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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Wigwam Ingenius Socks > Adam Fisher > Test Report by Adam G. Fisher

INgenius Hiker Socks

Last Updated On: April 2, 2007

Name: Adam G. Fisher
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 255 lb (116 kg)
Email Address: agfisher (at) yahoo (dot) com
City: Medford
State: Massachusetts
Country: USA

Backpacking Background:

I’ve been hiking/backpacking since joining the Scouts in the early eighties. Most trips are overnight with long weekends thrown in whenever possible. Full pack weight can range from 25 lbs (11 kg) to 50 lbs (23 kg) to a rare extreme high of 75 lbs (34 kg). The middle weight is my average. I try to day hike whenever I can. Recently I have hiked in Australia (Alice Springs, Tasmania), New Zealand (Nelson, Wellington), England (North Yorkshire Moors), Germany (Bavaria) and Massachusetts. During the year I like to backpack, hike, bike, ski and snowboard as much as possible.

The Wigwam INgenius Hiking Socks Image 1: The Wigwam Ingenius Hiking Socks

Product Information:

Product: INgenius Hiker Socks F1400
Size: XL (MENS 12-15 US)
Manufacturer: Wigwam Mills
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Color: Black
Weight: (for pair)

  • Listed: NA on company website
  • Actual: 3.7 oz (105 g)
URL: www.wigwam.com
MSRP: NA on company website


Initial Report

Review Date: December 1, 2006

Product Description:

The socks arrived in a small cardboard box. Inside were two pairs of socks each wrapped in a cardboard shelf sleeve. They were well packed and after a quick inspection neither pair were damaged in any way upon receipt. The sleeve contains information regarding material content of the socks, size charts, and care instructions. Also included are the typical advertising to help the purchaser make a selection when looking for new socks.

My first impression on seeing the socks was their appearance. They are colored a charcoal black and are quite attractive. The mixture of 65% Merino Wool, 25% stretch Nylon, and 10% Spandex (Package states: 40% Merino Wool, 30% Stretch Nylon, 25% Olefin, 5% Spandex) of the outer layer has a slight scratchy feel to it but is not uncomfortable. Rolling the top of the sock down I could see the inner liner which is made from 100% Olefin. This material is soft, comfortable, and has the appearance of being able to suck up moisture. Taking the socks out of the shelf card I am able to see the sock as a whole. Along the side of the foot, the name “INgenius” is stitched onto the side. The sole of the socks have a thick layer of padding to help in foot comfort. Closer inspection shows that the toe stitching, done in a gold thread, seems to be made very well. Also it seems that this seam is extremely small which should not cause any pressure problems while in the boot. Another thing to note is that there is a small tag attached to the front of the packaging saying that these socks are first socks to be tested by Gore for use with Gore-tex equipped boots.

Trying the socks on I realized how comfortable they are. They fit snugly but are not too tight. After having them on for an hour or so there was virtually no indentation left in my legs from the socks tightness.


Field Report

Review Date: January, 28, 2007

Field Conditions:

The Wigwam Mills Ingenius Hiker Socks have been on numerous day hikes in Eastern Massachusetts. The temperature ranges the socks have been worn in has ranged from 10 F (-12 C) up to 50 F (10 C). For these trips I traveled with an average pack size of under 25 lbs (11 kg). The weather for my hikes covered sunny and windy, cold and muddy, to frozen and overcast. The trails and areas hiked in range from well-worn flat trails to steep rocks with elevations ranging from 50 ft (15 m) to 600 ft (183 m).

Review:

I had two pairs of boots that I wore with these socks the most. The first is a well worn pair of low cut hiking boots that I have used for many years. The second pair is a new pair of high cut hiking boots that did not have a lot of miles on them yet. When first putting the socks on, I liked the way they stretched and snugly fit all of the contours of my foot. During use the socks never bunched up or slid down my foot. At the end of all of my hikes I removed my boots and the socks were in the same place I had put them. During the hikes, the socks performed very well using both boots. While wearing the high-cut boots I really noticed how well the socks helped comfort the impact of my feet. The sock’s fabric has a substantial thickness that increases the padding for the foot but does not add bulk that can cause a detached feeling from the trail. These socks are just the right thickness, not too thick or too thin and let me feel the terrain beneath my boots. One small problem I did have with the sock’s fit is that the elastic around the ankle, after extended use, is a little too tight for my liking. When I removed them the skin around my ankles had deep impressions and was slightly red in color. This really is not a big deal though, there was no pain involved and it did not affect how the socks performed.

My feet normally sweat a bit more then the average hiker. With a normal pair of cotton socks, on a cold weather hike, my feet would quickly get wet from sweat and become very cold. With these socks the moisture was pulled away from my foot and transferred to the outside. This kept my feet much warmer then I expected.

After a long day of hiking these socks were pretty dirty. My first test was to just let them dry on their own. The Ingenius socks dried very quickly but became stiff and had a little odor, as expected. Once put on again, they quickly loosened up and performed well. Rinsing the socks in plain water after a day of use and then letting them dry again removed most of the smell and stiffness. The socks did retain most of their comfort and abilities after wearing for a few days in a row without washing.

Care for the socks was followed as directed. After several washings, pilling is at a minimum and within normal expectations. The socks have maintained their shape very well and their performance has not decreased in the slightest. Inspecting the socks I have not been able to find any sort of abrasion damage caused by chafing against my foot or boot. The socks have maintained their color and fit and have not stretched out at all.

Summary:

I am very pleased with the Ingenius Hiker Socks. They fit well, hold their shape and perform very well. They have held up to repeated washings and still look great. This pair of socks will definitely make it in to my normal rotation of socks for use in all aspects of outdoor activity in my life.

Pros:

  • Great performance.
  • Cushions the foot.
  • Warm.

Cons:

  • A little tight around the upper calf.


Long Term Report

Review Date: April 2, 2007

Field Conditions:

During the Long Term Report phase of this test, the Wigwam Mills Ingenius Hiker Socks have been worn on several long and short day hikes in Eastern Massachusetts. The temperature the socks have been subjected to ranged from 15 F (-9 C) up to 65 F (18 C). For the trips during this test period I traveled with a very light pack of 15 lbs (7 kg). Most of my hiking occurred on sunny days with one hike in the snow and one in the rain. Elevations ranged from 50 ft (15 m) to 400 ft (122 m).

Review:

The performance of these socks has not diminished at all in the two months since my last report. They are keeping my feet well padded, warm and comfortable. I have been reaching for these socks first whenever I go out for long walks or hikes.

Since performance is as good as ever, I will instead focus this report on the durability and wear of the socks. Since the Field Report, I have worn them as frequently as I could. Uses included both hiking, working around my yard, and going to work. I felt this was an important addition to the testing to determine how well the socks did with repeated use and washings. I am happy to report that other then a little pilling the socks are still working as well as they did when I got them. Starting with the fit I am pleasantly surprised that the socks have not significantly stretched-out. They still hold to my legs well and do not slide down around my ankles while moving. The little stretch that has been has occurred around the calves and this has been good since my one complaint from the Field Report was that they were a little tight around my calves.

I also wanted to inspect the wear of the fabric. I then put my hands into the socks to determine if any parts of the fabric had thinned at all during use. I first checked around the toes, the ankle bone locations, and the heel. In all those locations I was not able to determine any noticeable thinning at all. I then checked the rest of the socks and was unable to notice any problems at all. The lack of thinning also was great news to the shock absorbing qualities of the sock, even now after four months of use; the socks are still soft and cushiony. After washing they are always in perfect condition for my next trip.

Summary:

I am very pleased with the Ingenius Hiker Socks. They fit well, hold their shape and perform very well. They have held up to repeated washings and still look great. This pair of socks will definitely make it in to my normal rotation of socks for use in all aspects of outdoor activity in my life.

I want to thanks Wigwam Mills and BackPackGearTest for letting me test these socks.

The packaging
Image 2: The INgenius Hinking socks in their packaging.












Close-up of the socks
Image 3: Here is a close-up of the stitched name on the socks.



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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Wigwam Ingenius Socks > Adam Fisher > Test Report by Adam G. Fisher



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