FITS Sock Medium Hiker Crew
A really comfortable merino wool hiking sock. Very…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $21
A really comfortable merino wool hiking sock. Very smooth, soft socks with a good amount of stretch. Relatively low volume for a medium weight sock. They fit well, whether or not their interesting heel design has anything to do with that or not. Bottom line — a really nice (but rather expensive) and supremely comfortable hiking sock.
- They feel awesome
- They fit really well
- They seem to be holding up well
- They are on the expensive side
It's hard to place a value on having comfortable, dry, happy feet on a hike or a backpacking trip. Wool has consistently proved over a very long time to be one of the better materials for hiking socks because it doesn't absorb lots of moisture, retains its springy feel and insulating properties to a great degree even when damp, and is surprisingly cool in the summer as well as warm in the winter.
I grew up hiking in ragg wool socks, which have the positive qualities I just outlined but were a fairly scratchy, rough experience. As a result, I often wore them with liner socks. Merino wool is a very different experience — it's so much softer than ragg wool that liners have, for me, mostly gone by the boards.
Because socks are such an important piece of the puzzle for comfortable feet, I'm always willing to try different kinds to see what works. Also, I have become disenchanted with what used to be my favorite hiking sock — long story, but the company that makes my formerly favorite sock must have changed the blend or something, because their newer socks don't feel as good or retain nearly as much stretch and comfort as older versions of the same sock. a real shame.
Anyway, a wise person suggested I check these out; I'm glad I did. FITS makes many kinds and types of socks. I chose the medium hiker crew to wear in my all-leather hiking boots and, on occasion, to wear with a roomy pair of Goretex trail runners I use in crummy weather.
WHAT'S IN IT: For socks, I think this is important. The FITS medium hiker crew is 70% merino wool, with the rest being nylon, polyester, and a little spandex. So, the socks have the great qualities of merino wool but are also built to be durable and stretchy.
Here are some photos of the sock, one inside out. Note the curly loops on the inside — nice cushioning.
WHERE THEY ARE MADE: I don't tend to obsess about this, but FITS are made in Tennessee.
HOW THEY FIT: Like a glove. It may not show up well in photos, but the heel of these socks is a little different than most — it's a bulge that the manufacturer describes as some kind of heel pocket. I don't know whether that makes a difference or not, but the socks feel great. They are snug — it takes a little time to pull them on — but they don't slide around or feel loose on my feet, even after a long day and a lot of hard uphills and downhills.
HOW THEY PERFORM: So far, extremely well after several day-long hikes in leather boots, and a couple of day hikes in a pair of trail runners. Compared to some medium weight merino hiking socks, these are relatively low volume — I have to lace my boots a hair tighter with these than I do with some other brands' medium-weight hiking socks.
They wick moisture away from my feet extremely well, similar to most merino wool blend socks I have worn. after a few months and several hikes, meaning several runs through the washing machine, they look great and don't show signs of wear. (I line dry all merino wool socks, hats, base layers. They last much longer as a result, in my experience. Manufacturers will tell you it's OK to put them in a clothes dryer; I wouldn't do it).
Really nice stitching at the toe — you can't feel the seam at all.
PRICE: Alas, these are expensive. 21 bucks full retail. But the other socks I really like are also in that price range.
These socks do everything you would want with a hiking sock. I don't yet have years of experience with them, and I don't yet know how warm they will keep my feet on hikes in cold weather. But I'm sold. These are a contender. For what it's worth, I'm also familiar with similar socks from Bridgedale, Darn Tough, and Smartwool.