Farm to Feet Jamestown Socks
TEST SERIES BY LARRY KIRSCHNER
INITIAL REPORT - April 13, 2014
LONG-TERM REPORT - November 15, 2014
asklarry98 at hotmail dot com
5' 9" (1.75 m)
210 lb (95 kg)
10.5 or 11 (US sizing)
I've been an intermittent camper/paddler since my teens, but when my kids were avid Boy Scouts,
I caught the backpacking bug. Now that they have grown up, my wife and I plan to continue our adventures on the
trail. I consider myself a mid-weight backpacker because I like comfort, but I can always learn to go lighter and
April 13, 2014
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Farm to Feet
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Country of Manufacture: USA
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.farmtofeet.com
MSRP: USD $19.00
Sizes: Small; (small women), Medium (average women, small men), Large (large women, average men), X-Large (large men).
Colors: Wooly Blue/Formula One (red), Berry/Platinum, Lead Grey/Brown, and Sycamore/Black
Weight: Measured 83.5 g/2.95 oz (1 pair of large socks)
Farm to Feet Jamestown socks are medium weight hiking socks designed for hiking and adventuring, which I presume
includes backpacking. The socks are crew height, meaning they are designed to reach about halfway up the calf.
The socks are constructed from73% Merino wool, 26% nylon, and 1% Spandex, all of which were sourced and produced
in the United States. According to the manufacturer's website, the socks are fully cushioned and have a seamless
toe closure, which is designed to reduce the bulk at the toe box and reduce friction blisters. Because they are
partly made from nylon and Spandex, they are designed to provide a moderate degree of compression ("comfort
compression") to produce a firm fit. This type of construction is proposed to provide maximum comfort as well as
good support "to help fight fatigue."
As shown in the photo, the socks have an articulated heel and toe as well as an elastic band around the top. There
is an area of ribbing in the central part of the foot, and the toe area is a little wider. Consistent with the
notion that this sock is fully padded, the thickness of the sock is uniform from top to bottom, including at the
heel and toe. There are seams palpable on the inside, but they are very flat.
As shown in the photo at the top of the report and as listed in the colors available, all of the combinations of
the Jamestown socks have two
colors, but this appears to be solely decorative, as I cannot detect a seam between the colors or identify any
difference in thickness. The colors I was provided are the Wooly Blue/Formula One (left), Lead Grey/Brown
(middle), and Sycamore/Black (right). The Berry/Platinum socks appear to be the color of a strawberry milkshake,
with a darker pink/grayish tint on the lower surface.
Aside from the Farm to Feet logo displayed above the toe, the socks have the size knitted into the inside of the
band at the top of the sock. I think this would come in handy if my wife and I ever have the same color socks.
INSTRUCTIONS and WARRANTY
The recommended care for the socks is "Machine wash cold/ lay flat to dry"
The socks are also guaranteed for life. On the packaging material which accompanied each pair, the guarantee reads
"If you are not completely satisfied with the durability or performance of your Farm To Feet socks, then please
return them for a replacemenet or a refund."
An address for said return is conveniently provided.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS and TRYING IT OUT
The socks have a nice appearance and appear quite well made. I gave them a brief test by wearing them around the
house with no boots. They are narrow but stretch easily to conform to my feet. There is less compression than I thought
there might be. This makes the socks more comfortable, but I am worried a little bit that they might slip and rub
somewhat when I wear them on the trail. Although I wore them indoors in the nice comfy 70F/21 C weather, my feet
did not feel hot.
EXPECTATIONS for the Farm to Feet Jamestown Socks:
I'm expecting that these socks will serve me well on the trail, and I will be testing that out over the next
few months. I want to see how they do in terms of the comfort of the fit as well as the cushioning.
THE STORY SO FAR
- Seem well made
- Fully cushioned
- Nice assortment of color schemes
- Will they slide on my feet?
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November 15, 2014
I have gotten a lot of use out of the socks over the past few months.
1) My first trip with the socks was a 6-mile/10-km weekend trip in May on the Twin Valley Trail in Germantown, Ohio. It was between
60 and 68 F (15 - 20 C) while on the trail, but we got caught in a thunderstorm which lasted about 15 minutes during the hike.
Fortunately, it cleared off after the squall came through, so we were able to dry off some. The rain came back in the afternoon when
we were back in camp, though. All in all, a wet weekend.
2) My second trip was a 10-day, 100-mi/160-km canoe trip to the Atikaki wilderness in Manitoba in mid July. Overall, the weather was
generally nice, with temperatures in the upper 40's to mid-50's F (9-12 C) overnight, and daytime highs in the mid 70's to 80 F (24-27 C)
with a lot of sun. We had one day of extremely windy conditions followed by about a day and half of rain, leaving seven and a half days of
beautiful blue skies.
3) The third trip was another weekend on the Twin Valley Trail in mid-August, although we hiked a different segment of the trail. We hiked 12 miles/19 kilometers over 2 days, doing most of the
work (10 mi/16 km) on day 1 and the remainder on day 2. The weather was surprisingly cool the first night (low of 49 F/9.5 C) but beautiful
for backpacking during the day (high of 77 F/25 C) although we did get some rain late in the afternoon and early evening. The second night
was warmer and humid, with an overnight low of 64 F/18 C and a high of 75 F/24 C, with threatening skies which did not rain on us the
rest of the trip.
4) Finally, my fourth trip with these socks was a weekend backpacking trip on the Wildcat Hollow trail in Corning, Ohio, where we hiked
15 mi/24 km. It was rainy and dark when we got to the trailhead to set up on Friday, with temperatures down to about 47 F/8 C). It had stopped
raining in the morning, and the rest of the trip wasn't bad, with sunny and cool weather with a high of 62 F /17 C and a low of 39 F/4 C
overnight on Saturday, and temps up to 62 F/17 C on Sunday.
Farm To Feet generously provided three pairs of socks for this test, although I wore the same pair as my primary socks for all the backpacking.
The same pair of socks was used for my 'dry' socks when canoeing, meaning that I put them on each evening when I got to camp, but didn't do any hiking.
A second pair of the socks served as my 'wet' socks for canoeing. For this pair, I put them on every morning before getting on the water. They spent most of the
10 days wet during the day although I hung them to dry each evening. I also wore these as my second pair for backpacking. The third pair I have not
used at all on the trail. This strategy was by design, so that I could compare the socks that were worn to those that are still in pristine condition.
Most of the time when hiking, I wore the socks with silk liners, although I did hike once without liners. When canoeing, I didn't use any liners at
Fit and Comfort: As shown in the Initial Report, the socks have elastic across the mid-foot, but are much looser in the toebox. I was worried that this might
cause the socks to slip or bunch up in the toes of my boots, but I did not observe this happening. Once or twice, I had to stop during the day to
adjust the socks and retie my boots, but this is not uncommon for me, so I would say that the socks behaved similarly to other hiking socks I have
used. Once I got my socks and boots settled, I had no issues and did not develop any blisters or hotspots while hiking. The socks are quite gentle
on the skin, and I found them quite comfortable to wear without liners. Although they
are comfortable, I would have liked a little more padding in the socks, as I don't feel they had much of a shock absorber effect. I also found that
my midfoot was getting a little more fatigued than usual, which I attributed to the fact that the socks are narrowest there.
Durability: The socks seem well made, and I have a difficult time figuring out which are the ones I have worn and which are the ones that are
still unused. I can tell if I'm careful, but these socks have held up extremely well with the use noted above and having been washed 4-5 times by
now. I didn't take any special care when washing the socks, meaning they were washed in cold water with my front-loading washing machine
and then thrown in the dryer on low heat. There are no loose threads that I can see and the elastic remains tight.
Odor resistance: Even after 10 days of canoeing, the socks were still nice and fresh without any odor. The same was true after multiple
weekend hiking trips, despite the fact that the weather on the first was reasonably warm.
Drying: My Farm to Feet socks have actually spent quite a bit of time wet, both on the canoe trip and during my rainy hiking trips. Because they
seem relatively thick, I thought they might take a long time to dry, despite what Farm to Feet claims about the socks. Wrong again, Kirschner! It tended to get
a little windy in the late afternoon/evening on the canoe trip, and this was generally sufficient to have the socks completely dry in the morning.
Even when it was fairly still, hanging the socks on the line led to mostly dry socks by morning. I also threw them in the bottom of my sleeping bag
one night, and that also worked to dry them out just about all the way.
Overall, I found these socks to be sturdy and well made. I liked wearing them at night because they are soft and
comfortable. However, I felt that they made my feet a little more tired than I expected because of their construction. I will
continue to wear them on the trail but I don't think they will replace my current go-to socks.
Things I liked about the Farm to Feet Jamestown Socks:
Things I disliked about the Jamestown socks:
- Outstanding durability
- Comfortable with or without liners
- Dry surprisingly quickly
- Odor resistant
- Shape (narrow in mid-foot, wider at the toe) not ideal for my feet
Thanks to Farm to Feet for providing these sharp socks for testing, and to BackpackGearTest.org for giving me
the chance to participate in the evaluation process.
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Read more reviews of Farm to Feet gear
Read more gear reviews by Larry Kirschner