TEKO SUMMIT MIDWEIGHT HIKING SOCK
TEST SERIES BY ROGER AULT
INITIAL REPORT - July 22, 2009
FIELD REPORT - September 16, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT - November 17, 2009
Spencer, Indiana USA
5' 11" (1.80 m)
276 lb (125.00 kg)
I have been camping for several years. I had limited chances as a child but have
been camping a lot the past 20 years. I love backpacking and consider myself
moderately equipped although I can never have enough gear. I want to spend more
time winter camping. I typically carry 25 - 45 pounds (~11 - 20 kg). I generally
use a tent for shelter. I generally hike in the woods and rolling hills of
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: teko, LLC (oddly enough I have yet to see the name capitalized)
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.tekosocks.com
MSRP: US $18.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 3.4 oz (96 g)
Midweight crew sock comprised of 74% tekoMERINO™ Organic Wool, 23% Nylon, 3% Lycra®. The manufacturer states "The Summit Series offers a more relaxed fit and chlorine-free, undyed, organic tekoMERINO™ wool next to your skin".
I am testing style 9904 size large in charcoal color. These come in sizes S, M, L, XL and also in Olive color as well. The website only shows sizes M, L, XL.
I received two pairs and they came packaged in folded cardboard packaging made to hang. This is 100% recycled packaging. Also included was Fall/Winter 2009 catalog describing many other styles as well as several features. The catalog describes the materials slightly different than the packaging. The difference is the catalog calls out 74% teko-merino wool and the packaging says 74% EcoMerino wool. I am not sure if there is a difference other than terminology but it is different wording.
Teko claims to be 100% wind powered and made in USA. While the "Made in USA" part may not be that important, I find it encouraging to find a US company that doesn't go to excesses just to make a profit. The packaging says "best socks on the planet. best socks for the planet" At this point all that I have seen leads me to believe the manufacturer supports good ethics and stewardship of what we all enjoy.
These socks feel well cushioned and well made. The label says tek-fit performance arch, heel, cuff and flattest toe seam available. I would not dare judge or rate any type of footwear on brief experience, but I will say that after wearing for a couple of days they feel good so far. This has all been daily use and not actual trail use. I always try out any new footwear for several miles before going on any trip that may put me (especially my feet) in jeopardy.
The catalog describes several features of teko socks. The size is labeled inside the cuff of every sock. On the top of the foot is a comfort stretch waffle-knit zone. Thy have a seamless flat-knit toe and seamless double cuff with no-slip fit. There is a Y-heel for articulated and added reinforcement above heel for extra wear protection. Vapor channels on the sides above the Lycra spandex arch bands. Although all of this means little unless you have an understanding of performance footwear, it does make a difference in overall feel.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions seem clear and easy to follow. The packaging calls these "low maintenance socks" The directions say to machine wash in warm water and tumble dry on low setting. They also say to turn inside out which I do out of habit for my hiking socks. They also say do not bleach, iron or dryclean.
TRYING IT OUT
I have only worn these for a couple of days and cannot say very much at this point. They feel good on my feet and they stay up well. The performance and durability remains to be tested.
I plan on wearing one pair as much as possible to ascertain durability. I will be monitoring the moisture handling capability of these because I find this very important for warm weather use. The overall fit and feel is fine at this point and I will be paying close attention to this as time goes by and miles are added to the test. I will also be watching to see if they stay in place and if they exert excess pressure on my calf.
I have a trip planned July 16th through July 19th, which should see some use. August is usually very hot and humid and I will probably see limited use except for day hikes and daily wear. September should see a great deal of use as Fall approaches and the weather moderates.
At this point I can only say the fit and feel of the socks is great. Time will tell if this remains true. I cannot think of anything I do not like at this point.
I will say there are inconsistencies between the website and the packaging that need corrected.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
On July 16th to July 19th I backpacked three days and nights. I hiked into Lawrence County Recreational Park and set up camp Thursday. Temps were pretty low most of the weekend. I think it got to 85 F (29 C) on Thursday and we saw lows near 50 F (10 C) on Saturday night. This was actually a large festival on 400 acres (162 hectares). I did get in a couple of day hikes as well as walking all over the grounds the whole time.
In early August I spent a couple of weekend overnight trips to McCormick's Creek State Park. The park is about 6 mi (10 km) from my home and the campground is another 2.5 mi (4 km) from the gate. These trips were in fair weather with temps around 80 F down to 65 F (27 C to 18 C).
I went to the Bean Blossom Bikefest September 11th through 13th. I left work on Thursday September 10th and started walking for several hours that night. I made camp that night and continued walking the next morning. I arrived at the Bill Monroe Music Park, where the festival was held, mid-day on Friday after about 21 mi (34 km). We had a high of approximately 82 F (28 C) and a low of about 56 F (13 C). Humidity was between 55 and 60 percent.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
These socks definitely stay up and in place. I have never had them move around or bunch up. The top does seem a little tight on my calf but I do have a rather large calf.
The teko socks seem to handle moisture quite well. I have only noticed a dampness when walking in hot 90 F (32 C), or higher, temperatures with high humidity. The previous statement applies to walks mainly on pavement but also on short walks in the country or park. This was mainly while wearing leather Gore-Tex boots. When I would walk with low-cut ventilated trail shoes the dampness was not noticed.
These socks offer a fairly high amount of cushion so far. I will continue to see how they feel after many more miles.
After walking around in these all weekend at Bikefest my feet felt great. I started out with a slightly sore little toe on my right foot. I applied some mole foam and wore liner socks and within a day the soreness had left my toe.
I find these socks to be well made and comfortable thus far. I have worn these a lot while walking other than hiking to help me get additional mileage on them.
I have washed the socks several times and cannot really tell much difference from new in their shape and feel.
It will soon be cooling down and I will be checking to see how warm these socks are in fall weather. I am certain of increased backpacking with cooler temperatures here for a couple months before winter.
A NOTE ABOUT MY FEET
I consider myself very lucky to even be able to walk. The first incident involved being bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider on top of my right foot approximately nine years ago. I waited a few days until it was very painful before going to a doctor. I had researched it a great deal on the internet and had determined it was indeed a bite from a Brown Recluse prior to going to the doctor. It is probably not necessary to say that the doctor was very displeased with my having waited so long to seek treatment. He did do a great job and I was back to work very quickly (within about two days).
The second incident I have suffered was far more severe. My left foot had multiple Metatarsal fractures from being run over by a car. To make things worse, the brake was applied as it went over my foot rolling it and literally crushing at least one Metatarsal bone. This time I did not hesitate in seeking treatment! I went directly to the hospital and later to a very talented foot surgeon. He had to get a little creative to repair the damage but he did a fine job. After a period in a cast and a brief recovery period when it was removed I was able to walk again.
It is extremely rare for my feet to cause me problems from these incidents but I do try hard to take care of them. This means I can be quite picky about what feels right to me. Just because something works for me may not mean it will work for everyone. I do feel that if it works for me it does deserve some merit as being good quality. I firmly believe that part of the reason I do not often have problems is also due to the fact that I try to maintain decent quality footwear for my feet.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
The teko socks were worn on one local overnight hike in September over very wet terrain (it rained heavily the previous two days). The temperature at night dropped to 32 F (0 C) and the sky was clear. We did have a heavy dew on the ground as well as some frost in the morning.
October 30 thru November 1, 2009 - I spent two nights at McCormick's Creek State Park. The first was very wet with heavy rain but mild temperature near 60 F (16 C) that fell to about 45 F (7 C). The rain diminished overnight and it became breezy with a high of about 50 F (10 C) for the day on Halloween. The second night got down to freezing and produced a good bit of frost.
November 8, 2009 - I went on a 8 mi (13 km) dayhike with temperature of 73 F (23 C) and clear skies. My hike was over mostly level terrain along a river with a mixture of paved road, gravel, sand and woods.
It is difficult to say how many miles I have walked in these socks. I have worn them at least two days a week since receiving them. There is rarely a day that passes that I don't walk at least 5 mi (8 km) and it is usually more. I am sure that 200 mi (322 km) is a very conservative estimate.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During my overnight hike in September I only took a 45 F (7 C) degree rated bag. Yes that was one chilly night! However I did layer some clothing and was able to stay fairly warm and my feet stayed comfortable all night with the teko socks on my feet.
On October 30th I managed to keep my upper body and contents of my pack dry, however my legs and feet were not so fortunate. My feet and the socks were soaked by the time I completed the forty-minute walk to my campsite. Once there I put up a cheap nylon tarp I had purchased on the way there and was able to get out of the rain. The socks did not fully dry by morning. My shoes were still not completely dry either. I put them both back on and after the initial chill of damp socks was over they were fairly comfortable. By mid-afternoon my shoes and socks were both fairly dry. I did walk about 6 mi (10 km) in breezy conditions, which probably helped accelerate the drying.
On November 8th I was wearing the teko socks with a pair of liner socks while testing a new pair of boots. My feet did sweat a little but the moisture seemed to wick away quite well. The only problem during this walk was with my toe rubbing the side of the toe box in the boots and my toe getting irritated from rubbing, this was not the fault of the socks.
I have taken several short hikes as well as a lot of daily walking during this period. So far it has not been cold enough for my feet to get cold. The lowest temperature I have encountered so far has been 30 F (-1 C).
After several wash cycles and many miles the teko socks have held up quite well. I can tell very little difference from new. The main difference is only that they do not seem as soft as new. There are no holes and no major wear spots showing so far. The material on the bottom, mainly on the heel, feels "compacted" to me. The fibers have definitely been smashed together a lot but no thin spots or wear are apparent.
The teko socks have retained most of their cushion over time and several wash cycles. The material on the bottom still protects my foot from the friction of whatever boot I am wearing. It just has the feel and texture of material that has been "walked on" a great deal.
I expect to continue to use these until they wear out. I have even asked the local outfitter if they would consider stocking these in addition to their current sock inventory. I haven't received any answer yet, but I hope they will so if I need to replace these I won't have to pay shipping.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
I always carry a spare pair of socks when I go backpacking, but I would not hesitate to take off for a weekend with these socks on my feet with the intention of wearing them the entire trip.
This concludes my Long Term Report. I would like to thank both teko, LLC and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test these socks.
Read more reviews of Teko gear
Read more gear reviews by Roger Ault