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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Bridgedale Womens Bamboo Crew Socks > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

BRIDGEDALE WOMEN'S BAMBOO CREW SOCKS
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
Bridgedale Logo

OWNER REVIEW

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy@backpackgeartest.com
AGE: 58
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280000 hectares of public land bordering my 35-acre/14-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Bridgedale Outdoor Ltd.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.bridgedale.com
MSRP: N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 2.5 oz (71 g) per pair
Colors Available: Natural/Aubergine and Natural/Stone
Color Reviewed: Natural/Stone (Blue)
Sizes Available: Small, Medium and Large
Size Reviewed: Medium - fits US Women's 6.5 - 8 shoe size

Other details: (quoted from Manufacturer's website)

Fibre Content:
35% Bamboo
34% Coolmax®/polyester
30% Nylon/polyamide
1% Lycra®/elastane
Bridgedale Bamboo Crew Socks
Picture Courtesy of Bridgedale

Guarantee: 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.

Bridgedale is proud to support Plant A Boo™, a campaign to fight global warming through increased bamboo cultivation.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION - November 17, 2009

Silky-smooth and soft is how I would describe the Bridgedale Women's Bamboo Crew Socks (hereafter referred to simply as the "Socks"). Both inside and out, these Socks feel wonderful.

Brand-new the Socks measures, cuff to heel, 7.8 inches (19.7 cm) with the doubled over cuff being 0.8 inches (2 cm). A creamy white color for the main body of the Socks is accented with a pretty pale blue which encompasses the back of the ankle down through the heel. This blue color continues onto the footbed and forms the toe box.
Heel of Socks
Bamboo Crew Socks Heel
Toe of Socks
Toe Seam of Bamboo Crew Socks

Whereever the Socks are blue, the material is thicker than the rest of the Socks, about double, I think. A flat stockinet knit circles the leg of the Socks to just above the ankle. There a wider ribbed stitch takes over to just above the heel and then continues for just a bit under the heel That same ribbing marks the instep with a 1 inch (2.5 cm) band The flat toe seam is barely noticeable.

In the same shade of blue as the other accented portions of the Socks, the word "bridgedale" labels the Socks just above the toe box.

FIELD USE AND CONDITIONS

For the purpose of this Owner Review, over the last four months aside from my almost daily hikes down to the mailbox - a 5 miles (8 km) trek - and weekly 4-6 hours hikes in the public lands behind our property; I spent 9 days hiking in various locations in southwest Colorado, the Mesquite, Nevada area and Zion National Park and Arches National Park in Utah.

Colorado one-day-each hikes took place in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Gunnison and Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez. A total of 2.5 days were spent there. Mesquite hikes included trails in the Valley of Fire State Park and Desert National Wildlife Range where I spent 3 days checking out the scenery. Lastly, 2 way-too-inadequate days were devoted Zion National Park and 1.5 days in Arches National Park. During this time period, I wore the Bridgedale Socks on average once a week, more often than not, 2 days at a time.

Most of the time the wearings were in hot and dry climates, for example Utah and Colorado, but I did wear the Socks on a week-long trip while visiting Beaver Island which is located in northern Lake Michigan and then around our house in White Lake in lower southeast Michigan for another week. While it was rather dry in the west, Michigan more than made up for the lack of moisture (for testing purposes). If it wasn't humid, it was cloudy and misty and if it wasn't cloudy and misty, it was raining!

Elevations ranged from sea level to over 9000 ft (2700 m). Overall, the temperatures ranged from a low of 50 F to a high of 105 F (10-41 C).

My usual trail shoe or boot size is a women's size 8 and my socks are mediums. The Bridgedale Bamboo Crew Socks are gender-specific and fit me perfectly. I love the way the Socks taper around my toes so there is no bunching of excess fabric around my little toe. Often times, socks are cut almost square across the toe and are uncomfortable. Not so with these Socks!
Comfort Chart
Chart Courtesy of Bridgedale
As can be seen on this nifty chart from Bridgedale, the Socks are considered to be just below mid-range for warmth and just about mid-range for cushioning I don't disagree with the former, but I can't agree with the latter!.

As with Goldie Locks and her porridge, the warmth of my socks needs to be "just right". Not too hot. Not too cold. These socks were perfect in that respect during the summer and fall months I wore them. I did not experience undue sweating and I didn't have a problem with cold feet (except that time on the ledge, but I digress). Based on that, I know I will not be using them in colder weather though as I believe they will not be adequate.

On one particular occasion, I wore the Socks for three days straight in Colorado temps 58 F to 91 F (14 C to 33 C) with trail shoes with no stench at all. And while, the Socks were damp when I removed them at the end of the day, my skin was not. Thanks to the bamboo and CoolMax construction, I presume.

The Socks, even with the footbed cushioning, are thin. Mostly I wore them with trail shoes which were not as supportive as my mid-height boots and I didn't have the comfort level as I do with thicker socks. The times I did wear them with mid-height boots, I was uncomfortably aware of my feet. My feet and my footwear are not things I want to be aware of on the trail. That's never good for me. I rarely had much more than a pack weight of 15 lbs (7 kg), so I can't say that was a contribution factor, either.

Most disappointing was the inability of the Socks to stay put on my legs. After only a short distance of any-more-than leisurely walking, the cuffs of the Socks would start inch their way down to my ankles where they would puddle. Mercifully, they did not continue downward into my shoes/boots. Depending on how engrossed I was, I would either be pulling the Socks up constantly or I would let them be until an opportune (rest) time occurred. I don't like the feeling or the look of scrunched socks!

Washing Instructions are printed on the retail packaging using both the English language and the international care symbols. "For best results: wash inside out. Wash dark colors separately. Do not use fabric conditioner. 40 degree wool cycle. Do not bleach. Do not iron. Tumble Dry on LOW Heat. Do not dry clean.". I estimate I've washed the Socks a total of 8-10 times, following the directions with the only deviation being I line dried the Socks as I do all my technical gear. The Socks are starting to show adverse signs of wear with some pilling and loose threads.

STAR ATTRACTIONS

1.) Super soft and silky interior
2.) Made from sustainable bamboo
3.) Retain fresh smell for long periods of wear

MINOR DISTRACTIONS

1.) Slide down my shins to rest on my ankles after a couple hours
2.) Showing signs of wear after only 4 months

SUMMARY

The Bridgedale Bamboo Crew Socks are one of the softest socks I've had the pleasure of wearing. The silky-smooth interior is so nice to slide my feet into. However, I've found the lack of staying power on my shins to be a major drawback when backpacking or hiking. It's not so much a problem as during casual wear, but very distracting on the trail. That irritation plus the excessive wear - which I believe is from the hard unforgiving nature of boot wearing - has sadly relocated the Socks from my gear closet to my casual sock drawer.

To be fair, Bridgedale does not advertise these Socks to be ideal for hiking and backpacking but for "lifestyle, sport and everyday activities." My experiences prove this to be true, so maybe my problems with "ankle bunching" and excessive wear are a result of too rough treatment.

I will continue to wear them 'round-about-town though, until they are totally shapeless and/or fall totally apart. They are that soft!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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