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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > DeFeet Classico > Chuck Kime > Test Report by Chuck Kime

DeFeet Classico Socks
Photo courtesy www.defeet.com
DeFeet Classico Socks

Contents
Reviewer Information[return to top]
Name: Chuck Kime
Nickname: Fuzzy
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Height: 5' 8" (1.72 m)
Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Email address: chuck_kime AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country: Upper Darby (Philadelphia suburb), PA, U.S.A.

Additional Information applicable to this test
Foot size: 9½EEEE (US)
Shoe size: 8½EEE-10D (US), depending on cut of shoe

Backpacking Background[return to top]
My family started car/trailer camping when I was about 5. I now go on monthly Boy Scout camping/hiking weekends, with similar family trips occasionally, and plan to add one or two week-long trips per year. Advancing age, arthritic knees and injuries have led me to rethink my gear choices, switch to hammocking, make some of my own gear, and look closer at my ‘toys’ with an eye for multi-use and light weight. I now have a sub-20 lb (9 kg) 3-season load – before food, fuel and water – and should be able to reduce it further with a little effort.

Additional Backpacking Background applicable to this test
I have been wearing socks for... lesseee... twelve times four... plus three... carry the one... oh, almost 40 years now. I prefer wool and silk or synthetics when hiking, and have recently been trying different singles/combinations to find what pads, cools and protects best. I also wear my ‘technical/hiking’ clothing at other times, so as not to increase the storage space I require by having duplicate items, and to give me increased testing opportunities.

Product Information[return to top]
Manufacturer: DeFeet
Model: Classico
Year of Manufacture: 2006
URL: http://www.defeet.com
Listed weight: none
Measured weight (pair, size Large): 2.2 oz (62 g), scale accurate to 0.1 oz
Color: DeFeet labels this as Old School Red Stripe. It is dark charcoal grey with a red-white-red stripe near the top, the white having the DeFeet logo woven in black.
Other color available: Old School Grey Stripe
MSRP: $12.00 US

Features/claims (from web site)[return to top]
  • Wool is a staple of the DeFeet line. We source the highest grade wools on the planet. Combined with DeFeet construction, the result is the finest wool sock that you can buy. The DeFeet wool line is continually growing. This year we've added the Classico™ as well as a SpeeDe™. Wool has attributes that can't be found in other fibers. DeFeet wool socks stay cooler in the heat because of the construction of the mesh. They stay warmer when they are wet and in cooler temperatures because of the amazing thermal properties of wool.
  • The Classico sock delivers modern performance in a 'retro' looking design. Other than looks, there is nothing retro about the Classico. The finest Merino wools give the Classico true four-season performance for cycling, running, nordic skiing, hiking, or just moving around town in a pair of clogs.

Initial Report - November, 2006
Arrival [return to top]
DeFeet Classico socks, as delivered The Classico Socks arrived on November 20, 2006. The package was received undamaged. Inside I found the socks in a standard retail hang package, along with the DeFeet Fall 2006 catalog. The packaging includes a diagram of the sock’s features (in English and French), as well as the ‘Ingredients’ and washing instructions, a sizing chart, and the one-year guarantee (also in English and French). There were no other contents, and all contents appeared undamaged.

Description [return to top]
The Classico is the latest addition to DeFeet’s line of wool socks. They are crew length, with a ribbed cuff about 6 in (15 cm) high, and a ribbed compression band about 1½ in (4 cm) wide wrapping all of the way around the mid-foot. The top of the foot is woven in DeFeet’s trademarked Aireator mesh. The size – “LG” in this case – is indicated on the left of each sock, just below the mesh section and behind the compression band. The Classico is constructed of 48% Merino Wool, 6% CoolMax+Fresh FX (an anti-bacterial fiber), 43% nylon, and 3% Lycra. While the packaging indicates that the Classico is part of DeFeet’s ‘Thin’ line of socks, the catalog lists them under the ‘Full Cushion’ line, with the ‘Forefoot Cushion’ line existing in between. My initial impression upon feeling the socks is that they are a ‘Thin’ design.

DeFeet Classico socks, pair

First Impressions [return to top]
The socks are exactly what I expected based on the web site, with one exception. In my experience, men’s size Large socks are usually US shoe size 10-13 – and are large enough to be too long for my feet – so I stick with Medium, as I prefer socks be slightly too small than slightly too large to prevent bunching. DeFeet’s size Large socks are US size 9.5-11.5, per the sizing chart on the web site. This sizing would put me in the lower range of Large instead of the upper range of Medium. With this in mind, and the large size of my calves, I chose the Large and am so far pleased with my choice.

Field Testing Plan [return to top]
Our Boy Scout troop camps monthly, generally in the wooded areas of southeastern Pennsylvania and the Pocono Mountains. Almost all of these outings include a minimum of 2 nights of camping, with temperatures expected to be from lows around 15 ºF (-9 ºC) to highs around 65 ºF (18 ºC) during the 4-month test period. Elevations will range from sea level to approximately 1,500’ (450 m). We have added monthly hikes to our schedule as well. My wife and I, who between us have 3 high-ranking boy scouts (ages 15, 16 and 17), are also looking into additional camping without the scouts, and there are possibilities of some AT section hikes (with overnights) in Pennsylvania with my son as he works towards the Hiking Merit Badge.

We have several trips definitely on our schedule so far for this winter: Thanksgiving weekend at a Scout camp, a Winter Survival campout held the first weekend in January, the Valley Forge Pilgrimage & Encampment (longest-running annual event in Scouting) in mid-February, and a possible ski trip in March. Temperatures last year for the regular events were perfect for testing, with Thanksgiving weekend ranging from a low of 23°F to a high of about 43°F (-5 to 6 °C) outside and maxing out at 50°F (10 °C) indoors, Winter Survival ranging from a low of 21°F to a high of about 31°F (-6 to 0 °C), and the P&E ranging from a low around 8-10 °F (-13 to -12 °C) to a high around 25-30 °F (-4 to -1 °C) with high winds and light snow. Temps and conditions this year should be comparable.

I generally wear socks while hiking, foregoing them only during warm weather around camp in my sandals. As I hope to be on some even more varied terrain in the coming months as our Scouts start choosing new destinations for our monthly trips, I think it is time to add additional socks to my pack, both to keep my feet warm & dry and to try different types out.

I plan to wear the socks on all coming outdoor trips, including camping and hiking, as well as wearing them to work (in an office) at least once a week, checking for both comfort and durability.

Things I am/will be looking for: [return to top]
  • Fit. Do they fit me? Is the sizing on the web site accurate?
  • Fabric. Is it durable? Does it stretch (permanently)? Does it fade? Is it windproof? Waterproof? Does it pill, pull, or snag readily?
  • Warmth. How cold can it get and still keep my feet warm in sandals? How warm can it get and still keep my feet cool in boots? How much warmth do they add to my sleep system?
  • Comfort. Do they keep my feet dry? Is the padding well located?
  • Washability. Are there special instructions? Are they easy to follow? Do they dry well? Do they hold much dirt in the first place?
Things I like [return to top]
  1. Light.
  2. Comfortable.
Things I don't like [return to top]
  1. Thinner than I expected.

Field Report - January, 2007
Field Testing [return to top]
Over the weekend of November 24-26, 2006, we took our annual troop trip to go cabin camping at a local, wooded Scout camp – elevation around 500 ft (150 m) and hilly. The weather was damp (from rain earlier in the week) and cool, around 45 °F (7 °C), with a fairly steady breeze. I wore the socks with sandals on trail walks around the camp. I did not notice my feet getting cold, nor sliding around in my sandals. The sole padding provided plenty of cushioning, and the calf stayed basically put with just a bit of downward creep (I’ve got fairly large calves). I tried the socks out with my hiking boots, but found the boots – which are sized for slightly thicker socks – to have a few too many protuberances inside to be very comfortable for any significant length of time with socks this thin.

Over the weekend of January 6-7, 2007, we attended the 44th annual Winter Survival trip in our Scout district, just outside Philadelphia at a local park and right near sea level. Per the written requirements for this trip, I arrived in heavy boots and socks. Once setup and lunch had been completed however, and the boys were off taking part in their competitions, I changed out of my heavy footwear and switched to the Classicos and my camp shoes (Airwalk Clogs) to hang around in camp. Temperatures for the weekend set all-time records for both the event and for Philadelphia on that date, reaching 73 °F (23 °C), so the coolness of the socks was welcome. As the weather cooled to about 50 °F (10 °C) for the evening and the next day, my feet remained comfortably warm – in camp shoes – even as I added layers to my top half.

I have worn the socks to the office about once a week since my Initial Report, with a variety of shoes. With my New Balance 851s, which are about a half-size too small, the socks are great. They also work very well with my Keen Venice sandals. As I mentioned above, my hiking boots are just a bit large for socks this thin. This is also the case with my New Balance 748s. This is by no means a problem with the socks, as they are very nicely cushioned and comfortable, but I have fitted the shoes with different socks in mind. As such, I will probably limit the socks to use with the first two pairs of shoes – and my clogs in camp.

I have worn the socks with the following footwear:
Things I am/will be looking for: [return to top]
  • Fit. Do they fit me? Is the sizing on the web site accurate?
  • Fabric. Is it durable? Does it stretch (permanently)? Does it fade? Is it windproof? Waterproof? Does it pill, pull, or snag readily?
  • Warmth. How cold can it get and still keep my feet warm in sandals? How warm can it get and still keep my feet cool in boots? How much warmth do they add to my sleep system?
  • Comfort. Do they keep my feet dry? Is the padding well located?
  • Washability. Are there special instructions? Are they easy to follow? Do they dry well? Do they hold much dirt in the first place?
My findings so far: [return to top]
  • Fit. Nice fit, supportive. I am very happy.
  • Fabric. I have noticed no permanent stretching, no fading, and no real wear. There is some slight pilling from washing, but no structural weakening that I can tell. The weave on top of the socks provides great ventilation, so windproof they are not. They are not waterproof.
  • Warmth. My feet have been warm down to 50 °F (10 °C), and have been cool and dry to around 70 °F (21 °C) in hiking boots.
  • Comfort. The sole and heel are very nicely cushioned for a sock this thin. I have yet to feel dampness from my feet while wearing these socks.
  • Washability. Machine and hand washed, and occasionally dried.
Things I like [return to top]
  1. Light.
  2. Comfortable.
Things I don't like [return to top]
  1. Thinner than I expected, but still comfortable and supportive.

Long Term Report - March, 2007
Field Testing [return to top]
Over the middle weekend of February our troop attended the 95th annual Valley Forge Pilgrimage and Encampment. Temperatures stayed below freezing for mostly the entire weekend, with the overnight low about 20 ºF (-7 ºC). The socks were too short (in my opinion) to wear with my old combat boots that I spent the days in, but I did change into them with shorter boots when we returned to camp at night. My feet got a bit cold standing around, but were comfortable when walking. They also made fine sleep socks.

I continue to wear the socks about once a week, and my findings have not changed since my Field Report. They continue to perform as well as they did when new. I am very happy with them.

Things I like [return to top]
  1. Light.
  2. Comfortable.
Things I don't like [return to top]
  1. Thinner than I expected (a matter of expectations, not a fault of the socks), but still comfortable and supportive. They are – by far – the best socks I have at this thickness.
Summary [return to top]
Great socks. They will likely be on all of my hikes in the future.
Thank you for your time.

Chuck Kime
a.k.a. Fuzzy


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