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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > DeFeet Blaze > Jennifer Pope > Test Report by Jennifer Pope

DeFeet Blaze Socks
Test Report
last updated: May 28, 2007

Biographical Information Product Information Initial Impressions/Product Description Field Report Long Term Report Summary

DeFeet Blaze socks


Biographical Information
Name Jennifer Pope
Age 26
Gender Female
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)
Weight 150 lb (68 kg)
Shoe size women's 8 US
Email Address Jennifer dot Pope at gmail dot com
Location Los Angeles, CA
Backpacking Background
Intermediate. I've been a car-camper as long as I can remember and started backpacking in Northern California when I was 16. I've been backpacking for a little over a year after a hiatus during college. I backpack in the Sierras as well as National Forests and Parks in the Los Angeles vicinity. I also spend time in the California deserts and the mountains and coast of Northern California. I'm a tent camper leaning towards lightweight; but I'm also a fan of gadgets and I like being comfortable. I also frequently day hike close to home and while car camping.

Product Information (back to top)
Manufacturer DeFeet
Manufacturer URL http://www.defeet.com/
Year of Manufacture 2006
Size Tested Small - Available in S & M
Claimed Weight none listed
Actual Weight 2.5 oz/71 g per pair
Color Tested pink
MSRP $13.00 US
Material contents 63% wool, 27% nylon, 10% Lycra



Initial Report
December 5, 2006

Initial Impressions & Product Description (back to top)

Upon initial inspection I really like what I see. The socks feel thick and plush. The color is bright pink.

Description

These are some bright pink socks. Unfortunately it looks like the women's Blaze socks only come in pink. The men's wool Blaze socks only come in black and the Coolmax Blaze socks come in gray/blue and gray/orange. The pink Blaze socks are the only ones specifically designed for a woman. Hopefully the color selection will expand. I like pink- but I also like a little variety. There are a lot of panels of different shades of pink on the socks including a band right around the middle of my foot that makes the sock fit snugly. "The Blaze, DeFeet SM" is printed on the left side of both socks (see below). There's also a darker pink zig zag around the cuff of the sock. Based on the website description the socks are what I expected.

DeFeet Blaze socks


The Fit

The socks fit very well. They are snug around the middle of my foot and in the heel with ample space in the toe box. The socks feel very comfortable on my feet. When I first opened the socks I thought they felt very thick and plush; more so than other socks I've worn in the past. After I put them on my feet they actually felt more like regular socks (with a normal thickness). They are very comfortable. The sock covers my ankle and they're not too tight to feel constraining.

Features

DeFeet claims that these socks are great for everything- marathons, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, etc. I won't be using them in conditions quite that extreme.

According to the packaging these socks have a puncture resistant heel and toe. I hope this feature works well because my toes love to put holes in socks. There also appears to be several other ventilation "zones" on the socks.

They're also made in the USA!

Washing instructions

Machine wash cold, tumble-dry low, no chlorine bleach.

Warranty

DeFeet offers a one year warranty from the original purchase date. DeFeet will repair or replace products with defects in materials or workmanship.

Field Report
March 14, 2007


Field Conditions (back to top)

I have worn these socks a lot over the first two months of the test period. I've worn them casually with my regular (non-hiking) shoes, working out at the gym, riding my bike, dayhiking around Los Angeles, and snowshoeing in the mountains near Los Angeles. Temperatures have ranged from lows in the 30s F (0 C) to highs in the upper 80s F (30 C). I have experienced snowfall, rain and warm sunny days. Elevations have been from sea level to 8,300 ft (2,530 m).

Field Use

Fit
The socks fit perfectly. I feel like they "hug" my feet. I would choose these socks for lounging around the house and hiking along a trail. They feel nice and snug without being tight. Plus they're comfortable all day long. These socks are a little thicker than a lightweight sock. They are really right in the middle of a lightweight sock and a thick wool sock. One thing that doesn't quite add up is that the thickness of the fabric in the cuff doesn't match up to the thickness in the foot of the sock. Perhaps the thickness is just there to provide a more cushy feeling, but I would welcome ankle protection as well to minimize my shoe rubbing against my ankle.

I have worn these socks frequently with my Vasque trail runners and my Nike trail runners. My Nike trail runners are a little snugger on my feet so I prefer wearing these socks with the Vasques which have the extra space to accomodate them. I think these socks work really well with a heavier lowtop shoe.

Function
So what good is a comfortable sock if it doesn't work well in the field, right? Fortunately, these socks can do that too. What I have found most surprising is that although these are thick socks, they don't make my feet overly hot. This was a nice surprise. When I wore these on a cold, snowy day in the 30s F (0 C), I wore them as a liner with a thick pair of wool socks over them. This was probably overkill because it wasn't that cold, but, despite making my shoes a little snug, the socks worked pretty well.

I'm not prone to blisters, but I did not get any blisters, or even a hint of a blister, while wearing these socks. I think a lot of this is due to the fact that my feet don't get sweaty while I'm wearing these socks.

Care and Durability
I have washed these socks in my regular front-loading washing machine like I would any other dark colored garment- cold water, regular wash cycle and then dried under the regular heat setting. So far the socks seem to be holding up fine to this treatment. I have started to notice some minor piling but the socks have been washed no less than 10 times so I don't think this is unexpected. The socks have retained their thick feeling and have not gotten stretched out during washing or wear.

Aesthetics
It could be argued that this section has no place in a review of backpacking gear; but as a backpacker of the female gender I feel it deserves mentioning. I have found it a little bit annoying that the only color this sock comes in is pink, and a really bright pink at that. The men's version of this sock comes in three colors; I'd like to see the women's sock in all the same colors. I'm also not crazy about the zig zag around the cuff of the sock. It seems unnecessary. In the backcountry I might not care what my socks look like; but if I'm also going to wear them to the gym and on dayhikes I'd like them to look a little less childish. This, of course, does not take anything away from the fit or function of the sock which I think is really good overall.

Long Term Report
May 28, 2007


Field Conditions (back to top)

I have continued to wear these socks hiking throughout the Los Angeles area- including a hike to the top of Mount Hollywood, which has since been destroyed by a fire, unfortunately. During the test period conditions in Los Angeles have been cool to warm with temperatures in the high 50s to 80s F (15 to 25 C). In addition to the Los Angeles area, I also wore these socks in Joshua Tree National Park. Here temperatures dipped into the 30s F (0 C) at night up to the mid-60s F (15 C) during the day. During this trip it rained and it was very, very windy.

Field Use

After the end of the final two months of testing, I continue to agree with each of the points I mentioned previously. I really enjoy the fit of the socks. They have a lot of cushioning on the sole of the sock. I have found this to be very comfortable while hiking. I would still welcome some additional padding in the cuff of the sock. This would allow me to wear the socks with a more heavy duty shoe (like a backpacking boot). I also like how snug the socks feel around the middle of my foot (encircling my arches) without being tight.

In my trip to the desert it got quite chilly after the sun went down and it was also quite windy (in the 50s F/10s C with very strong gusts). Around camp, I like to wear my Crocs because they are much more comfortable than hiking shoes while I'm hanging out in camp. On this particular night I thought it would be too cold to wear Crocs since they're basically sandals. To my surprise the socks kept my feet nice and warm. They never felt chilled at all. Even my husband, who's always warmer than me, felt cold on that night and my feet were nice and warm.

I have found the durability of these socks to be good. The socks have some pilling on them but nothing out of the ordinary or unusual. Overall, the socks seem to be in good shape after moderate use.



Summary (back to top)

So far the socks feel comfortable and fit well. The socks breathe well and help prevent my feet from getting overly sweaty and are also able to keep them warm in the cold. I will continue to wear these socks after the test period (just not with shorts due to the bright pink color). I would like to see these socks with a more padded ankle so I can wear them with more heavy-duty boots and in a variety of colors- preferably in a more muted color palette.



Thank you to DeFeet and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test this item.

Read more reviews of DeFeet gear
Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Pope

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > DeFeet Blaze > Jennifer Pope > Test Report by Jennifer Pope



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