Review by Arnie P
Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks
Cloudline provided the Technical Hiker socks for review purposes
I think this is the first time our group is reviewing a product from this company. The name Cloudline is for the feeling you get when climbing a mountain, getting above the clouds, looking down at the clouds, and enjoying the joy and personal satisfaction of another successful climb. The customer should feel the Cloudline experience. Seattle, Washington is the home of Cloudline.
Cloudline socks, made in the USA, come with a 100% guarantee. The internet site states that if the customer is unhappy for any reason with any Cloudline product Cloudline will make it right, every time.
The Switchback Technical Hiker socks
This is the only sock style offered on their internet site at present. Men’s sizes Medium (6-8.5), Large (9-11.5), X-Large (12-14.5) and Women’s sizes Small (4-6.5), Medium (7-9.5), Large (10-12.5), and Youth (3.5-5). Color selection consists of the following 8 choices: Backcountry Blue, Pacific Northwest Green, Redwood, Autumn Orange, Hi-Vis Orange, Wildflower Pink, Glacial Blue, and Panorama Purple.
Measured weight for men’s Large
3.1 oz pair
Features from internet site
Long lasting softness
63% Ultra Soft Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, 4% Spandex
Reinforced cushion zones for durability and comfort
Trail tested on only the most rugged terrain
For internet purchasing please refer to http://www.cloudlineapparel.com/ for details.
Trying them on
The socks I received are size Large and Backcountry Blue. They slid on my feet with almost no effort. They felt comfortable and my feet got warm and toasty. The knit is fine. The texture is smooth compared to socks with a higher percentage of Merino wool. The main color is a charcoal color and the Logo, heel and toe area is the color which in my case is Backcountry Blue. I found the colors sharp and brilliant. The height of the socks on my legs came up to about 12 inches from the floor.
My test plan
My plan is to wear the Switchback Technical socks all day every day for the duration of the review except for when they will be in the wash. My usual routine is going to the gym, hiking on Wednesdays with a hiking group in Harold Parker forest, local hikes, taking my daughter’s dog for a walk, and walking to the local shopping center. Walks to the shopping center could be frequent because a Thrift Superstore is currently moving to my local plaza.
First Hike at Horn Pond
This was an hour hike at Horn Pond. The outside temperature was in the mid 50’s, sunny, with a light breeze. When I returned home, I visited a friend to watch the football game while the Patriots won their 8th straight game this season. This is a good beginning since the temperature in the house was at least 20 degrees warmer. I am looking forward to wearing these socks a lot more in the next few months.
Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say about the Switchback Technical socks.
A month has passed and it is now time for an update as we enter the holiday season. During this test period, the temperature has been in the high teens some nights and up to the low 60’s some days. I have been wearing the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks about 12 hours a day on almost a daily basis (except for wash days and when the socks got so damp from sweat that they needed drying). I am now doing all my daily activities wearing these socks. These activities include neighborhood walks with the dog, hiking in Harold Parker State Forrest, exercising at the gym, working in the yard, shopping, attending seminars, and the unexpected.
At the gym
As mentioned before I have started wearing the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks at the gym instead of white cotton socks. My experience is these socks don’t get soaked in sweat, they sometimes get damp and usually dry out as I wear them after a workout. On occasion when my workout is more intense I may need to change socks when I get home so they can dry and be ready for the next morning. .Drier feet for me is a lot better than damp feet that are prone to skin irritation. These socks are a lot more comfortable than the cotton ones.
Walking the dog
As my daughter’s dog has reached maturity, her strength has increased to a point that this part lab dog is, in reality, taking me for a walk going wherever she wants to go or so it seems most of the time. Thus, I need all the traction I can get. With the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks, I am noticing less slippage inside my shoe. It is also helpful to keep my toenails trimmed especially for this kind of walk. When a toenail gets jammed into the end of a shoe there is usually a negative result.
The work in my yard during this period involved raking leaves. The extra height of the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks kept most of the leaf debris off my legs My feet are a lot cleaner when the socks come off at night. They are also comfortable when standing on a ladder for an extended amount of time.
Shopping and seminars
The Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks are great for going shopping and attending seminars. Going from either a hot car or walking a distance in hot or cold weather to entering a building where the temperature can be hot or cold happens more often in the modern climate controlled buildings. These socks have coped well under these varied conditions. My feet have not been cold or need drying out when it was too warm.
Hiking in Harold Parker State Forrest
I have been able to join a weekly 2-hour hike in the Harold Parker State Forrest about half the time. The trails vary from being, rocky, tree root covered to a lot of small inclines and declines. The group usually has between 20 to 30 hikers. With a group that size the pace is slow enough for everyone to keep up. I almost never have to stop to remove trail debris and there is a lot on the trail. The higher and snug fitting socks kept out most of the unwanted trail debris.
Since my new washing machine has a delicate cycle, I may not be doing many more hand washes. For the first wash of my socks, I used the high-efficiency soap (HE). It was late in the day when I finished the wash and I choose to hang the socks on a drying rack in the cellar. My pellet stove had been running during the day so the cellar was warm and dry. When I returned in the morning the socks were dry. In my next report, I will have more to say on the washing and drying of these socks. I always use the socks for 5-6 days of daily use without washing to see if I can notice any odor. I could not detect any odor. The main reason for washing socks is to remove any debris which reduces the effectiveness of the socks to keep my feet warm and dry.
I will conclude by saying that I am pleased with the performance of the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks. They keep my feet dry and comfortable, resist odor well, and dry in a reasonable time after washing. In my last report, I will look at pilling, which has not occurred so far and how the socks fared over the review period. Please check back in about a month for the last look at these great socks.
I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and Cloudline for the opportunity to test the Technical socks.
A Last Look 1-23-2016
It has been over 2 months since I received the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks for reviewing. I have been wearing them almost daily for about 12 hours a day except for the days they were in the wash, adding up to over 800 hours. During this period, I have continued doing the things I did in my last report. This includes walking, hiking, shopping, yard work, and social events.
One of the things I like about the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks is the fit. The socks fit with firmness on my foot. I did get some bunching at the heel of the sock. Being a size 9, I am at the small end of the 9-11 size range. These socks are larger than my other size large socks. I just have to be aware of this when putting on some of my shoes or boots. The has not changed for me over this long usage period. The usage has been the equal of at least 80 long hikes.
When you are someplace and the temperature changes without notice, you usually feel some discomfort of being too hot or too cold. Being too cold is usually the hardest for me. Most of the time I don’t have something I can put on to feel warm again. The Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks have done a good job in keeping me comfortable when it is a lot colder than I would like. This is especially true when the outside temperature is near zero and I am coming from a car or building where the temperature was higher. These socks kept my feet warm and dry which helps me feel a lot more comfortable.
The amount of pilling on the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks was minimal despite the amount of time worn. I had not thought about pilling until I started writing this report. With other products, I have felt the need to remove the pills because the looks bothered me.
It was not until recently I thought I would look for anything abnormal. I did not find any wear spots, this is unusual for me since I did wear the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks a lot as mentioned before.
I have washed the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks in my washing machine. I always air dry my wool socks. Since this is winter, I dried them in the cellar. I checked after 4 hours and they were dry. For me, that dry time is faster than most of my hiking socks.
Harold Parker Forest
I have hiked with a group in Harold Parker, at least, five times using the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks. I have had almost no trail debris, uncomfortable spots, blisters, or hot spots, just comfortable dry feet.
I am liking my experience with the Cloudline Switchback Technical Hiker socks. They have kept my feet dry, warm, and problem free during a during some cold conditions. I wish to thank 4allotdoors.org and Cloudline for the opportunity to review the Switchback Technical Hiker socks.