CloudLine: The Switchback Technical Hiker Sock
These socks were provided from the manufacturer for the purpose of this review.
I was unfamiliar with the CloudLine Company. The name sounds comforting like clouds and makes me think of a beautiful place. So I thought I would check out the website. Bam! They have a fantastic site! I loved the animation and the beautiful scenery presented. I also found that the company name does represent the clouds and looking above and beyond them after that epic hike or climb. OK so lets talk about these socks.
When removing the Switchback Technical Hiker Socks from the packaging I noticed that they are quite soft. I was not sure what to expect since they are wool. Some wool can be scratchy, not this wool. The socks are made of 63% Ultra Soft Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, and 4% Spandex. 100% guaranteed, per the packaging. Also they are U.S. made, which is a plus in my eyes. I received the Pacific Northwest Green (as shown in the picture). As I do different types of activities, socks are very important to me and finding a good sock that fits and supports is not always easy.
Trying them out: So far I have only worn the socks around town in my hiking boots. I do a bit of walking with some slight hills at school on pavement, gravel, and dirt.
I selected the medium size (which is women’s size 7 – 9.5) and honestly I feel like I should have selected the small. I am a size 7.5 in my boots, but I really like a snug sock. They did not feel loose though at any time nor did they bunch up. I also typically wear a full cushion sock and I must say for a medium cushion sock I was impressed by the comfort. The size medium measures 11” high from the bottom of the heel.
So far I am impressed, even though I am between sizes. The socks are very soft and quite comfortable. My feet were not overheated while wearing the socks as the weather has been in generally the 70’s. There has not been an opportunity to try them in other weather conditions yet, but there will be soon as it tends to become chilly this time of year in Southern California.
I will be washing them this week and taking them for a longer hike at Iron Mountain this weekend. Check back in a month to see how I like the Switchback Technical Hiker Socks.
These socks come in a variety of colors. Backcountry Blue, Pacific Northwest Green, Redwood, Autumn Orange, Hi-Vis Orange, Wildflower Pink, Glacial Blue, and Panorama Purple. I liked that they offered various colors. I know you don’t really see the socks but I like to have color options.
The cost of a pair is $19.99 on the website.
For more information visit www.cloudlineapparel.com.
December 21, 2015 Update on CloudLine Socks:
I have been wearing the CloudLine Socks every so often when I go to school, where we do have a couple of paved hills, stairs and while hiking on dirt trail. So far I am finding the socks to be comfortable, but just a tad big for me. Still I like the socks and will continue to wear them even though they are on the bigger side.
On November 21st I was able to put the socks through a good test on a hike. I went with some friends to summit Iron Mountain in Poway, California. It was a pretty hot day with temperatures up in the 90’s and really low humidity. We started out at 9 am so it was a little cooler on the start and we were in the shade for about a mile. The terrain was a dirt trail with stones, rocks and areas where you had to be careful with footing. I felt like this gave the socks a really great test. The hike was a six mile hike round-trip with 1100 feet of climbing. My feet never felt hot or itchy from the wool. I did not find myself sweating in the socks and when I took them off later, there was no wetness. The socks go up my legs a decent amount; so I felt good support and protection on my legs (which is good also for protection against vegetation). Also I never felt any slipping or bunching in the socks. As I mentioned before my one pet peeve about them is they seemed just a tad bit loose and next time I would order the size smaller. Even with this I never felt like the socks moved, bunched or caused me any discomfort.
Prior to my hike I washed the socks and did not dry them in a dryer as I hang dry most of my clothing. I was impressed as they stayed very soft inside and there was no pilling on the outside. They really maintained their integrity. I was able to wash the socks another time since the hike and they still come out just as soft was when I received them and still no pilling.
On days at school I noticed my feet stay dry while wearing the socks in 80 degree weather. Also we have had some cooler days down in the 60’s where the socks came in handy to help keep my feet warm, but not overly warm that my feet would sweat.
Overall I am really impressed with the CloudLine socks so far. I have a few more hikes planned this December so check back next month.
January 30, 2016 Final Update on CloudLine Socks:
This will be my last report on the CloudLine Switchback Technical Hiker Socks. I must say I have been impressed so far. I ended up washing them again and just air drying. They are still soft and no signs of pilling. They really seem to hold up well in washing.
My friend and I went for a pretty hike on New Year’s Day 2016 to celebrate the new year. It was to Potato Chip Rock in Poway, California. We ended up stopping short from the rock as there were tons of people lining up to get on the rock. Just to get a picture on the rock would have taken hours. We ended up hiking a little more than 6 miles with 1400 feet of climbing. It was a nice day, but it did get a little warm with temps in the low 80’s. My feet stayed dry the whole hike. My feet also never felt itchy. With all the climbing, the socks never bunched up in my boots. My only complaint again was the sizing and when putting on my boots I had to make sure that the heel did not ride up and bunch. As long as the sock was situated correctly on my foot there was never a problem.
I really like a full cushion sock and this was a medium cushion, but it really felt great and I did not feel like I was missing on the cushion. I never got to put the socks to the test on a really hot day or a really cold day (due to the season), but there were some warm days and my feet came out of the socks dry and comfortable. There were a few cooler days, like in the 60’s, when I wore them around campus at school and I never felt my feet get cold.
These socks are definitely worth the price point of $21.99. If you are looking for a mostly a pair of merino wool socks, I recommend these socks.