SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Sock
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 12 bucks
Bought these socks on sale for around 12 bucks a pair through sierratradingpost.com. Wore one pair for about 10 miles with Saucony ProGrid Trail Runners. The socks started pilling after the one use. I will have to use Smartwool's warranty policy in order to return these. I hope I just got a bad pair because for 20 dollars retail, I would expect much better construction and quality.
- Well cushioned
- Quick drying
- Moisture wicking
- Socks started pilling in the toe box after wearing once for about 10 miles
- Poor quality (however, I hope that I was just unlucky and got a defective pair.)
First of all, I'll start off this review by noting my severe foot problems. I had a Lisfranc Injury back in 2008. I have three pins going through my midfoot, with a deformation characterized by a "hump" above my arch on the top of my foot due to the build up of scar tissue.
For those of you who do not know what that is, Lisfranc Injuries were first discovered by Lisfranc of Napoleon's Army, in which he chronicled the injury of officers who would snap their ligaments and fracture their foot when they fell off their horse and had their foot stuck in the stirrups.
Recently, this injury has been well documented in football, with guys like Maurice Jones Drew, Dwight Freeney, and Santana Moss suffering the injury. A Lisfranc injury usually is always coupled with severe arthritis and a severely fallen arch, so quality foot support is key if an active lifestyle is still to be continued. Because of my severe foot problems/arthritis, I was looking for a quality pair of lightweight socks that provided good cushioning on the trail.
I bought these from a recommendation from a friend who swore by Smartwool products. I knew him back in Seattle and he had extensive experience in the Cascades and the Olympics. A true outdoorsman. He noted that Smartwool socks were the ONLY socks he wore.
I saw these on sale through Sierratradingpost.com for almost half off, so I had to pull the trigger. Initial impressions were that they were very well cushioned and hugged my poor foot quite nicely. They felt very comfortable.
I wore these on a recent hike, in which the distance of the hike was only about 10 miles. I wore them with a pair of Saucony Progrid trail runners. Like most socks of merino wool, moisture wicking and temp control were great. However, upon using these socks once, pilling of the socks around the toebox developed:
Since I'm new to Smartwool socks, maybe this is a common occurrence and does not necessarily effect performance or durability?
However, at 20 dollars retail a pair, or even on sale for 12 dollars a pair, I expected much better quality after only one use and 10 miles of hiking on very mellow, non-technical-type trails. I was very disappointed with the pilling.
I've owned no-name pairs of wool socks bought at discount sporting goods stores (e.g. Big 5 Sporting Goods) that did not have this problem. I have not had this problem with cheap cotton socks from Target after one use.
I will have to contact Smartwool to utilize their warranty policy. I'll update this review once the warranty return is completed.
Source: bought it new
Smartwool means quality.
- Quality construction
- Good fit
Smartwool is the premiere outdoor sock in my humble estimation (and considering how much they charge per pair, that is about right). The fit is smooth, not overly bulky in the toes and this particular sock gives you the benefits of wool (quick drying, not that smelly) and yet is very light so hiking in SoCal where I am means that your feet aren't overly hot.
The socks perform well and last a long time. A definite recommend.
Price Paid: $20
these socks are awesome, i am going to switch all my socks over to these. very very comfy. they do feel like wool but don't itch a bit. they are 20$ bucks a pair, but they are worth it.
Where to Buy
Manufacturer's Description refers to the men's version
SW044-Our PhD® Outdoor Light Crew features Reliawool Technology for improved durability in the heel and toe and the 4-Degree Elite Fit System, to keep the sock in place and giving you all-sport versatility.
- 68% Merino Wool, 29% Nylon, 3% Elastane
- 4 Degree Elite Fit System uses two elastics for greater stretch and recovery to keep the sock in place
- Patented ReliaWool Technology in high impact areas provide longer lasting protection to keep feet comfortable
- Strategically placed mesh ventilation zones provide ventilation for temperature and moisture management
- 8.5" overall height
Here's what other sites are saying:
The SmartWool PhD Light Crew is one of the most versatile socks in the market. The light cushion makes it ideal for 3-season use and 4-Degree fit make this fit perfectly every time while providing gentle, bunch-free support for all day comfort. New 4 Degree Elite Fit System uses two elastics for greater strength and recovery to keep the sock in place Strategically placed mesh ventilation zones provide ventilation for temperature and moisture management Flat knit durable toe seam for high burst strength 2x1 ribbed welt, 1x1 ribbed leg 8.5 in overall height
- OMCgear refers to the men's version
An EMS exclusive, these SmartWool socks will cushion your feet, manage moisture, and resist odor. 4 Degree Elite Fit System and ReliaWool technology deliver an improved fit, more comfort, and greater durability.Winning topographic map design by Stephanie Peborde was inspired by her love for hiking and geocaching.
- EMS refers to the men's version
New, improved PhD socks are more advanced than ever! SmartWool Outdoor Light Crew men's socks feature innovative new fabric, a more comfortable fit and smart design details that enhance performance. 4 Degree Elite Fit System improves comfort; 2 elastics provide greater stretch and recovery to keep the socks in place. Ankle bands, upper instep bands, lower instep bands and arch bands connect to the feet for a great fit and feel. ReliaWool is a patent-pending reinforcement construction that puts more wool in high wear/high impact areas to increase durability and comfort. Merino wool provides excellent temperature control and moisture management, so you're warm when it's cold and cool when it's warm. Strategically placed mesh zones provide ventilation for temperature and moisture management. Merino wool keeps your feet dry and inhospitable to bacteria that can cause odor. SmartWool socks are guaranteed not to itch and can be repeatedly machine washed and dried without shrinking. Flat-knit toe seams resist wear. PhD Outdoor Light Crew socks rise 8.5 in. height. 1x1 ribbed legs and 2x1 ribbed welt tops. *Discount will be applied when you check out. Offer not valid for sale-price items ending in $._3 or $._9.
- REI refers to the men's version
Whether you make long treks with a backpack or log shorter hikes more frequently, the unique blend of wool, nylon, and elastane in the lightweight SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Sock helps the sock dry quickly, breathe sufficiently, and stay in place.
- Backcountry.com refers to the men's version