IR- Lorpen MultiSport Tri Layer Socks
Test Series by Suzi Gibson
Initial Report - 8 October 2008
Field Report - 6 January 2008
Long Term Report - 2 March 2008
Name: Suzi Gibson
Height: 5'6" (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70.3 kg)
Email address: suzi_q_jones at yahoo dot com
City, State, Country: Anderson, South Carolina, USA
I've gone on many family camping trips to various places along the east coast of the US since I was a child. The backpacking bug was always there, whispering in my ear until finally in my early twenties it bit me! I've since done several backpacking trips in Florida, Washington, Virginia, and North Carolina. I typically backpack with around 30 lb (13.6 kg) of essential gear (sleeping bag and mat, tent, stove, and clothes), food and water and usually go for 2 to 3 days. My current tent and bag comprise almost half of the pack weight.
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Listed weight: N/A
Weight as Delivered: 1.7 oz (48.2 g)/pair
Colors Available: White/Dive Grey (290), Pale Green/Light Green (291), Dove Grey/Mango (292)
Color Tested: Pale Green/Light Green (291)
Sizes Available: Small, Medium
Size Tested: Medium
Product Content: 50% Coolmax, 25% Tencel, 15% Polyamide, 10% Lycra
Product Description & Initial Impressions:
The Lorpen Multisport Tri Layer socks were shipped directly from Lorpen North American, Inc. in a padded envelope. The socks themselves were packaged in a clear plastic bag, with the sock's style code, color, size and composition listed on a label. Lorpen also included an excerpt from their catalogue (page 20) where the socks are listed. The Lorpen logo is woven into the back of the cuff just below the ribbing while the company name is woven into the Multi Density instep near the toes. Unfortunately, the washing instructions were omitted. I'm assuming this was since the product was shipped in sample packaging.
The Lorpen MultiSport Tri Layer socks contain a multi density knit that is composed of three layers. The Coolmax ® layer is adjacent to the skin and serves to wick perspiration away from the foot. The second layer is Tencel ® layer which is derived from Eucalyptus wood pulp that not only produces a highly durable yarn, but is also claimed to have anti-microbial properties. This layer wicks away and holds perspiration from the Coolmax ® layer. The outer layer is composed of Nylon, which gives it added strength and durability over the life of the sock. Additional Nylon is found in the toe and heel where addition friction occurs during use.
It is no secret that women's anatomy down to our calves and feet are much different from men's Lorpen's and hiking socks don't always address these differences. Lorpen's "Innovative Fit Elements" or Women's LIFE FIT system is designed to give women a great fitting sock. This is accomplished by creating socks with greater arch support for higher arches, a narrower heel and forefoot and having 'less sock volume' when compared to men's socks. I found the fit to be very form fitting for my feet.
The Lycra instep cross brace is a nice feature whose purpose it to keep the sock from wrinkling, as well as to ensure a snug fit along the instep and to provide extra arch support. I found that the instep did indeed fit well across my foot and does not give the impression that it will bunch during hiking. In addition, the relative thinness of the instep suggests it will allow for adequate ventilation.
|I found the extra flat toe seam to be extremely flat on both the inside and outside of the socks. Additionally, the stitching looks very rugged, suggesting it will hold up to lots of use. The entire toe and heel areas are very well padded for a light hiking sock. Lorpen rates the padding as that of a 'light hiker', however I feel that these areas of the sock have more of a 'medium to light hiker' padding.
The Lorpen Multisport Tri Layer socks are soft and very comfortable on my feet. The fit of the women's LIFE FIT design is especially nice. The limited wear they've received around the house suggests that these socks will not sag or bunch during hiking and should adequately wick perspiration away. The padding is also a nice surprise for this 'light hiker' sock and I'm optimistic my feet will be very appreciative of the padding at the end of the day. All stitching was free of defects and/or loose threads. I'm anxious to see how the Lorpen MultiSport Tri Layer socks perform in the field.
- Sock fit
- Padding in heel and toe
Nothing at this time
Field Locations and Conditions:
Over the past 2 months, I have worn the Lorpen MultiSport socks on several day hikes as well as one bike ride. Some of the hikes included trails in Dupont State Forest (North Carolina), part of the Bartram Trail in Tuskegee National Forest (Alabama), Gulf Islands National Sea Shore (FL), and a series of private trails in Maryland. Elevations traveled ranged from sea level to 3000 ft (914 m). Temperatures ranged from approximately 40 F (4 C) with snow flurries, to 80 F (26 C) and sunny. I've traversed a variety of conditions with these socks including sand, clay, mud, streams, seawater and exposed granite.
To date, the socks have been washed approximately 12 times with very little washing wear and no shrinking observed. All seams are still intact and the padding has kept its form and 'cushiness' through the sock's use so far. The socks fit just as well today as they did when they arrived. I have also noticed that they stay in place, that is no bunching or sagging during the day regardless of the footwear worn with them. I'm also happy to report that I have not had any blisters or even rub spots on my feet while I've been testing the Lorpen MultiSport socks.
The socks did a great job wicking away moisture and keeping my feet dry and at a very comfortable temperature during the warmer hikes. I was impressed at their wicking ability in colder temps. During several of my colder hikes, my feet were submerged multiple times, yet after 10 minutes the socks felt dry on my feet. This impressed me because while they didn't provide the warmth I would've like to have seen, things could have been worse for my feet if they were both cold and wet. The sock's odor resistance has also impressed me so far. I have only detected my usual foot odor on one occasion and that came after a long day that included trudging through several stagnant pools. The socks were not able to keep my feet as warm as I would've liked during the colder hikes regardless of footwear worn with them. However, the lightweight nature of the sock is probably not meant for colder temperatures.
Overall, I'm pleased with the sock's performance in temperatures above 40 F (4 C). I like the lightweight nature of the sock in combination with the mid crew sock length for warmer hikes. The padding on this lightweight sock is also another positive attribute. The socks fit well on my feet regardless if I'm wearing running shoes or hiking boots. I'm looking forward to putting some more miles on the socks over the next several weeks.
- Wicking ability
- Odor resistance
- Subpar performance keeping my feet warm below 40 F (4 C)
Long Term Report
Field Locations and Conditions
During this stage of testing, I wore the socks while hiking as well as several of my conditioning walks. Since it was mid-winter, I wore the socks with my mid-weight hiking boots instead of my poorly insulated running shoes. One hike was conducted in Oconee State Park, South Carolina to Hidden Falls (~1600 ft; 488 m) where the temperature was 49-57 F (9 - 14 C). Conditions were clear and dry during the 4.5 mile (7 km) hike.
Most of my outings were with my toddler riding in her child carrier. This is a situation where a medium hiking sock would probably be better suited, yet these socks performed well. I was most impressed with the performance when temperatures were above 40 F (4 C) and when I had nothing more than a daypack. The cushioning was better than most light socks, however, in the future I will probably use the socks in a layering system when using my child carrier or when going out when temperatures are below 40 F (4 C). The sock's wicking ability easily kept my feet feeling dry during my outings and I did not notice my usual foot odor at the end of the day. Even when the socks did get wet from stream crossings, they dried within a few hours.
Overall, I am very impressed with the Lorpen MultiSport Socks. They have more cushioning in the heel than most other light socks I have used and I really like their fit. They really conformed to my feet almost like a second layer of skin. I especially like the odor resistance and the sock's wicking ability. The socks have held up very well after all the miles and washings. All the seams and stitching are in great shape and I never once experienced rubbing from the toe seam which was an initial concern. I'm looking forward to using them this spring and summer with my running shoes when the weather in the South Eastern U.S. is hot and very humid.
- Wicking ability
- Odor resistance
- Subpar performance keeping my feet warm below 40 F (4 C)
- Best suited for light hiking
This concludes my Report for the Lorpen MultiSport Tri Layer socks. Thanks again to Lorpen and BackPackGearTest.org for granting me the opportunity to test the Lorpen MultiSport Tri Layer socks.
Read more reviews of Lorpen gear
Read more gear reviews by Suzi Gibson