The Women's Smartwool Hike Medium is what you need when you're considering a long and technical trail. It's the sock that you look forward to slipping on after a long day. It's loaded with soft, plush merino wool that will keep your feet singing happy tunes when exploring the outside world. We hiked it through wet mountains, dry deserts, and across snowy slopes. In all conditions, it performed well, especially in our sleeping bags. While its design lacks creative compression paneling and breathability is an issue on super hot days, it performed in pretty much every other condition. As a result, it earns top marks, making it one of our favorites. Hiking your local trail? How about the PCT? No problem. This is what it's made for!
Smartwool Hike Medium Crew - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Super comfortable and cushioned, quick to dry, great warmth
Cons: Not super breathable, expensive, average durability
Compare to Similar Products
Smartwool Hike Medium Crew - Women's
|Price||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$24.30 at Amazon|
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|$21.95 at Backcountry|
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$10.93 at REI
$31.95 at Amazon
|Pros||Super comfortable and cushioned, quick to dry, great warmth||Durable, comfortable, wide temperature regulation, versatile, fitted||Highly breathable, comfortable, well-fitted, no itch, excellent wicking power, quick to dry||Light, breathable, quick to dry, insulates when wet||Inexpensive, comfortable, soft on the skin, good thermoregulation|
|Cons||Not super breathable, expensive, average durability||Not ideal for hot temperatures, tall cut not best for all||Slippery fabrics, shorter length||No heavy underfoot padding or protection, lacks stand-alone warmth||Thinner materials, deforms when wet, lacks stand alone warmth|
|Bottom Line||A thick and cozy hiker built for long days on the trail||An all-time favorite meant for long days on the trail in any season||Light, breathable, and ready for sweaty hiking adventures, this thin sock is excellent in the summer season||This high value contender boasts a fast drying speed and ultralight construction suitable for warm weather||This high-value merino wool blend comes in a three-pack with a lower per sock price that's hard to beat|
|Rating Categories||Smartwool Hike Medi...||Darn Tough Hiker Fu...||Darn Tough Light Hi...||REI Co-op Merino Wo...||Danish Endurance Un...|
|Wicking and Breathability (25%)|
|Drying Speed (10%)|
|Specs||Smartwool Hike Medi...||Darn Tough Hiker Fu...||Darn Tough Light Hi...||REI Co-op Merino Wo...||Danish Endurance Un...|
|Material||66% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, 1% Elastane||66% Merino Wool, 32% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex||54% Nylon, 43% Merino Wool, 3% Lycra Spandex||72% RWS Merino Wool, 26% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex||33% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic, 33% Polyamide, 1% Elastane|
|Tested Length||Mid-calf||High calf||Lower calf||Lower calf||Mid-calf|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Smartwool Hike Medium is a hiking sock that provides a well-rounded level of performance. We love to take it day hiking, climbing, and backpacking. Smartwool has taken the time to manufacture this sock specifically for both men and women's feet with separate models for each.
This midweight full-boot hiker features a 66% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, 1% Elastane blend that makes it one heck of a cozy and comfortable sock! The fabric is thick underfoot and concentrated around the forefoot and heel. There is some compression paneling around the arch of the foot and the forefoot that keeps the sock from sliding up or down on the leg. The fabric is just sooooooo cozy. It's not just comfy to hike in for several comfortable miles, but it is a favorite for lounging and camping too. What's more, the full-boot construct is perfect for either hiking boots or hiking shoes.
While this sock is super soft and cozy, its fit isn't as precise. While the fit is female-specific (a male option is available), our testers noted that the sock isn't as tight around the heel and arch. Some of our testers liked this less fitted design, while others did not. So what it comes down to is a matter of preference. If you're looking for a sock with a female-specific design and a less fitted design (with softer materials), then this is an excellent choice.
Wicking and Breathability
We recommend this as a four-season option, as it does a decent job at wicking and breathing while on the trail. Excellent warmth for cold days, but it's also an option for cooler summer days as well. The fabric is porous and offers good breathability while hiking and backpacking. That said, we wouldn't recommend it for high-intensity activities like trail running in the summer. Our testers thought it was a great running option during super cold early morning runs.
When evaluating warmth, we are not so surprised that it does well in all four seasons. The length of the sock makes it a good option to wear with a pair of winter boot in the winter. During our wet tests, we hiked around in the river in late Fall, completing saturating it. While we hiked, our feet stayed warm and comfortable in forty-degree weather. It continued to stay warm as the temperatures dropped, but only if we were moving (Note: No wet sock will keep you warm if you're not moving).
In our dry tests, we learned it is one of the warmest in our tests. While hanging out in 0 F weather around a campfire, our feet stayed toasty and warm. This was also a go-to option during cold camping nights to wear to bed. Overall, we are very impressed with the warmth of the Smartwool Hike Medium for women and would recommend it for all seasons - including the cold ones.
We aren't super impressed with the durability of the Smartwool Hike Medium sock - but we also didn't think it's bad either. In our testing, we noted a bit of compaction after just 20 miles and a few thread fly-aways.
A midweight merino-blend sock that dries quickly? Heck yes! We are happy to report that this woman's hiker sock dries quickly. As a result, we'd recommend this sock for all sorts of weather conditions.
Given the price of socks these days, it sits about the middle of the road and offers great performance. While the value isn't stupendous, it isn't bad either.
The Smartwool Hike Medium Crew is perfect for those looking to hike, backpack, or just get out in nature. It features some of the coziest materials that are both breathable and quick to dry. It boasts versatility as one of the few socks that we recommend for all four seasons.
— Amber King
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