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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Fox River Escape Crew Socks > Test Report by Ken Bigelow

Fox River Escape Crew Socks
Test Report Series by Ken Bigelow
Initial ReportJuly 9, 2008
Field Report - September 9, 2008
Long Term Report - November 24, 2008

Fox River Escape Crew Socks 

Personal Biographical Information:

Name: Ken Bigelow
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Height: 5' 8" (1.7 m)
Weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Shoe Size: Men’s 10 (US)
Email address: krb84108 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 

Backpacking Background:

My adventures vary in length from a weekend to over two weeks.  I am shifting my backpacking style to a lightweight approach.  I use hammocks and lightweight tents to reduce weight.  From spring through fall I typically backpack in the mountains or desert, while in winter I often go snowshoeing.  I typically see a wide variety of climates ranging from -5 F (-20 C) with snow to 90 F (32 C) and sunny with just about everything in between.

Initial Report
July 9, 2008
Escape Crew Socks

Product Information:

Manufacturer: Fox River
Year Manufactured: 2008
Color Tested: 1 Pair Black, 1 Pair White 
Listed Weight: N/A
Style: 1284
Measured Weights: 2.2 oz (62 g) per pair - 1.1 oz (32 g) per sock
Size Tested: Large
Product Content: 40% Ingeo PLA, 35% Nylon, 23% Recycled polyester, 2% Spandex 

Product Description & Initial Impressions:

I received two pair of Fox River Escape Crew Socks to test – one black pair, one white pair.  Each had a plastic tag clip connecting one pair of socks together (i.e. the black socks clipped together and the white socks clipped together) with a tag listing the company name, logo, product name, product contents, size, style and color.
Fox River Escape Crew Socks Black & White
Fox River Escape Crew Socks - Black & White

At the time of my Initial Report the Escape Crew Socks are not listed on Fox River’s website so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect (other than socks of course).  The Escape Socks have a 7 in (18 cm) ribbed leg which I would describe as lightweight is the approximate thickness of a sock liner.  This is noticeably thinner than the rest of the sock.  The thicker material, that runs from the toe to the heel, I would probably call a mid-weight material.

The black pair of Escape Crew Socks are really black and gray with a small of red stripe around the cuff. The gray color dominates the socks around the toes and under the bottom of the socks from the toes to the heel in an hourglass pattern.  There are also gray lines across the front of the ankle and small elliptical depressions giving the front instep a bit of a honeycomb feel (not unpleasant to the touch though). Across the instep, just before the toes, the Fox River name and logo are printed in gray as well.  The black color covers most of the instep and wraps around the arch.  The ribbed leg on the front is also black but the back of the leg is a mixed black and gray woven pattern.  Various black and gray patterns appear around the ankle and curve and swirl out across the sides of the instep.
Escape Scocks Top ViewEscape Socks Bottom View
The Top (left) & Bottom (right) of the Fox River Escape Crew Socks

The white pair of Escape Socks have the same fabric and stitching patterns as the black but are completely white except for the gray Fox River name and logo printed across the instep near the toes.  I am a bit concerned about my ability to keep these socks white but that is only because I’ve never been able to keep any of my white hiking socks white after a few trips and has no reflection on Fox River or the Escape socks just the way I do laundry (if one could call what I do laundering).

The socks fit me just fine and I found them very soft and comfortable to put on.  The sock’s texture feels nice on my feet.  All the stitching looks sound and I was unable to detect any defects after inspecting the Escape Socks.  I am looking forward to testing these socks.

The Fox River Escape Crew Socks are a comfortable sock with a soft, mid-weight lower section and a thin, lightweight leg extension.  I like the fit and texture of the Escape socks and am looking forward to testing them for the next few months.
Things I like so far:
  • Fit of the socks
  • Comfortable texture
  • Soft
Things I’m concerned about
  • Nothing at this time except my inability to keep white hiking socks white

Field Report
September 9, 2008

Fox River Escape Crew Socks

Field Conditions:

So far I used the Fox River Escape socks for a total of 17 days.  I used the socks for a three day backpacking trip in the High Uintas Wilderness and five days of backpacking in the Wasatch Mountains.  I used them on a total of nine days combined dayhiking/camping with six days in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and the other three in Baxter State Park in Maine.  I have worn the socks for three consecutive days on three occasions.  Temperatures have ranged from 29 F (-2 C) to around 85 F (29 C).  I have seen rain, some hail, crossed (and once cascaded down) snowfields been boulder hopping and hiked on both muddy and flooded trails and encountered dry dirt/rocky trails while wearing the Escape Socks.

Field Report:

So far the Fox River Escape Socks have performed really well through two months of testing.  The Escape socks are very comfortable to wear.  I have no problems leaving them on my feet for days at a time.  My hikes have covered eight to over twenty miles (13-32 km) a day in the socks and it was nice to have such comfortable socks on my feet during all of my hikes.  They have done a superb job of wicking moisture and keeping my sweaty feet dry. 

I did manage to break one of my toes during the test period (not while wearing the socks) and the Escape socks have provided enough cushioning going uphill or on flat terrain that it does not hurt very badly at all.  The exception would be going downhill or on sharp rocks.  I can really feel the pain in my toe when walking on either of the latter mentioned terrains, but I believe this is because I use my toes more in these situations while hiking and has nothing to do with the socks' performance. 
The Escape socks have been exposed to quite a bit of moisture.  In Maine’s Baxter State Park I arrived to find the trails completely flooded from storms and it rained heavily everyday I was there except one.  Everything was wet and I had to make an effort to keep my feet from becoming completely submerged on almost every step I took.  At night I hung my socks in my tent (as it continued to rain) and they managed to dry out before I awoke for a summit run on the only dry day I saw.  I was very glad as I took the Dudley route (the steepest trail) up Katahdin and ended up going over Knife’s Edge en route to the summit.  I had no blisters or hot spots for the trip.
No Blisters in Baxter State Park
No Blisters in Baxter State Park

On a backpacking trip in the Wasatch Mountains I tried to hike down a snow field instead of glissading it.  I regretting my lapse in judgment part way down as I cascaded a good 30-40 ft/9-12 m before arresting.  My shoes (and my pockets) were completely filled with snow afterward and I took a short break to dry them a little before hiking the last five miles (8 km) out. While they were still damp when I started hiking again I never had any blisters or hot spots on this trip either.  I was glad that they dried as much as they did in the half an hour break I took.

  Drying the White Socks
Drying the White Pair of Fox River Escape Socks

I have been unsuccessful in keeping the white pair white.  I have been unable to keep any other white hiking socks their original color for very long anyway (probably due to the fact that I hike in mesh trail runners most of the summer) so I wasn’t surprised by this.  This isn’t important to me though as they function just fine.  One odd thing to note about the Escape socks is that the black pair seems to really have odor issues after a long day on the trail.  While my feet typically do not smell like roses after hiking the black seem to be much more potent than most socks I’ve tried.  The white ones smell about the same as any other hiking sock I’ve used, but the black set really stink after a day of use.  This makes me suspect it has something to due with the dye used, but that is only speculation on my part.  I’ve left the dirty black socks it in a vehicle and a daypack.  Both smelled like the socks and needed to be aired out a bit before the aroma dissipated.  Washing the socks (inside out in warm water tumble dry low after every trip per Fox River's website) definitely helps and the socks smell pretty much like any other sock again after laundering.  While smell isn’t as important as performance to me it is noticeable.
For the first two months of testing I have not experienced any durability problems at all.  There are no loose threads that I can tell and I haven’t noticed any pilling either.  The socks have not lost any elasticity (not become over stretched) or worn down in any way that I can detect. 
So far the Fox River Escape Socks have been very comfortable and a great performing sock.  They wick moisture well, dry quickly and I’ve had no durability issues with them whatsoever.  The black pair do seem to have odor issues while the white pair I can’t keep white (though I’ve had this problem with all white hiking socks I own).  Neither of these matter much to me though as they still function fine.

Things I Like:
  • No blisters or hotspots while hiking
  • Wicks well
  • Comfortable
  • Dries quickly
  • No durability issues so far

Things I’m Not Thrilled About:
  • Colored socks have an unusually strong odor after hiking
  • White socks can’t stay clean

Long Term Report
November 24, 2008
Grandeur Arch
Long Term Testing Conditions:
For the last two months I have used the Fox River Escape Crew Socks in Capital Reef National Park, Great Basin National Park, the High Uintas Wilderness, and the Wasatch Mountains.  Elevations have ranged from 4,200 ft (1,280 m) to 13,100 ft (4,000 m).  Temperatures have been between 20 F (-6 C) and 75 F (24 C).  The terrain has included rocks, sand, dirt, mud and snow covered trails.  I’ve seen rain, snow and sun while wearing the Escape socks.

Fox River Escape Crew Socks
Fox River Escape Crew Socks
Long Term Report:
Over the four month test period I’ve wore the socks with my New Balance 1091 trail runners, my Montrail Nautilus trail runners, my Kayland Contact 1000 boots and my Zamberlan RICA 154.  For the trail runners the socks have been perfect but wearing them with the boots I have ended up using them more as a liner simply because the boots fit me pretty loosely.
The Fox River Escape Socks function fine in mild and moderate conditions.  They are soft, comfortable and do an excellent job of wicking moisture.  I still have not had any blisters while wearing the socks.  They don’t keep my feet warm in colder temperatures, but they clearly are not designed as winter weight socks so I am not surprised by this at all.
After four months of use I have had no durability issues to report at all with the exception of color change in the white socks (permanently looks dirty).  I haven’t seen any pilling of the socks over the course of the test period and haven’t had any loose threads on either pair.  The white pair is now more of a brown/tan/white mix from constantly getting them dirty (and my inability to keep white socks white).
The funky smell I noted in my Field Report seemed to go away after I washed the socks a few times without wearing them in between.  There are traces after I wear the socks for multiple days in a row, but if I only wear them for a day hike they aren’t worse than any other sock in the smell department.

The Fox River Escape Crew socks are soft, comfortable and perform excellently during outdoor activities.  The do a nice job wicking moisture and I haven’t had a single blister while hiking in them.  I was unable to keep the white pair looking white, but that doesn’t matter much to me because their performance was unaffected by appearance. 
Things I like:
  • Soft
  • Comfortable
  • Wicks moisture well
  • Durable
Things I wasn’t too excited about:
  • I couldn’t keep the white socks looking clean
  • The socks develop a fairly strong, funky odor after wearing them for multiple days

This concludes my Long Term Report.  Thanks to Fox River and backpackgeartest for allowing me the opportunity to test the Escape Crew Socks.

Read more reviews of Fox River Mills gear
Read more gear reviews by Ken Bigelow

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Fox River Escape Crew Socks > Test Report by Ken Bigelow

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