INJINJI OUTDOOR MIDWEIGHT SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - November 05, 2015
LONG TERM REPORT - March 31, 2016
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Manufacturer: Injinji, Inc.|
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.injinji.com
MSRP: US $20.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 2 oz (57 g) pair
Colors Available: Charcoal & Oatmeal
Color Tested: Charcoal
Sizes Available: Small - XLarge Unisex
Size Tested: Small - Women's 6-8.5
Fiber content: 64% NuWool, 33% Nylon, and 3% Lycra
Made in China.
|Photo Copyright Injinji, Inc.|
Just seeing toesocks makes me want to smile. They look so darn cute! But the Injinji Outdoor 2.0 Midweight Crew Socks are not just cute, they are true performance socks.
The charcoal grey color of my socks is very neutral-looking and no-nonsense. The "foot" sections of the socks are a solid grey with two alternating bands of a tweedy grey on the tops of the forefoot sections. These tweed bands are of a different texture than the rest of the socks. Wrapping around the mid-forefoot is a solid grey band with the word "injinji" in white. This fabric band appears to be a bit thicker.
The crew length is constructed of a cable knit and is a lighter color solid grey. The cuff is hemmed and has a small white label with the Injinji name printed on it on the outside.
The socks have a shaped heel and look as if they could almost stand on their own (which would be creepy!). Obviously, because the socks are "toe" socks, they are specific to the right and left foot with the big toe being larger than the rest.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The Injinji website doesn't have too much to say about the care of Injinji toesocks. The link to the "Wash and Care" page sports only the 5 international care symbols and text for "Machine Wash; Do not Bleach; Line Dry, Do not iron; and Do not Dry Clean". The same instructions are printed on the back of the retail packaging for the socks. Which, by the way, is almost impossible for the hyperopic to read since all the information is crammed in teeny-tiny print in English, French and Spanish!
I'm assuming since "Line Dry" is indicated that it follows the "no fabric softener" rule even though I personally use fabric softener in the washer when I do use fabric softener. However, I never use fabric softener on my outdoor clothing anyway.
Oh, and Injinji suggests that trimmed toe nails and clean shoes will prevent premature wear of the toesocks.
As to how to get the toesocks on for the newbie wearer, I was surprised to not find a video on the Injinji website. Seems like every website has videos for everything these days! The only help I found on the website was a one-liner stating "Make sure you 'set' your toes in their individual sleeves before you pull the sock over your heel."
If the good folks at Injinji would like me to make an instructional video I would be happy to do so. Just need to get that pedicure first!
TRYING IT OUT
Since it dropped a couple dozen degrees in temperature in the past few days here in south central Colorado, I was very happy to see new crew length socks at my door! It's just about time to put away the mini-crews and cover them ankles!
Having worn toesocks before, I am a pro, if I do say so myself, at aligning my piggy toes into their proper place. To do this, I scrunch up the sock from the cuff to just past the heel and pull the material over my forefoot. Once my toes are touching the beginnings of the individual toe sleeves, I separate each of my toes one at a time and push the joint of the toe sleeve between the proper toes. This takes just seconds and once the toes are all headed the right way, I pull the sock up over my heel and am ready to go.
|Pulling On|| |
|Toes In|| |
The size small toesocks fit my women's size 8 foot perfectly and the roughly 6-inch (16 cm) crew length comes up about a third of the way between my heel and my knee. The top of the toesock is just above the top of my favorite winter boots, so life is good and I'm ready to go!
Prior to receiving the Injinji Outdoor 2.0 Midweight Crew Socks, I have worn several other styles of Injinji toesocks, so I'm very familiar with the concept and the brand. I mostly have the mini-crews length that I wear with my Five Finger shoes and a couple pairs of toesock liners that I wear throughout winter under my heavy ski socks. I will confess that occasionally, I will wear the toesock liners with my sandals to the horror of my grandkids. BUT only with a pair of jeans and only around the house.
Needless to say, I'm a fan of the toesock concept. I'm really excited to be testing the midweight crew version of the Injinji Outdoor line and will be wearing them a lot over the next few months in mild to frigid winter conditions.
One last Interesting fact for the day: I've often wondered where the name "Injinji" came from and while sleuthing for product information on the Injinji Outdoor 2.0 Midweight Crew Socks, I found that the word "injinji which is pronounced (In-gin-gee) is an African term to describe the climax of a drumming circle. It's the peak in the performance, when all are in unison with the rhythm. So, here's hoping these socks put some rhythm into my hiking!
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Since I received the Injinji socks in early November, I have worn them at least twice a week every week. Most weeks, those wearings were casual wear at home and in the office along with daily four-mile (6 km) hikes down my hilly dirt road to the mailbox. My daily walks are my conditioning hikes which include a backpack weighted down to my usual 25 lb (11 kg) three-four day trekking weight and are therapeutic (mental breaks from accounting work) as well as "training" for longer backpacks. Obviously, I don't wear a backpack around the house or in my home office. Over the test period, I wore the socks on six separate one-night overnights.
Most of the time, when indoors, I wore the Injinji socks with my favorite, old hiking sandals. Yeah, I wear my Injinjis with sandals to the horror of my teen-aged granddaughter. And yeah, again, throughout the winter. I just simply like the combination of toe socks and sandals for maximum comfort!
When outdoors, I wore the socks with one of two pairs of hiking shoes/boots. Pair number one is a low-cut shoe with great traction and low volume. Pair number two is a mid-cut, GTX Surround boot that is warm and lightweight. I alternate footwear each day per advice I've received from various footwear manufacturers.
Various locations where the Injinji socks protected my piggy toes:
I spent 10 days in the northern part of the Lower Michigan peninsula during a Thanksgiving Day trip in late November. There was lots of hiking in snow and rain. I don't think we saw the sun the entire time we were there. Temperatures hovered around the freezing mark with lots of wind to make it feel even colder. All of my snowshoeing and hiking was done on dirt, heavily pine-forested trails with a backpack never weighing more than 20 lb (9 kg).
At the end of January, I spent seven days in coastal Florida where they were having a "cold snap" and the temperatures were never higher than 70 F (21 C), so I was happy to have toe socks to wear with my beach sandals (not that I ever even got to the beach!). There, too, the heavens seemed to weep constantly. Alas, though I wore my Injinjis casually, due to a death in my family, my hopes of some backcountry Floridian adventure were dashed and off I was to New Jersey.
I spent the next two weeks in New Jersey, pining for the outdoors and some sunshine while central Jersey experienced three storms, each dumping two-digit inches/centimeters' worth of the white stuff. Obviously, my sandals weren't very useful there. I borrowed my sister's tennis shoes though and so my Injinjis remained covered and dry as I slogged through the slush on daily walks in my sister's neighborhood - it was the best I could do. There the temperatures were frigid; 10 to 30 F (-12 to -1C).
Fortunately, between all the horrible weather elsewhere, most of my winter time in Colorado was bee-u-ti-ful! We had lots of sunshine, little precipitation and for the most part, the temperatures were above normal. Daily "highs" averaged between 50 and 75 F (10 - 24 C). In addition to my daily hikes in south central Colorado - Canon City, where I call home - I wore the Injinji socks on several snowshoes in Rocky Mountain National Park and in the Wet Mountains.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
As I indicated in my Initial Report, I am no stranger to and am a fan of toe socks, Injinjis in particular. I like the comfort of fabric between my toes. In the winter, the fabric helps to keep my toes warmer than traditional socks and in the summer, that same construction wicks any sweat away and keeps my toes cooler. While these last five months did not give me hot weather I found this warming/cooling benefit to be true of these Injinji crew socks even so. Even in the coldest temperatures, during very active hiking, my feet sweat and I greatly appreciated the wicking action of the toe sleeves to help keep my still-cold feet from getting even colder. Aside: there's something I wish I truly understood - how can I be sweating and freezing at the same time?
On some of my coldest outings with a heavier backpack and heavier winter boots, I wore these socks as a liner with a pair of heavy ski socks over them. The Injinjis are smooth enough to accommodate this without being bulky and nary a ripple or a wrinkle to torture my soles or toes. I would never be able to do this doubling-up with most of my other crew socks.
|Snagged Toe Thread||Conversely, the degree of thickness of these socks makes them less suitable for some of my heaviest winter boots sans an "oversock". A too-thick toe sock would be uncomfortable with excess bunchy fabric between the toes.|
Throughout the winter, the Injinji toe socks have kept me warm and dry in some pretty nasty weather. AND, they still look pretty good. After almost five months, approximately 50+ days and over 150 miles (240 km), I would have thought they would be a bit ragged by now, maybe sagging or bagging around the ankles, or even shrunken. But they are not.
I didn't do anything out of the ordinary to care for them either; just machine washed in cold water, no bleach, fabric softener or special detergent. I usually missed plucking them out of the rest of the clothing and contrary to the manufacturer's care instructions; they got tossed into the dryer to no detriment.
Except for a small errant thread at the tip of my right "ring" toe, the Crews are holding up just fine. I didn't even notice the snagged toe until I was inspecting them for this report and as soon as I take its picture, I'll snip it off and they will be as good as new.
All-in-all, I really like the Injinji Midweight Crew Socks even if they do emphasize my crooked left pinkie and ring toes (broken when I "danced" with a clumsy equine friend)!
Did the Injinji Outdoor 2.0 Midweight Crew Socks turn me into a dancing fool on the trails? Well, no, to the everlasting relief of my hiking companions (who HAVE seen me dance) but I did have very happy feet and as the song goes, "if you're happy and you know it, stamp your feet" or as I paraphrase "if you're happy and you know it, hit the trails!" And now that I'm planning my summer backpacks, I've just ordered two more pairs of the Injinji Outdoor Crew Socks to make sure my feet stay happy and on the trail!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
Thank you BackpackGearTest.org and Injinji for the opportunity to wear the Outdoor 2.0 Midweight Crew Socks!
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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