"warm, durable, and keep the blisters off my heels"
I have been using Smartwool PhD socks for a year now for hiking. Nothing has made my feet happier. The thicker heel and toe keep the blisters away while the the thinner middle section doesn't add so much bulk over the top of my feet. I have tried the whole super thin sock thing. It just did not make me happy. These are a good compromise with extra padding where it helps and less bulk than typical wool socks.
I was a little hesitant about jumping into Smartwool socks, mostly due to the high price tag. Let me tell you though, you get what you pay for. The PhD line is awesome, and leaves your toes feeling super warm on cold winter mornings. Fit is great and the socks seem very well constructed. Don't kid yourself with cheaper wool socks, they don't compare. I highly recommend these!
"It's just a sock? Hardly. Will not hike without them ever again!"
These socks were incredibly comfortable right out of the packaging for a hike to the summit of Mt. Marcy in NY. Extremely breathable meaning that despite their thickness, I never once felt overheated in them despite the high temperatures of the day we went. Several mud/water puddles later, these socks combined with my trail shoes kept the feet nice and dry. After approximately 16 miles roundtrip with moderate elevation gain, I never felt any slipping and did not develop any blisters. Honestly, if I weren't actively assessing the quality of the sock while on the hike, I never would have noticed they were on, they are that unobtrusive and protective of the feet.Have used them on several more hikes- they remain as comfortable as day one. Washing and drying has not done any damage to the sole, so they seem like they'll have a long life.My wife blew a gasket when she found out I had spent this much on 1 pair of socks - but after a single use I cannot imagine using anything else
"Outstanding hiking sock. Perfect for the trails and long distance hiking"
Love them, they keep the feet dry and warm. Great for the summer as well wicking away the perspiration. They are built to last and my last pair after many miles and washing still look and perform great. I bought this pair just because I wanted more of a good thing, and as a second pair in my pack if I decide to change my socks!
The PhD fit amazingly well and don't shift. I've been wearing SW socks for the past 15 years. I have had probably 20 pairs in many different makes/models. The one downfall that I seem to keep finding with the PhD's is that the heel seems to wear through quicker than my older SW socks. In all fairness, it is probably because I use them so much. Like favorite jeans! Some of mine have no more wool on the heel. Given that, I've found that I tend to buy the Medium to Heavy cushion more often than not to get more usable life out of the socks. If you wash properly (don't use Fabric Softener on them) they'll do amazingly well at keeping odor at bay. They also retain warmth even when your feet are wet, unlike cotton. On my longer backcountry trips I'll usually take 3 pairs with me. One I'm wearing, one is airing out (or drying from a stream cleaning), and one is for a back-up (or for my shivering and grimacing friend with wet and stinky cotton socks who is about to attack me for my socks).
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