BRIDGEDALE ENDURANCE TREKKER SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
March 04, 2009
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT
6' 1" (1.85 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
Backpacking Background: I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack. My sleeping pad is a Therm-a-Rest air mattress.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Bridgedale Outdoor Limited
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.bridgedale.com
Measured Weight: 3.4 oz (95 g) for size L
I got the grey color. They also make blue, green, black, gunmetal, and oatmeal.
There are also some green and darker grey places. "bridgedale", "TREKKER", and "L" (the size) are woven into the socks in green.
It appears that the heel, sole, and toe are a bit heavier (for improved wear and comfort?).
The Fiber Content is:
41% New Wool
The socks have "WoolFushion" technology. The wool fibers are wrapped with a wicking fiber which is supposed to wick away sweat better, and wear longer.
The socks are midweight on a scale of lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight. This refers to warmth and cushion. Lighter weight is generally better in hot weather. Lighter weight provides less cushion for comfort. If the socks weigh less then it's less tiring after walking many miles.
Bridgedale is a British company.
Socks with packing sleeve:
Trying them on:
The socks were packaged in a cardboard sleeve, which had some good information about the socks.
The knitting was uniform. The junctions between different types of yarn, like at the heel, were uniform. These socks appear to be well made.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The only instructions were how to wash (40 degree C (104 degree F) wool cycle, no bleach, tumble dry low heat).
TRYING IT OUT
The socks feel good in my hands.
I wore the socks with my mid height boots raking leaves in the yard and on a 2.5 mile (4 km) walk on paved surfaces. They felt good.
The size L fit my size 12 feet fairly loosely. According to Bridgedale, a size L fits US size 10 to 12.5. I think that for a US size 10 or 11, a Bridgedale size M sock might be better. If the socks are too big, there is a risk of a wrinkle forming while wearing them, which could cause a blister.
I do about one backpack trip every month. Over the fall and winter, I'll do a couple trips on Mount Hood, several trips in the Columbia Gorge, and a trip to the Olympic Peninsula. Maybe I'll do a trip to Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon, and/or the Oregon coast. Each trip will be about 3 nights and 30 miles (50 km).
In addition to the backpacking trips, I'll do some day hikes in Oregon and Washington in the vicinity of Portland. I'll make sure these include some wet days and some snowy days, although I avoid major snow hiking. I'll do about 30 miles (50 km) each month.
I will use the Bridgedale Endurance Trekker Socks on each of these outings. This will include multi-day trips with lots of up and down to test comfort on long mileage hikes. I will include some off trail scrambling to test the ability to prevent blisters. There will be some cold weather below freezing to test warmth. There will be some wet weather to see if they still provide warmth when they get wet. There will probably be a little snow, but that's not what I primarily do.
I expect socks to last at least 200 miles (300 km) before wearing out. At that point, the heels start getting thin, and maybe the junction between the main body of the sock and the heel starts becoming undone. By the end of the long term test I should have about this distance so I should at least get an idea about this.
So far so good. I am looking forward to testing these socks.
This concludes my Initial Report.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I did a three night backpack up the Deschutes River in Northern central Oregon. The elevation was 250 to 1000 feet (75 to 300 m). Temperature was 40 to 70 degrees F (5 to 20 C). Fairly dry. I walked 26 miles (42 km). The trail was dirt, gravel, and some boulders.
I did a three night backpack up to Cast Lake, West of Mount Hood, in Northern central Oregon. The elevation was 1500 to 4500 feet (500 to 1400 m). Temperature was 32 to 50 degree F (0 to 10 C). Rainy and wet snow on the ground at places. I walked 24 miles (38 km). My boots and socks were quite wet the entire time. The trail was dirt, gravel, some boulders, and some snow.
I did a three night backpack up to Dublin Lake, in Northern central Oregon. The elevation was 200 to 4100 feet (60 to 1250 m). Temperature was 32 to 50 degree F (0 to 10 C). Rainy and wet snow on the ground. I walked 22 miles (35 km). My boots and socks were quite wet the entire time. The trail was dirt, gravel, some boulders, and some snow.
I did 20 miles (30 km) of day hiking around Portland Oregon on dry pavement about 40 degree F (6 C).
I did 55 miles (90 km) of day hiking around Portland Oregon in snow from 20 to 35 degree F (-7 to 2 C). My socks got a bit damp.
Total mileage was 147 miles (235 km).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
All of my testing was done with one pair of Bridgedale Endurance Trekker socks and a pair of mid weight leather boots.
I washed the socks four times in warm water and dried them in the drier using the warm setting.
On the backpack trips, I wore the socks in my sleeping bag at night so they were dry in the morning, (although when the boots were wet, the socks got wet again after I put on my boots in the morning).
The socks were comfortable, no blisters or anything. The elastic around the ankles kept the socks up without being too constrictive. There were no abnormal odor problems.
I did 6 days of backpacking with the socks wet. The socks were as comfortable as possible for wet socks. In my experience, sometimes I'll get blisters when the socks are wet, but I didn't have any problem with this.
There were no durability problems. After the Field Test, the socks were about as thick as a new pair. The Field Test consisted of 147 miles (235 km), 9 nights of backpacking including 6 when the socks were wet, and four washings. I have found that socks wear out faster in backpack trips when they get really wet. There was a little pilling (some of the wool fiber comes out of the sock weave and forms little clumps on the surface).
I figure that socks should last at least 250 miles (400 km) and maybe 8 washings before wearing out. The first thing that happens is that the sock gets really thin at the heels, which will cause discomfort and blisters. So far I haven't seen this problem. I plan on this amount of testing by the end of the long term test.
According to the Bridgedale website, the socks are made with WoolFusion technology, where a Polypropylene fiber wraps around the wool fiber, which makes the sock more durable. The durability performance that I experienced is consistent with this, but I haven't put in enough testing yet to really verify this.
The socks were warm enough on backpack trips down to 32 degree F (0 C) when they were wet and day hikes down to 20 degree F (-7 C).
As reported in the Initial Report, the socks are a bit large. My feet are size 12 U.S. These socks are size L which Bridgedale says should fit U.S. 10 to 12.5. If I didn't put my shoes on carefully, there would be wrinkles or my heel wouldn't be at the right place on the sock. This has been a minor problem - I haven't got any blisters or anything. This might be more of a problem for someone with size 10 U.S. feet, for example.
The Bridgedale Endurance Trekker socks are high quality socks for backpacking. I prefer them to the Merino wool socks I have used in the past.
- Very comfortable
- So far, the durability is good
- The sizing is a bit off, they're bigger than advertised, but this is fairly minor. I recommend that before purchasing to carefully try on the socks to make sure they're the right size, and not just rely on Bridgedale's sizing data, especially if the shoe size is towards the low end of the range for the particular sock size.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I continued using the same pair of Bridgedale Endurance Trekker socks for the long term test.
I did four more backpacking trips:
* 4 nights on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. 35 to 50 F (2 to 10 C). The socks got slightly damp due to sweat and stream crossings.
* 4 nights on the Olympic coast in Northwest Washington. 30 to 45 F (-2 to 7 C). The socks got slightly damp due to sweat.
* 5 nights on the lower Deschutes River in Northern Oregon. 28 to 50 F (-2 to 10 C). The socks got slightly damp due to sweat.
* 3 nights on the lower Rogue River in Southern Oregon. 35 to 50 F (2 to 10 C). The socks got very wet due to rain and dew.
Additionally, I did a number of day hikes in the vicinity of Portland, Oregon, Columbia Gorge East of Portland, and on Mount Hood Southeast of Portland. This included several hikes in the snow. 30 to 55 F (-1 to 13 C).
Combined field test and long term test:
* 285 total miles (460 km)
* 25 nights of backpacking
* washed them 8 times in warm water, regular laundry detergent, dried on medium heat
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Endurance Trekker socks continued to perform well. No blisters. Kept my feet warm. They were quite comfortable.
I really tried to use these socks enough to start showing some wear. On the last trip, I walked 25 miles (40 km) with them really wet, which I think is really hard on socks. With other socks I have used, they get thin at the heels, then a hole forms and I throw them away. I started to feel a thin place on the bottom of the Bridgedales on the last trip when they were very wet. I wore my second pair of Bridgedales, for an extra day of car camping, because my first pair were so wet. After I washed both pairs, I can barely tell the difference between them. The test pair are a bit worn on the bottom, but the heels are still fine.
I think I have a few more trips before these socks wear out.
I recommend the Bridgedale Endurance Trekker socks as excellent, high end hiking socks.
They have been very comfortable.
I have hiked enough miles to wear out some socks that I have experienced in the past, but the Endurance Trekker socks show no wear beyond slight cosmetic piling.
My only complaint is the sizing. The size L are just a bit large for my size 12 (U.S.) feet. Bridgedale specifies that size L should fit 10 to 12.5 (U.S.) feet. The next time I will try the size M socks to see if they fit better.
I will continue to use these socks for my backpacking and day trips until I wear them out.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
This concludes my test. Thanks to Bridgedale and Backpackgeartesters for letting me test these.
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Read more gear reviews by jerry adams