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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Incrediwear Hiking Socks with CBT > Test Report by Cheryl McMurray

INCREDISOCKS

TEST SERIES
BY CHERYL MCMURRAY


INITIAL REPORT  September 3, 2011
FIELD TEST REPORT  November 22, 2011
LONG TERM REPORT
  January 24, 2011

TESTER INFORMATION

Name:  Cheryl McMurray
Age:  52
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight:  145 lb (66.6 kg)
Email Address:  cherylmcmurray2ATgmailDOTcom
City, State, Country:  Garden Grove, California, U.S.

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

I've been backpacking and hiking for four years, mostly on weekends year around.  Overnight trips are usually long weekend trips in the Eastern Sierras with 32 lb to 40 lb (15 kg to 18 kg) loads depending on the season.  One class two rock climb with a day pack is common.   Day hikes are 10-15 mi (16 km to 24 km) in the San Gabriel Mountains with loads of 15 lb to 20 lb (7 kg to 9 kg).  I'm a tent style camper and have experienced snow, sub-freezing temperatures, winds (once was gale force), light rain, but mostly fair weather.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer:  Incrediwear
Manufacturer's website:  www.incrediwear.com
Year of Manufacture:  2011
Material:  100% organic bamboo charcoal and natural fibers (22% fiber, 48% cotton, 30% flexible fiber)               
Sizes available:  S/M men's 7-9.5, women's 8-10; M/L men's 9.5-12.5, women's 10-13
Weight:  3.3 oz (94 g)
Size tested: M/L Men's 9.5-13 (41-46 EU)
Color:  Green
MSRP:  $18.90 US

Incredisocks (taken from website)
Incredisocks (taken from website)



INITIAL REPORT
September 3, 2011

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Incredisocks are a mid-calf bamboo charcoal sock made by Incrediwear.  They are made from 100% organic bamboo charcoal and natural fibers from 5 year old mature Moso Bamboo found in the high mountains of Taiwan.   The resulting claim of bamboo charcoal is increased blood flow by releasing good infrared anions (negatively charged particles) producing infrared heat stimulating blood flow to joints and muscles.  Incredisocks have a 200 thread count and an advanced weaving technology that creates a unique 3-D weave providing incredible cushion while wicking away moisture and keeping feet dry.  Bamboo charcoal also claims to have an antimicrobial quality that resists odor and the manufacturer says that the socks will become softer and thicker after each wash.  The composition of the sock makes it thermo-regulating and is supposed to keep my cold feet warm and my warm feet cool.



In the package
In the package

Package front
Package back
Package front
Package back


INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

I received 2 pairs of green/charcoal color Incredisocks size M/L men's along with a fact/testimonial sheet and a 2 page paper on the science behind Incrediwear and Anions.  I immediately noticed how substantial these socks felt as they have a compression quality to the feel.  There is a more solid weave pattern at the heel and ball of the foot, a ribbed weave pattern to the calf area and a checkered-like weave pattern to the foot top and arch area.  I like the color of the sock and look of the logo at the toe area, although the only one who will see that will be me.  I'm really looking forward to testing the claims of these socks to see if my feet and calf's will indeed feel less tired and more energized, not to mention the temperature regulating.  I usually wear sock liners under my socks to prevent blisters but will try these socks without the liners in order to keep the bamboo material next to my skin. 

Solid weave pattern at ball of foot
Checkered weave pattern at foot top and arch area
Weave pattern at ball of foot
Weave pattern at foot top and arch area

TRYING THEM OUT

The suggestion from the manufacturer is to spend 1 hour with an Incredisock on one foot and my usual hiking sock on the other and then wear both socks after that.  I'm also supposed to feel a temperature increase to my joint (ankle joint, I'm assuming) within 5 minutes. 

I took a 6 mi (10 km) hike at Peter's Canyon that has rolling terrain.  There are some steep ups and downs along with flatter terrain.  The temperature ranged from 70 F (21 C) to 78 F (26 C).  I put the Incredisock on my left foot and put one of my synthetic socks with a polypro sock liner on my right foot (my usual combination).  The difference was felt immediately.  The foot with the Incredisock did feel cooler from the start and the sock had a soothing soft feel to it next to my skin.  My right foot, although comfortable did not feel those qualities.  I wore my light trail shoes that had some mesh venting to them.  Although neither foot was tired at the end of the hike, the foot with the Incredisock maintained its cool, soft feel.  I had no chafing or blisters from wearing the Incredisock alone without a sock liner and suspect that I may not have to wear liners at all with these socks.  I like that.  The bottom of my foot was completely dry and the top of the foot had minimal moisture.  The foot without the Incredisock had the same results.  There was no odor to either sock at the end of the hike but I'm not sure that I would say that I felt a temperature increase to my left ankle joint within 5 minutes.  Still in all, I'm very impressed with the feel of the Incredisock after the hike.

Combination used for day hike

Combination used for Peter's Canyon hike



SUMMARY

So far, I'm impressed with the performance of the Incredisock verses my synthetic sock/sock liner combination.  It did indeed kept my foot cool and although I could not exactly gauge the claim of stimulating blood flow to my foot, as the hike was not long enough to get my foot very tired, it did stay very comfortable.  It wicked moisture completely away on the bottom of my foot and kept the top of my foot fairly dry.  The sock had no odor after the hike.  I do wear leather boots backpacking and leather/mesh Gore-Tex boots on serious day hikes so I will be interested to see how these socks perform under heavier use with different types of boots that might not breathe as well.


FIELD TEST REPORT
November 22, 2011

TESTING CONDITIONS AND LOCATIONS

Location:  Hungry Pack Lake/Wallace Pk, Eastern Sierras near Bishop, California
Duration:  4 day, 3 night backpack
Distance:  14 mi (23 km) backpack, 7.5 mi (12 km) day hike (all cross country)
Terrain:  trail, rock slabs, consolidated snow, rock scrambling.  Moderate to steep
Elevation gain/loss:
    Backpack:  2,700 ft (825 m) gain/loss
    Wallace Pk:  2,000 ft (600 m)gain/loss
    Day hike:  +1,100 ft (335 m), - 600 ft (180 m)
Conditions:  Sunny, partly cloudy
Temperature:  39 F (4 C) to 75 F (24 C)
Boots used:  Solid Leather, Gore-Tex Liner

Location:  Icehouse Saddle, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike 
Distance:  7 mi (11 km)
Terrain:  dirt and rocky trail
Elevation gain/loss:  2,500 ft (760 m)
Conditions:  Cloudy, thunder, partial sun
Temperature:  65 F (18 C) to 75 F (24 C)
Boots used:  Leather/mesh, Gore-Tex liner

Location:  Dry Lake/San Gorgonio Peak, San Bernardino Mts, Southern California
Duration:  3 day, 2 night backpack/day hike
Distance:  12 mi (19 km) backpack, 10 mi (16 km) day hike
Terrain:  all trail
Elevation gain/loss
    Backpack:  3,100 ft (950 m)
    Day hike:   2,400 ft (730 m)
Conditions:  Sunny
Temperature:  28 F to 60 F
Boots used:  Leather/mesh, Gore-Tex liner

Location:  Mt. Baldy, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  8 mi (13 km)
Terrain:  Steep trail
Elevation:  4,000 ft (1,200 m)
Temperature:  50 F (10 C) to 75 F (24 C)
Boots used:  Leather/mesh, Gore-Tex liner

Location:  Kofa Wilderness, Western Arizona
Duration:  Day hikes (2)
Distance:  6 mi (10 km), 5 mi (8 km)
Terrain:  Desert cross country along with steep/loose terrain
Temperature:  55 F (13 C) to 85 F (29 C)
Boots used:  Solid leather, Gore-Tex liner

I've worn the Incredisocks a total of 17 days in temperatures ranging from 28 F (-2 C) to 85 F (29 C) and all types of terrain.  The three different types of footwear that I used were light mesh trail shoes (during Initial Report), Gore-Tex lined mesh/leather hiking boots and all leather waterproof backpacking boots, also Gore-Tex lined. 

Goretex lined mesh/leather hiking boots
Goretex lined solid leather boots
Waterproof mesh/leather hiking boots
Waterproof solid leather boots


FIT AND FEEL

I wear a women's US size 10-10.5 (42 EU) and the men's M/L fit me perfectly with no bunching and no tightness in the toe box.  The fit remained the same after washing as well.  I liked the feel of the socks against my foot which was soft, even during long days.  I always wore sock liners underneath my hiking socks for blister control in the past and I have not had to do that with these socks as they have never chaffed or blistered my feet at any time.  With my old sock combination of light hiking sock/sock liner, I always felt, at the later part of my hikes, that the socks were becoming tight around my toes but that has never happened with the Incredisocks.  I have found these socks to have a great fit and feel on my feet all day.

The manufacturer claims that the more the Incredisocks are washed, the softer and thicker they become.  After about 10 washes, I have not found that to be the case.

THERAPEUTIC AND THERMO REGULATING QUALITIES

My two foot injuries include a left sprained ankle 1 year ago and a middle broken toe on my right foot 2 1/2 years ago.  I occasionally have some sensitivity from both injuries.  Although the sensitivities of the injuries are not frequent, I have experienced both while using the Incredisocks.  The tendon on my ankle did on one occasion become very sore during a hike and the toe on my right foot has experienced its share of tingling.  With the injuries that I've had in the past, the Incredisocks did not work for me in a therapeutic way.  I used these socks one day during one of my bike rides of 38 mi (61 km).  After about an hour of riding the ball area of my foot tends to feel a little numb from pressure (I use clipless pedals) and I thought that the Incredisocks would help this.  Unfortunately, the issue appeared and the socks did not seem to stimulate blood circulation to prevent the numb feet.

I also did not feel that the Incredisocks helped with thermo regulating my feet.  During the colder temperatures, my feet were cold wearing the Incredisocks, even in the solid leather boots.  During the warmer temperatures, my feet were warm but not hot.  The only exception was the hike that I took with the trail shoes during the IR wearing the Incredisock on one foot and my usual sock/liner on the other foot (refer to "trying them out" in the IR).  While sleeping in a 15 F (-9 C) sleeping bag with a fresh pair of Incredisocks on, my feet reacted the same as if I was wearing my usual hiking socks so I would not say that they kept my feet warmer while sleeping.

MOISTURE AND ODOR CONTROL

The socks stayed fairly dry after the 2 hr hike (during the IR) in my trail shoes (photo in IR) with minimal moisture on the sole but were very damp after a full day of hiking with the boots I used during the field report.  The two types of boots that I wore were both waterproof which does not help with moisture escaping.  After a full day of hiking in either boot, the Incredisocks were actually more damp than my usual sock/liner combination and my feet were damp as well.  That being said, I still had no issues with chafing or blistering and in my opinion, that is more important than a dry sock.  At no time did the damp socks make my feet colder so although I don't give the socks a high mark in moisture control, the moisture they retained did not hinder the performance of these socks.  Another thing that I noticed was after washing the socks and putting them in the dryer (on the delicate cycle) with my usual load of performance clothing, the socks were still a little damp, although everything else was dry. 

The longest that I went wearing one pair of socks without washing them was 3 days.  Although they did not smell the same as they did after a clean wash, the odor was barely detectable.  They also performed as well during the third day of use as they did on the first day.

DURABILITY

Since both pairs of socks look the same, I cannot say which sock had the most use, however one pair of socks shows definite wear at both heels.  Neither sock heel is worn all the way through but that area is definitely thinner.  The ball areas of all four socks shows no wear and the toe areas show slight wear. 

WHAT I LIKE

Soft, comfortable feel throughout a full day of hiking
Fit my feet well and stays that way during entire hike
No chafing or blisters
Can wear them comfortably without sock liners

WHAT I DISLIKE

I did not experience thermo regulation while wearing the socks
Retained moisture and did not keep my feet dry
Did not feel evidence of the therapeutic claim

SUMMARY

Overall, the Incredisock have become my favorite hiking socks due to the fit and feel of the sock during a full day of hiking.  Although the socks did not demonstrate moisture control, thermo regulation or any therapeutic qualities for me, these are the first hiking socks that I have worn that I have not had to wear a liner under and have not chafed or blistered my feet at any time. 


LONG TERM REPORT
JANUARY 24, 2012

I have used the Incredisocks on 8 hikes in the local Southern California mountains with distances of 7 mi (11 km) to 10 mi (16 km).  The temperatures have ranged from a low of 45 F (7 C) in the morning to 75 F (24 F) during the day with sunny conditions.  The socks were used a total of 26 days during this test series.

LONG TERM PERFORMANCE

The Incredisocks have continued to feel really good on my feet overall and I have never developed any blisters during the duration of the test series.  I still continued to have some hot spots later in my hikes but I think these are due to some thicker calluses that I've developed over the years.  I have not seen the "thicker after each wash" claim along with any therapeutic or temperature regulating quality to the socks.  One thing that I did like about the socks was the perfect fit on my feet, even after each washing.  The socks always stayed comfortable around my toes, never restricting them in any way, even after long distances of down hill hiking. 

DURABILITY

The heel area in the pair of socks that began to show wear during the Field Report continued to get a little thinner but has never worn all the way through and both socks still remain very functional.  I did develop a small hole in the toe area in one of the socks from the other pair.  It was easily mended and continued to perform very well after that.  The color and fit of the socks have remained the same as the first day of use.

CONCLUSION

The Incredisocks did not wick moisture, thermo-regulate my feet or act as a therapeutic sock for me.  That being said, as a hiking sock, these are the best I have ever worn due to the fit and feel of the socks on my feet along with the fact that no sock liners were needed for blister control.  Those qualities will make these socks my first choice on any hike or backpacking trip that I do in the future. 

This concludes my test series of the Incredisocks.  I want to thank Incrediwear and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the most comfortable hiking sock I have worn to date.



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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Incrediwear Hiking Socks with CBT > Test Report by Cheryl McMurray



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