Gear Review: Ecosox Hiking Socks
Disclosure: The following product was donated for the purpose of review.
Introduction: A couple months ago, Ecosox sent me some socks. Specifically, a big box of beautiful, fresh socks. And like some sap that thinks they can just go into the SPCA to ‘visit’ the puppies, I fell in love with these new foot-babies, just opening their eyes and yawning for the first time. Watching them grow up was precious – dangling playfully on a clothing line over my tent, tumbling in the washing machine, lying coiled in the sun in the back of my hatchback. Now, at the pinnacle of my career as a professional sock tester, I’m taking a moment to review some unsung heroes of the trail.
Style: Hiking and Outdoor Lightweight Crew, Performance Tab
Size and Fit: Medium for both
Weight: Hiking 3.4oz, Performance Tab 2oz
Material: Viscose from bamboo (80%), polyester and nylon
Price: $6.99 (performance tab) – $8.99 (hiking)
Best Feature: Wearing these socks is like covering your feet in baby lambs.
Worst Feature: No low-cut hiking socks available yet.
Circumstance of review: I used these socks for two months of living my daily life – I worked in a blistering hot bakery, ran along the seacoast, and hiked in the White Mountains with these socks. I have to say, they never disappointed. I got them wet, washed them repeatedly, and tested them on rough terrain.
Fit: The fit of these socks was comfortable and accurate. I got the mediums, which are designed for a women’s 4 – 10.5 and I’m an 8. The elastic on the taller crew hiking socks was occasionally restrictive, but easy enough to re-adjust. And the performance tab – those tiny socks for running that always seem to lose their elasticity around the edges – stayed true to the correct fit without loosening.
Style: The organic greys, greens, and tans definitely appeal to the person I think I’m being when I remember to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store.
Warmth: I’ve only tested these during late summer and early fall, but they do a great job regulating so far. They were warm enough while camping on cooler nights, and so breathable that I didn’t even notice them while running on a hot day.
- Comfortable: You know the kind of fuzzy Muppet socks you used to get for Christmas as a kid? The ones that were just beyond fluffy, that would cover your house in neon fluff until your parents threw them out? Ecosox socks are like those socks – Except that they don’t make your feet sweat or spew fluff everywhere like balding Cookie Monsters. Even after repeated washing and use, they’re still holding up – and they’re still really soft.
- Odorless: As a hike, I am extremely skeptical of anything that claims to be odorless. I mean, they’re made out of bamboo, not magic. But these socks are actually odorless; even when wet, they don’t seem to retain odor the same way normal wool or synthetic socks do. If anyone understands why this is, please tell me. In the meantime I’ll be shoving bamboo shoots into the air vents of my car, which spends its summers smelling like a locker room that has just hosted a rotten meat juggling party.
- Eco-friendly: The number one pro is that these socks are more eco-friendly. Making use of bamboo instead of cotton or wool, the company is using a more renewable resource that releases more oxygen into the air than its competitors.
- The Cut (kind of): The current hiking socks are fairly high cut and the elastic can be a little restrictive. This isn’t really a con though, since that’s normal and even desirable for hiking socks – but I do wish there were a low-cut hiking sock option, maybe two inches above the ankle bone, to be more compatible with trail runners on a hot day.
- Listing Weights: As an open message to all sock companies, I also wish that exact weights were included on their websites. I know I sound ridiculously pedantic to a lot of hikers, but there is a subset of ‘gram weenies’ out there who care about the difference that half an ounce makes.
Value: For $9 a pair, these are absolutely worth it. I will say I haven’t worn these socks long enough to know how durable they really are – I think it takes a full year to really get to know a pair of socks – but they are showing no signs of wear after two months, which means they’re a better value already than most other hiking socks out there – while being more comfortable, less smelly, and just as warm. I give these ten toes up!
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I bought a pair of these eco-sox about a year ago and they’re great for hiking and everyday use, and, after so many hikes and so many washes (in cold water only) they’re still about like new. And the price is right. You can pay three times as much and not have a better sock.
I bought 6 pairs of the Ecosox for running. They are nothing more than dryer lint, laid on a thin thread. I rotated them daily and they just fell apart after a month. The daily miles on each did not exceed 10 miles. Each sock had about 40 miles on them. Not buying them again. They consistently left clumps of lint on my toes after each run, gross! By the end of the month 3 pairs had holes along the seams. Not impressed.