Comfortable, plush, cushiony, odor-free, blister reducing…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $10 on sale


Comfortable, plush, cushiony, odor-free, blister reducing hiking socks!


  • Comfort plus
  • Thick cushion strategically placed
  • Doesn't retain odors
  • Support

I must preface this review with an admission that I resisted using wool socks ever since "wonder material, moisture wicking" socks entered the outdoor scene decades ago.

This past month I relented and bought a pair of Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium socks before a 25+ mile roundtrip hike on the Barr Trail (not by design). It was recommended to me that I make the switch if I wanted to coddle my feet. So I did...and boy, am I glad I did.

The marathon ascent/descent put my feet (and the rest of my body) through the paces...but no blisters. I was pleasingly shocked...and sold on Smartwool...all in one day.

I was concerned that the sock sizing might be an issue, with my foot falling directly in the middle of the listed sizing spread of 9-11...but somehow, the sock gurus at Smartwool got it right.

The PhD's have varying densities and support bands in key areas...and I have to concur with their claims. The socks made all the difference on that prolonged hike. Speaking of claims...not that my feet were odoriferous prior to using Smartwool socks, but I have noticed no retention of odor in the socks.

I have since purchased numerous Smartwool PhD socks for cycling, running, and everyday activities. I am uncertain on how long the PhD socks will last...but I'll check back and update this review the longer I use them.


Thanks for the helpful review of your Smartwool socks, CY6.

3 years ago

Very versatile either in a hiking boot or in a dress…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $13


Very versatile either in a hiking boot or in a dress shoe. Can hand wash without damaging sock. Limited odor retention.


  • Multiple sizes for a good fit
  • Thin thickness with good heat retention


  • Not for extreme cold

I have had two pairs for 2.5 years now. One in grey and one in the same pattern pictured here. I do not wear them daily, but I have worn them dozens of times in a variety of activities. I have worn a pair in Torres Del Paine over a five-day period of time alternating the two pair. No holes or tears yet. 

rated 4.00 of 5 stars All PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Sock versions

In addition to the 2 men's reviews above, there is 1 review for another version of the PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Sock. Read all reviews »

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.