This is a guest review by Giles from TheActivePhotographer.com
The first I ever heard about Smartwool and their frankly vast range of products was when GearWeAre’s very own Andy announced that he was so besotted by them he was ready to sell-up and go on a Merino sheep-hugging exercise to New Zealand. Ok, so maybe I made this last bit up, but it is true that he was very keen that I try some out for myself – which is how I came by the PhDs .
In order to give the best possible fit, the boffins at Smartwool devised what they like to call the 4 Degree Fit System. All clever-sounding stuff, this mix of compression bands and flex zones, but does it do what they claim?
As anyone who has been on an arduous hillwalking escapade will tell you, pain most likes to rear its ugly head somewhere around the heel and ball-of-foot areas, usually whilst you’re still a good 3-5 miles away from the pub. Thankfully, these are precisely the areas supported by WOW Technology (which stands for Wool-On-Wool, don’tcha know), and offers a higher density of padding (and therefore comfort and durability). Smartwool have also added in a dash of Nylon and Elastic for structure purposes.
Professionalism prevents me from using gratuitous ‘language’ so let me say, quite simply – by jingo, these are good! The phrase ‘fits like a glove’ is perfectly suited here, and I can honestly say these are among the most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn.
With the ‘mini’ length fitting much like everyday casual socks, they’ve been great in my day-to-day Karrimors. The PhDs just create such a nice environment for the foot; for one thing, there’s no sagging of material and no clumpy bits at the ends of your toes. We know that wool does a great job of wicking moisture away from the body – as Andy would say, when was the last time you saw a sheep shivering? – and with these socks, your feet stay dry and comfortable whilst out on the trail. I’ve yet to experience any over-heating and or sweat build-up.
Summary: If you are the sort of person who heats up really easily, then you probably wouldn’t want to wear this weight of sock on a hot day. But certainly, if you’re the sort who does feel the cold easily, your little pinkies will thank you for giving them such a nice home in the autumn and winter months. Either way, these are great socks and they even wash-up really nicely, too. Now to book a flight to New Zealand…
More: Smartwool (US SITE)