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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Wigwam Portland Pro Socks > Test Report by Andrea Murland

Wigwam Portland Pro Socks
Test Series by Andrea Murland

Initial Report - September 13, 2016
Long Term Report - January 26, 2017

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 31
Location: Elkford, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)
Shoe Size: US Women's 6-6.5

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent two months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Initial Report – September 13, 2016

Product Information

Manufacturer: Wigwam Mills, Inc.
Manufacturer's URL: www.wigwam.com
Model: Portland Pro Socks
Year of Manufacture: 2016
MSRP: US $16.00
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 61 g (2.2 oz)
Sizes Available: Adult MD (tested), LG, XL
Colours Available: Navy (tested), Black (tested), Chili Pepper, Turtle Green, Prpl Velvet
Composition: 42% drirelease TENCEL (88% polyester, 12% tencel), 38% stretch nylon,
17% merino wool, 3% spandex
Warranty: 2-year performance guarantee
Care Instructions: For the best results, turn socks inside out before washing. Wash in warm water. Do not
bleach. Do not use fabric softener. Tumble dry with low heat. Remove promptly.

Description & Initial Impressions

Wigwam Socks
The Wigwam Portland Pro Socks are a lightweight sock that’s part of Wigwam’s “Peak 2 Pub” collection. I usually change socks before going to the pub, but maybe I’ll have to keep these ones on.

The Portland Pro socks are a light cushion sock and come not quite to my knees on me when pulled all the way up. The top of the sock has a double-layer cuff and then a single layer of material below that. On the leg part of the sock, the material (or at least the weave) is different on the shin and sides versus the back of the calf. The striped panels on the shin are described by the manufacturer as breathable mesh panels. The thin material continues along the top of the foot. Around and under the heel, under the foot, and around the toe are a thicker material, the cushioned sole. The weave is different around the arch, and is like a band that circles the foot at that point. The socks have a seamless toe.

The socks have various sections of light and dark blue and light grey (in the navy) or black and various shades of grey (in the black). Across the toe is the text “Wigwam Ultimax” and the Wigwam logo is woven into the cuff at the top and back of the socks.

I was surprised to note that these socks come in unisex sizing and that the smallest size available is Adult MD, which fits Women’s sizes 6-10 (and Men’s 5-9.5). The general Wigwam size chart on their website has smaller sizes on it, but they aren’t available for this sock. I’m right at the lower end of the size range for this sock, which makes me a bit nervous.

The socks appear to be well-made. There are a couple of loose threads around the toe, but nothing major. Trying on the socks

Trying Them Out

Well, of course I promptly put the socks on after I got them! The material is very soft, not at all scratchy.

The fit seems to be ok at first glance. My heel sits in the heel cup of the sock and my toes are at the end of the sock. However, the fabric isn’t at all stretched with my foot in it, and there is some extra material at the corners of the toes. As I walk around the house I can feed a bit of fabric gathering under my toes. I’ll be keeping a close eye on how the size works over multiple days, wearings, and washings. The top cuff of the sock is quite snug around my calf when pulled all the way up, but is more comfortable when pushed down a bit.

I can’t actively feel any support from the arch band section, but it’s also not uncomfortable.

Summary

These socks seem like well-made lightweight socks. I have some initial reservations about the sizing, but otherwise I have no immediate concerns about the socks. I’m looking forward to getting them out on the trail!

Long Term Report – January 26, 2017

Field Conditions

Over the past four months, I have worn the Portland Pro socks for hiking days and search and rescue training. On overnight hikes I always had two pairs of the socks with me. One pair was worn for the first day of hiking, one pair was put on right before crawling into my sleeping bag at night, and then I wore the first pair again for the second day unless they were wet.

I took the Wigwam socks on four overnight hikes and three day hikes, in variable conditions. The daily distance of the hikes ranged from 5 km (3.1 mi) to 21 km (13 mi). On the first hike, the first day was dry and warm, but the second day very rainy with temperatures just above freezing. On the remainder of the hikes, there was patchy snow on the trails but only on one of the hikes was it actually snowing at the time. Overnight temperatures on all of the hikes was around the freezing mark.

Additionally, I wore the Portland Pro socks for 3 full days and several evenings of search and rescue training, where I was wearing them in my hiking boots, but not doing much walking.

I washed the two pairs of socks that I used the same number of times (eight), but air dried the navy ones, while putting the black ones in the clothes dryer. I washed the socks each time with my normal laundry and in regular detergent.
Long Term Use

Observations

I found that I was pleasantly surprised by the Portland Pro socks when I got them into the field. They were very comfortable and provided good cushioning while hiking. They managed moisture quite well, and on two hikes where I ended up with one wet foot, the socks remained comfortable even when I was squishing water on every step.

The sizing ended up being not too much of an issue. The socks never caused any wrinkles or blistering, but I did find that they crept along my foot ever so slightly and I’d get a bit of bunching around my toes. It was never enough to cause a problem, it was just a slightly uncomfortable feeling. As I mentioned in my initial report, when the socks are fully pulled up, the cuff is quite snug around my calf. When I was hiking in pants, I kept the socks pulled all the way up, and found that after a few hours the cuff was a bit uncomfortable, though the socks stayed in place. Typically, I pushed the socks down towards the tops of my boots, and this was more comfortable but there was a lot of bunched material. In general, I prefer my socks to be shorter, but it didn’t cause any actual problems.

Durability of the socks was good. I hiked more in the navy than the black socks, and both pairs are still in good condition. The cushioning still feels plush, and there is just a little bit of pilling around the heel on both pairs. The pilling is more noticeable on the black pair, which were dried in the clothes dryer. Both the navy and black pairs appear to have shrunk a bit compared to an unworn sock, and the black looks like it’s shrunk a bit more.
Left to Right: Unworn sock, air dried sock, sock from the dryer
Sock Comparison

Summary

The Wigwam Portland Pro socks are comfortable, well-functioning lightweight hiking socks. The fit wasn’t quite right for me, but I will continue to use them until they wear out…which might be a while!

Thumbs Up:
Comfortable material
Comfortable when soaking wet
Good durability

Thumbs Down:
A bit too big for me
Very long
Tight in the calves

Thanks to Wigwam Mills and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test these hiking socks!


Read more reviews of Wigwam gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Wigwam Portland Pro Socks > Test Report by Andrea Murland



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