BRIDGEDALE ENDURANCE SUMMIT SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY MIKE WILKIE
June 17, 2008
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foreverwild1885 at yahoo dot com
Davenport, New York (USA)
5' 8" (1.73 m)
148 lb (67.10 kg)
Hiking for me started at an early age, as I was always an avid camper and being a young Scout began my backpacking obsession. Living in the Catskill Region backpacking has become serious for me over the years. I camp, hike or multi-day backpack through the Catskill or Adirondack Wilderness every weekend. As a mid-weight packer I'm always prepared and use a tent for overnighters. Being an aspirant of the Catskill 3500 Club and Adirondack 46ers, peak-bagging is now my favorite outdoor activity. My long-term goals are to complete long distance thru-hikes.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Bridgedale Outdoor Ltd
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.bridgedale.com
MSRP: US$ N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 4 oz (113 g)
47% New Wool
|Image courtesy of bridgedale.com|
The Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks were shipped and delivered in excellent condition. The socks were sitting in their cardboard display packaging that described the sock and its uses. The description reads as follows.
Endurance: Tough WoolFusion for durable performance.
Summit: Designed for mountains and cold environments.
Expedition sock for extended use. Backpacking, trekking, walking. Dense cushioning throughout provides extra warmth, extra impact resistance and extra comfort.
The packaging also states that these socks were previously called Summit.
My initial impressions of the Endurance socks are that they are built strong and are well cushioned. The cushioning made them super comfortable on the footbeds and above the ankle from my boot uppers.
I also notice more tight elastic-like areas built in the socks to help keep the socks from sagging or creeping. These areas are around the ankle, around the mid foot and of course the usual tighter area at the top of the sock.
The socks are made up of mostly new wool and nylon and a small percentage of Endurofil/polypropylene and Lycra.
The construction of the socks seems to be strong and built for durability. There are no signs of initial thread pulls and all seams are tightly sewn.
TRYING IT OUT
I was able to wear the socks on two occasions so far. These are some really warm socks. The thickness of them almost made my boots tight. After adjusting my laces accordingly I was good to go.
I wore the Endurance Summit socks on a short hike in the forest behind my house. The temperature was a mild 35 F (-1.67 C) and my feet were just a little too warm. During this non-stop moderately paced hike my feet in these socks started to sweat a bit.
The second time wearing these socks was plowing my driveway via ATV in temperatures around 25 F (-4 C). This time around my feet were good to go. My feet during the plowing times on my ATV always get cold and my toes numb. This time toasty toes were the case. I spend hours at a time when clearing snow from my property and I am exposed to the elements. So far the Bridgedale Endurance socks made this task an easier one.
After the few times washing the socks they are holding their shape well. Only the usual pilling in wool is starting to show.
I plan to test the Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks through the winter months here in Upstate New York. They will be worn on all hikes to the Catskill high peak summits and during all short hikes made weekly in local forests. I will also continue to wear them while working in the cold environment while snowplowing via ATV and as well as working on my goat farm. I will report of all my findings in the future test reports.
Within the short time testing these socks I can already see these are built for cold temperatures. I will determine if this is true with my upcoming tests planned. I will prove these socks worthy of winter use for the following outdoor activities.
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Field testing in the backcountry took place at the following areas in New York State.
Slide Mountain - The highest summit elevation in the Catskills at 4180 ft (1274 m). The temperatures at the trailhead were about 28 F (-2 C) and rapidly rose to almost 40 F (4.5 C) by mid-day. This was a beautiful mild winter day with full sun.
Balsam Mountain Loop - This hike was a 5.5 mile (9 km) round trip loop. It was a bit strenuous up the steep scramble to the summit with an elevation of 3600 ft (1098 m). The trail took me through many stream crossings and ice sheets that required crampons. The temperatures stayed just below freezing at 30 F (-1.10 C). A small snow squall hit early leaving about 1 in (2.5 cm) of snow.
Blackhead Mountain Loop - This 4.5 mile (7.25 km) loop was a moderate hike. The weather was cold at 25 F (-4 C). Summit elevation was 3940 ft (1200 m). On the descent there was deep powdery snow almost knee deep. There was some ice on the trail that I was able to skirt around.
Slide Mountain - Again I hiked the highest summit elevation in the Catskills at 4180 ft (1274 m). Temperatures at the trailhead were about 40 F (4.5 C). It was a beautiful early spring morning with a bright sun on us during the way up. The trail near the top was covered with ice sheets that required crampons for about 1500 ft (457 m). The temperatures on the summit were much cooler around 32 F (0 C). Clouds then began to roll in and I didn't see the sun until we were back at the trailhead.
Snow tubing at Hunter Mountain - The weather was a snow and rain mix and the temperature was around 35 F (2 C). It was a nasty day at the slopes.
I have also worn the socks while snow plowing around my residence, warehouse and farm. Temperatures and weather conditions varied with heavy snow at times and temperatures from 0 F (-18 C) to 35 F (2 C). Some wind chill temperatures were well below 0 F (-18 C).
The Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks have been used consistently throughout this leg of the testing period. Above are 5 logged days when the socks have been used in the field hiking or during an outdoors adventure. The socks have also been used for at least 10 days while clearing snow from my properties.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I couldn't be happier with how the Bridgedale Summit Socks performed. My feet were always at a high comfort level when wearing them. They kept my feet warm and dry on the cold days and cool and comfy on the warmer days.
I wore the Summit Socks with three different pairs of boots for different activities and weather conditions. Mostly I wore the socks with a pair of La Sportiva Halite GTX Boots in the field and while working on my goat farm. The socks were also worn in conjunction with a pair of Columbia Titanium Dragon Boots when snow hiking and snowshoeing. Lastly, when snow plowing my property via ATV I wore the socks with a pair of Sorel Caribou Boots. When hiking I wore a pair of Back Country waterproof gaiters.
The socks consistently stayed form fitted and always hugged my feet snuggly. They never lost their shape even after all the washing in the machine. However, after coming out of the dryer they did shrink up a little but definitely for the better. In my experience I found this to be typical with wool products. The little bit of shrinkage helped the socks to stay snug on my feet through the day. The socks never stretched out on me and never sagged down around my ankles. I never experienced any creeping of the socks or bunching down by my toes.
I was surprised when my feet didn't over heat when wearing the socks in temperatures around 40 F (4.5 C). When plowing snow via ATV the temperatures at times were very cold with wind chills well below 0 F (-18 C). My feet consistently stayed warm for several hours in these temperatures. My feet were always the first part of my body to become uncomfortable in the cold. Not any longer with these socks.
At first I thought the thickness of the socks will be too much for my hiking boots. They fit perfectly in all and were never too snug. Their thickness along with the cushioned foot bed really added a lot more comfort on those longer day hikes. I never noticed any hot spots and never developed any blistering.
With my breathable boots I noticed how well the Summit Socks wick away moisture. My feet perspire a great deal when I am hustling down the trails and was impressed with how dry my feet stayed. I once misjudged a step at a stream crossing and water seeped in my boot wetting the sock by my toes. When I was back at my car changing shoes to my amazement my sock was completely dry or at least it felt dry. My feet never felt any discomfort after the initial wetting of the sock.
Right now the socks aren't showing any major wear except for some fuzziness from washing them. Its not pilly at all just this soft fuzz that increases the comfort level for me.
I can honestly say I have never owned a nicer pair of winter socks. They are definitely designed for extreme temperatures when mountain climbing, but can be used for many various activities. Their wool construction also makes this sock usable during different weather conditions and temperature.
The construction is strong and built for much use and abuse and the added cushion on the foot bottoms helps my feet when pounding on them all day long. I put the Summit Socks through many testing conditions and they haven't yet let me down.
For now I will always wear the Bridgdale Summits Socks for all my cold weather adventures and activities. I also carry a pair in my pack during the warmer months just in case of any dropping temperature in the mountains.
I will continue to wear the socks for all of my backcountry adventures with the weather permitting. The temperatures here are beginning to rise as we come into spring and I am not sure if the sock will become too much. However, I will start out wearing the Summit Socks and will carry a lighter pair to change into if needed. With these rising temperatures I will be able to evaluate when the socks become too heavy.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report should be completed by 6-17-08. Please check back then for further information.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
The total amount of use that the socks received were 3 logged days while hiking in the wilderness behind my house, 1 short day hike around Emmons Pond and 2 days during barn duties. For this leg of the test series the socks were used for a total of 6 days.
During this leg of the testing period I was limited on the amount of field use that the socks received due to the rising temperatures. I did however get in some hikes in the forest behind my house. This hike is about 2 miles (3.22 km) and is mostly an uphill/downhill trek on rocky terrain. It has a moderate ascent to an elevation of 2000 ft (610 m). Weather conditions varied from one early morning with temperatures below freezing 32 F (0 C) with some patches of leftover snow from weeks earlier to another day which was clear and sunny with warm temperatures near 70 F (21 C). This route has been traversed 3 days during this testing period.
The socks were worn on a short 3 mile (4.83 km) hike around Emmons Pond Bog. This was an easy hike that loops the pond which is located in Davenport Center, NY. The temperatures were warm around 60 F (15.56 C). The weather was clear and sunny making for a perfect spring day. Elevation was about 1800 ft (549 m).
The Bridgedale socks were also worn during spring barn cleaning on my goat farm. This is an unpleasant two day annual task were I was able to wear the socks while sloshing around in mud and muck removing layers of hay and compost. The weather was cool and damp with temperatures around 48 F (9 C). Elevation was at 1400 ft (427 m).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Bridgedale Endurance socks performed just as well during this portion of the test period as they did during the Field Testing period. Due to the rapid increase of temperatures in my locale this year I was limited on the amount of field use that the socks received. The Endurance socks were mostly worn in the beginning of this testing period as temperatures were cool enough to wear these heavy weight socks. During the second month of this testing period the socks received no use as temperatures were surprising too warm for these cold weather socks. I did however push my feet to the limit of where the socks were too much for the warm weather.
I found the socks were a bit much for temperatures over 60 F (15.56 C) when worn casually (with little or no activity). While active like day hiking or working hard out on the farm I found the socks too be too much for temperatures over 50 F (10 C). The socks did however have excellent wicking capabilities when worn in the warmer temperatures when my feet began to perspire.
As I have already explained in the Field Report these socks are definitely designed for harsh winter conditions and with the cold weather mountaineer in mind. The Endurance socks consistently kept my feet warm and dry as well as plenty comfortable with their cushioned foot beds.
The socks still appear to be in excellent condition with no signs of wear other than the expected fuzziness and pilling from all of their runs through the wash. I lost count on how many tims I washed the socks but it has been enough times to were I had other common white socks already loose the shape or have their necks stretched out. But these Bridgedale socks still have kept their shape and still have the form fitting structure that hugs my feet comfortably.
The Bridgedale socks have proven to be durable thus far with all of the use and abuse they have been put through over these last four months.
The Endurance Summit Socks are strictly winter socks as their heavy weight is designed for winter's harshest conditions. I attempted to try the socks during warmer temperatures and to my finding they were a bit much. They will remain a favorite among my winter socks and will be worn during my future winter treks.
It was a pleasure wear the Bridgedale Endurance socks this winter as they provided me with much comfort and warmth. They proved to be ideal for many various activities like snowshoeing, winter day hiking and snowplowing via ATV.
I will continue to wear the Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks during future winter outings such as snowshoe hikes winter mountain climbs. The socks will also continue to be used while snow plowing next winter as well as working on the farm during the cold conditions.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
For now the socks will be kept in my drawer for these warmer months until signs of winter begin to show again in October. At that point the Endurance Summit socks will then be my first grab from the drawer as they are now my favorite winter socks.
This concludes my test report and review of the Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks.
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