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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Lasting WLS Merino Light Crew Socks > Test Report by Robb Pratt

October 23, 2020



NAME: Robb Pratt
EMAIL: unicornv007 AT
AGE: 49
LOCATION: Canton, Michigan, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (74.80 kg)

I backpacked sporadically growing up and rediscovered it back in 2011. Since then, I've taken several weekend trips a year. I also car camp with my family roughly a dozen nights a year when we use tents unless I can convince them I might snore and it would be better for all for me to use my hammock rig. I prefer a light pack (weight without food or water under 20 pounds / 9 kg). My backpacking stomping ground is northern Michigan that has small hills and I typically camp late spring, summer and early fall months.



Manufacturer: Lasting
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US$13.00
Dimensions: Size Large (note: I wear a US Men's size 11 shoe).
Measured Weight: 1.3 oz (38 g) per pair
These socks are a combination of Merino Wool (75%), Polypropylene (10%), Nylon (10%) and Elastane (5%). The toe and heel sections are reinforced with two-layers of smooth knit for added wear resistance. There is a mesh zone across the entire instep area for added breathability and moisture reduction.

The WLS Hiking Merino Light Crew Socks are also listed as having excellent antibacterial properties and unpleasant odor removing properties. They are also noted as being finer and softer to the touch than other (non-superfine) merino wool.

Sock Packaging


The socks came nicely packaged in a manner that reminded me of a high-end department store. The size was easy to read, and they were clearly branded for trekking. The package also has a simple tab on the side for opening so I didn't have to tear the cardboard to get to them.

Although minor, I was disappointed that a pair of small, plastic wires were shot through the socks to hold them in place to the cardboard. After cutting the wires to remove the socks though, I didn't notice any holes.


After opening up a package, I looked closely at the stitching. It is all very clean with no loose or stray threads. Furthermore, the transition between the mesh panel and the main part of the socks looks stylish and is reinforced. The branding on the socks is also easy to read and adds a professional appearance and also looks "outdoorsy".

The only thing that confuses me is on the bottom of the socks is the word Woolsens in bigger letters than the Lastings company name. I searched for information through Lasting and found out the name Woolsens comes from specially bread sheep that lives in Australia and that the fiber diameter of the wool is actually 16 microns in size which is the main reason for performance of the material.

Mesh Panel Transition

Bottom of Sock


There are no instructions on how to wear socks. This is something I learned at a very young age. That being said, the washing instructions are important to read and follow to prevent turning them into baby-wear.

In this case, there are a bunch of symbols on the main package. While I normally enjoy playing the "decode" game, this time I cheated and went to their website and happened to stumble across the written instructions: normal warm or cool machine wash cycle with regular powder or liquid detergent. Do not use fabric softener or bleach. Separate lights and darks as usual. Do not expose to heat and do not tumble dry. Line drying is best.

Those instructions are easy to follow as they match what I do for all of my high-end hiking clothing.

Laundry Instructions


I tried on the Lasting WLS Hiking Merino Light Crew Socks for several hours on the day I received them. They felt comfortable and are sized just right for my feet. The elastic at the top has a tight feel to my ankle that prevents them from sliding down but not overly tight to make them uncomfortable.

In the brief walk I took around my neighborhood, I did not have any discomfort or trouble with the socks. They did not feel itchy or scratchy and my body did not have any reaction to the material.

Testing out the Fit


Overall, I'm impressed with the light weight and really like the mesh panel as my feet tend to overheat while hiking. The socks have a good feel them and I think they look pretty stylish.



* Trip #1 (June 20 to 21, 2020): Manistee River Trail in Brethren, Michigan, USA for 2 days / 1 night. Temperature ranged from 69F to 90F (21 to 32C). There was light rain overnight and early on the second morning but not a measurable amount. The terrain was mostly packed dirt and sand with lots of tree roots. My pack weight was 25 pounds (11.3 kg) and we hiked a total of 8 miles (12.9 km) over the two days.

* Trip (August 9 to 11, 2020): Manistee River Trail in Brethren, Michigan, USA for 3 days, 2 nights. Temperatures ranged from 60F to 88F (16 to 30C). The weather was overall hot and very humid - even at night. The terrain was packed dirt, some sand and lots of tree roots. My pack weight started at 28 pounds (12.7 kg) and slowly reduced over the length of the trip. I hiked the entire trail of 20 miles (32 km).

* Trip (October 7 to 13, 2020): Loyalsock Trail near Forksville, Pennsylvania, USA for 6 days, 5 nights. Temperatures ranged from 40F to 70F (4 to 21C). The weather was overall cool during daytimes and even colder at night. The terrain was rocks. So many rocks. I would say occasional dirt mixed in for humor but basically rocks with lots of sharp elevation changes. My pack weight started at 32 pounds (14.5 kg) and slowly reduced over the length of the trip down to 21 pounds (9.5 kg). We hiked the entire trail and even added some extra sections for a total of 68 miles (109 km).

* Day Trips: Multiple hikes at Proud Lake Recreational Area (Wixom, Michigan USA), Maybury State Park (Northville, Michigan USA) and several other local trails. Trips generally were 3 to 7 miles (5 to 11 km) in length and usually with a small pack that weighed under 10 pounds (4.5 kg).


What a tough year for backpacking and camping with the Covid restrictions going on through the state of Michigan. I had a few less trips than I wanted but I did get in some great quality backcountry time.

For all my tests, I used two sock layers. The first layer was a generic silk sock liner. The second layer was Lasting's WLS Merino Light Crew Socks. For shoes, I used two different pairs of hiking shoes. Both were not waterproof and sized roughly half a size bigger than my feet. I also wore gaiters to limit the amount of dust and debris from collecting inside my shoes.

My first trip was just a simple overnight with the family where I was able to test out Lasting's WLS Merino Wool Crew socks both on the trail and as sleep wear. The weather was hot and while we were sweaty, I did not have any problems with blisters. Once we were setup at camp, I decided to test both the potential for stench and dry time by just walking out into the nearby Manistee river.

Goofing Off in the River

I ended up wearing the socks and (now wet) shoes around camp for a few hours while we cooked dinner, played cards and enjoyed the campfire. Toward bedtime, I moved my shoes into the tent's vestibule and put the socks (wrung out) in the tent. The stench coming from the shoes was horrendous and we eventually moved the shoes outside the tent completely. I can safely say though, the socks stood up to the stench test and I (nor my family) never even noticed they were in the tent. Even the drive home was a little rough with the shoes sitting in the back of the car. The socks were just fine and I wore the same pair for the rest of the second day.

As a last note on this trip, I wore a fresh (and more importantly, dry) pair of socks for sleeping at night which were comfortable despite the temperature and humidity.

The second trip was several days with much longer daily distances. I used the socks in the same fashion as the overnight hike and they performed nearly identical. I say nearly, because this time I had a new pair of shoes and opted to not hike out into the middle of the river. Still no blisters to report but then again, the trail conditions were easy.

The last trip was the longest trip I have taken. Ever. It was on the Loyalsock Trail in Pennsylvania and counts as a thru-hike. Having never hiked there before, my friend and I were looking forward to a fun but cool fall trip to see the autumn colors. Rocks. That bares repeating because its important. So many rocks. We walked on rocks going uphill. Going downhill. At angles. Sometimes even using our hands. Most of the rocks were what we called flat. Just not parallel to the ground or each other. Technically though, they were flat. Thankfully, we slept in hammocks, otherwise I suspect we would have had to sleep on rocks.

Rock - So Many Rocks

Rocks - Even More Rocks

At the end of the trip, my knees and feet were worn out. The feet were tingling and throbbed for several weeks after we got home. Looking at my sock liners, they had worn out at the balls and I tossed them in the garbage at the end of the trip. The liners were a few years old so that is not a surprise, but they were not that way at the start of the trip. The Lasting's WLS Merino Wool Crew socks showed minor pilling and a little fraying on the top of the toe area but no holes or wearing out. They stood up to the trail beating better than my feet.

Sock Use Comparison

At night, I hung the pair I used to hike inside my hammock. The stench was horrendous but that seemed to come from the sock liners. I could detect only a faint stench from the merino wool socks. Upon cleaning them after returning home, they smelled fine with no noticeable foot odor.

I used the same pair of socks for the entire Loyalsock Trail hike. I kept a fresh pair of socks to use at night for sleeping. Due to the high distance traveled each day, I found my feet damp and sweaty when I took breaks to air them out. I did not experience however, any blisters.


I usually try and wash all my hiking cloths together in cold water, heavy-soil with extra-rinse cycle settings. I do not use the dryer and instead hang all my gear to dry. I have never had any issues with my gear when I clean them this way.

That being said, I can vouch that sending the socks accidentally through the dryer does not shrink them noticeably. I had the horror of finding a pair of them after one of the trips in the clean laundry that had gone a complete cycle including through the dryer. That meant the socks had seen fabric softener and a long, warm tumble-dry cycle. Expecting the worst, I put the socks on my feet but was very thankful that I could not tell the difference between them and a pair that had not gone through the dryer.


Lastings WLS Merino Light Crew socks held up very well to the trail abuse of the Loyalsock Trail along with my other hikes. I have not kept track of the complete distance but I have over 200 miles (322 km) of hiking on them. I have no holes and only minor wear as noted earlier after the Loyalsock Trail.


1. Great odor resistance
2. Good ankle grip without too much ankle compression
3. Soft, comfortable feeling
4. Fast drying
5. Robust


1. If I had to say anything here, I'd prefer a lighter shade of color but I really don't have anything negative to say. The only reason I prefer a lighter shade (instead of black) is because it is easier to spot ticks and I did find one crawling on my leg in the late summer.


Lasting's WLS Merino Wool Light Crew socks were a pleasure to wear during my various hikes. They fit well and I did not have any problems with them. I plan on using them in the future for other hikes as they don't pinch my ankles, dry quickly and I have not experienced any issues with blisters or wear-out.

This concludes my long term report. I want to thank both and Lasting for letting me take part in this test.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

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