Bridgedale Endurance Trekker
I have withheld a five star rating only because there…
Materials: merino wool/synthetic blend
Use: day hikes and training, long hikes
Break-in Period: none
Weight: next to nothing
Price Paid: $15
I have withheld a five star rating only because there are a number of very good brands of socks on the market these days. That said, these are among the best of the best.
The Endurance Trekker is a medium volume sock, good for hiking and providing a moderate to significant amount of warmth. I have primarily worn them with light hiker/trail running shoes; they aren't quite thick enough for my full-leather boots.
The socks are a blend of merino wool and synthetic fibers. they have a close, stretchy fit. The socks are designed with more padding in certain areas (eg the bottom of the foot) and less in others (eg the shin area), and there are yet other areas that are ribbed, such as the front of the ankle, a place where some socks are prone to wrinkling. the socks are medium height, mid-shin. they stay up reasonably well, though they occasionally slip down on the shin.
As with any sock made of merino wool, these socks are not itchy (as wool can often be), keep your feet warm and comfortable, and do so even after a day of hard work or when the elements get them wet. Bridgedale's particular blend feels somewhat softer and very slightly less elastic than another favorite brand of merino sock that i often wear, Darn Tough. As a result, the Bridgedale fits well but never feels "tight," whereas the Darn Tough feels very firm on the foot. another difference is that the Bridgedale socks (like Smartwool socks but to a lesser extent) "pill" somewhat more than socks that are more tightly woven.
I have worn this sock a lot, many days in a row, to see how they perform with accelerated wear. So far, the very limited amount of pilling appears to be cosmetic. The loops in the interior of the sock, which do most of the work in terms of cushioning, moisture transfer, and comfort, have held up quite well.
Do yourself a favor if you spend money on merino wool socks. wash them as instructed, turn them inside out, and line dry them. they will last a lot longer, and the fibers won't shrink much, if at all, if they don't go in a clothes dryer.
One of the best socks on the market, definitely worth the price.