TEKO SUMMIT MIDWEIGHT HIKING SOCK
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
INITIAL REPORT - July 10, 2009
FIELD REPORT - September 12, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT - November 24, 2009
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
Backpacking Background: 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 around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack. My sleeping pad is a Therm-a-Rest air mattress.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Teko Socks
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.tekosocks.com
Measured Weight: 2.8 oz (80 g) for size L
The Teko Summit Midweight Hiking Socks are made of 74% EcoMerino Wool, 23% Nylon, and 3% Spandex. The EcoMerino wool is organic with dye free wool against the skin.
I have the "Charcoal" color. The socks are a light grey on top and dark gray on the sole. Inside, the wool against the skin is a natural color, consistent with the "dye free wool against the skin" comment.
The seams at the heel and toe are well constructed. There is no difference in thickness anywhere, that might cause blisters. At the heel is an interesting Y shaped seam that is supposed to make it more comfortable, which I'll verify during my test.
There is a stretchy "arch band" around the middle of the foot at the arch. I don't know that that makes any difference, but it is comfortable.
The Teko website says that the footbed is reinforced for durability. The thickness is the same as the rest of the sock there, but it seems like there is more fiber - it's denser.
The Teko website gives a nice guarantee - " 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. "
Sock on my foot:
The socks feel good on my feet. Haven't done any hiking yet.
While wearing the socks, they were stretchy enough to be comfortable, yet stay up around my ankles.
I have size L Teko socks and size 12 (US) shoes. Teko's website says size L fits size 9 - 12 (US) shoes. The package says size L fits size 9 - 11.5 (US) shoes. The size L socks fit my feet fine, maybe just a bit small, which is consistent with the Teko recommendation. I also tried a size XL sock which was too big, but usable. I'll try the size L for my testing.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions say to machine wash warm, tumble-dry low. Turn inside out for best results.
I never remember to turn them inside out.
The Teko Summit Socks appear to be very good, I'm looking forward to testing them.
I'll try to get in at least 250 miles (400 km) of testing over varied conditions for the combined field and long term tests. I expect that these socks should last twice that long, but this will at least give me an idea about lifetime.
Thanks to Teko and Backpackgeartest.org for letting me test these.
Field Report will follow in about two months.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I used one pair of Teko socks for the entire test. I had a second pair of Teko socks as spares, but never used them, except to try them on once.
I used the Teko socks for 16 nights of backpacking/car camping plus two day hikes - total of 132 miles (213 km). I washed them four times.
4 night car camp was on the Washington South coast. I did 22 miles (35 km), about half on sandy beach and the rest on paved and dirt trails. 55 to 70 F (13 to 21 C). Washed the socks.
4 night backpack was on Mount Hood in Northern Oregon. I did 29 miles (47 km) and 6500 feet (2000 m) elevation gain. 50 to 85 F (10 to 29 C). Most of the mileage was on dirt trail, rocky at places. I also did some cross country over rocky area. Socks got a bit damp from sweat on longer warmer days. Washed the socks.
I did a 5 mile (8 km) 500 foot (150 m) elevation gain day hike on old logging road on the Oregon coast.
I did a 6 mile (10 km) 2000 foot (600 m) elevation gain day hike on dirt/rocky trail on Mount Hood Boulder Ridge.
I did a 35 mile (56 km) 4500 foot (1400 m) elevation gain 4 night backpack around the Three Sisters in central Oregon. 40 to 80 F (4 to 27 C). My socks got somewhat damp from sweat on warm days. Washed the socks.
I did a 35 mile (56 km) 4500 foot (1400 m) elevation gain 4 night backpack in the Goat Rocks and Mount Adams in central Washington. 40 to 80 F (4 to 27 C). The socks got slightly damp from sweat. Washed the socks.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Teko socks were quite comfortable. I got a few minor blisters but I think that was the fault of my boots.
After the 132 miles (213 km) and 4 washings of my test, the socks still look and feel good. There is some minor pilling but this is just cosmetic.
The first place that normally wears out on my socks is on the bottom of the heels. The fibers wash away and then a hole develops. I carefully compared the bottoms of the heels of the Teko socks that I tested with the unused pair of Teko socks that I also have. The unused pair is somewhat softer and thicker. I don't think the fibers have significantly washed away on the Teko socks I tested, I think the fibers are just smashed down. I will eagerly await the results of the long term test to see how they feel then.
I noticed one minor defect. In the picture below is the pair of socks I tested. You can see the minor cosmetic pilling. I put in a red arrow pointing to a spot where different knit areas are joined to form the heel. There is a small hole there. This is not a heavy wear area, so maybe this won't be a problem. I'll keep an eye on it to see if it gets worse during the Long Term Test.
I had good opportunities to test the socks in hot weather. The socks got a bit damp from sweat, but this is more a property of the boots. If I had thinner socks, my feet may sweat less, but I need the thickness for comfort to prevent blisters.
I didn't have good opportunity to test warmth. It hardly ever got below 40 F (4 C). The socks were warm down to this temperature. During the Long Term Test I'll be able to test this better.
I am quite happy with the Teko Summit Midweight socks.
They have been quite comfortable.
So far, they seem to be wearing well. After 132 miles (213 km) and 4 washings they show only a little wear. I am worried about the hole at the side of the heel, but the long term test should prove this a valid concern or a non-issue. I will try to get the same amount of testing during the long term test.
So far, they're warm enough, but I'll test this better during the long term test.
Look forward to my long term report in about two months.
Thanks to Teko and backpackgeartesters.org for letting me test these.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
9/11/2009 - 5 mile (8 km) day hike, Northern Oregon coast, sandy trail/beach, 70 F (21 C).
9/20/2009 - 5 night car camp, central Oregon coast, 42 miles (68 km) day hikes, 50 to 80F (10 to 27 C), washed the socks.
10/12/2009 - 5 night backpack, Mount Hood in Northern Oregon, 27 to 55 F (-3 to 13 C), 28 miles (45 km), washed the socks. Very wet from wet snow the whole trip. Wore them in sleeping bag overnight where they dried but they got wet again when I put on wet boots the next morning.
10/20/2009 - 4 night backpack, Mill Creek Wilderness in central Oregon, 27 to 65 F (-3 to 18 C), 35 miles (56 km), got fairly wet, felt comfortable and warm, washed the socks.
11/11/2009 - 7 mile (11 km) day hike in Forest Park Portland Oregon, rocky/muddy trail, 50 F (10 C).
11/15/2009 - 40 mile (64 km), 4 night, backpack up Deschutes River in Northern Oregon, 32 to 55 F (0 to 13 C), rocky gravely trail, dry. Washed the socks.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Long Term test was a total of 18 nights, 157 miles (253 km), and 4 washings.
Combined Field test and Long Term test - 34 nights, 289 miles (465 km), and 8 washings.
The socks are still totally functional. There is a little pilling, which is just cosmetic. The socks are thinner at the bottom of the heels, which appears to be just that the fibers are smashed.
I got some chances to test the socks in colder weather, a little below freezing, and my feet stayed warm.
I got a few blisters, but I think that was because of places on my boots, not the socks.
The socks got very wet on several backpacks, which in my experience wears the socks out faster than otherwise, but the Teko socks are still comfortable.
In my experience, socks wear out when the fill fibers start washing away, and I'm just left with the horizontal and vertical weave fibers, which produce uneven pressure on my heel which is uncomfortable and causes blisters. I don't see any evidence of this on the Teko socks yet, so I'm just guessing I have used up about half of their lifetime.
In the Field Report I noted a spot on the side of the heel where there was a small hole. This is not any worse, has not had any adverse effect up to now, and I don't think it will be a factor in the socks eventually wearing out.
I am completely satisfied with these Teko socks.
After 34 nights, 289 miles (465 km), and 8 washings they are still comfortable, although they do show some signs of wear.
They have lasted longer and are more comfortable than some cheaper generic socks I have used in the past.
I've used them in hot, cold, dry, and wet weather.
Being a mid-weight sock, they are a good compromise for the hiking I have done. I might want a thinner sock for hotter weather, and for sub-freezing I would probably want a thicker sock.
I'll continue to use the Teko socks until they wear out or I test another pair of socks.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Thanks to Teko and Backpackgeartesters.org for letting me test these.
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Read more gear reviews by jerry adams