The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool Review

The unique five-finger design provides total toe freedom meaning better stability on the trail.
Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool
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Price:  $20 List | $20.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Excellent breathability, five-toe construction, lightweight design, less-blister prone, better stability
Cons:  Less durable, not very warm, expensive
Manufacturer:   Injinji
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2017
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Wicking and Breathability - 25% 8
  • Warmth - 20% 5
  • Durability - 20% 5
  • Drying Speed - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool is a unique five-finger calf-high sock that allows your toes to spread free! Each toe is encapsulated with a blend of NuWool, Nylon, and Lycra that provides better balance, posture, and blister prevention. While we love these benefits, this sock did not perform nearly as well as other contenders. It's not as warm nor durable, and the sock is hit or miss regarding comfort. That said, it does fill a niche that different socks can't fill, and it's an excellent option for those looking for a five-fingered experience on the trail. Also, there are options for both men and women!


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Excellent breathability, five-toe construction, lightweight design, less-blister prone, better stabilityDurable, comfortable, wide temperature regulation, versatile, fittedGreat thermoregulation, incredibly comfortable, durabilityBreathable, comfortable, well-fitted, thin materials, merino-wool blend, no itchIncredible durability, quick to dry, accommodates a liner, comfortable
Cons Less durable, not very warm, expensiveNot ideal for hot temperatures, tall cut not best for allSlow to dry, expensiveLacks warmth in cold temperaturesLoose fit, lacks compression paneling, loses wicking capabilities in cold weather
Bottom Line The unique five-finger design provides total toe freedom meaning better stability on the trail.An all-time favorite meant for long days on the trail.A hiking sock that performs well through all seasons for any distance.This merino-wool blend hiker is breathable and thin and performs well during high and low intensity activities.This high value sock is a synthetic full-length midweight sock with exemplary durability and drying speed.
Rating Categories Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion Smartwool PhD Pro Light Crew Light Hiker Micro Crew Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro
Comfort (25%)
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9
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9
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8
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7
Wicking And Breathability (25%)
10
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8
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7
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8
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9
10
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8
Warmth (20%)
10
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5
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8
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8
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7
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7
Durability (20%)
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5
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8
Drying Speed (10%)
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6
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8
Specs Outdoor Midweight... Darn Tough Hiker... Smartwool PhD Pro... Light Hiker Micro... Wigwam Hiking...
Material 64% nuwool, 33% nylon, 3% lycra 66% merino wool, 32% nylon, 2% lycra spandex 62% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 2% Elastane 40% merino wool, 56% nylon, 4% lycra spandex 41% polypropylene, 34% acrylic, 23% stretch nylon, 1% stretch polyester, 1% spandex
Sock Category Lightweight Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Midweight
Length Lower calf High calf Lower calf High ankle Lower calf
Guarantee Policy 60 day guarantee Lifetime guarantee 2 year satisfaction guarantee Lifetime guarantee 2 year guarantee

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.

Performance Comparison


Many folks prefer toe socks to regular socks. They are said to help with balance  toe splay  and blister prevention.
Many folks prefer toe socks to regular socks. They are said to help with balance, toe splay, and blister prevention.

Comfort


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 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 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.

It offers a thin amount of cushioning with vents that offer good breathability.
It offers a thin amount of cushioning with vents that offer good breathability.

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.

A great option for running and hiking as it breathes and wicks well.
A great option for running and hiking as it breathes and wicks well.

Warmth


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.

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.

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.

Durability


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.

We notice some durability issues such as compaction and fly-aways  but other than that  this is a pretty durable sock.
We notice some durability issues such as compaction and fly-aways, but other than that, this is a pretty durable sock.

Drying Speed


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.

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


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.

Conclusion


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