SMARTWOOL WOMEN'S OUTDOOR PHD LIGHT CREW SOCKS

PHD Outdoor socks are middleweight fabric, three seasons’ women specific model, although its flanked by feather and winter weight versions for more extreme. Made from a Merino (58%), nylon (39%) and elastane mix, they’ve proven particularly suited to the varied demands cycle touring places on kit. Merino us renown for its ability to keep us temperate and dry.  

 

A largely wet, cold tour of the Scottish Highlands sans overshoes saw my cycling shoes steadily saturate, though my feet remained warm and largely dry. Reinforced toe and heel sections bode well for comfort and longevity, with no hint of hotspots or blisters despite several long days in the saddle combined with some extended hikes on foot. 

 

When the sun finally surfaced and temperatures climbed into double figures, those fibres guzzle and evict moisture, almost seamlessly keeping pace with my own tempo despite some serious ascents and (shoe material). No nasty niffs; or sideways glances when I finally dragged my shoes off in the hostel dorm. 

Compression sits just the right side of snug. A constant routine of hand-washing and gruelling days has seen the cuffs relax, which is a definite plus for those of us with larger than average calves. Colour faded a little too but nothing drastic; or quicker than others tucked away in my bedroom drawer subjected to similar mileage. While there’s no doubting their competency, they’re not markedly better than others in my possession at this end of the market with similar merino content.

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5. Very good three seasons socks but not markedly better than others I’ve worn in the longer term.

 

Emma Hillyard

 

www.smartwool.com

 

PUBLISHED MAY 2016

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