A Day Hiker Reviews Injinji Socks for Sock-Off 2011

Injinji Footwear offers patented Performance Toesocks™ that are designed to enable the human foot – from the heel to the five toes – to function naturally and efficiently inside a shoe.

Injinji Footwear offers patented Performance Toesocks™

If you’ve been following my blog you know that I wrote a guide a while back outlining some points to consider when choosing the right hiking socks which caused quite the debate on twitter and eventually spawned the ultimate sock showdown… The Great Sock-Off 2011!

Point6 was the first sock tested and you can read my evaluation of their pros and cons and see how well they measured up in my review here – A Day Hiker Reviews Point6 Socks for Sock-Off 2011

Thorlo was the next sock up and you can read my evaluation of their pros and cons and see how well they measured up in my review here - A Day Hiker Reviews Thorlos Socks for Sock-Off 2011

Injinji is the last sock up so once again I hit the 8 mile Sag Valley Yellow Trail, this time field testing my Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks with the following criteria in mind:

  • Price and availability
  • Comfort and Fit
  • Padding and Support
  • Durability
  • Overall Performance on the Trail

Now I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking it myself… Toe socks? What’s the reason for toe socks? Well… Besides the kitsch factor anyway?

But it turns out the folks at Injinji are focused more on function than fashion! The anti-friction fibers of their Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks wick moisture preventing chafing & blistering while the seamless individual toe sleeves eliminate skin on skin friction to help prevent corns and blisters while also increase stability, gripping and balance!

Injinji Performance Toesocks - Outdoor Series Crew Toesock

Injinji Performance Toesocks – Outdoor Series Crew Toesock

Price and availability:

Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks will set you back about $16.00, which is middle of the road as far as hiking socks go. They seem to be available just about anywhere including REI, The Sports Authority, Backcountry or if you’re tired of paying retail, you can do what I do and Get The Outdoor Gear You Need At Up To 70% Below Retail At The Clymb.com

Comfort and Fit:

Since Injinji socks have toes they are foot specific. I have to say that putting them on for the first time was a bit awkward, however with that being said once you have them on you realize just how comfortable they actually are!

Putting on Injinji toesocks for the first time can be awkward

Putting on Injinji toesocks for the first time can be awkward

The sock forms to every contour of your foot and is the most comfortable fitting sock of the three I tried.

Padding and Support:

This is the one area I found Injinji lacking in. The socks are quite thin… Too thin for my tastes. I prefer more padding in a hiking sock and I just didn’t find it in my Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks. If there had been a little more padding on the sole of the foot and at the heel I would have really appreciated it.

Durability:

As in previous tests, I have to say this is a wash. A hike of 8.5 miles is not nearly long enough to test the true durability of any sock. However I will update this after several more hikes, and several more washes to let you know how they held up.

Overall Performance on the Trail:

I was pleasantly surprised by my Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks. My knee jerk reaction upon seeing them was to scoff and yet Injinji’s unique design allows for natural free movement while eliminating skin on skin friction to prevent blisters which is the perfect combination for hiking!

Injinji Footwear offers patented Performance ToesocksInjinji Footwear offers patented Performance ToesocksInjinji Footwear offers patented Performance Toesocks

In fact, if they simply had a bit more padding on the sole I would have ranked them as the winner overall and found a new favorite hiking sock. Alas as they are I have to declare them a very, very close second after Point6 and one of my two new favorite hiking socks!

Next week I’ll recap all three socks reviewed in the Great Sock-Off 2011 and officially declare the rankings so stay tuned!

Full Disclosure: The Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks used in this review were provided to me by the manufacturer at no charge however this did not influence my review in any way. I always give my honest opinion, finding, belief, or experience on the products I review. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

What do you think of the Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks?  Do you have any questions about them?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Injinji is Next up in Sock-Off 2011: Pre-Hike Rundown

Injinji Footwear offers patented Performance Toesocks™ that are designed to enable the human foot – from the heel to the five toes – to function naturally and efficiently inside a shoe.

Injinji offers patented Performance Toesocks™

So far I have reviewed Point6 socks as well as Thorlo socks for the ultimate sock showdown, better known as The Great Sock-Off 2011.

Next up for review is Injinji! I will be putting my Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks to the test this weekend and then offer my opinion on their performance.

After two rounds of reviews I have Point6 in the lead. Thorlo socks are a quality product I just felt the 100% merino wool Point6 socks were more comfortable, better fitting and had better moisture wicking qualities than the synthetic fiber Thorlo socks did. We shall see if wool retains it’s crown as the superior fiber this week!

I will be hitting the trail once again. This time wearing Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks made with natural moisture wicking NuWool™ which is supposed to adjust with the temperature, keeping feet warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. Just as in the previous weeks I will put my Injinji socks to similar tests, evaluating their pros and cons, and then compare them to see which sock reigns supreme!

As with the previous socks I’ll be hiking one of my favorite trails, the 8 mile Sag Valley Yellow Trail. A loop starting at the Swallow Cliff parking lot, the wide trail hugs the base of the bluff as it heads eastward, eventually circling southwest to McClaughry Springs and then to the top of the moraine above McClaughry woods. The trail then weaves down through the Laughing Squaw Sloughs and continues west across the Sag Valley, named for the former Saganashkee Swamp.

Injinji Performance Toesocks - Outdoor Series Crew Toesock

Injinji Performance Toesocks – Outdoor Series Crew Toesock

The Gear:

Injinji Outdoor Series Toe Socks in Keen Targhee II’s

The Criteria:

  • Price and availability
  • Comfort and Fit
  • Padding and Support
  • Durability
  • Overall Performance on the trail

Point6 is ahead in my book… Can Injinji top them? Who knows? Follow hashtag #Sockoff2011 on twitter for more information!

But don’t just take my word for it! Remember to read Adam’s reviews at his blog HikingTheTrail.com, and Dave’s reviews at his blog DaveCreech.com, and of course you know where to find mine right? So stay tuned for the results!

Better yet, instead of just reading about it… Why not participate? Get up, get out, and get hiking! You can Get The Outdoor Gear You Need At Up To 70% Below Retail At The Clymb.com So join today and get yourself a pair of Injinji socks and participate in The Great Sock Off 2011!

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Diary of a Day Hiker was Accepted at Alltop

Alltop - Top Outdoors NewsI recently submitted Diary of a Day Hiker to Alltop, an “online magazine rack” where readers can choose from thousands of topics and are shown only the best of the best from the web within each topic.

Well guess what?

They actually accepted me!

I know… Right? I can’t believe it either!

Afterall it’s not easy getting in! Alltop is a Palo Alto-based tech startup launched by Guy Kawasaki, technologist, best-selling author and one of the top small business influencers on Twitter, and each site selected must meet Alltop’s strict publishing and quality requirements before submission.

Alltop - Top Outdoors NewsBeing selected to appear on Alltop is a great honor for me and I’m happy to be able to share the news with all of you!

Not only is it nice to be recognized in my field it’s also pretty satisfying to receive confirmation that I do indeed kick ass!

P.S. Special thanks to Adam at Hiking The Trail for suggesting that I submit!

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A Day Hiker Reviews Thorlos Socks for Sock-Off 2011

Thorlos The World's Best Foot Care! If you’ve been following my blog you know that I wrote a guide a while back outlining some points to consider when choosing the right hiking socks which caused quite the debate on twitter and eventually spawned the ultimate sock showdown… The Great Sock-Off 2011!

Point6 was the first sock tested and you can read my evaluation of their pros and cons and see how well they measured up in my review here – A Day Hiker Reviews Point6 Socks for Sock-Off 2011

Thorlo is the next sock up so I donned my Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks and hit the 8 mile Sag Valley Yellow Trail once again. Field testing my Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks with the following criteria in mind:

  • Price and availability
  • Comfort and Fit
  • Padding and Support
  • Durability
  • Overall Performance on the Trail

This is not my first time wearing Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks, in fact I own more than a few pair. However, this is the first time I have systematically and methodically tested them based on pre-defined criteria and as with last weeks review… I was more than a little surprised at my findings.

Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks

Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks

Price and availability:

My Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks set me back $13.99, which is actually pretty inexpensive as far as hiking socks go. I purchased them from Dick’s Sporting Goods but you can find them just about anywhere including REI, The Sports Authority, Campmor or if you really like a bargain, you can do like I do and Get The Outdoor Gear You Need At Up To 70% Below Retail At The Clymb.com

Comfort and Fit:

As I said I have worn Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks before and I am used to their fit, which can be a little loose. If you’ve never worn them before the first thing you will notice is their thickness. They are quite thick, perhaps twice as thick as the wool socks reviewed last week, yet they are still comfortable.

Padding and Support:

I expect padding and support from a hiking sock and Thorlo excels in this category. My Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks offered supportive cushioning across the instep as well as under foot without being bulky or constricting. Thorlo definitely has the upper hand in this category.

Durability:

Just as last week, I have to say this is a wash. A hike of 8.5 miles is not nearly long enough to test the true durability of any sock. However I will update this after several more hikes, and several more washes to let you know how they held up.

Overall Performance on the Trail:

I have to be honest here… I came into this thinking the Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks would run the table in this contest and yet I have to report… I’ve had a change of heart. Although Thorlo claims their all synthetic fibers help pull moisture away from the foot, unlike natural fibers like wool which tend to absorb your sweat and cling to your foot, I found the exact opposite to be true. My feet were much drier after hiking in my Point6 socks from last week than they were after hiking the same hike in my Thorlo socks this week. Although still a good sock I think  overall Thorlo socks did not do as well as I expected in The Great Sock-Off 2011 and I may have a new favorite.

We’ll see what happens with the next contender… Stay tuned for the next Great Sock-Off 2011 review featuring the Injinji Outdoor Series Trail Toesock!

Full Disclosure: I purchased the Thorlos socks used in this review myself, they were not provided to me by the manufacturer nor their distributors. I was not compensated in any way to provide an opinion on their products, services or website. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

What do you think of the Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks?  Do you have any questions about them?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

A Day Hikers Top 5 Trail Snacks

English: A common variety of gorp (trail mix) ...

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When I first began hiking I would hit the trail with little more than the lint in my pockets and then find myself losing steam halfway through my hike.

In fact most times I would reach the end of an outing drained of both energy and patience

Afterall a hungry hiker is a cranky hiker!

Needless to say, I soon realized the importance of bringing along some essentials, including snacks. The truth is you don’t need to be a long distance back-packer to bring food on your hike, even a day hiker needs sustenance!

So I’ve put together a list of the five best snacks to take with you on the trail, not only to keep hunger at bay, but to help you stay energized.

GORP: (Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts) Also known as trail mix, is far and away my favorite snack on the trail. GORP is tasty, economical and available anywhere, in a multitude of varieties and flavors. Whether you buy it or make it, in whatever flavor you prefer, with whatever ingredients you prefer GORP is as close to the the perfect food you’re going to find when you’re out on the trail.

Snickers: “Snickers really satisfies!” is not just a product slogan, it is gospel out on the trail. The Snickers bar is the OG (Original Gangsta) of energy bars, and is far and away superior to all of the overpriced, over-hyped new age energy bars. They are cheaper, available everywhere and best of all… They don’t taste like sawdust!

Hard Cheese & Crackers: Hard cheeses are one of my favorites out on the trail. Granted it takes a little preparation before hand, you’ll want to cut the cheese before you hit the trail (no pun intended); but the small amount of effort required is definitely worth the rewards. Nothing beats a few wedges of Asiago, Coverdale or cheddar cheese on a cracker halfway through a hike.

Granola: Granola like GORP is tasty, economical and available anywhere, in a multitude of varieties and flavors. It is easy to find, easy to pack and tasty to eat!

Beef Jerky: Beef jerky, real beef jerky is a fantastic trail snack. It’s tasty, lightweight and offers a great balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. It is readily available at most stores and keeps really well in a backpack or pocket.

That’s my list, although far from comprehensive these snacks always seem to find their way into my pack. How about you? What trail snacks do you recommend? Do you have any favorites that didn’t make my list? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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