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Hands-on Gear Review
Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro Review
Cons: Loose fit, lacks compression panelling, looses wicking capabilities in cold weather
The Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro is a midweight synthetic sock with exemplary durability and great performance - all at a low cost of just $14! As a result of its low sticker price and high performance, it earned its place as our Best Buy award winner. Made from polypropylene, acrylic, and nylon, this sock does a fantastic job at keeping feet dry on trail when it's warm outside. The fabric is cozy and comfortable and insulates well in both wet and dry conditions, doing a fairly good job of drying quickly.
Despite our likes, there was one major caveat: the fit of this sock was not tight. Unlike all other socks tested, including our Editors' Choice, the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion, it actually slid down the leg while exercising. Where other socks use a higher percentage of lycra or spandex, this model only uses 1%. The upside of this less fitted design is you can use an additional liner to provide additional wicking power when the temperature plummet.
All in all, this Best Buy winner is great option to wear in a variety of conditions. We loved its durable fibers and warm in both warm and cold conditions; but we'd like to see a little more cushioning in high use areas and a better fit. That said, it's great for day hikes, backpacking trips, and some winter sports.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Outdoor Pro was our Best Buy award winner for its fantastic durability, low cost, and great performance. Take it with you hiking, backpacking, and more!
The fabric of the Wigwam sock is cozy and comfortable, but not as comfortable as merino wool blends or 100% merino wool socks. Composed primarily of polypropylene, this sock feels good on the skin but it's not as comfortable nor cozy as the Smartwool PhD Medium Crew. We noticed that even though the design is intended to be 'fitted', we found it slipping down every now and then while wearing it while hiking. We were also unimpressed with the compression paneling around the arch and ankle; there was little to none, unlike what we say with the Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew.
Compression panels around the ankle and arch of the foot did not exist in the wigwam which caused the sock to move around while exercising. We also noticed the height of the sock isn't compatible with either ski or mountaineering boots - so it's best for low cut footwear. The level of cushioning in the forefoot and heel was not nearly as plush as other socks tested, but enough to carry you on multi-day hikes. As a result, this sock earned a lower score for comfort. If you're looking for a great fitted sock, check out the Darn Tough Light Hiker.
For a synthetic sock, this one was surprisingly warm in both warm and cold conditions. Similar to the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion, it was able to retain its insulating properties in both wet and dry tests. It didn't stand out as one of our warmest socks, but it wasn't one of our coldest either. In fact we found ourselves reaching for it on cold nights to wear while sleeping. We were also surprised to see that it absorbed less water than other socks like the Smartwool PhD and Darn Tough Light Hiker. Overall, it won't keep you as warm as the Smartwool PhD, but we found it was great to insulate in both dry and cold situations.
As a synthetic sock we were expecting this sock to dry faster than other merino wool options. Traditionally synthetic fibers have been known to wick and dry much faster than organic fibers, though we are beginning to learn that the fabric weave and fiber may add another variable that affects drying speed. That said, the 64% NuWool Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool toe sock was the fastest sock to dry. The Wigwam took roughly four hours to dry while the Injinji took only two and half hours. We would still recommend this sock for multi-day adventures as four hours isn't a bad drying time. Just plan to get to your camp early so you can spend some time airing them out before bed. Otherwise you can just buy something that dries a little faster like the Injinji or Darn Tough Full Cushion sock.
Wicking and Breathability
Even though the material in this sock seems thick in some places, it was one of our best to breathe. When turning it inside out, we noticed that the sock fabric was not weaved nearly as tightly as other socks, and the fabric itself is quite porous. This allows better air flow. On a hot day running in Peru, we anticipating foot sweat and discomfort, but we were surprised to learn that the fabric breathed easily.
Now the reason this sock didn't score super high in the breathability and wicking category was because of it's wicking ability. For the most part, our feet felt dry and comfortable on warmer days. So in that respect, it wicked quite well in warm weather. However, when the temperatures sunk, so did the fabrics wicking ability. That said, if you're heading into cold climates, choose a sock like the Darn Tough Full Cushion that wicks well, or get a liner to accompany this Wigwam sock. It will ensure that moisture is wicked away from the foot to keep you warm on long cold days. Take this sock with you anywhere - hot or cold. Just make sure you use a liner on colder days.
If you're looking for a sock that proved to be the most durable, this is it! The high quality polypropylene fibers scored a perfect ten in this category. After stretching them out, putting them through the grim, and testing them over the terrain, this sock still looks like new. While other hikers pilled or showed some form of wear and tear in areas of high use, this sock showed little to nill. After 60 miles, the fabric didn't stretch out, there was no pilling, and its breathability and wicking power was still 100%. Not only that, but some of our testers have owned a pair of these socks (or similar) that have lasted over 6 years! Even though this sock only comes with a 2 year guarantee, the construct is solid. This is one bomber sock that will last you long time.
This Best Buy winner isn't just a great hiking sock, it's versatile for a variety of uses. Take it with you through all conditions - hot or cold. It's also a perfect partner for day hikes, backpacking trips, and long trail runs. Given the shorter design, it is not compatible with tall mountaineering or ski boots, but take it with you everywhere else.
We couldn't help but give this our Best Buy award! A combination of its great performance and low price of just $14 makes it our highest value hiking sock tested. By far this is the best deal out there. However, if you're looking for a more fitted, lightweight, high value sock with a lifetime guarantee, check out the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion instead.
This Wigwam hiking sock is truly all you need - high performance, low cost, fantastic durability. It's no wonder we awarded this our Best Buy award!
— Amber King
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