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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks > Test Report by Sheila Morrissey
BRIDGEDALE ENDURANCE SUMMIT SOCKS
Initial Report - January 15, 2008
Field Report - March 31, 2008
Long-Term Report - June 23, 2008
Photo from Bridgedale website.
Initial Report: January 15, 2008
Name: Sheila Morrissey
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Shoe Size: 8.5 US Men's, 10 US Women's, 42 European
Email Address: geosheila(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Goleta, California, USA
I have been backpacking since 2005. Most of my trips have been from one to three nights on trails in the Sierra Nevada or Los Padres National Forest. My pack typically weighs around 25 lb (11 kg), including consumables.
Manufacturer: Bridgedale Outdoor Ltd.
Model: Endurance Summit (Previously called: Summit)
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.bridgedale.com
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 4.4 oz (125 g) per pair
Bridgedale Endurance Summit socks are wool-blend socks made for cold weather activities. Bridgedale says these socks were designed for backpacking, trekking and walking, and they are marketed as one of Bridgedale's "outdoor" socks, as opposed to their "winter sport", "fast & light" or "everyday" lines of socks.
The fiber contents are listed as 47% new wool, 34% nylon/polyamide, 18% Endurofil/polypropylene, and 1% Lycra/elastane. Bridgedale's WoolFusion technology combines wool and Endurofil for warmth, wicking and durability. There is "double-density cushioning" on the bottom of the socks for extra comfort. I have the grey/blue socks, but they are also available in black, olive or navy. The one-color socks have two different shades of the same color, but my grey/blue socks are primarily grey, with blue markings around the toes, under the heels and on top of the ankles. There is blue-colored elastane material on top of my ankle that keeps the sock material from bunching up. The seam is on top of the toes in the blue toe box. A little above that, in the grey part on top of the feet, "Bridgedale" is stitched into the socks in red. The word "Summit" is also written in red on each side of each sock and there is a red "M", presumably for the sock size, written under the toes.
The socks come with a guarantee from the company, which is printed on the packaging: "Bridgedale WoolFusion socks are guaranteed. If you are not completely satisfied with the quality and performance of your Bridgedale socks at any time within 3 years of purchase, return them to the place of purchase together with your proof of purchase for exchange."
The socks are sized according to Bridgedale's "Standard/Men's Sizing Chart" (see below). I got the size mediums because my shoe size (US Men's 8.5) is in the middle of its shoe size range (US Men's 7 to 9.5). As expected, my Endurance Summit socks fit well and the length feels perfect.
Chart from Bridgedale website.
The socks are not loose at all, but I'm used to (and prefer) an even snugger fit through the mid-section of my foot. Even still, these socks are very comfortable for me.
The Endurance Summit socks reach about 5 in (13 cm) above my ankle. I usually wear ankle-height socks because I don't like the way the cuffs on some crew socks can be uncomfortably tight and leave marks on my calves. I wore the Endurance Summit socks overnight to test whether the tightness of the cuffs would be an issue for me. I was pleased to find that the cuffs stayed up but didn't cause me any discomfort or leave any marks on my calves.
The one surprise for me when I got these socks was their thickness. Despite their warmth, the Endurance Summit socks aren't much thicker than typical cotton athletic socks. I'm glad these socks aren't overly thick because they'll fit better with my usual hiking shoes.
Field Report: March 31, 2008
I used the Endurance Summit socks while backpacking in Los Padres National Forest, California; Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah; and Buckskin Gulch, Utah. I also wore them while conducting field work in the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles areas. In total, I wore and washed each of my two pairs at least ten times.
While on an overnight backpacking trip in Los Padres, I wore the socks with trail runners and switched to a clean pair of the same socks before going to sleep. The elevation was near 4,500 ft (1,370 m), temperatures ranged from 35 F to 55 F (2 C to 13 C) and conditions were clear, but the trail crossed a creek many times and I eventually fell in and soaked one foot.
On a second backpacking trip in Los Padres, I again wore the socks with trail runners and switched to a clean pair of the same socks before going to sleep. The elevation was near 2,000 ft (600 m) and temperatures ranged from 40 F (4 C) to 55 F (13 C). The socks got wet from a lot of rain and several stream crossings where I took my shoes and socks on and off.
On a three-day backpacking trip in Grand Staircase-Escalante, I wore the socks with trail runners. The elevation was near 4,000 ft (1,200 m) and temperatures ranged from 35 F (2 C) to 60 F (16 C). The socks became damp when I switched between running shoes and water shoes.
On a two-day backpacking trip in Buckskin Gulch, I wore the socks with lightweight boots. The elevation was near 4,500 ft (1,370 m) and temperatures ranged from 35 F (2 C) to 60 F (16 C). The socks became damp when I switched between boots and water shoes.
During about a dozen days of field work in southern California, temperatures were around 65 F (18 C) in the day and 35 F to 45 F (2 C to 7 C) at night. I wore the socks with rubber boots while walking around in mud at elevations from sea level to 100 ft (30 m) above sea level, with trail runners while working from a small boat, and with waders while standing in a creek during a storm at night.
The Endurance Summit socks provide good cushioning and are very suitable for backpacking. They are comfortable enough to wear all day and night. They weren't too constrictive nor did they leave any marks on my calves, yet the cuffs stayed up. It turns out the socks are a little bit thicker than my usual cotton athletic socks, but not by too much. While wearing the Endurance Summit socks, I had to loosen the laces on my trail runners and hiking boots just a bit. I can feel the seem on the sides of my toes, but the socks were still very comfortable and didn't cause any blisters when I wore them while backpacking. On one trip, I fell in a creek with about a mile (1.6 km) left in my hike and I soaked my foot. Even with one soaking wet sock, the socks were comfortable and didn't cause blisters. On my Grand Staircase-Escalante and Buckskin Gulch trips, I wasn't able to wash the socks every day like I normally like to do. The socks didn't get too stiff or crusty, and they didn't cause any problems for my feet.
I wore the socks with rubber boots all day on several occasions while doing field work. I started out in a pair of too-small boots (US Men's size 7) and later switched to a pair of too-big boots (US Men's size 10). My feet weren't very comfortable because of the boots, but the socks didn't cause any problems for me. I would have thought hiking around in rubber boots would result in stinky socks, but the Endurance Summit socks weren't too gross at the end of the day. The first time I wore the socks with waders, I found the waders were leaking a little bit and I was really glad to be wearing wool socks. I wasn't exactly toasty warm with wet feet in a creek at night, but no toes fell off and I was able to continue working. On another day, I managed to step in a stream that was deeper than my boots were tall and spent an entire day with soaking wet feet. Unfortunately for the socks, I walked around in just socks when I could, trying to dry them out a bit.
I've been wearing the socks a lot and have washed each pair at least ten times. I washed them in the machine using cold water and dried them on low heat. The socks have definitely shrunk a little bit. The fit still feels great, but I wish I had taken better care of the socks by letting them air dry so they wouldn't shrink. Maybe I'll change my ways now, but I doubt it.
These have been good wool socks for my backpacking trips and other uses so far.
Long-Term Report: June 23, 2008
I have now worn and washed each pair of socks around 14 times. Since the Field Report, I wore and washed each pair of the Endurance Summit socks about four times, including wearing both pairs for a day of work each on an eight-day, volunteer trail maintenance backpacking trip in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Sierra National Forest, California. I wore the socks with both lightweight hiking boots while working on the trail and with trail runners while hiking. The weather was clear and sunny with daytime temperatures near 85 F (29 C).
The socks are pilling a little more than before, but the seams, the cushioning, the warmth and the comfort are all as great as before, so these socks are definitely staying in my pile of backpacking gear. During the field testing period, I noticed the seams on the sides of my toes, but during the long-term testing period, I either became used to it or stopped feeling them. However, at no point did I have a problem with the seams becoming uncomfortable. The extra cushioning of these socks felt great for working in my lightweight boots and hiking in my trail runners. Both pairs of shoes are falling apart and have old insoles. I even found that these weren't the stinkiest of socks after a day of working or hiking, but they're still socks and everything stinks out in the forest. I liked wearing a clean pair of these socks in my sleeping bag at night and was glad the cuffs stayed up but didn't leave marks on my calves.
I like these socks a lot for backpacking and will continue to use them, especially in cold weather. My summary remains nearly the same from my field report, but I've cut out the dislikes since I haven't felt the seams in the past couple of uses and the socks are still fitting just fine even after drying them on low heat several times.
This concludes my Test Series. Thank you to Bridgedale and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test the Endurance Summit socks.
Read more reviews of Bridgedale gear
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