So anyone who spends any time on their feet knows shoes are important. But anyone who is doing any kind of long distance knows that socks can be just as vital. When I was doing my research on appropriate dress for hiking, I saw the recommendation of merino wool and I was all about it. However, when I went to browse around REI, I came across Wrightsock, the coolmesh 11. They were $13, more than I’ve ever spent on socks, but not unreasonable, especially when you consider the alternatives.
On first putting them on, I’m comfy as can be, they’ve got decent arch support, they’re the perfect thickness and they’re double layer to prevent blisters. They’re soft and breathable, everything you want in a long distance hike. Plus they’re a great turquoise color! Anyway, my first time out with these socks and I’m already in love. No blisters, much less arch pain (a chronic problem for me), overall great stuff. So I’m thinking that these would be great for my AT hike, they’re light and comfy, and I really want something durable that feels great.
How about NO. Despite the clear benefits of these socks, there is a major draw back. I wore them on an 8 mile hike with no problems, lots of extra comfort from my usual. So, I decided to take them for a 13.5 mile hike on the MD portion of the AT. At about the 7 mile mark, we paused for some snacks and to take in the view (I will go more in depth about this hike in a different post) and I took off my shoes to wander around the rocks in my bare feet. I noticed immediately that the outer layer of my seemingly magical Wrightsocks have split open. Ripped straight across just below the toe seam.
These socks didn’t even last 20 miles before tearing open. I’ll be honest, prior to purchasing these socks I’ve been hiking in some real cute novelty socks with sea otters on them. My point here is that I’m by no means an expert, but I won’t be buying these socks again. If I’m being fair, they’re advertised as being for “light” hiking, which I wouldn’t use to describe 13.5 miles, but the terrain was not difficult, so I guess it balances? I regret that the benefits of these socks didn’t last long, and maybe it was a fluke, but I wouldn’t trust 2200 miles to them. So, the search for the perfect socks continue.