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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Lasting WLS Merino Light Crew Socks > Test Report by joe schaffer

Lasting - WLS Merino Socks

Test Report by Joe Schaffer

Initial Report June 7, 2020
Long Term Report September 12, 2020

NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(at)yahoo(dot)com
AGE: 72
HOME: Bay Area, California USA

     I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair and such. Typical summer trips run 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day in the bright and sunny granite in and around Yosemite. I winter base camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); a mile or so (1.6 km) on snowshoes.


Product: Merino Wool Trekking Socks

Manufacturer:  Lasting Sport, S.R.O.

    US Distributor: LASTING INC., 13250 E Smith Rd, Ste A, Aurora Colorado US 80011

Features and claims from package:    
    Air circulation and moisture transport
    Flexible elastic welt
    Silver ions inhibit bacteria and fungi growth
    Super fine merino
    Suitable for 0 - 30 C (32-54 F)

Warranty: 30-day return, 100% satisfaction, refund or exchange

    (34-37) S
    (38-41) M
    (42-45) L (received)
    (46-49) XL

Country of origin: Czech Republic

MSRP: Unk. While the exact sock is shown on the .eu website, no price is given.
    US website does not show exact sock; does list pricing for all shown socks.

My Specs: 

        Weight: pair 1 3/8 oz (38 g)
Received:   June 5, 2020

My Description:1sock
    Lightweight boot-height wool sock features built-in elastic seams. The seam is about 1/4 in (8 mm) wide. It starts at the bottom edge of the 2 in (5 cm) elasticized cuff, running down both sides to the front edge of the toe box. Across the sock, in front of the toe box, two seams reach across to join these seams; and a third seam is divided in two and proceeds from the main seams by roughly 1/2 in (1 cm). The main body of the sock is also elasticized to a lesser degree. Seven logos in various designs adorn the sock, along with a series of whitish lines. The sock is black and evidently available only in black. Material composition is listed on the website as 70% merino and the balance synthetic.
    My size 9US foot more often falls in between the more commonly available two sizes, where the size down is too small and the size up too big. I chose large, which fits my foot perfectly. The sock fits appropriately snugly with no tension at the toes and no sagging material left over to bunch up. Comfort is quite good in a room that is 70 F (20 C) on a summer day. My foot almost feels like it's being ventilated, which is great on a warm day to keep perspiration from gumming up the sock. I don't believe this sock would be suitable for me at temperatures much below this, however, even in an active environment. (Disclaimer: My feet seem cold all the time except when roasted over campfire.)
Other merino socks have felt 'cushier' to me, with a softer hand. I can't tell if the material's thinness causes the perception of a harder finish. Not wanting to quibble over the definition of 'trekking', the material seems thin to me, more suitable as a liner. I will eat these words if testing proves a satisfactory amount of durability.

Field Conditions:
    1. Jun 23-29, 2020: Yosemite/Emigrant Wilderness, California, USA. 7 days, 15 mi (24 km) trail, 10 mi (16 km) cross country = 25 mi (40 km) in 24 hours hiking; leave weight 39 lb (18 kg); 45-80 F (7-27 C), sunny. 6,000-8,000 ft (1,800-2,400 m); 5 camps.

    2. Jul 8-15, 2020:Yosemite/Emigrant Wilderness, California, USA. 8 days, 25 mi (40 km) mostly trail; leave weight 39 lb (18 kg); 45-80 F (7-27 C), sunny. 6,000-8,000 ft (1,800-2,400 m); 5 camps.

    3. Jul 23-30, 2020: Emigrant Wilderness, California, USA. 8 days, 23 mi (37 km) mostly trail; leave weight 35 lb (16 kg); 45-85 F (7-29 C), mostly sunny with several T-storms. 7,150-8,400 ft (2,200-2,600 m); 6 camps.

    4. Aug 9-15, 2020: Tahoe National Forest, California, USA. 7 days, 8 mi (13 km) mostly trail; leave weight 35 lb (16 kg); 50-85 F (10-29 C), sunny. 7,000-7,400 ft (2,100-2,300 m); 3 camps.

    5. Aug 27-Sep 2, 2020: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, California, USA. 7 days, 16 mi (26 km) trail & cross country, 10 hours; leave weight 40 lb (18 kg); 50-85 F (10-29 C), sunny. 8,200-10,000 ft (2,500-3,000 m); 5 camps.

    shrink Evidently I enjoy eating my words almost as much as hearing them. These socks compare to regular-type dress socks in weight, yet they measure up to any sock I've ever hiked in. And then some, because my feet actually do not get as hot. The tradeoff, of course, is less cushioning. Some of the hikes were close to unbearably hot, and having cooler peds proved an advantage. As the feet did not sweat as much, the skin did not get as soft and they also did not develop as much odor. Several days into the hike it occurred to me why I wasn't retching when taking off my boots--not necessarily the quickest study am I. Whereas I would normally compete with the fullest of any cat box, no flies came to attend boots off festivities, and on these trips I did not apply any foot powder.

    I eschew dirty socks, so another advantage of the thinner sock is much faster drying time. Though I never timed any, I rinsed the socks several times each trip and they dried in what seemed rapid fashion. I became not at all concerned that the socks may be damp in the morning, as they never were. The rocks were so hot from the sun that the socks dried in what a couple of times seemed only an hour or so. They did shrink, though they wore with no difference in comfort.

    With some socks sometimes the itchies get going just above the ankle, but that also did not happen with these socks. As they often dried by bedtime, I even slept in them several nights.

    Of course I inadvertently loaded them into the dryer with the rest of the wash. The shrink devil plied his evil, as shown in the picture to the right. Perhaps I should add that this issue is about remembering not to run wool stuff through the dryer and not about the performance efficacy of this sock. Much reluctance as I have to pick a nit with a product I so much admire, it would be nice if they were pre-shrunken. I hate having to remember such things as what not to put in the dryer, but that's a price to pay for wearing a fiber that is by every other measure a miracle.

     My experience with thin hiking socks is to get holes the first day out. These socks show no sign of wear.

    I've been pairing them with Vasque Breeze III hiking boots. This is the first time in a zillion years I've worn only a single sock, as opposed to a light liner and medium trekker. That system works so well for me I was quite reluctant to go without the outer sock. In truth, I expected them to wear out the first day and then I'd put on my 'real' socks, giving a blistering review. I'm happily surprised that while I very rarely hike more than 5-6 mi (8-10 km) a day and even more rarely get hot spots, my peds have been happy in the Lasting Socks alone.

    The Lasting Socks are a really long thumbs up for me. I love these socks.

Wearing totals: 78 street miles (126 km) and 94 dirt miles (151 km) (mostly backpacking) for 172 miles (277 km) total; 119 hours.

Lightweight wool trekker with complex construction; these socks are wonderful.

Quick shots:
    a) light
    b) cool
    c) fast-drying
    d) shrink

Thank you Lasting Socks and for the opportunity to test this product. This report concludes the test.

Read more reviews of Lasting, Inc gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Lasting WLS Merino Light Crew Socks > Test Report by joe schaffer

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