Fox River Organic Crew Socks
Reviewed By Pat
Initial Report: September 25, 2007
Field Report: November 29, 2007
Long-Term Report: February 2, 2008
Name: Pat McNeilly
Height: 5’ 8” (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: mcne4752 at yahoo dot com .
City, State, Country: Gaithersburg,
I have been hiking for at least 20 years but backpacking for only the last four
years. Most of my backpacking is done as
overnight trips and occasional weekend and weeklong trips. My typical packweight is approximately 18 to
20 lb (8 to 9 kg) before food or water.
Most of my backpacking is the three season variety in the mountains of
Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition to backpacking, I also fish,
hunt, and have been involved in disaster relief. As a result, some of my backpacking equipment
gets use in a number of different venues.
Product: Organic Crew Socks
Size: Large (Men’s 9-12½, Women’s 10½-12½, EC 42-46)
Manufacturer: Fox River Mills, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Listed Weight: Not listed
Measured Weight: 2.3 oz (65 g)
MSRP: $ 15.49 USD
Report Date: September 25, 2007
Product Description (as described by the manufacturer):
“Fox River Organic merino wool socks wick moisture for all high-performance
activities and feel super-soft against your skin. Our organic merino is produced according to
standards set by USDA-accredited certification agencies.” The manufacturer indicates that these socks
are made from 70% organic merino wool, 28% nylon, and 2% spandex.
The Fox River socks are of a crew length
measuring 8 in (20 cm) high. The upper
porting of the sock has ribbed construction while the lower portion of the sock
is divided into a number of sections with varying thickness and
cushioning. The portion of the sock
which covers the top of the foot has a mesh type weave measuring 2 in x 7 in (5
cm x 18 cm) and appears to be the thinnest portion of the entire sock. The bottom section of the sock (including the
toe and heel) is the area with the most cushioning. In addition, both the toe and the heel appear
to be reinforced with a mesh weave similar to that covering the top of the
foot. The socks also have “Fox River and “Organic” written in a contrasting color
near the bottom of the sock.
manufacturer indicates that the toe has a flat seam and although I can feel the
seam slightly is raised on the outside, I can not feel a raised seam on the
inside of the sock. If I turn the sock
inside out, I can see that there is a gap in the cushioning where the seam is
but the seam itself is flat. I have some
concerns that the cushioning may bunch up along the seam when stuffed inside a
boot, so I will keep an eye out for such problems during the test.
The first thing I noticed about these socks even before putting them on is that
they are very soft. These are not the
old rag wool socks of long ago. Putting
them on my feet felt just wonderful. I
really could feel the extra cushioning on the soles of the socks. I also noticed that the thinner mesh material
on the top of the sock compressed nicely against my foot and did not feel
overly constrictive. Overall, I felt
that these were not as heavy a sock as I might have guessed from the
manufacturer’s website but otherwise they appear to be what the manufacturer
I had an opportunity test these socks at an orienteering event and wore them
with a pair of trail runners [forested terrain, running both on and off trail,
dry conditions but temperature of 85 F (29 C)].
I was a little concerned that the socks may be a little too thin to wear
with these shoes since I typically wear thicker socks with that particular
pair. I did tighten the laces just prior
to the run but I did not have any problems with hot spots or blisters during or
after the event. I also took note that
after the race my feet were only slightly damp after removing the socks. I was impressed with the apparent wicking
capabilities of the socks after this outing.
Since I wore the socks, they also received a washing although not according the
manufacturer’s instructions (i.e., inside out and in warm water). I didn’t turn them inside out. I do note that after washing and line drying,
there appears to be some loose fibers particularly on the bottom of the
sock. This could possibly lead to
pilling of the material which I will also watch out for.
I plan to test these socks on just about any trip I take into the outdoors
during the test period. I will also try
to use these socks with as many types of footwear that I can to see how they
perform under different conditions. Of
course, I will be on the lookout for wear and tear. I would also like to see if the socks remain
soft after multiple washings. In
addition, I would like to see how warm these socks are as the temperatures grow
My first impressions are that these are well made socks which fit well, are
soft, and appear to do a good job at wicking moisture.
Report Date: November 29, 2007
Over the last two months these socks have seen lots of wear. I wore them on one weekend trip in western Maryland which was
strictly on well worn trails. Total
mileage was only about 12 miles (19 km). The elevations on this trip ranged from
350-1100 ft (107-335 m) while the temperatures encountered were from 35-55 F
(2-13 C). I did not encounter any rain
on this outing.
I also wore the socks on a Girl Scout overnight car camping trip in Maryland. The temperatures ranged from 33-50 F (1-10 C)
with breezy winds but no precipitation.
This was not backpacking or hiking but there was enough walking back and
forth from the car to the campsite that I felt I put in some fair mileage.
In addition to these overnight excursions, I have been wearing these socks exclusively
on my day hikes. I have taken five day
hikes in these socks in either northern Virginia
or Maryland. Mileage on these hikes has been anywhere from
5-9 miles (8-14 km). As we have had
little rain in this region lately, most of these hikes were done in clear
conditions but I did hike in the rain on one occasion.
These socks have also been out on orienteering courses at least three
times. The terrain was a combination of
road, trail and off-trail running with distances of 3-4 miles (5-6 km). These events by chance happened during warm
periods and I was encountering temperatures of 60-85 F (16-29 C).
I have been very impressed with the Fox River Organic Crew socks. Even after multiple washings, they remain
very soft. The Merino wool does not itch
like other types of wool. Apart from
some minor pilling of the fabric, they also show little signs of wear.
that the socks conform very well to the shape of my feet. The elastic mesh weave across the top of the
foot helps in maintaining this conformation and seems to prevent the sock from
shifting inside the boot. There is a
fair amount of stretch in the sock and it is possible to put the socks on and
stretch them so that the heel is pulled too far back. This can cause a lump in the sock as I put on
shoes or boots. I have been making an
effort to carefully put the socks and make sure that they are in place before
putting on any footwear. I have not
noted any rubbing from the toe seam, as I had feared in my Initial
I also noticed that the socks are a bit difficult to put on over liners. The socks easily slide on my bare feet but
the liners cause additional friction.
That friction in combination with the elastic over the foot appears to
make them harder to get on. This simply
requires a little attention to making sure they are properly in place. Once in the proper position, I have not found
that they move around much.
One thing that I am very pleased to report on is that I feel these socks do an
excellent job of wicking moisture away from the feet. When wearing the socks alone, I found that my
feet were quite dry and that was probably as good as it would get. However, when wearing the Organic Crew socks
with liners my feet stayed just about bone dry.
I have worn the socks with at least five different types of outdoor
footwear, including hiking boots, trial runners and hunting boots (i.e., rubber
soles and uppers). The only type of
footwear that I was not able to keep my feet dry with the combination of socks
and liners was with the trail runners.
My trail runners are not waterproof and during orienteering events is
not uncommon to run through streams or swamps soaking the foot completely. That being said, I felt that my feet tended
to dry quicker with the Organic Crew socks than with other socks I have worn.
These socks are quite warm and I have been known to wear them around the house
on a cool evening. The two overnight
trips allowed me to get a good feel for how warm these socks are. I did wear the socks to bed on a night where
the temperature dipped to 33 F (1 C). I
am normally a cold sleeper and at that temperature I would always expect to
have socks on my feet. I was not
awakened at any point with cold feet which I attributed to the warmth of the
manufacturer suggests that the socks should be laundered inside out. After washing the socks this way, I find that
the outside of the sock does not get adequately clean. Dirt that accumulates on the outside may be
ground in just doesn’t wash out by this method.
I have also laundered the socks without turning them inside out and have
not had a problem getting them clean.
The only possibly adverse effect that I have seen from not laundering
the sock inside out is some slight pilling of the outer material, as I noted
Report Date: February 2, 2008
I have been wearing the Fox River Organic Crew socks almost exclusively when
hiking, orienteering, or trail running over the past two months. I wore these socks on six day hikes in the
central Maryland or northern Virginia area which ranged from 4 to 8 miles
(6 to 13 km). These hikes were on
maintained trails at elevations of 300 to1350 ft (100 to 400 m). I encountered temperatures of 25 to 65 F (-4
to 18 C) on these hikes. The hikes were
all taken in hiking boots.
I have worn the socks on numerous trail runs and during three orienteering
events. Trail runs were always on
maintained trails, usually of dirt or gravel.
Orienteering involved both on and off trail running over a variety of
terrain including open woods, creek beds, bare rock, and swamp. Typical distances covered either trail
running or orienteering were approximately 3 to 4 miles (5 to 6 km). Weather conditions included temperatures of
25 to 50 F (-4 to 10 C) and generally clear, although I did encounter a couple
instances of rain showers.
I brought the Organic Crew socks along on a weekend trip with my local Boy
Scout troop to the George Washington National Forest
in West Virginia
since I expected cold weather. This trip
involved car camping but allowed for some day hiking of approximately 2 to 3
total miles (3 to 5 km) at elevations of 1100 to 2100 ft (300 to 600 m). The temperatures on this trip ranged from 4
to 35 F (-16 to 2 C) and the conditions involved snowy, icy trails.
After wearing the Fox River Organic Crew socks for the past four months, I am
very satisfied by their performance.
Other than some mild pilling of the fabric (as I noted in my Field Report), they look almost as good as when they were
new. I have not noticed any shrinking or
excessive wear, even in the heel or under the ball of the foot. I also continued to be impressed with their
wicking capabilities and warmth.
I have worn these socks with at least seven different types of footwear,
including two different types of hiking boots and two different types of
running shoes. I even wore them with
dress shoes when I wanted to leave a dressier event to go running. I almost got away with it but the mesh over
the top of the foot shows above the top of the shoes. The socks have worked well with all types of
footwear. I have not had a single
blister (even when totally wet) over the entire testing period while wearing
the Organic Crew Socks. I had wondered
whether the mesh on the top of the sock would be too thin and leave me prone to
irritation when my laces were tight.
Well, I haven’t noticed any.
These socks also seem to dry quickly.
During at least one orienteering event in the last month, I did have my
feet completely soaked and had to continue the race in wet socks. I was wearing non-waterproof trail
runners. By the end of the race, my feet
were no wetter than if I had run in dry conditions.
I have found that the Organic Crew socks do not retain odors to any greater
extent than other socks. Yes, if you
wear socks long enough they will stink.
I am not immune to that but after a single wearing, they certainly
weren’t rank. In my Field
Report, I mentioned laundering the socks.
I have continued washing the socks without turning them inside out. There has been a bit more pilling but I have
not seen any other effects from this method.
Overall, I would have to say that I believe these socks are among the best I
have worn. I have worn many types and
can’t think of a pair that could keep my feet as dry and blister free as these.
The Fox River Organic Crew socks are made from made from organic merino wool,
nylon, and spandex. The socks conform to
my feet and are soft and itch free.
These socks are quite warm and perform well at wicking moisture from the
feet. However, the socks can be somewhat
difficult to put on over liners socks.
Things I like:
1. Softness of material
3. Wicking capabilities
Things I don’t like:
1. Hard to put on over liners
2. Recommended laundering instructions
This concludes my testing of the Organic Crew
Socks. I would like to thank Fox River
Mills and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item.