TEKO SUMMIT SOCK
TEST SERIES BY EDWIN MORSE
INITIAL REPORT - July 22, 2009
FIELD REPORT - September 23, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT - November 12, 2009
ed dot morse at charter dot net
Grawn, Michigan USA
5' 8" (1.73 m)
145 lb (65.80 kg)
I started backpacking in 1979 with two weeks in northern Michigan along the Lake Superior shore. My gear was cheap, heavy and sometimes painful. My starting pack weight was 70 lbs (32 kg) with food but no water. Since that first time I have made one and two week trips in Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Last May I did a 2 week hike in Northern Minnesota. My starting pack weight was 35 lbs (16 kg), including 10 days of food and 2 qt (2 l) of water. I am slowly learning what lighter gear works for me.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.tekosocks.com
MSRP: US$ 18.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 3.3 oz (94 g)
The website indicates two colors available:
The socks I received are the charcoal.
On the hang tag it is stated:
Love them or return them for a refund or replacement.
details at www.tekosocks.com
On the website it states:
Teko is committed to creating high-performance socks that leave minimum impact on the great outdoors. Wear these socks for a year, and if at anytime you are not 100% delighted with the performance of your Teko socks, return them for a new pair or refund.
There was very little in the way of packaging. The socks arrived at my door in a Fed Ex sack with a catalog.
|socks with catalog|
Each pair of socks arrived in a cardboard hang tag in the shipping package. My first thought was "Where is the plastic piece I have to cut off and throw away." The socks were just held in by the slot and tab on the back of the hang tag. After reading the hang tag and the website I get the idea that the Teko company is committed to the "Leave No Trace" on our planet ethic. According to the description of the Teko Summit Midweight hiking socks:
"Summit tekoMERINO™ Men's Midweight Hiking
The Summit Series offers a more relaxed fit and chlorine-free, undyed, organic tekoMERINO™ wool next to your skin.
Great for backpacking and extra warmth while hiking.
Medium cushion throughout the entire sock
74% tekoMERINO™ Organic Wool, 23% Nylon, 3% Lycra®"
The previous description was copied from the Teko website. In my short experience the Teko Summit midweight hiking socks are cushy and comfortable hiking or work socks. I am looking forward to see how they feel after a few days of hiking.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions on the side of the hang tag state:
"These are low maintenance socks. Machine wash warm, tumble-dry low.
For best results, turn inside out. Do not bleach, iron, or dry clean.
Contents 74% EcoMerino Wool, 23% nylon, 3% Lycra spandex"
TRYING IT OUT
I took one pair of socks out of the hang tag package and tried them on.
|Teko Summit Midweight hiking socks|
They were jut a little loose in the toes. I put on my Kuru Chicane hiking shoes (another test) and went for a walk on nearby trails. I walked 3.2 miles (5.2 km). The socks felt cushy and comfortable. There is what seems to be a more dense band around the arch of my feet
The next day (Wednesday) was a scheduled trail work day. I put on the same pair of socks under 8 inch (20 cm) high work boots. I helped a small crew start putting in a board walk through a swamp area. I took the boots off at the end of the day and the toes of the socks were stretched out and loose around my toes. The socks did not slide down as most socks I've used in these work boots have a tendency to do. The heel and uppers had stayed in place. That night I washed the socks following the directions, except that I used the dryer on high heat. When I took the socks out and tried them on the fit was perfect.
Two days later (Friday) was another trail work day. I wore the same work boots and the same pair of socks I had washed. The socks stay in place very well but, in the slightly large work boots, the toes stretch. On the other hand, every other pair of socks I've worn in the work boots slide down around my heels unless I fold the tops over the boots. I put the socks back on a few hours later and then put on my Crocs. Most of the stretch seems to go away even without the washing. The socks fit the same as they had just out of the package.
I've had just a little chance to hike with the socks and they were comfortable. The two days I worked in the socks the toes stretched but they were still comfortable. I am looking forward to wearing the socks in hiking shoes for longer hikes. So far I've had one short hike and two long days of digging post holes building boardwalk in a muddy swamp. A long day hike is next. At this time I have very little to say good or bad about the socks.
* Soft and comfortable
* They don't slide down in my work boots
* The toes stretch in the roomy work boots
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the last two months I've worn the Teko Summit midweight hiking socks for four day hikes, seven trail work days and three backpacking trips.
Three of the day hikes were in the Manistee National Forest with clear skies and temperatures between 60 F (16 C) and 66 F (19 C). The other day hike was from my home through wooded trails to the nearby village of Interlochen, through the Interlochen State Park and around roads back home. This six mile (10 km) hike started with a misty drizzle that soon evolved into a steady downpour. The temperature held at 68 F (20 C). I was wearing a rain jacket but not rain pants or waterproof shoes. I got very wet.
I work with two Chapters of the North Country Trail Association volunteering for trail building and maintenance. Three work days were in the Pere Marquette State Forest, south of Traverse City, Michigan. The other four were in the Manistee National Forest, southwest of the village of Baldwin. The project, in Sterling Marsh, is to build over 1200 feet (366 m) of boardwalk. We will get about 500 feet (152 m) done this year.
|boardwalk in progress|
The next work session replaced the log bridge with boardwalk. High leather boots are required for trail work in the National Forest. The existing trail through the marsh floods every spring. We dug through more than a foot (30 cm) of wet muck putting in at least half of the post holes.
The first backpacking trip, in mid July was an overnight hike on the North Country Trail in the Pere Marquette State Forest. I hiked 9.5 miles (15.3 km) to a state forest campground. It was 60 F (16 C) when I started hiking and up to 68 F (20 C) when I found a campsite. I thought that during the week a forest campground, a half mile (0.8 km) from the parking lot, should be quiet. Not the first time I was wrong. There was one other campsite occuppied at the far end of the camp ground and they were noisy all night, a good reminder why I usually avoid campgrounds.
My feet were tired after the hike so after I got set up I took off the hiking shoes and put the Crocs on.
The next morning I woke to a light rain and 48 F (9 C). I packed up and had a slow breakfast protected by the tarp. The rain stopped while I finished packing. Soon after I started hiking the rain came down much harder. The rest of the hike alternated between threatening clouds and hard rain. I was wearing a rain jacket but not rain pants or waterproof shoes. By the time I got back to the Jeep I was completely soaked below the rain jacket as well as sweaty. The temperature was only 55 F (13 C) but I was pushing hard to get back.
The second overnight hike, in late August, was also in the Manistee National Forest. It had rained the night before I started so the trail and all wood structures were wet. I hiked 10 miles (16 km) the first day with sunny skies the temperature holding close to 62 F (17 C) all day. The trail was frequently muddy between or on steep hills. I hiked 11.4 miles (18.4 km) the second day under cloudy skies and the temperature slowly rising from the predawn 47 F (8 C) to 58 F (14 C) when I finished. The second day I hiked on high and dry trails with frequent hills.
|end of a hike|
The third backpacking trip was planned for six days along the shore of Lake Michigan from just north of Ludington to the village of Leland. A hiking buddy has the idea (almost an obsession) that this would be a good hiking trail with many possibilities and options. I agreed to go along just because it was a backpacking trip. He planned to average about 15 miles (24 km) each day. The idea of a beach hike was not especially appealing. The first day was ideal hiking, clear and sunny with a high temperature of 68 F (20 C). There was mostly hard sand to walk on near the water, although it was a steeper slope. Here is a typical view of the beach, with my hiking buddy on ahead.
|Lake Michigan beach walk|
The second day was similar weather with the addition of a strong wind from the northwest. This caused the bigger waves to push farther up on the beach in turn making us walk in softer sand or at times getting wet feet. There were also a few obstacles the second day where property owners had built sea walls down into the water. The weather stayed about the same with mostly clear skies, lows at night of about 40 F (4 C) and highs around 68 F (20 C).
The third day of hiking on the constant slope was too much for my right hip and it started to hurt more with every step. We camped in the Plat River Campground, in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, the third night. The next morning my buddy hiked back to the beach and continued north. I took a different trail and then a road walk to the village of Honor where I called for a ride home. Fortunately, hiking on a trail in the woods was no problem for my sore hip. Walking on the paved county road was no problem as long as I walked on the side sloping down to my right, in other words in the same direction as traffic.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Teko Summit midweight socks are doing very well for me. I've worn the socks in three different types of hiking shoes and in high top leather work boots.
When I first put the socks on each day the toes have extra material and seem a little too big for my feet. I put the shoes or boots on carefully to be sure there are no folds in the socks. The extra toe room is not a problem after I start walking. I've had my shoes and the Teko socks completely soaked on two hikes from rain and wet brush. The last backpack trip I was wearing waterproof trail runners with gaiters that were not even water repellant. Several times the second day waves came quicker and higher than I expected and got the socks partly wet. The Teko socks are just as comfortable when wet and seem to provide just as much cushioning for my feet. Here is a view of the socks after I took off my trail runners the first night of the last hike. I also carried Crocs for crossing creeks and a river.
|in the tent after beach hiking|
When I first wore the socks in high leather work boots the extra toe room wrapped around my toes, which was just a little uncomfortable. The next time I wore the boots I folded the tops of the socks over the tops of the boots - problem solved. One project I'm helping with is building a boardwalk through a marsh, the other project is building new trail mostly along steep side slopes. Comfortable socks and boots with good traction make the work a little easier and protect my feet.
Overall, the Teko Summit Midweight socks are doing very well for me. I had a small problem with the extra toe space at first but it is not a problem once I start walking. I also had a problem when wearing work boots and the extra material would bunch up around my toes. I solved this by folding the top of the socks down over the top of the boots. The socks always provide good cushioning for my feet, whether dry or wet.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the last two months I've worn the Teko Summit socks for twelve trail work days, six day hikes and one short overnight backpack trip.
I wore the socks under high leather boots for all the trail work. The trail work days were partly in an area known as Sterling Marsh in the Manistee National Forest (MNF) about 65 miles (105 km) southwest of Traverse City and partly in the Pere Marquette State Forest (PMSF) about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Traverse City and along the Manistee River. The Sterling Marsh area is, of course, relatively flat, often wet and muddy. The new trail along the Manistee River is mostly on a plateau overlooking the river valley but we crossed six creeks along the way. At each creek we had to cut the trail down the slope to the creek elevation, build a bridge, and then cut the trail along the slope back to the top. These slope areas are mostly in clay slopes which are muddy in our rainy fall weather.We've had a few days of rain in each area while working but most days have been sunny and relatively cool.
I wore the Teko socks under trail runner shoes for all the day hikes as well as the one backpacking hike. All my hikes have been in the PMSF, mostly on relatively flat terrain. I hiked all day in steady rain on two hikes while most hikes were cool and pleasant with sunny skies. Oddly enough the warmest hike was the backpacking overnight on November 8 and 9. The temperature got up to 70 F (21 C) before it finally started to cool down for the night.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Overall, the Teko Summit socks have done pretty well for me. Each time they are washed they seem to go back to the original size, which is a little too roomy for me. After I wear the socks for a few hours they seem to fit all right. I think these socks would fit better if I had larger volume feet. With the trail running shoes I wear for hiking the socks give me no problems after I wear tham for an hour. The few times I have gotten shoes, socks and feet very wet the socks were still comfortable. When I wear work boots I've found it necessary to fold the tops of the socks down over the boot tops. Otherwise the extra volume wraps around my toes.
The Teko Summit socks are well made midweight hiking socks. I can wear the same pair for several days of trail work and hiking and the socks retain their loft and comfort. I have nothing really negative so say about these socks. The only problem I have is the excess volume of the socks. While writing this part of the report I began to wonder if I should just wear a smaller size with these socks. I will continue to wear these Teko Summit midweight socks for much of my hiking. I will also order the next smaller size just to see if they will fit better without the excess toe room. I have three other models of Teko socks which all fit very well.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
This concludes my Long Term Report.
I would like to thank Teko and Backpackgeartest.org for the opportunity to use and test these socks.
Read more reviews of Teko gear
Read more gear reviews by Edwin L. Morse