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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Wigwam Ingenius Socks > Eric Palmer > Test Report by Eric Palmer

INgenius Hiker socks

Personal biographical information
Name: Eric Palmer
Age: 26 years old
Gender: Male
Height: 5' 8'' (173 cm)
Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Email address: ericj_palmer@yahoo.com
City, state, country: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Backpacking background: I started backpacking when I was seven years old, on family summer vacations to Estes Park, Colorado, which my dad took my brother and me hiking on. Since then I have moved to Colorado and have been hiking hardcore for six years now. I completed a Hikemaster’s Course in the Rocky Mountain National Park and have led numerous groups on hikes, both short and long, dispensing information on the various ecosystems in the area. My backpacking style is mostly ultralight or light. I sleep in a tent when backpacking overnight.

Product Information:
Manufacturer: Wigwam Mills
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Manufacturer’s Website:  www.wigwam.com
Listed Weight: not listed on manufacturer website
Material: Inner Layer is 100% Olefin
Outer Layer is 65% Merino Wool, 25% Stretch Nylon, and 10% Spandex
MSRP: not listed on manufacturer’s website

Charcoal color, size large
Charcoal color, size large

Available Retail Sizes:

Sock Size

Men’s Shoe Size

Women’s Shoe Size

UK

EC

MS (8-9.5)

n/a

4-7

1-5

32-38

MD (9-11)

5-9.5

6-10

4-8

37-42

LG (11-13) G

9-12

10-13

8-11.5

43-47

XL (13-15) TG

12-15

n/a

12-14

47-50

The socks cannot be ordered directly from the manufacturer, the buyer must go through a retailer, but there are links for tons of retailers at the Wigwam website.

Available Colors:

Sock Size

Gunmetal

Charcoal

Lt. Grey

Navy

Khaki

Loden

MS

*

*

*

n/a

n/a

n/a

MD

*

*

*

*

*

*

LG

*

*

*

*

*

*

XL

*

*

*

n/a

n/a

n/a

Initial Report
December 9, 2006

Initial Impression:
The product arrived from the manufacturer in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA. Immediately I was impressed with initial look of the product. The product is beyond what I expected and there appear to be no construction flaws. I received the charcoal color in sock size large. The packaging contains plenty of information on the socks, including a sizing chart, information about the unique patented design of the sock, and care instructions. There is also a visual ‘map’ of the sock, pointing out key features. Some of those major characteristics are the elasticized arch panel, the cushioned sole, and the ultra-smooth lin-toe closure. The sock has a soft feel and almost seems to invites my foot inside. The quality and durability appear to be exceptional and the company’s logo is even stitched onto the side of the foot. After wearing the socks around the house, my feet begged of me to not remove them; very comfortable. I am looking forward to taking these socks out into the wild to see how they really perform. I did notice that the fabric makeup of the sock is different on the website than what is on the packaging. The sock’s fabric content on the website is listed above in the Product Information section. The inner material is the same, but the packaging lists the outer material as 40% Merino Wool, 30% Stretch Nylon, 25% Olefin, and 5% Spandex. I will be emailing the manufacturer to seek out an answer as to what the socks are made of exactly.

Test plan:
While testing the Hikers I will be looking at the breathable fabric and how stinky the sock is after a day‘s use. I will also pay particular attention to how well the toes of the socks hold up over time. I’m notorious for producing holes in socks very quickly (ask my wife). I will also be testing how long the elasticity lasts. I will wear the socks with a variety of footwear including, but not limited to, hiking boots, hiking shoes, and tennis shoes. I will see how the socks perform with each set of footwear. Some questions I will ask while testing are: Are the socks rubbing against my heel, causing blisters? How well are my feet staying dry? How long does the strength of the material last? How well does the sizing match up with my actual foot, is it an accurate fit? I will also be looking at how the sock stays up on my calves, do the socks ride down my leg during the course of the day or do they stay put? Look for my Field Report around the middle of January to see how socks have been performing in the wild outdoors.

Field Report
January 23, 2007

Testing Locations:
In mid-December I took a snowshoeing trip up to Breckenridge, Colorado. While on the Boreas Pass trail (11,481 ft/3499 m), I paid close attention to moisture build-up and warmth. The socks did very well at keeping my feet dry and wicking away moisture. However, the tips of my toes did begin to feel cold towards the end of the approximately 4-mile trip. I was wearing the INgenius Hiker socks with my Asolo FSN 95 GTX hiking boots and Atlas 7-Series Snowshoes.

During the Colorado blizzard of 2007 as locals are calling it, I spent much time outdoors and my sock of choice was the INgenius Hiker. On December, 21, 2006, I spent 5 hours shoveling our lengthy driveway to get our car out so we could head to Montana for Christmas. During this entire time I was sporting the INgenius Hiker socks with my Asolo FSN 95 GTX hiking boots. Great protection from water and sweat, but not from the cold, bitter temperatures that hit below zero that late afternoon.

During Christmas break in the Billings, Montana area, I ventured out on two separate occasions. Once to the Beartooth Mountains to attempt a winter hike to Mystic, the largest lake in the Beartooths. A 3-mile (4.8 km) hike would have brought me to 7669 ft/2337.5 meters, but the snow was just too deep and I was forced to turn around near the half-way mark. I again tested the INgenius Hiker socks with my Asolo FSN 95 GTX hiking boots. Again, the socks kept my feet dry, but the cold air began to nip at my toes.

I also took a brisk hike with my two young nephews up near the Rims, which rest at about 3,652 ft (1,113.1 m).The hike was not far (2 miles/ 3.2 km round-trip), but there was enough snow on the ground to need hiking boots. The weather was warm enough that my toes did not have a chance to get cold, and once again, dry feet.

On the return trip from Montana to Colorado our car hit a slick spot and ended up going off the road. We are all fine and the car has been repaired. While waiting for the tow-truck and Highway Patrol to arrive, I was standing out in calf-deep snow with the INgenius Hiker socks on and my Merrell Mocks. I’ll say it again if necessary, no wet, stinky feet, but I thought my toes were going to be frost-bitten by the time I got indoors.

Summary:
So far the socks have stood up over time and show no sign whatsoever of deteriorating or loosing its elasticity. The socks stay in place very well and do not cause any blisters. The socks stay put and do not ride up and down my calves. My feet stay very dry and I can almost feel the moisture being wicked away from my feet. It is my findings that the INgenius Hiker socks are not the best way to keep feet or toes warm in extremely cold temperatures (32° F/0° C and below).The fit is very accurate and the material appears to last quite awhile. I have washed the socks once (sometimes even twice) a week and there is no sign of wear and tear.


I have come to love these socks as an everyday sock and I put them on as often as possible, after washing of course. I wear them around the house, around town, and around work (on casual Fridays) with my Merrell Mocs. They are the most comfortable sock I have ever owned and I would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a soft-feeling sock with wicking capabilities and layering possibilities. This sock would be a great outer layer to a warm liner sock.

Long-Term Report
March 24, 2007

Testing Locations:
I have not taken any trips since the Field Report was written. I still wear the socks on a regular basis, however, due to unseasonably high temperatures, not as often as I did in the past months.

Summary: The Wigwam INgenius Hiker socks are top of the line and would best be used as an outer layer.

Remarks: Thank you Wigwam and Backpack Gear Test for providing me with the opportunity to test these socks.



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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Wigwam Ingenius Socks > Eric Palmer > Test Report by Eric Palmer



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