By Dave Wilkes
The following is from the manufacturer’s web site:
Cushioned comfort. Lifestyle, Travel, and Everyday.
This cool, comfortable Crew sock is knit using a combination of Viscose- from- Bamboo and Coolmax®, this offers cushioned comfort for lifestyle, sport and everyday activities. Bridgedale unique construction ensures moisture is wicked away leaving the socks feeling silky soft and your feet comfortable all day.
35% Viscose- from- Bamboo
35% Coolmax® / polyester
29% Nylon / polyamide
1% Lycra® / elastane
This range of socks combine the advanced wicking technology of Coolmax® with the silky comfort of bamboo, a natural and renewable fibre.
I have been intrigued by the use of Bamboo in textiles since I first heard of it, so I am excited at the opportunity to test these socks.
From the product description, these socks are intended for warm conditions. Since I received them in the spring when daytime temperatures are only reaching in the lower 60’s F, I doubt I will experience temperatures that will put this to the test for at least 1-2 months. However the socks are supposed to be fast drying and have superior wicking qualities. Since my feet tend to sweat a lot, this should be something I can test. Also, I have read that bamboo fibers is supposed to be naturally odor resistant and kill bacteria, so I will be monitoring both foot odor and if these retain odors between washing.
I inspected the socks when I received them and could find no signs of flaws. They look to be well made. In trying them on they fit nicely and soon after putting them on it was apparent that they had a cooling effect on my feet (at least as compared to the cotton blend socks I had been wearing previously).
[Update June 1 2010]
Over the last month or so I have worn these socks for running, hiking, and day to day wear. I have worn them at least once a week since receiving them, and have been nothing but pleased. These socks have done a remarkable job of keeping my feet dry, comfortable and odor free. These socks have a smooth silky feel I normally associate with sock liners. Soon after putting them on, my feet feel noticeably cool, and despite a few times when I know I generated some sweat, my feet have remained dry (even when hiking in the rain).
The toughest test of these came on an annual event for us, a Community Day’s celebration. The day started out with me running a 5K race, followed by a walk to a nearby park (about 1 mile) for “Pancakes in the Park”, where we stood in line for over an hour. Then it was another ½-mile back to watch a parade, followed by donning on my old boots and mowing my lawn. Temperatures were comfortably cool and sunny (T-shirt weather), but I did work up a bit of a sweat during the run as well as while mowing. After mowing the lawn, I jumped into a much-needed shower but not before pulling off my socks and taking a hesitant sniff of one of the socks. To my surprise, I could smell nothing. NICE!
During the first few weeks I hand washed the socks (mostly to keep from losing them in the wash) but have since started washing them with my regular clothes. The socks are so far showing little to no signs of wear.
I would like to say these are my favorite socks, but right now it is a tossup between these and the Bridgedale Hiker socks I am also reviewing [note to self…never review more than one pair of socks at a time!].
[Update Aug 9 2010]
While in St Louis for business, I decided to run off some of the overeating I had been doing. The temperature that morning was around 80 F and humid, VERY humid. I have become unaccustomed to humidity over the years and was totally unprepared for the experience. Soon after starting my run it felt like I was breathing molasses and I quickly started to sweat. This ended up being a short run, between being out of shape, the humidity, and the rolling hills in the area I was running, I just was not up to it. Upon returning to my hotel, and envying the intelligence of those who were smart enough to be using the air-conditioned hotel gym, I stripped off my wet clothing for a much needed shower and found that the only part of my body not drenched in sweat was, of all things, my feet! A hesitant whiff and…virtually no odor!
Along with some day hikes and day to day usage, I used the Bamboo Crew socks for this year’s Mt Adams trip. I wore the socks inside my mountaineering boots for the hike from the trail head up to our camp (Cold Springs Campground 5,600’) at a place commonly called Lunch Counter (9,400’). The trip was difficult. Due to some very late snow this year much of the route was in deep snow, and the temperatures reached 95F. On the trip up I was sweating so much that it was dripping off the brim of my hat. I ended up getting quite dehydrated despite trying to drink as much as I could, and experienced some nasty leg cramps. The Bridgedale socks proved to be a blessing; at least my feet were comfortable. At the trailhead I was one of the few who did not tape up their feet to help avoid blisters. After wearing these socks for a while I knew it was unnecessary. When I arrived at camp I quickly removed my boots and socks (to put on the Spenco sandals I am testing), and found my feet were blister free.
I also used these socks for my annual Mt St Helens climb. I wore them under my summer weight hiking boots despite a higher volume of snow than normal. My experience on Mt Adams had me expecting hot weather…I was wrong. Most of the trip up it was about 55F and on the upper half of the hill we had winds exceeding 30mph with light rain and fog. The glacaiding down was AWESOME! My feet were soaked for most of the trip, but also comfortable for the entire trip. When I got down I took off my boots and peeled the wet socks from my feet and was surprised there was virtually no odor. The socks are not showing much in the way of wear, they appear to be quite durable.
As I said in the beginning of this review, I never thought too much about my socks before. However, after experiencing what a quality pair of socks like this can do I will never make that mistake again. These Bamboo socks are going to be a standard part of my gear lists for hikes & running (especially in hot weather) and I expect to use them often for normal daily wear. I could find absolutely nothing about these that I did not like, and highly recommend them.
I would like to thank the folks at 4AllOutdoors.org and Bridgedale for the opportunity to review such a fine product.
Dave (the turtle) Wilkes