It could be said that if you put an infinite number of sheep on an infinite number of sewing machines, one of them would eventually create the perfect sock. But I highly doubt it; no opposable thumbs you see… they wouldn’t be able to thread the needles!
So no matter how smart the sheep at Smartwool are, the equally smart Smartwooligans (that’s what they call their employees) have have had to employ their own thumbs to come up with such a damn fine range of trekking socks.
I’ve been a big fan of Smartwool’s socks for a few years now and own a fair range of them, but I was given these Adrenaline Hiking Medium Cushion socks to test recently and they’ve become my favourite socks for trekking with lightweight boots.
I should explain that wool is a great material for socks because it is warm yet wicks your sweat away from your foot. It stays warm when it gets wet (ever seen a sheep shiver?) and it has this pretty cool property called self-lubrication which means that the fibres give off oils and slide over each other. This reduces wear, blisters and heat build-up. And it makes you a bore in the pub at the end of the hike.
Smartwool have mixed wool with a little Nylon (for structure purposes) and Elastic along with some neat sewing to create a sock which fits like a, er, glove. It’s a fairly thick sock, so you can feel the padding immediately as you slide your foot in. It’s as good as a Bridgedale trekking sock, if not better in terms of fit and comfort, but what makes the Smartwool sock just that 10% better than the Bridgedale on our Test Trail is the material. It just feels more ‘natural’ to walk in over an hour or so. And it seems to dry out quicker.
SUMMARY: The Adrenaline Hiking Medium Cushion sock is a very seriously comfortable sock for a day-hike. It’s not too thick or too thin and hugs the foot all-over without getting baggy or sweaty with use. Wool is my favourite material for socks, feeling warm but wicking well and not being uncomfortable when wet. These are my current favourite socks to wear under hiking boots.
Tags and search info for this review: This is a hiking sock review. GearWeAre.com tests and reviews hiking socks, walking socks, outdoor gear and camping equipment.