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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Feetures Bamboo and Wool Hiking socks > Test Report by Jennifer Pope

Feetures! Bamboo & Wool Hiking Socks
Test Report
Last Updated: April 21, 2009

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

Feetures! Hiking socks


Biographical Information
Name Jennifer Pope
Age 28
Gender Female
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)
Weight 145 lb (66 kg)
Email Address Jennifer.Pope@gmail.com
Location Los Angeles, California
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 backpacked for about 3 years but I am currently on a hiatus after giving birth to my first child in May 2008. I hike and car camp all over California; the deserts, the coast, alpine mountains, and lower elevation mountains. I sleep in a tent with my husband and daughter and I dayhike with a small daypack or with my daughter on my back.

Product Information (back to top)
Manufacturer Feetures!
Manufacturer URL http://www.feeturesbrand.com/
Year of Manufacture 2008
Size Medium (Men's 5-8 1/2 US; Women's 6 1/2-9 1/2 US)
Color Charcoal heather
Fabric content 39% Bamboo, 35% Wool, 22% Nylon, 2% Polyester, 2% Lycra Spandex
Claimed Weight not listed
Actual Weight 3.5 oz (99 g)
MSRP $16.99 US



Initial Report
November 22, 2008


Initial Impressions & Product Description (back to top)

These socks are pretty much what I expected but a bit thicker. I've never worn bamboo socks before (or any clothing made from bamboo for that matter) so I was expecting them to feel like typical wool hiking socks.

Description

I received these socks in the Charcoal Heather color and in a size Medium. The color is agreeable; just standard heather gray and screams "hiking sock" to me. The toe and the heel are just charcoal (no heather). There is also an 'M' on the inside arch of each sock. When I pull the socks up all the way they come about 3/4 of the way up my calf.

wearing the socks


Feetures! guarantees that these will be the most comfortable pair of socks I (or anyone) has ever worn. I have to say that after putting them on for the first time, I can't disagree. The socks have a silky texture compared to other wool or wool-blend socks I have worn. I have to guess that it's the bamboo that's providing that texture. It's quite nice. The toe of the sock also appears to be tailored well. It curves down around my smaller toes so there isn't a lot of extra fabric to annoy me and possibly cause discomfort. The sock is extra snug around the arch of my foot. The sock is snug around my calf but not tight. So far I am quite pleased with the fit of these socks.

contoured toe


A word about the environment

Minimizing my impact on the environment is an important issue to me and I won't belabor the point because it's not germane to this review. But it is important for me to note that bamboo is a sustainable material, as is wool. I am happy to see both of these products used here and I'm happy to see they make up 74% of the total fiber content of the sock. I am also happy to see that the cardboard sleeve is made of recycled materials and Feetures! encourages people to recycle the packaging. They also state that there isn't any plastic in the packaging. They have more details on their website.

Workmanship

I did notice one small defect on the socks. On the top of each sock there is one small loose thread. It's just a very small snag. It's in a similar place on each sock. It looks like it could have been caused by the plastic tags that often attach socks to cardboard sleeves or price tags but there weren't any of these on the socks. I will of course pay attention to whether this progresses into any further issue. Right now it is very negligible and almost invisible in the heather pattern.

a little snag

Washing Instructions

Pretty simple, machine wash in warm water and tumble dry. They encourage washing inside out for the best results.

Field Report
March 5, 2009


Field Conditions
(back to top)

I used these socks on several day hikes in the Los Angeles area over the field test period. These hikes were all fairly short in duration (under 5 miles/8 km). These were all on maintained paths. I was wearing trail runners on all of these hikes. I also wore these socks on several more occasions under normal every day circumstances. All hiking was done under dry conditions but one hike was the day after a rain storm so the trail was somewhat wet.

Field Report (back to top)

I think these socks have performed well over the test period so far. There has been some fairly significant pilling on the socks so far. Right now it's hard to tell if the darker colored part of the socks is pilling more or if the foot area is pilling more. It is true that the foot area has piled much more than the ankle of the sock. In my opinion that is normal for a sock that is some part wool. That hasn't affected the performance of the socks thus far. I also can't say for sure that I've always washed the socks inside out. I try to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for washing but sometimes I don't do the wash.

piling

This picture isn't really out of focus, the pilling just makes the socks look that fuzzy.

Additionally, this long string decided to show up one day. I'm not sure if I snagged the sock on something or if it just came out on its own. There isn't a hole yet but I'm not going to pull the string to find out if one develops.

string

Crazy long string and fuzzies.

I have been wearing these socks with a fairly light load, usually around 10 lbs (4.5 kg), and on mostly flat trails. I have not experienced any blisters or hot spots while wearing these socks. It is winter and the temperatures are mild, so it hasn't been a strenuous test on these socks, but nonetheless, I have not had any problems with hot or sweaty feet. This is occasionally a problem for me. I will monitor this in the next stage of testing and as temperatures increase into the spring.

I have found these socks to be quite warm. Here in mild Southern California, socks only need be thick enough to prevent rubbing between the foot and shoe. Warmth really isn't ever needed. I have found that I have still felt comfortable overall in these socks while hiking despite how warm they are. But, for example, when I'm just sitting around my house, my feet get hot. For some reason this doesn't bother me in the field though. On a related note, the socks are on the thick side. So they don't fit well in the shoes I have that fit more snug.

I find the socks stay in place well when I hike. Initially I was a little bit concerned that the socks might be too constrictive around my calves, but that hasn't been the case so far. The socks are snug and they do leave a slight indentation when I take them off, but I don't notice it at all while I'm hiking.

field

Wearing the socks on a hike in Malibu Creek State Park.

 

Field Conditions (back to top)

Over the Long Term test period I spent two days in Joshua Tree National Park. The socks were exposed to the sand, rocks and dirt while inside my Crocs in camp and were used on one dayhike in my trailrunners. On this dayhike I carried a daypack with some basic supplies and gear. It was warm, in the 70s F (25 C), dry and clear.

I also wore the socks on 3 dayhikes in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County. This is chaparral territory with a lot of low bushes and rocky terrain. On all hikes it was temperate, in the 60s and 70s F (15-25 C), and dry.

Additionally I used the socks for some additional urban use to add to the wear and tear on the socks.

Long Term Report (back to top)

My experience over the Long Term test period is pretty consistent with the first half of the test. The socks have continued to perform well. Signs of wear haven't really increased since my last report. There continues to be pilling on the socks and the long string is still there (but hasn't developed any further). I haven't noticed any thinning in the heels or anywhere else on the socks. They socks still feel quite thick and plush which is nice.

Over the test period I was able to wear the socks down to some pretty cool temperatures. I slept in the socks down to the mid-30s F (0 C). I was fairly bunddled up overall but just had these socks on my feet and my feet stayed pretty warm throughout the night. I was satisfied with how they worked. Before I got in my sleeping bag and tent I had been wearing the socks around camp with regular Crocs on (i.e. with holes) and my feet stayed nice and warm. I was quite comfortable.

I continue to find that my feet stay quite comfortable when I'm hiking in these socks under mild or warm conditions (70s F/25 C). This is the warmest temperatures I've experienced hiking so far. I occasionally have problems with sweating between my toes while hiking and I haven't experienced that with these socks.

Summary

Comfortable, plush socks that have performed well under warm conditions and kept my feet warm on cool nights. Bonus points for being good for the planet too!


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



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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Feetures Bamboo and Wool Hiking socks > Test Report by Jennifer Pope



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