MINUS33 MERINO WOOL MTN HERITAGE MICRO W
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
February 13, 2021
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
126 lb (57.20 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a co-ed scout group which made a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since college in Pennsylvania. I have hiked 1/4 of the Appalachian Trail and 2/3 of the Pacific Crest Trail. My typical trip is in the Sierra Nevada from a few days to a few weeks long. My base weight is lightweight at 15 lb (6.8 kg) while still using a tent, stove and quilt. Longer mileage summer trips are now stoveless.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Minus33 Merino Wool Clothing
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.minus33.com
MSRP: $20.99 US
Listed Weight: 2.7 oz (76 g) per pair
Measured Weight: 2.7 oz (76 g) per pair
Color Tested: Black
Other Colors Available: Patriot, Olive Drab, Oatmeal and Coffee
Made in New Hampshire, USA!
The Minus33 Merino Wool Mountain Heritage Micro Weight socks are a full-cushion and full-length pair of socks. They are made from 61% Merino wool, 22% nylon, 16% stretch nylon and 1% Spandex. The wool is sourced from Australia. The socks are light weight along the height and top of the foot but have a thick cushion on the bottom of the foot. The cuff at the top is very wide. There is elastic in three areas: the arch, ankle and the top cuff. The heel and toe are designed with extra durability. The toe is claimed to be seamless but of course there is a seam. It is just nearly unnoticeable since the finish is so smooth. The top of the sock is vented for good breathability.
|Right side out and inside out|
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING THEM ON
My initial impression was how light and small the socks seemed despite being a knee-high length and with a good thick foot cushion. I was expecting a much heavier sock and was pleasantly surprised. I tried them on and was pleased with the fit. The sizing is unisex only and although I ordered per Minus33's sizing chart, I was nervous that a medium unisex sock just wouldn't fit right. They were absolutely perfect. I don't think that I've worn a full-height sock in over 30 years, so I was happy to find that I loved the height! They seemed to hug my calves and feel just great. They are warm but don't feel bulky.
Overall, I was impressed and happy about these socks three times for three different reasons and that was just in trying them on!
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The washing and drying instructions say to machine wash in cold water with like colors using the gentle cycle. Detergent should be specifically for wool or at least mild. The socks can be tumble dried on low heat setting. Fabric softener and/or bleach should never be used!
One note is that the socks should be stored in an airtight container if not in use for long periods of time. Now that is smart and so much more pleasant than using moth balls.
The Minus33 Merino Wool Mountain Heritage Micro Weight socks are a lightweight, full-cushion and full-length sock.
Fit was right per the size chart
Lightweight yet a substantial sock
Cozy knee sock for winter
Nothing so far
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Over the past four months I have worn the socks around four times per week. I alternated between two pairs and often wore each pair more than once before washing. I wore them for everyday activities as well as outdoor and athletic pursuits. In total I would say that I wore them on nine morning runs, eight hikes, three snowshoe hikes, two mountain bike rides, ten walks, seven days of yardwork and on multiple motorcycles rides.
Two hikes in Coldstream Valley, Northern Sierra Nevada, California: 4.8 mi (7.7 km) each day; 5,935 to 6,236 ft (1,809 to 1,901 m) elevation; 32 to 35 F (0 to 2 C); mostly sunny
Blodgett Experimental Forest, Sierra Nevada, California: 2.1 mi (3.4 km); 4,080 to 4,200 ft (1,244 to 1,280 m) elevation; 38 F (3 C); clear, sunny conditions; 4 ft (1.2 m) of fresh snow so lots of post-holing
Little Zion, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada: 7 mi (11 km); 5,500 to 6,300 ft (1,676 to 1,920 m) elevation; 52 F (11 C); partly cloudy conditions; off-trail
Petroglyphs, Logandale, Nevada: 3 mi (5 km); estimated 1,500 ft (457 m) elevation; 55 F (13 C); partly cloudy conditions
Wild Dog Trail, Saguaro National Park, Arizona: 3 mi (5 km); 2,514 to 2,675 ft (766 to 815 m) elevation; 55 F (13 C); mostly sunny conditions
Dam to Phoneline Trails, Sabino Canyon, Arizona: 6 mi (10 km); 2,680 to 3,234 ft (817 to 986 m) elevation
Multiple hikes on Gerle Loop in the Auburn Recreation Area, California: 2.5 to 3.5 mi (4 to 6 km); 764 to 921 ft (233 to 281 m) elevation; 40 to 58 F (4 to 14 C); varied conditions from rain to clouds to sun
Two rides of 11 mi (18 km) each on Coastal Trail / Haul Road, Fort Bragg, California: nearly sea level; 56 to 62 F (13 to 17 C); mostly clear
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I mentioned in the Initial Report that I haven't worn knee-high socks since probably grade school, but what an unexpected thrill! I love these socks. The knee height is fantastic for winter. My legs seemed so much warmer even though it was just my calves that were covered and not my thighs. The elasticity of the socks provided a minor sort of compression sock which felt wonderful for running. The height kept my base layer pants from creating a skin gap with the top of my socks. My base layer pants always seem to be a bit too short on my longer legs and even crew-height socks end up with a gap at times.
|Worn on Left; New on Right|
The socks were surprisingly lightweight and thinner not like a ski sock or heavy thick sock. And yet they were amazingly warm. I wore them what seemed like nearly every day although we have some Spring-like weather at times during the Winter so they didn't work on those days. On the cooler days I wore them all day. They were super for just keeping my feet warm in the house.
I loved them for winter snow activities like snowshoeing. As mentioned above I wore them a few times per week for running where they kept my legs warm under tights on even the chilliest mornings. I also really liked them for riding motorcycles in the cooler weather. They kept my shins covered and warm so any airflow wouldn't chill my legs.
I alternated between two pairs but basically, I wore both pairs until it was laundry day. So, each pair likely was worn two to three times between washings. I never noticed any foul aroma and despite sweating in them, they always felt cushy and not like the fibers were squished down.
As for durability, the socks have performed very well considering the amount of use. There is a small amount of pilling, some color fading, some shrinkage seen in the foot size and some stretching at the tops (see photos). I compared the worn socks to my spare brand-new pair to show the differences. There are no signs of wear like thin spots or compression of the cushion.
The Minus33 Merino Wool Mountain Heritage Micro Socks have been a great addition to my sock drawer. I found the socks to be warm (but not hot), cozy, cushy and overall fantastic for winter.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
Warm but not too thick
Seriously? I can't think of a thing.
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Minus33 and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test out these nice socks.
Read more reviews of Minus 33 gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith