crew sock is knit using a combination of Viscose- from- Bamboo and Coolmax®, this offers cushioned comfort for lifestyle, sport and everyday activities. Bridgedale unique construction ensures moisture is wicked away leaving the socks feeling silky soft and your feet comfortable all day."

I'll add that the socks are thicker on the sole and up over the toe area, plus a little ways up the back in the heel area.  The thicker areas are darker in color (eucalyptus) while the rest of the sock is the natural color listed.  The word "bridgedale" appears in orange just above the toe area and there is an
orange letter L showing on the underside, again up near the front of the sock.  These are both made using some orange yarn as I can see the fuzz it created on
the inside of the sock.

Warranty
"If you are not completely satisfied with the quality and performance of your Bridgedale socks at any time within 1 year of purchase, return them to the place of purchase together with your proof of purchase for exchange."


Initial Impression
The  socks are pretty much what I expected after viewing and reading the online information.  They appear well made and do have a soft feel about them.  A brief fit test confirmed the size Large is a good choice for me.

bamboo socks on a hike
Bridgedale Bamboo socks on first hike

Early Testing
I managed a short hike in the socks the day they arrived.  This hike was a short one, covering about 3 miles (5 km) in a little over an hour and a half.  It was around 81 F (27 C) but very humid on the hike and I sweated a lot but the socks were pretty dry when I got home.   I am also breaking in a pair of new boots so this was a good chance to see how well the socks cushion, especially in the heel area where my boots are still a little stiff. The socks performed admirably and they did not sag during this hike.  I don't know if the cushioning at the heels helped much or if the boots are just getting more broken in but this was the best hike as far as boot comfort goes in the new boots.
first hike
thicker area at heel barely sticking above boot top

Anyways, after getting home I rested about an hour, then went for a 15 mile (24 km) bike ride. I wore some low top running shoes for the ride.  It had cooled off to about 77 F (25 C) by now but I sweated even more than when hiking and my shirt was soaked by the end of the ride. When I got home I checked the socks again and this time they felt damp but when I pulled them off my feet felt dry.

Summary
I am pretty satisfied with the wicking ability of the socks so far.  They fit well and were comfortable on a short hike.  It is a little early to make any more comments.   

This concludes my Initial Report. Please stay tuned for the Field Report which should be forthcoming in approximately two months from now. I would also like to thank Bridgedale and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test these socks.

Field Report: July 12, 2010
bamboo socks on a hike
The Brigedale Bamboo socks taking a break...

Test Locations and Conditions
I have worn the socks on two overnighters so far.  Both trips were in the woods near my home.   The one on May the 17th saw a high of 77 F (25 C) and a low of bamboo sock59 F (15 C). The next trip was on June the 4th and saw a high of 84 F (29 C) and a low of 66 F (19 C).  I hiked about 4 miles (6 km) total on each trip. The warmest conditions encountered were on July the 11th.  This was on a dayhike down to the creek and up the other side, then back down and up again headed home.   This was for some exercise and covered about 5 miles at a pretty brisk pace. It was 94 F (34 C) when I left the house at 1 PM and 96 F (36 C) by the time I got back home at 3:30 PM. I have worn the socks on several other similar hikes but I usually left the house at around 5 PM to miss the worst of the heat. I have also worn the socks on a several of my recumbent bike rides which usually last around an hour to an hour and a half (ride time) plus another hour or so getting ready and unready, plus a few short breaks during the rides. And last but not least, I wore the socks while mowing my grass several times.  It takes me about three hours to push mow my yard if I don't take any breaks but with the recent heat I have had to take it easy mowing so it usually took me close to four hours to finish.   The last time I mowed the yard it was 92 F (33 C) but very sticky and I actually soaked the socks and the boots.  I used my GPS to see how far I walked when mowing and it showed 4.37 miles (7 km) but it did not track me when under 2 mph (3 kmph) so it was further.  I know the hour and 55 minutes is off by about an hour but the elapsed time of 3 hrs, 34 min is correct since it counted  my breaks and all other stops. If you're really bored here is the track.  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/34676590

Performance in the Field
The Bridgedale Bamboo Men’s Crew socks are proving to be excellent hiking socks.  I actually think they made breaking in a pair of boots easier.  I got the boots a couple of weeks before getting the socks and they were very painful the first few weeks.  Of course the boots were getting easier to wear just from the several wearings so that may have been part of the sensation I experienced.  Anyways, after a few more weeks of wearing the boots over the Bridgedale Bamboo Men’s Crew socks I was able to take long hikes without any pain.

One thing I have noticed about these socks is that they hold their shape exceptionally well when on my feet.  And by that I mean there is absolutely no bunching under my feet and the upper part of the sock stays in place rather well.  I have big calves and I have trouble finding socks that will stay up but these may be the best socks I have ever fond for staying up. The photo on the right was taken at about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) into a 4 mile (6.4 km) hike without touching the socks for a better picture.  The picture below (taken at the same time) shows just how much I was sweating by looking at the sweat marks on my leather boots.  The part that is not wet was kept dry by the tongue of the boot.

sweat marks
This photo demonstrates how much I was sweating

I found it interesting that even when I took the socks off after soaking them with sweat when hiking or mowing, my feet were dry under the socks.  I would pull off the socks and they would be quite damp and feel my feet and find them dry.  I'm not sure why because the socks felt damp on the inside as well as the outside. I did find the socks are slower to dry than I expected.  I did a little test by washing several kinds of socks at the same time. I had some regular cotton, some wool blend and some full synthetic socks all laid out in bright sunlight with air temperatures around 90 F (32 C).   The  Bridgedale Bamboo socks took about two hours to dry while the cotton socks took about three hours to dry, but the synthetic and wool socks dried in about one hour.

I'll close with a mention of durability.  Since it has been so hot recently I have had to wash the socks after each outing.  I estimate I have washed the socks around 18 to 20 times so far.  I use a front load machine and air dry the socks.  I got two pairs of socks when this test began and I put the extra pair aside to use to compare with the other pair after several uses and subsequent washes.  The worn socks are not quite as fluffy as the new pair but they are still in good shape.  There are no holes in the heels or toes.  In fact, I would say the socks still look new if I didn't have the new pair to compare them with. To sum it up, I am quite pleased with the durability and performance of these socks!  

This concludes my Field Report. Please stay tuned for the Long Term Report which should be forthcoming in approximately two months from now. I would also like to thank Bridgedale and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test these socks

Long Term Report: September 12, 2010

Testing Locations and Conditions
My testing locations have pretty much remained the same during this last phase and have included an overnight hike of 4 miles (6 km) as well as several day-hikes of similar distance.  The low on this overnight hike was a pleasant 67 F (19 C).  It did get rather hot the last month and a half but I still managed at least one hike a week down to the holler.  And how hot am I talking about?  Well, the entire month of July and most of August saw temperatures at or above 100 F (38 C).  And as previously, I usually waited until late in the afternoon to do any hiking. I did not experience any rain during my hikes but the socks got wet several times from sweat.

Long Term Test Results
I don't have a lot to add since the field report but the Bridgedale Bamboo socks have continued to perform admirably.  They are still holding their color and shape reasonably well. In fact, in looking at the photo below,  the only place that has changed much in color is the light part which has become lighter, and the red lettering of the word "Bridgedale" which has faded somewhat.  The socks in the photo are a new sock on the left and one I have been testing over the past several months on the right.  They sent me two pair and I put one pair aside just for this purpose.

new and old sock
new sock on the left, worn sock on the right

I don't know exactly how many miles I have put on the socks but I wore them with a pair of boots for around 80 miles (129 km) and with other shoes for another 20 or so miles (32 km), so at least 100 miles (161 km).  Since it has been so hot I have needed to wash them after every wearing so they have been washed at least 30 times since I got them.  The padded parts of the sock still feel almost as soft as the new pair I saved to compare them with. I do use a front load washing machine which is supposed to be easier on clothes. I have dried them in the dryer a few times but I usually dry them outside on my deck. 

Summary
I like the Bridegedale Bamboo socks.  They are very comfortable and hold their shape well.  They wick moisture away from my feet which helps reduce the chance of blisters.  About the only negative thing I have to say about them is that they do dry slower than wool and or synthetic blend socks.  But on the plus side, they dry faster than cotton socks. Being a high top sock, they were a tad warm for the brutally hot temperatures I experienced over the summer months but now that the weather has cooled off slightly I expect I will like them even more.

This concludes my testing of the Bridgedale Bamboo socks.  I would like to thank Bridgedale and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test these socks.





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Read more gear reviews by Coy Ray Starnes

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Bridgedale Bambo Crew Socks > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes



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