SMARTWOOL OUTDOOR HEAVY CREW PHD SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
INITIAL REPORT - December 10, 2013
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
195 lb (88.50 kg)
I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay in the Western half of Oregon and Washington. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 12 lb (6 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.smartwool.com
Measured Weight: 3.43 oz (97 g) per pair of size L
The SmartWool PhD Outdoor Heavy Crew socks are merino wool socks for outdoor use like hiking. They have heavy cushioning for more warmth and comfort.
I tested size L which is advertised for US Men's shoe size 9 - 11.5. I wear size 12 shoes, but I don't like loose socks so I got the size L.
The package my socks came in says they're:
On the website, it says they're:
86% Merino Wool
There's a little difference but probably not important.
The website says they use two types of elastics for greater stretch so it stays in place better. My testing will tell if they stay up good. The website says they use patented "ReliaWool" technology to provide longer life. I won't use these enough during the test to anywhere near wear out the socks, but I'll at least verify they don't wear out in an unusually short time. The website says they have mesh panels for better ventilation. I'll be testing the socks in colder weather so I should be able to evaluate breathability some, but not as much as in the summer. But, since these are heavy socks, they're probably better for the winter which is good because that's when I'll be testing them. The website says they have "4 Degree Elite Fit" - they bend at ankle, upper instep, lower instep, and arch. I have a hard time visualizing what that means while looking at the socks, but I'll find out how comfortable they are.
They come in two colors - Black and Chestnut (Brown). I got the Chestnut. There are some lighter and darker shades of brown with some Beige stripes. "SmartWool" is spelled out near the toe. The "SmartWool man" is on the ankle. These are both in only slightly contrasting color so it's hard to see them, definitely not obtrusive.
The socks are 8.5 inches (215 mm) high. When I measure the socks in my hands, the tops are 8.5 inches (215 mm) above the heel. When I put the socks on my feet which stretches them, I measure 10.5 inches (265mm) from floor to top of socks.
The socks have a complicated weaving pattern. The thickness is uniform on the ankle, except at the top it's a little different - there must be more elastic to keep them up. The socks are thicker on the heel and toe areas - this must be the "ReliaWool" heavy wear areas that are thicker to wear longer. The socks are thinner on top of the foot with several different areas - this must be the mesh panels to provide better ventilation.
They say to machine wash warm gentle, turn inside out, and dry on low. I usually forget to turn them inside out.
The socks are made in the U.S. of imported yarn.
Right and left side of socks on table:
Put on one sock:
The SmartWool socks feel very good in my hand. No loose threads or seams that seem like they might fail or be uncomfortable.
The socks feel good on my feet. I have size L which is advertised for US Men's shoe size 9 - 11.5. I wear size 12 shoes, but I don't like loose socks so I got the size L. They're fairly tight. Maybe next time I'll get a size XL.
The SmartWool PhD Heavy Crew socks are heavyweight, merino wool, outdoor socks. They also have some synthetic for stretch to keep them in place and to better hold up to wear.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
They're fairly high on my ankle - 10.5 inches (265 mm) from the bottom of my feet to the top of the socks.
These are thicker socks than others I've tried. They should be good for winter.
They seem very well made, very comfortable to wear.
I'll be testing these on two backback trips on each of the Field Report and Long Term Report periods. I'll also probably be doing some day hiking.
Thanks to SmartWool and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
Look forward to my Long Term Report in about four months.
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Read more gear reviews by jerry adams