Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool Review
Cons: Less durable, not very warm, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool is a notable mention for its five-fingered construction. It's a fantastic option for both warm and wet weather, sweaty endeavors, and caters to all genders.
The comfort of this sock is about average. The five-fingered toe design is unique. Here we look primarily at the level of cushioning, fabric feel, and compression. With its lightweight design, this sock isn't very cushioned but does offer compression and breathability panels that keep the sock on your foot. Also, this sock fits both our female and male testers well.
The NuWool material is comfortable but isn't as pleasant to the touch as softer contenders. We do love its fitted feel and how our toes can move and wiggle as needed. We find this especially helpful on multi-day hikes and trail runs that would typically leave toes raw from rubbing against each other (one of the benefits of a five-finger construct). If you love toe socks, this is the way to go.
Wicking and Breathability
Being one of the thinnest socks, it is quite breathable with great wicking properties. The only snag it suffers is between the toes. Even though the double layer of fabric between each toe is great for preventing blisters, it is sweatier between our toes than traditional contenders. As a result, it did not score the highest for breathability and wicking.
Unfortunately, the Injinji is not a warm sock. It's not recommended for wicked cold winter days or frigid fall nights. 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.
During our dry cold tests, the material provided some insulation, but our feet were numb in less than two minutes in sub-zero temperatures in Alaska. Like a glove versus a mitten, the glove will be much colder because the fingers are not butted up next to each other, which decreases heat conductivity between the digits. In the case of the toe socks, each phalange is forced away from the other, which reduces heat conductivity and thus overall warmth. In the case of frigid temperatures, not even the most insulating boots will keep feet warm with these socks. That said, it is a much better warm temperature option. We love this sock for high-intensity activities like running or fast-packing in the Fall, Spring, or Summer.
This sock is tough! After 60 miles of use, we didn't notice any major pilling or packing out. We found trace amounts of pilling around the heel but nothing more.
The Injinji features an above-average drying speed. In our dryer tests, it was completely dry after 80 minutes, which is a great drying speed. Because of its quick-drying speed and wonderful performance in the field, we'd recommend it for both dry and wet conditions.
The price is steep for the level of performance it provides. In comparison to other models out there, it simply doesn't stand up. That said, one might be compelled to pay this price for the unique five-finger design.
If you're in the market for a five-fingered hiking sock option, the Injinji Midweight Crew is a wool calf-high sock that provides your toes the ultimate in freedom. It provides better blister prevention than traditional contenders and allows better stability than other socks out there. However, many traditional contenders are worth checking out that performed better.
— Amber King