WIGWAM PORTLAND PRO SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY STEVEN M. KIDD
January 26, 2017
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT
Steven M. Kidd
5' 9" (1.80 m)
185 lb (83.90 kg)
10.5 Wide (US)
Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 30 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lb (23+ kg). In the last several years I have become a hammock camping enthusiast. I generally go on one or two night outings that cover between 5 to 20 mi (8 - 32 km) distances. I also do several annual outings lasting four to five days covering distances between 15 to 20 mi (24 - 32 km) per day. I try to keep the all-inclusive weight of my pack under 20 lb (9 kg) even in the winter.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Wigwam Mills, Inc.
|Image from the Manufacturer Website|
Year of Manufacture: 1016
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.wigwam.com
MSRP: US $16
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Materials: 42% drirelease Tencel (88% Polyester, 12% Tencel),
38% Stretch Nylon, 17% Merino Wool, 3% Spandex
Sizes Available: Unisex M - XL (Test Large which will fit a Men's 9-12 US shoe size)
Colors Available: Black, Purple Velvet, Turtle Green, Navy and Chili Pepper (Testing Chili Pepper)
The Wigwam Portland Pro crew socks are a synthetic and wool blended lightweight sock in the Peak 2 Pub collection. They employ their patented ULTIMAX moisture control system with 'drirelease' Tencel and merino wool for keeping the wearer's feet dry. The synthetic 'drirelease' material is polyester blended with a proprietary material known as Tencel. The synthetic material is also combined with nylon, merino wool and some spandex to create the sock.
The sole is cushioned and the toe has a seamless construction. There are also breathable mesh panels on the front of the sock that rest on the chin when worn. They are designed to prevent blisters and offer odor prevention.
Care for the socks is fairly simple, turn them inside out before machine washing in warm water and dry them on a low setting.
Wigwam offers a two-year performance guarantee. If I am not completely satisfied with the product within two years of the purchase date they will be replaced.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & SUMMARY
The socks appear to be well made and are very comfortable. The seamless construction in the toe box is very comfortable and they fit well. The socks are a little snug around the calves, but this is typical for me when wearing crew socks. As my peers tell me; I have 'grotesquely large calves'. Therefore snugness in the area is expected. I can only hope the 3% Spandex is enough to keep them up on my legs without constantly slipping down. Only time will tell and I'll report on it!
Primarily, however, there are two key things I demand in a trail sock: 1) to keep my feet blister free and 2) to keep my feet as dry as possible (and again blister free)! The breathability on the chins and the anti-odor technology are 'nice-to-have' and I plan to give feedback here as well.
The manufacturer's website markets these socks with the statement: "Built for comfort across a wide range of conditions, but specifically engineered toward spending a day on the trail and the night reminiscing and relaxing at a favorite watering hole". Which I take as being fashionable enough to wear off the trail! Historically, I would have never considered wearing a pair of socks styled like these to the office, but times have changes and my kids bought me plenty of polka-dotted, striped and even monkey embroidered socks last Christmas, so I'll even give these socks a test both on and off the trail. Off-trail, I'll wear them with dress trousers and loafers or low quarters. On-trail, my footwear will be based on the conditions I'm facing, but will primarily be trail runners or lightweight boots.
Wigwam sent three pair of socks to test. My plan for the test series is "a pair to wear, a pair as a spare...and a pair to compare". I will test two pairs of the socks throughout the series and save the third pair to compare after the series is complete. This will hopefully show how the socks held up to wear and tear over the course of the next several months. I'm excited to give them a thorough trial. I've recently returned to Tennessee from living in the Midwest for the last several years and between my hiking buddies and Scouts I already have four outings scheduled over a six week period this autumn.
The socks are soft, comfortable and appear well-made. I look forward to testing them over the next few months and reporting how they've handled both the trail and urban wear.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
October 7 - 9, 2016, Walland, Tennessee, USA Whispering River RV Resort: This was a two-night, three-day church camping trip at a commercial campground at the base of the Smoky Mountains. My children slept in a 6-person tent with friends while my wife and I slept in hammocks near them. Temperatures dropped to around 38 F (3 C) during the night. The skies were clear and there was no rain in the campground, however, it rained sideways and was near freezing when we day-hiked up to Clingman's Dome.
October 14 - 15, 2016, Manchester, Tennessee, USA Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park: An overnight Cub Scout Camping outing with my 7-year old son. Temperatures dropped to around 43 F (6 C). We were in the midst of a drought in middle Tennessee, and it was clear, dry and cool in the evening.
|Relaxing After a Long Day|
October 20 - 23, 2016, Sipsey Wilderness, Alabama, USA Bankhead National Forest: This was a four-day, three-night outing in the backcountry of the Sipsey Wilderness. I hiked with 7 other hammock campers covering approximately 26 mi (42 km). Temperatures averaged near 65 F (18 C) in the day and dropped to just above freezing during the nights.
November, 10 - 13, 2016, Bandy River Area Tennessee/Kentucky, USA Big South Fork National Recreation Area: Our 6th annual Veterans' Day Outing! This was a four-day, three-night outing in one of the deepest wilderness areas east of the Mississippi River. Temperatures dropped to as low as 28 F (-2 C) at night. Having my 7-year old son we only hiked a total of 22 mi (35 km) over the four days. Evenings were quite cool as there was a fire ban due to the dry weather.
December, 21 - 22, 2016, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park near Tracy City, Tennessee, USA: A quick overnight outing with a buddy, his daughter and my two children. We backpacked a total of 5 mi (8 km). It was clear and starry and the temperatures and the overnight temperatures fell to 28 F (-2 C).
I also wore the socks a minimum of every other week and often once a week with dress trousers and shoes to work throughout the test series.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I was very impressed with the Wigwam Portland Pro socks. I wore them on five distinct outings and wore them nearly every week to work as dress socks. What happened to impress me the most was when I went to take a comparison photo of the worn socks and the pair I never wore. I see no fading, pilling or wear! Had I only worn them on the outings I may have not been as impressed, but having probably worn them an additional 12 to15 times over the course of the series I was astounded by their condition! I'm elated with the durability. I also machine washed and dried them routinely. I don't typically dry wool blend socks, but I followed the manufacturer's recommendations and saw no shrinking or damage from doing so.
On the multi-day high mileage hikes the socks would certainly be damp at the end of the day, but were never soaked. I'd hang them on the ridgeline of my hammock overnight and they would be dry enough to hike in the following day. Another very important positive for me is that I never developed any blisters during the series. Boots, shoes and socks that lead to blisters go on my naughty list quickly!
|Minnie Me! --He liked my socks!|
They weren't too thick to or too thin, in my opinion. I usually choose a sock with a higher wool percentage in the material, but I was happy with the way the socks performed even with the 17% wool. The Fresh Guard minimized odor. They definitely had a scent to them after three or four days on the trail, but they weren't repulsive!
I have large calves and typically the elastic gives out and the socks will begin to slip down to my ankles before they wear thin. The elastic is still holding strong to date.
As mentioned in my Initial Report, Wigwam sent three pair of socks for testing. As a reminder, I followed this protocol: "a pair to wear, a pair as a spare...and a pair to compare". I rarely used my 'spare pair' as I didn't feel I needed them on the trail. So now that the series is ending I'm excited to start wearing both the minimally used pair and the completely unworn pair on a regular basis! I find them fashionable and comfortable to wear at work. I've received compliments on several occasions.
In summary, I was quite impressed with the Portland Pro socks and I look forward to continued wear both on the trail and to the office! I'd say the Peak2Pub moniker works for my continued use!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
I had many roses to include: durability, blister-free, odor protection, comfort and fashion. As I feel compelled to say no product is perfect, the only thorn I can give is that they were a little damp after a full day on the trail, but that by no means is key negative!
I'd like to thank to Wigwam Mills and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test the Portland Pro socks.
Read more reviews of Wigwam gear
Read more gear reviews by Steven M Kidd