BackpackGearTest
  Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Injinji Outdoor 2.0 Midweight Crew > Test Report by David Wilkes

Test series by David Wilkes

INJINJI OUTDOOR 2.0 MIDWEIGHT CREW SOCKS WITH NUWOOL 

Initial Report - Nov 5 2015
Long Term Report - April 12 2016

Tester Information

Name: David Wilkes
E-Mail: amatbrewer@yahoo.com
Age: 47
Location: Yakima Washington USA
Gender: M
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 200 lb (90.7 kg)

Biography:

I started backpacking in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions the Northwest has to offer.  I prefer trips on rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me. I have finally managed to get my basic cold weather pack weight, not including consumables, to under 30 lb (14 kg).

Product Information

Manufacturer:

injinji

Year of Manufacture:

2015

Manufacturer’s Website:

http://www.injinji.com

MSRP:

20.00 US$

Weight (measured, not listed)

3 oz (87 g)

Size:

Available in Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large (sizing chart availableon the injinji.com web page)

Socks in pkg

Product Description:

Injinji makes socks with individual toe sections, like gloves for feet. These are from their outdoor line meaning they are made of a Merino wool blend. These are what they refer to as “midweight” (heavier than their original weight) and are a crew length.


Initial Report

November 5 2015
Top & BottomFor full disclosure I have been wearing Injinji socks for a few years now. I started with their thinnest ones for use with some shoes I have with individual toes. However I quickly started using them for regular shoes as well, so I have acquired many pairs of various weights and wear them often. However I have yet to use any that are wool, or as thick as these. Also this is the first ones I have used that extend above the ankle.

For this test I received 4 pair of “injinji Performance 2.0 OUTDOOR MIDWEIGHT PADDED CUSHIONING” socks with “nuwool” (Spelling and case copied from the product packaging). Henceforth I will use NuWool.

Note: NuWool (trademarks, with an umlaut, two little dots, over the u.) is described as being injinji’s own version of Australian Merino Wool.

[I never knew socks could be so complicated. Please bear with me as I try to describe all the details]
injinji makes socks with individual toe sections, kind of like gloves but for feet. These are from their OUTDOOR line which means they are made from a blend of NuWool, nylon and “Lycra” (64%,33%,3%). They are offered in 2 colors “Charcoal” and “Oatmeal”. I received two of each color. The charcoal is a dark gray, while the oatmeal is kind of tan. Both socks have white details such as the injinji logo as well as ventilation sections. The color of both is a lighter shade in the heel section as well as from the ankle up. The upper or leg section (from the ankle up) is also ribbed, running lengthwise up the sock, and the cuff is folded and hemmed with a reflective injinji logo attached to it.

When turned inside out even more details about the features/construction of these socks becomes apparent. The section that covers the toes and ball of the foot is smooth, while the bottom of the foot is thicker with a look/feel similar to fleece, while the top of the foot thinner and appearing to contain more Lycra (to give it more stretch and ventilation?), and it is obvious the upper section is mostly Lycra.

There are no real seams to speak of except for the cuff. The socks are clearly knit as a single item.

Upon closely inspecting one pair of the socks I could find no indications of flaws and only a few stray threads on the inside.

Trying them onFirst impressions
The overall look of the sock is more like a dress sock than an outdoor sock…keeping mind my idea of “dress” is pants that  the legs don’t zip off. But I could easily see these worn with a business suit or slacks.
I requested a size M. The sizing for a M is as follows “M: 8-10.5 W: 9-11.5 EU:40.5-44 UK: 7-9.5 JP: 5.5-27cm” and I normally wear a US Men’s 9.5 or 10 shoe. I tried a pair on and they seem to fit very well.
As mentioned these are thicker than the other injinji socks I have and the only wool. My first impression of the fit/feel is that they fit very nice, just snug enough in the right places to feel secure while not constrictive. The material around and between the toes does not feel bulky and soon after putting them on I could not feel it at all. The heel cup fits directly over my heel. The upper extends to about half way up my calf and after about 1 hour of wear around the house did ride down a bit but no more than I would expect.

One of the first things I did after putting on the injinji socks was to wiggle my toes to see how they slide against each other. A problem I have long fought is that sometimes, especially on longer hikes, one of my toes will work its way under another and develop a blister. I have found once this starts no amount or technique of taping I have found yet works to stop it. However I have never had this happen while wearing injinji socks. I believe the reason is that the socks allow the toes to slide against each other with less friction, partially from the material itself and partially by wicking moisture away from between my toes. With these socks being wool, as well as thicker than the other versions I have, I will be interested to see if this is still true.

One comment I have seen and have personally received about injinji socks is if they are difficult to put on. And while I will go so far to say they do take slightly more effort than a traditional sock, I find it quite easy. No more difficult than putting on a pair of knit gloves. Upon first try of these I noticed these seem a bit easier to put on than the thinner versions I have used in the past. But what I have never been asked is about taking them off. Since each sock is either a left or right, I find it important to make sure they do not get turned inside out. If they do, getting them back the right way is kind of tedious as I have to pull out each individual toe. So when removing them I find it is necessary to tug each toe out of its section before removing the sock. So in reality while it is not what I would call difficult, I find it a bit more effort to remove these than a standard sock.

During the testing period I will be interested to see how this version compares to the other injinji socks I have owned and how they perform in their own right. Especially how the wool handles various temperatures and moisture levels, and how they stand up to use and washing.
[Note while I often hand wash my injinji socks to minimize the risk of losing one I sometimes put them in the washer and plan to do the same with these]

Long Term Report

Apr 12 2016
UseCanyon

  • Nordic Ski Patrol 10 days
  • Snow Camp (snow shoe) 1 night
  • Daily wear
  • 2 long days of urban “hiking”
  • Day hike Cowiche Canyon

The majority of my field usage was during my Ski Patrol duties. These include skiing throughout the day (regardless of conditions) and various maintenance tasks such as shoveling snow, and occasionally snow shoeing. I put in a lot of time and distance during most of these days and socks play an important role. Often I am working up a sweat followed by periods of little to no activity, so moisture management (all over my body but especially my feet) is important to my comfort and sometimes safety. It is not uncommon for patrollers to give considerable attention to our feet including sometimes changing to fresh dry socks during the course of a single day, not to mention constant blister prevention or treatment.

I have found these socks to be excellent for my patrol duties. The socks have been quite warm, maybe too warm at times, and comfortable. One of my first duty days of the season, I was expecting cold weather and lots of fresh snow. So in anticipation of cold feet I placed chemical toe warmers in my boots, which I soon regretted. Despite below freezing temperatures, deep fresh snow and wind, I found my feet getting overheated and sweating throughout the day. However despite having rather wet socks by the end of the day, my feet remained comfortable. The rest of the season I did not bother with toe warmers and had warm, dry, and comfortable feet. As a bonus these socks are slightly thinner than I normally wear meaning more room in my boots as my feet swell during the day.

One of my duty weekends, after patrolling all day, I switched from skis to snowshoes, put on my winter overnight pack, and hiked into a sheltered spot I know of just beyond the Nordic ski trails where I set up my tent and spent the night. Then got up early to strike camp, eat breakfast and don my skis for another day on patrol. I wore one pair of injinji socks the first day, and changed to a second pair just before going to bed which I wore throughout the second day.

While visiting relatives in Denver we spent 2 days doing a walking/eating/drinking tour of the city. Both days were about 12hrs of wondering, and the second concluded with a bus ride to a casino in the mountains where we spend a few hours. While I was tired, maybe a bit hung over, and really feeling the altitude (mostly dehydrated from the dry air), I was the only one not complaining about foot problems. And I attribute much of that to good quality socks.

SnowDuring a cold snap I managed a day off work and so hiked a local trail (Cowiche Canyon). The day was sunny, with temperatures well below freezing and a bitter wind. I wore my light weight leather boots and my feet remained comfortable.

My final use of these was during a very busy weekend where I attended crosscut saw training on Saturday (a mix of class and trail time), drove 1hr to attend the annual Ski Pig roast, spent the night in the Nordic yurt, then returned for an exhausting day of bucking logs. As it turned out I somehow did not pack socks so I wore the same pair of the Injinjis the entire time. By the time I got home, exausted and dehydrated, my feet were fine and to my amazement virtually odor free.

I would like to comment here on how these socks feel. I find I notice it most when wearing boots, but I find when wearing these socks it often feels like I am not really wearing socks at all. It is hard to describe but the free movement of my toes that these socks allow make even these relatively thick socks (at least as compared to the other injinji socks I own) feel kind of like I am not wearing socks at all. Some times this is a bit distracting, as I tend to equate not wearing socks with sweaty uncomfortable feet. But these injinji give me the free feeling of going sockless while also providing the warmth, moisture management, and blister prevention of wearing socks.

I have no complaints about these socks. While they do not dry as quickly as other (thinner, non-wool) injinji socks I have, they do perform on par with other high end wool blend socks of similar thickness. Even when wet they were effective at retaining their insulating properties and they still pull most of the moisture away from my feet so I never experienced the blisters or other problems that can come from wet feet. They are showing a bit of wear, mostly in regards to some piling, but I see no indication of thin spots or other problems, so would judge the durability at least on par with other quality wool socks I have experience with. I have noticed a slight amount of stretching in these but they just seem to be conforming themselves to my feet making them more comfortable and easier to get on/off. One thing I find telling lower quality socks is how well they stay up during wear. These injinji socks have performed quite well in that regard. They don’t seem to slip down my leg and unlike even some quality socks I have used don’t tend to bunch and produce wrinkle/folds near my heel (which can produce hotspots or blisters). When I put these on I mostly forget about them. Which leads to my final point: Comfort. Comfort is where these, like all the injinji socks really stand out. As mentioned above wearing injinji socks is often like wearing no socks at all, without the problems that can create. I was expecting these, since they are so much thicker to not do as well in this regard but that has not been the case. When I put these socks on in the morning, regardless of if I end up sitting at my desk all day or am on my feet working up a sweat going up/down the Nordic trails, shoveling snow, hauling toboggans, I can comfortably forget about my feet knowing they are in good hands (so to speak).

Now that this test is concluded, I have no doubt these socks will remain at the top of my sock drawer for the rest of the cold weather, and I look forward to seeing how they perform in warmer weather.

Likes: 
  • Thick and warm
  • Constructed of Marino wool
  • Good moisture managment
  • Durable
Opportunities:
  • None so far

This concludes my report. I would like to thank the folks at injinji and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.

 



Read more reviews of Injinji gear
Read more gear reviews by David Wilkes

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Injinji Outdoor 2.0 Midweight Crew > Test Report by David Wilkes



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson