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Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool Review

Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool
Price:   $20 List | $20.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Excellent breathability, 5-finger toe construction, lightweight design, quick to dry, no itch
Cons:  Less durable, not very warm, expensive
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Injinji

Our Verdict

Of all the socks tested, the Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool was our only sock sporting a five-finger construction. This means each toe is encapsulated with material that allows your toes to wiggle and spread out. According to Injinji, there are many benefits to this sock including better balance, posture, and blister prevention. Our testers claimed to experience these benefits during this testing period, but the sock itself did not perform nearly as well as other contenders.

Even though it was the fastest to dry and provided great fabric breathability, we weren't really happy with its level of warmth and comfort. We also thought the price was a little too high for its level of performance. That said - there are many hikers and runners that swear it. So, if you're looking for a quick drying toe sock, this may be the one for you. If you're looking for a more versatile and traditional hiker, check out the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion (our Editors' Choice) or the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew (our Top Pick for Versatility).


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Hiking Socks For Summer and Cold Temps

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Score Product Price Material Sock Category Guarentee Policy
84
$24
Editors' Choice Award
66% merino wool, 32% nylon, 2% lycra spandex Mid-weight Lifetime guarentee
78
$14
Best Buy Award
41% polypropylene, 34% acrylic, 23% stretch nylon, 1% stretch polyester, 1% spandex Mid-weight 2 year guarantee
76
$24
Top Pick Award
67% merino wool, 31% nylon, 2% elastane Mid-weight 2 year satisfaction guarentee
74
$20
40% merino wool, 56% nylon, 4% lycra spandex Light-weight Lifetime guarentee
72
$20
64% nuwool, 33% nylon, 3% lycra Mid-weight 60 day guarentee

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Amber King
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Friday
July 22, 2016

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The Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool is a great toe sock designed for hiking in warm and/or wet conditions.

Performance Comparison



Even though this was considered one of the least comfortable socks  we did love the freedom to wiggle! If you like to use your toes like grappling hooks on the trail  this is the sock for you.
Even though this was considered one of the least comfortable socks, we did love the freedom to wiggle! If you like to use your toes like grappling hooks on the trail, this is the sock for you.

Comfort


The five-fingered toe design is unique to this sock. Here we looked primarily at the level of cushioning, fabric feel, and compression. Our testers weren't as impressed with this sock as they were with others, as the lightweight design does not accommodate much cushioning, though the level of compression is good.

The tight fabric weave and compression panels provide a good amount of comfort. Though in the face of hard competition  this was actually our least comfortable sock tested. Our testers like the fabric feel of the more traditional socks in this review.
The tight fabric weave and compression panels provide a good amount of comfort. Though in the face of hard competition, this was actually our least comfortable sock tested. Our testers like the fabric feel of the more traditional socks in this review.

The NuWool material is comfortable, but isn't as nice to the touch as the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Sock or Darn Tough varieties. That said, we did love its fitted feel and how our toes could move and wiggle as needed. If you love toe socks, this is the way to go - but if you're looking for a more traditional style with more comfort, check out our thicker options like our Editors' Choice - the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion.

Warmth


Unfortunately, the Injinji sock was the worst tested when it came to wet and dry warmth. The fabric itself is insulating with its merino wool make up, but the toe construct makes it quite cold when the mercury drops below freezing. In our dry cold tests, our feet were numb in less than two minutes, while other brands like the Smartwool PhD were good for hours. When wet, we found they were quite cold despite the insulating properties of wool; we attribute this again to the toe design. Like a glove versus a mitten, the glove will be much colder because the fingers are not kept together to help conduct more heat. Here the toes are forced away from each other, which results in a colder experience. That said, they are better for wearing in warm temperatures. If you want a warmer sock, check out any of the other socks we tested through this review in our Best Hiking Socks Review.

Drying Speed


Even though this sock isn't the best in every category, it is a master of one! As a result of the thinner construct, this was the fastest sock to dry! On our hang to dry test we found it took only two hour and half hours to dry in comparison to others that took three hours or more. So, if you're looking for something that can easily dry overnight - this is your best option!

At first this sock seemed to retain the most moisture. However it was our fastest to dry in the end. Surprising for a 100% merino wool composition!
At first this sock seemed to retain the most moisture. However it was our fastest to dry in the end. Surprising for a 100% merino wool composition!

Wicking and Breathability


Being one of the thinnest socks, we found this was also one of our best to wick and breath. The only snag this sock suffered was between the toes. Even though the double layer of fabric between each toe is awesome for preventing blisters and allows your feet to spread, we found our toes were more sweaty than the traditional contenders. As a result, it did not score the highest for breathability and wicking. If you want something that wicks and breathes from all around, check out the Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew instead.

The breathable panels around the foot allow for good air flow. However  we felt our toes getting a little clammy after prolonged exercise.
The breathable panels around the foot allow for good air flow. However, we felt our toes getting a little clammy after prolonged exercise.

Durability


Of all the socks tested, we found this sock to be pretty tough! After 60 miles of use we didn't notice that material packing out or any major pilling. We noticed a tiny bit of pilling around the heel but that was about it! If you're looking for something that is exemplary in this metic, check out the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro that features extremely durable synthetic fibers.

A tiny bit of pilling was noted on the bottom of the sock - though there wasn't much more than that.
A tiny bit of pilling was noted on the bottom of the sock - though there wasn't much more than that.

Best Application


Take this sock with you on cool to warm days, rain or shine. It's a great companion for trail runs, day hikes, and the like. However, if you plan on a cold and wet weather adventure, consider the Smartwool PhD instead as it has a much better insulating track record.

Enjoy this sock for its purpose. Hiking! We also thought it did a great job while running  backpacking  and enjoying many other summer activities.
Enjoy this sock for its purpose. Hiking! We also thought it did a great job while running, backpacking, and enjoying many other summer activities.

Value


For $20, we thought the price was a steep for the level of performance, but it does have a unique five-finger design. If you want a sock with a better value, check out our Best Buy award winner - the Wigwam Hiking Pro.

Conclusion


This five finger sock left our toes feeling free! Take a gander at this option if you're looking for a toe sock that offers great breathability and is quick to dry.

Other Versions


Injinji Outdoor Original Weight Crew NuWool - Women's
Injinji Outdoor Original Weight Crew NuWool Women's
  • Similar construction
  • Great colors and stripes
  • Cost: $18.00
Amber King

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Most recent review: July 22, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
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