Smartwool PhD Outdoor Mid Crew
Walking and Hiking Socks for Men and Women
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
PhD Outdoor Mid Crew Walking and Hiking Socks for Men and Women
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I first wore these Smartwool PhD socks on several longish walks around The Manifold trail in the Staffordshire hills during Autumn. The weather was cool but not excessively so.
The socks fitted well and did stay in place - there was really no slippage at all. They have a very soft feel and the extra padding under the front of your foot and at the heels does definitely add to the overall level of comfort.
It's tempting perhaps to imagine that a predominantly wool sock is going to be too hot. However wool does have naturally good wicking characteristics and in these socks that's enhanced by 'mesh' ventilation panels on the top of the foot.
The odour retention is also pretty minimal - but they do wash and dry well anyway.
A minor gripe is that the bottom of the socks (certainly on the first wearing) is a little slippy which meant that I felt my feet moving very slightly inside my boots. However that did not really detract from the overall comfort.
Whilst it is perhaps a tad expensive, Smartwool's PhD mid crew is a high performance sock that's ideal for use in a 3 season walking boot in all but the coldest conditions. I'm also looking forward to using it for some multi-day trips for which I think it will be ideal.
What do you think?
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• Although they certainly are very comfortable to wear, likewise I've also noticed that there not the most robust socks on the market & didn't take long to wear out. For the price I'd expect them to last a little longer.
Steven Gill, Guiseley
• I have several pairs of these socks and they are the best hiking socks I've ever owned. I used to get awful blisters on long walks using more traditional socks, and tried every trick in the book to prevent and treat them (liner socks, moleskin etc etc). These socks solved the problem at a stroke! More close fitting and 'grippy' on the foot than standard socks they are very comfortable from the mooment you put them on and stay perfectly in place on even the longest walk. I have used them on day walks in the UK and on 2 and 3 week treks in Nepal and India. Despite the manufacturers claims they do smell just as bad as any other sock eventually - but it takes several days before they get nastly, which is great when there is not much opportunity to do your laundry. My only gripe would be that they are perhaps not quite as durable as other socks, which is disappointing given the price. But I am so happy not to be stricken with blisters that I will put up with replacing them whenever I need to.