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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > TCK Slog Series Topo Socks > Test Report by Liz Neely

TCK Slog Series Topo Socks

Initial Report    

April 22, 2007

Field Report

 July 2, 2007

Long Term Report   

September 2, 2007


TCK Slog Series Topo Socks Photo
Crew Style

Tester's Information

Name: Liz Neely
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 145 lb (65.8 kg)
Email address: liz at armory dot com
Location: Santa Cruz, California

Tester's Background:

I've been day hiking for many years, and started backpacking in 2005. My backpacking has been primarily in Central and Northern California, on designated trails.  My backpacking trips have ranged in length from 2-4 days, with temperatures from 25 to 75 F (4 to 24 C), and elevations between sea level and 8700 ft (2652 m). I'm not an ultra-light backpacker, but I keep my pack weight between 28 to 35 lb (13 to 16 kg) including food and water. I typically hike from 7 to 11 mi (11 to 18 km) per day and I sleep in a tent.


Product Information:

Manufacturer: TCK
Year of Manufacture: 2007
URL:  http://www.slogseries.com
MSRP: $9.95/pair US (for Crew Style)
Listed Weight: not listed
Measured Weight: 2 oz (58 g) (size L-XL)
Available Sizes:  S-M (women 6-10 US, men 5-10 US, Euro 30-42, UK 12-8); L-XL (women 10-12 US, men 10-13 US, Euro 42-46, UK 8-12)
Available Styles: Crew, Quarter, Roll
Available Colors: Off-white/Black/Red; Grey/Black/Red
Fabric Contents: 77% Polypropylene, 17% Nylon, 3% Lycra Spandex, 3% Elastic
Care: Wash and dry inside out. Use cold water, and wash with like colors. Line dry or tumble dry low. Do not bleach. Do not iron. Do not dry clean.

Product Description:

The TCK Slog Series Topo socks are intended by the manufacturer to be worn for running, bicycle touring, long walks, dayhiking, or to be used as an insulating liner under other socks. They are described by the manufacturer as a light sock intended for a mild or hot climate. These socks vary in thickness in different parts of the sock. The heels and toes are thickest, about the thickness of a lightweight but padded hiking sock. The sections that are directly at the top of my foot above my heels and tops of my toes are the thinnest, and appear to be quite breathable - if I put my hand inside and stretch those areas a little I can see my hand through them. The rest of the sock feels slightly thicker than this thin area, but it's really hard to tell for sure, it's pretty close to the same thickness if it is thicker at all. The arch area of the socks feels like it has much stronger elastic in it, for arch support.



Initial Report    April 22, 2007

Initial Impressions:

I ordered a size L-XL because I wear women's size 10.5 US shoes, and the socks fit me perfectly.

I put these socks on right after they arrived and I was really surprised at how comfortable they are. Not that I expected them to be uncomfortable, but they are really really comfortable. They have just the right amount of elasticity for my taste so they have a pleasantly snug feeling to them without feeling at all tight; the padding in the heel and toe areas is also very comfortable, without making the sock feel thick or too warm. These socks appear to be well made, I examined the stitching/seams and the fabric of the socks, and I don't see any flaws or snags. I also like that the toe seams aren't lumpy so they don't press against my feet, which is something that bothers me with some socks.

I wore these socks for a day to try them out. It was a work day for me, so I was mostly sitting at a desk, with a bit of walking around the office now and then. The socks stayed pulled up all day, no sliding down. And they were comfortable, I didn't really notice them unless I thought about it, and my feet were never too hot or too cold.

Overall my initial impression is that these socks are really nice, comfortable, and versatile, and I'm looking forward to testing them for the next four months.



Field Report   July 2, 2007

Field Information

I've worn the TCK Topo Socks for one backpacking trip and two days of day hiking since my Initial Report. I've also worn them about five times as everyday socks.

The backpacking trip was at Henry Coe State Park, CA. The elevations were between 1080 and 1350 ft (329 and 411 m) and the temperatures were in the 80s F (27 C) during the daytime and in the 40s F (4 C) during the coldest part of the night. I wore these socks hesitantly on this backpacking trip, since the manufacturer didn't list them as backpacking socks, and they seemed more geared towards light-duty usage based on the manufacturer's recommended activities as well as the lightweight material they are made of.  Boy was I surprised by their performance - I loved them backpacking! The thing I liked the best was that because of the elasticity throughout the sock, they stuck to my feet really well and there was never any rubbing between my skin and the inside of the sock! After seven miles (11 km) of backpacking in  hot temperatures, mostly in full sun, I had no rubbed or sore spots on my feet at all! The socks also did a great job of keeping my feet dry despite how hot the temperatures were. The socks are not as padded as the socks I typically wear backpacking, and I didn't know whether this would be a problem, but it wasn't - I didn't even notice the lack of padding at all during the hike.

The first day hike I wore these socks on was on the Kalalau Trail in Kauai, HI. My best guess at the elevations is that they were between sea level and 1500 ft (457 m) and my best guess at the temperatures is that they were in the high 70's and mid 80's F (25 to 30 C). I hiked 8 mi (13 km) total; the socks were dry for the first 4 mi (6 km) and wet for the last 4 mi (6 km) because I walked through streams several times. I found it interesting that while my boots and socks were clearly wet the last half of my hike, my feet didn't feel particularly wet. I believe this is because the socks didn't absorb much of the water so they didn't have that squishy wet feeling to them that socks sometimes get when they're wet. I sometimes get rubbed spots or the beginnings of a blister when I hike in wet shoes and socks but I didn't get anything like that on this hike.

The second day of day hiking I wore these socks on consisted of a few short (less than 1 mi (2 km)) hikes and one longer (6 mi (10 km)) hike in Waimea Canyon in Kauai, HI. My estimate of the elevations is that they were between 3700 and 4300 ft (1128 and 1311 m) and my estimate of the temperature is that it was in the high 70's F (25 C). I really didn't notice the socks at all, my feet were happy the entire hike, and I didn't have any sore spots or blisters after the hike.

I have also worn these socks a handful of times as every day socks - at work and around town on the weekends. They are very comfortable regardless of my activities or the temperatures, although I haven't had the opportunity to wear them in very cold temperatures.


Summary of feelings about the Topo Socks after two months of field testing


Comfort/Fit:
I find these socks extremely comfortable - more than I could have imagined! They are even comfortable when they are wet and inside wet boots. My feet feel dry even when I know the socks are wet and I do not get any blisters or raw spots when hiking in them wet or dry. They fit very well; they are close fitting due to the elasticity in the fabric, but they do not have any feeling of being too tight. The socks stay in place nicely; I have not experienced any bunching up inside my shoes or boots. There is a toe seam on the inside of the socks, but it really hasn't bothered me when wearing the socks; it's fairly flat.

Durability:
I have not noticed any shrinkage or fading after machine washing and drying these socks 9 times. I have noticed some small elastic threads that have come loose in several places on each sock, here are some examples:

Sock Snag 1 Sock Snag 2

I have noticed that if I wear the socks with shorts or sandals, small stickers like to stick to the fabric, but not any more so than I have noticed with other socks made of different fabrics. I haven't noticed any snagging when I pull the stickers off the socks.

Convenience:
These socks are machine washable and dryable so they are very convenient to take care of. I haven't had a chance to try air-drying them to see how long that takes, but I will do that during the long term test period and report back on that.


Further Information 

This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.



Long Term Report   September 2, 2007

Field Information

In the past two months, I've worn the TCK Topo socks for three short day hikes as well as continuing to wear them about once a week as everyday socks. The day hikes were all on somewhat steep off-trail terrain in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I estimate the temperature was around 80 F (27 C) on all of these day hikes and the elevations were around 500-900 ft (152-274 m.)  The everyday uses consist of a combination of sitting at my desk at work, working in my yard and around the house, and walking around town, with temperatures varying from 65-85 F (18-29 C).

Summary

I still find these socks very comfortable for all the different types of activities I have worn them for. The elastic remains strong so they continue to give my feet nice support and to stay up rather than falling down or bunching up in my shoes or boots. The padding in the toe and heel is also still comfortable, although I think it might not be as thick as it was when the socks were new. I can't tell for sure, but that's my perception. There is slight pilling in the heel area of the sock, but not more than I would expect on a four month old pair of socks. The one thing I still needed to report on was whether they air dry quickly. I washed the socks and hung them overnight in temperatures around 65 F (18 C). In the morning they were dry! This is quicker than most of my other socks dry so I would say these dry quickly.

Conclusion

I am very happy with these socks and I will continue to wear them; I will probably buy additional pairs if/when these wear out because I find them extremely comfortable.


Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and TCK for giving me the opportunity to test the Slog Series Topo socks.





Read more reviews of TCK gear
Read more gear reviews by Liz Neely

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > TCK Slog Series Topo Socks > Test Report by Liz Neely



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