Bridgedale Endurance Trekker
Initial Report 16th December 2008
By Mark McLauchlin
* Reviewer Information
Name: Mark McLauchlin
1.76 m (5’ 9”)
Weight: 80 kg (176 lb)
Email: mark at
City: Perth, Western Australia
* Backpacking Background
I have been hiking since 2006 with most of my hiking
consisting of day walks averaging 16 - 22 km (10 - 14 mi) and short
overnight trips where possible. Most of my hiking is along the Bibbulmun
Track and Coastal Plains Trail. I consider myself to be a light hiker
with an average pack weight of 13 kg (29 lb), which I am working to
reduce. I generally sleep in my tarp tent or huts that are often
scattered along the various hiking trails.
* Product Information
Manufacturer: Bridgedale Outdoor Limited
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Listed Weight: not listed
Colour Variants: Blue, Grey, Black, Gunmetal and Oatmeal.
Fibre Content: New Wool (41%), Nylon (37%), Endurofil (21%), Lycra (1%)
MSRP: not listed.
* Product Description
Bridgedale describe the Endurance Trekker socks as
being; "Designed for any-season, Hiking, Trekking and Backpacking.
For the regular, dedicated outdoor enthusiast, this style ensures dry,
warm and comfortable feet - mile after mile.".
To touch, the socks feel very woollen, which is not surprising
considering they are made from 41% Wool. I would compare
the feel to that of a good quality woollen jumper. The opening of the
sock has an elastic composition to help keep them in place, this
actually feels quite tight. The sock then has two main
sections that contain extra support in the form elastic bands
these are the arch and just above the heel. It seems like this extra support
will help the socks remain in place and do not creep down and bunch up
causing discomfort or blisters. From the top of the sock to the heel I
measure 21 cm or 8 in of a slightly thinner material. I guess this could
be to provide some extra cooling and ventilation which is a great idea.
As this area is not subject to any load or potential wear I do not see
this as an issue. From the heel down to the toe the material is thicker
and provides extra padding underfoot which is exactly where I need it
to be. The toe of the sock, which does have a seam, provides great
cushioning and should provide extra comfort on the downhill tracks that
I am likely to be walking on. I do feel that perhaps the seam is a
little protruding as is quite noticeable on the inside of the sock. The
test will be to see if this causes any issues with my toes. The socks also
have the brand and model name sewn in.
* Reading the Instructions
The instructions located on the reverse side of the
packaging suggest the following for washing;
"For best results wash inside out. Wash dark colours separately. Do
not bleach. Do
not iron. Tumble Dry on LOW Heat. Do not dry clean."
These are both clear to read and understand.
* Trying it out
|When pulling the socks up for the first time
they felt a little tight around the top where the elastic is but
once my feet were past this they felt quite comfortable. I was
initially a little worried that the elastic might be irritating
if too tight, then my brain kicked into work and I realised that
I do not walk with my socks pulled up so there is no issue. I do
however sleep with my socks up so it will be interesting to see
how they work out.
I am happy with the feel of the socks on and can see they have
the potential to provide great comfort both whilst hiking and
sitting around the camp site. From my walk around the house with
no shoes on I found the socks to stay in place and they did not
shift around at all, which is a great start. The most effective
way to take the socks is to scrunch from the top down and then
pull off. As they are quite tight fitting this was a lot easier
than just trying to pull with brute force.
Perhaps my biggest concern with the socks at this
stage is the amount of wear they seem to have shown after so few
kilometres. The heel, which can be seen below, has suffered
quite a lot of this premature wear. I will only be able to
evaluate how well they survive after the results of the field
trip are completed.
The image to the right shows the
socks after their first wash, post a walk of approximately 11 km
(7 miles). I was surprised to find they came out so twisted and
out of shape as they were washed exactly as per the instructions
in my front loading machine. This shape transformation does not
appear to have impacted on the performance or functionality,
however I do feel that there maybe issues with the short-term
durability if this continues to worsen.
I remain positive in my testing of the Bridgedale socks after
their first use as they did prevent blisters from forming and my
feet did remain relatively cool despite the high ambient
temperature (35 C or 63 F).
I am quite happy with the feel of these socks while
out hiking the trails. I do have some concerns over the short-term
durability of these socks as initial wear is of concern.
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field report should be
completed by February. Please check back then for further information.
14th February 2009
As far as my testing has gone, the Endurance Trekker socks have accompanied me on one day walk,
two night walks, one of which included navigation through an old train
tunnel, and two overnight hikes. My first outing was along the Heritage
Trail in the John Forrest National Park which was a round trip of 17 Km
(10.5 miles). Elevation ranged from 50 m (164 ft) to 260 m (853 ft).
Temperature on the day was around 17C (63 F), with some precipitation.
The first overnight hike was along the Coastal Plains Trail in the
Yanchep National Park where I camped in one of the three sided huts. I
wore the socks during the night on this occasion to see what effect it
would have on my overall body temperature. I tend to sleep cold so
ensuring my feet are layered well has in the past proven to be a good
strategy. The socks performed well and gave me back some confidence in
their functionality. My feet were neither cold or overheated. The
temperature wasn't too low during the night, I would estimate down to
about 8 C (46 F). The day was a little different with the temperature
being extremely high, sitting on around 35 C (95 F). During the days
hike I could feel my feet swelling up and starting to develop warm
spots. I persevered on as the length of this walk to the camp site is
fairly short only 11 km (7 miles). When I arrived at camp my feet were a
little sore however no blisters. The following day the temperatures were
the same again, and a few kilometres away from my car I could feel that
several blisters had formed. The next few days off trail were a little
The next overnight hike was out to my favourite place, Helena Hut on the
Bibbulmun Track. This loop walk is 22 km (13.7 miles) and can be
completed either in one day or the night can be spent at the campsite
which consists of a shelter, toilet and fire ring. The shelter at this
location is also a three sided hut. Temperatures again were high, I
estimate approximately 30 (86 F). The testing of the socks on this
trip ended after approximately 10 km (6 miles) where I had to remove
them and attend to a few blisters with some tape. For the remainder of
this walk I did not wear the Endurance Trekker socks.
The Endurance Trekker socks have performed a little less than satisfactory and fallen short
my initial expectations. Two areas of concern I have; Firstly the
durability is something I will continue to monitor carefully through out
the Long Term Report. After my first walk, as discussed in the Initial
Report, there was an amount of wear in several places, namely the heel
and toe areas. Although this does not appear to be getting worse after
several more trips I still have some reservations. Perhaps I will be
proven wrong after the next few months. Other parts of the sock appear
to be holding up well and show no signs or wear.
The second area of concern is that I feel
perhaps the socks are too thick for the summer months here in Australia.
From my observations I have found that the socks are not allowing my
feet to breathe resulting in an increase in temperature and swelling of
my feet, which have then lead to several blisters forming. I can
eliminate my shoes from being an issue because I do not get these
blisters with other hiking socks. Bridgedale market these socks as
"Designed for any-season hiking, trekking and backpacking." but perhaps
the higher than normal temperatures here are having an adverse affect?
Temperatures over the next few months
will be starting to cool which will give me a chance to continue testing
and perhaps have some better luck.
At this point of the test series my initial
comments regarding the short-term durability remain the same, however as
stated they do not appear to be getting worse. I will continue to test
the socks in more favourable weather to establish if there is a more
suitable temperature range for these socks.
15th March 2009
Bridgedale Endurance Trekker socks with
gatiers and top rolled down.
My final hike with the socks was a walk in the Helena National
Park on a day where the temperature upon commencement was 27.5 C
(77 F) and reached a low overnight of 7 C (44 F) with a mighty
cold and strong wind. This was a 22 km (13 miles) round trip on which I stayed the night at
the half way point. The image above shows what the surface of
the trail was like for the majority of the trip.
In the four weeks since posting my last report on the Bridgedale
Endurance Trekker socks I have put to bed some of the concerns I
have regarding these, and also reaffirmed another. The
reaffirmation has in the fact that I believe these socks are not
suited to warmer temperatures. When worn my feet become too warm
and uncomfortable. They are however great for the cooler evening
temperatures. As we progress into the cooler temperatures here
in Australia I will continue to wear the socks and see how they
I have found that for the socks to be comfortable I need to wear
them with the top rolled over, otherwise the elastic is quite
tight and becomes itchy on the skin after a prolonged period.
The picture above also shows the top rolled over. This causes no
concerns to me as there is a simple solution that works well.
The fact the elastic is tight ensures the socks do not creep
As mentioned in my Field Report, blisters have been an issue
which I strongly believe are due to the increased temperature of
my feet and no other fault of the socks.
The socks have be great for repelling odour which I find an
advantage as I generally wear socks to sleep at night so a
little hygiene is important. Not to mention the fact being
around smelly feet isn't pleasant.
Stains have not been an issue due the dark colour of the
material. They have cleaned well in the washing machine and dirt
seems to come out relatively easily. I have also not seen any
ill effects from either hand or machine washing.
One famous bushie here in Australia is a gentleman by the name
of Malcolm Douglas (Google it you will find him). He is a rough as they come and eats all
sorts of things you would try to avoid unless in a survival
situation. In one of Malcolm's recent documentaries he
demonstrated a method for drying his socks out, I thought I have
to try this out! On the above mentioned hike, after settling
myself in camp for the night I recalled Malcolm's rather unique
method and fast went to work. Firstly I washed my socks out in
the available water supply from rain water tanks which have been
collecting since early on in the year (as we haven't had rain in
sometime), gave them a tight wring out and hung them over a
nearby tree branch while I looked for a handful of rocks, yes
rocks. Once I found some of suitable weight and size I dusted
them off, grabbed my damp socks and began to fill them into
the socks. The trick is to stop before they begin to pull the
socks down with any considerable force, else you will stretch
them. Now that was complete I began to swing them around my head
like a circus clown until the spray being released appeared to
stop. Remarkably this worked very well, the socks were drier and
did not stretch in the process. There you have it, a bush dryer.
In general the socks have performed well and overcome my initial
concerns regarding their long term durability. They are holding
their shape well and show no signs of added wear. I will
continue to wear the socks in the cooler seasons and see no
reason why I would not recommend them.
Sunrise view from campsite - Helena Hut,
Bibbulmun Track, W.A.
This concludes my Long-Term Report and the test series for the
Bridgedale Endurance Trekker socks.
Thank you to Bridgedale and BackpackGearTest.org for the privilege
of testing the Endurance Trekker socks.