I love a good pair of socks. I learned the importance of wool (or wool blend) socks the hard way after getting exposure on my foot while motorcycling in the winter. I pretty much wear socks with some amount of wool in them year-round except for when I am working out at home.
The challenge becomes finding good socks at good prices. SmartWool is my favorite manufacturer, but it can be hard to find socks for less than $15 — and the tall socks I prefer retail at about $25 a pop.
As such, I’ve had to branch off to other brands to fill my drawer with nice socks. Bridgedale makes some very nice tall socks that were great for motorcycling, but they are almost just as expensive as SmartWool.
I used my recent move to Minnesota as an excuse to poach a few more wool / wool blend socks and to try out some new brands. Or in the case of these socks, Point 6′s Trekking Heavyweight.
Construction and composition
According to Sierra Trading Post, these socks are 71% merino wool, 27% nylon, and 2% spandex. They are crew height, which means it will probably end a little bit below the calf on most men.
The elastic at the top of the sock seems thin, but it has been durable so far. I have about ten pairs of taller socks from SmartWool and Bridgedale, and the elastic is going strong after years of daily wear. I wear sock garters with taller socks when I ride my motorcycle, so this may ease some of the wear and tear on the elastic. However, I have high expectations and “quitter” socks get cycled out of use quickly.
Softness and feel
The biggest difference between the Point 6 socks and my SmartWool / Bridgedale socks is the softness. The Point 6 socks have a very rough “hand,” or feel, in comparison to the more expensive brands. The socks were washed three times before they felt even remotely comfortable; they were rough and scratchy before. I mean scratchy in a “are there fibers poking me?” kind of way, not a “am I allergic to wool?” kind of way.
Padding and support
There is some padding on the ball of the foot area. This is nice, but again not the same amount of cushion as the more expensive socks.
I found that the socks didn’t fit my feet very well. I couldn’t get the padded bottom area to center on my foot like I can with my SmartWool socks that have similar cushioning. Some of the I don’t think the “foot” part of the sock is made as precisely as the more expensive socks that I own.
This is about as straight as I can get my socks. I don’t really care what they look like, but it makes me nervous that they don’t appear to be made the same. I don’t have this problem with my other socks. From a functional standpoint, one of the seams sits much higher along the arch of one foot than the other. I don’t think this would be a problem from how I use my socks, but if you’re a big time hiker this might cause a problem. I don’t know.
Well, here’s where things get complicated. The sock retails from Point 6 for $21.95. That is way too high.
Amazon sells the sock for $14 – $20. You can get SmartWool and Bridgedale socks on closeout at these prices, and I prefer those brands for my usage.
I bought mine for $4.65 before shipping from Sierra Trading Post. Unlike some of the things I buy from STP, these socks were not listed as factory seconds or rejects.
Hrm …. Now all of a sudden it doesn’t matter too much if the socks were coarse for the first few wearings, or if the seams don’t match up all the way around. You could buy two or even three of these socks for the equivalent of a SmartWool pair on sale.
Would I recommend them? Tough call. If you want some socks to wear around the house during the winter time these were a pretty good deal. If you can’t find them for $6 or less I would suggest you look around at other brands.