2,118 forum posts
As most of you know I have been getting ready for my trip trip out to Wyoming and hiking the Teton Crest Trail. I have been hiking between four and 12 miles at least once a week to break in my new Alicos and prepare physically.
So I purchased two pairs of wool hiking socks made by Columbia for my training, preparation, and final trip. I have always used liner socks regardless of the main sock used, whether synthetic or wool. So as soon as I got them I donned my liners, the Columbia hiking socks, and then my Alicos and wore them around town. When I removed the socks I noticed something very strange: the wool fibers of the socks were deeply interlaced into the fabric of the liners to such an extent that it took great force to separate them. I thought maybe this was just a fluke caused by their being brand new. I have worn then several times since, including on one of my longer hikes, and experienced the same thing every time. My Smartwool socks are not behaving this way. The results is that the liner moves and abrades against my skin. So instead of decreasing chafing, it is greatly increasing friction and causing blisters. This is really not happy at all.
Perplexed by the problem, I called Columbia to ask about it. their Customer Service agents, who very nicely attempted to answer my questions, but the responses were quite surprising and confusing. Their response was "You mean you are wearing another sock over the hiking socks?" I said no, that I was wearing liners under them, as is typically done to avoid blisters. The rep didn't seem to be aware that this was something that was ever done, and informed me their socks used "new technology", and that liners shouldn't be worn under them.
I was definitely surprised by that response.
I attempted to explain that though this may be marvelous, if wearing liners with the sock causes this issue, which results in blister, the product information needs to state that they cannot be worn with liners. It didn't seem like the problem was being understood, so I decided I would be emailing them about it. I will be curious to hear the reply I get back.
What thoughts do you guys have about it- does the fabric binding issue and/or Columbia's response seem odd?