FOX RIVER PRIMAHIKE CREW SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
June 23, 2017
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6' 2" (1.88 m)
195 lb (88.50 kg)
I started hiking about 50 years ago. My first backpacking trip was about 45 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay in the Western half of Oregon and Washington. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 12 lb (6 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, down bag, simple bag style pack.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Fox River Mills Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: http://foxsox.com
Measured Weight: 2.5 oz (72 g) for a pair of size XL
The Fox River PrimaHike Crew Socks are medium weight wool/synthetic outdoor socks.
They are made with 52% PrimaLoft, 41% nylon, 4% NanoGLIDE nylon, and 3% spandex. PrimaLoft is a fiber that's made with 60% acrylic, 40% merino wool. Compared to typical "merino" socks I've used before, these have more synthetic and less merino. From looking at their web site, I think this means they have better insulation, dry faster, and take longer to wear out.
The socks are 11 inches (28 cm) from the floor to the top of the socks (crew length).
The socks have an "anatomical fit" - that is, there's a difference between the right and left sock. They are marked with "L" and "R". I don't think I've ever seen socks before that have a right and left. There is a slight difference in the ribbing and the accent colors. I'm skeptical. I'll have to try both combinations and see if I can tell a difference. Even if it makes no difference, that's no big deal, marketing people need a job too. I like to have the same sock on my right and left, because my left foot sometimes has more athlete's foot, so it would be good not to transfer to the other foot, so this may actually be useful.
I got three pairs for testing, from left to right, charcoal, black, and navy:
These colors are slightly different than the pictures on the website, I don't know which, if either, would match socks actually sold. There are just minor differences. They have two other colors, khaki and black/fig (black with red accents).
To me, it would be better to just have solid colors. These socks have small areas with accent colors. Some people might like this aesthetically? Maybe they sell better?
I will mainly use one pair of socks, use the second pair as a backup in case the first pair gets wet, and only use the third pair a bit just to make sure they fit and so forth. I will compare the third pair at the end of the testing to see how much wear there is on the first and second pair.
The socks are guaranteed for one year. "FoxSox are guaranteed against manufacturing defects for one year. Socks may be returned within one year with the dated receipt to the store where you purchased them or by following our FoxSox.com return process."
The socks are made in the U.S.A.
I carefully examined all six socks and saw no defects. No little loops of fabric. The socks seem uniform, except several ribbed areas that are supposed to make them more breathable. The heel and toe areas are a little thicker so they won't wear out as quickly.
I tried on all three pairs of socks and they felt fine. The socks are size XL. They say they should fit men's size 12 - 14.5 (EC 46-48). I wear size 12 or 13 boots. There was enough stretch I think they would have been fine if I had a little bigger feet so I think their size recommendation is good.
These socks have less merino wool than other socks I've used. They felt sort of slippery or stretchy or something, consistent with having less merino wool. I don't think this will make any noticeable difference in test results, but time will tell.
The Fox River PrimaHike Crew Socks are mid weight, crew length merino/synthetic socks for outdoor use.
They seem to be well made merino/synthetic socks like others I've used.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
02/24/2017 - 4 night backpack, 2 night car camp up Deschutes River in north central Oregon. 56 miles (90 km), 1500 feet (450 m) of elevation gain, 25 to 40 F (-4 to 4 C).
03/18/2017 - 3 night backpack, 3 night car camp down Metolius River in central Oregon. 45 miles (72 km), 1500 feet (450 m) elevation gain, 27 to 45 F (-3 to 7 C).
04/21/17 - 2 night backpack, 4 night car camp down Deschutes River in north central Oregon. 48 miles (77 km), 650 feet (200 m) elevation gain, 32 to 70 F (0 to 21 C).
05/16/17 - 2 night backpack, 4 night car camp at Sand Point and Graves Creek in northwest Washington. 46 miles (74 m), 2400 feet (730 m) elevation gain, 45 to 65 F (7 to 18 C)
06/01/2017 - 1 night backpack and 1 night car camp in Trinity Alps in northern California. 22 miles (35 km), 2600 feet (800 m) elevation gain, 48 to 75 F (9 to 24 C)
06/15/2017 - 4 night backpack, 1 night car camp in Trinity Alps in northern California. 31 miles (50 km), 7000 feet (2000 m) elevation gain, 45 to 75 F (7 to 24 C)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During my testing I did a total of 16 nights of backpacking and 248 miles (399 km) of hiking. I also wore the socks at night inside my sleeping bag, including another 15 nights of car camping. I washed them 6 times (warm water, liquid detergent, permanent press setting on the dryer).
I did a wide range of hiking conditions - level, uphill, downhill, trails, off trail, smooth trail, bouldery, sandy,...
I wore the socks under mid height water proof breathable (WPB) boots. As is typical of WPB boots, at the end of the day, the socks were a little damp. Some days it was more wet so the socks were more damp.
The socks were comfortable. I got few blisters or hot spots, although that's more a property of the boots. These socks are fairly thick which helped with comfort.
The Fox River socks have a higher percentage of synthetic and smaller percentage of wool than typical Merino socks I'm used to wearing. I have heard that synthetic socks will get smellier than wool socks. I think these socks were a little smellier than the wool socks I've used before, but not too bad.
These socks are fairly thick compared to other socks I've used. They kept me warm enough down to 25 F (-4 C).
On my last trip, I crossed streams 4 times where my boots filled up with water which I then dumped out and squeezed out as much water as possible so my socks were totally wet. I then walked 10 miles (15 km) with wet socks. I have had socks that wore out with this treatment, but the Fox River socks were fine.
I got the size XL which are supposed to be for shoe size 12 to 14.5 US men's. I wear size 12 or 13 shoes. The socks fit fine. They were a little loose on me - I think they would have fit a 14.5 shoe size as advertised. I had to be a little careful that there wasn't a wrinkle when I put on the socks.
The socks showed little wear at the end of the test period. I compared them to the pair of socks that I did not use at all. The socks that I used had a little pilling but otherwise showed little wear. They also felt a little stiff compared to the unused socks, but they felt fine when I wore them.
Unused sock at top (black), used sock at bottom. You can see some pilling:
Overall, I was very satisfied with the Fox River socks.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
They were comfortable over a wide range of trail conditions.
They were warm down to 25 F (-4 C). I used them up to 75 F (24 C) - they were a little warm - I would normally try to use a little lighter weight socks at those temperatures.
They might have been a little smellier than socks that have a higher percentage of wool.
I would continue to use these socks, except I'm a bit long on socks so I think I'll give them to someone I know that wears size 14 shoes.
Thanks to Fox River and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
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Read more gear reviews by jerry adams