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Hands-on Gear Review
Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro Review
Cons: Loose fit, lacks compression paneling, loses wicking capabilities in cold weather
Bottom line: This Best Buy award winner is a synthetic full-length midweight sock with exemplary durability and drying speed.
Sock Category: Mid-weight
Length: Lower calf
The Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro is a mid-weight synthetic sock with excellent durability and drying speed. This full-length model does excellent in wet weather and won our Best Buy award for its low $14 sticker price. Composed of polypropylene, acrylic, and nylon fabric, it wicks well and dries the fastest of all socks tested. The material is soft and cozy when dry and does a great job at insulating when wet in warmer conditions. It also shows the least amount of wear and tear in our testing than any other models.
Despite the many pros, our major caveat with this sock is its fit. While other contenders have compression paneling and a 'fitted' design, this sock slid down the leg while exercising. Where other socks like Darn Tough Full Cushion sock (our Editors' Choice winner) uses a higher percentage of lycra or spandex, this model only uses 1%, providing a less fitted design. The upside to this less fitted design is that one can use an additional liner to provide extra wicking power when the temperature plummets.
All in all, this Best Buy winner is an excellent option for both warm and cool weather thanks to its great breathability and wicking capabilities. It kept us warm in a wide range of temperatures but when the weather takes a dive, it allowed more cold in than merino wool contenders. Of all the socks tested, its best for wet weather a perfect piece of gear for day hikes and backpacking trips.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Wigwam Outdoor Pro is our Best Buy award winner for its fantastic durability, low cost, and excellent performance. Take it with you in all conditions, though we'd recommend the Darn Tough Hiker Full for extremely frigid conditions. Of all contenders tested, this is the best suited for wet conditions as it has incredibly wicking power and fast drying speeds.
Scoring an average score of five out of ten in this category, the Wigwam sock is cozy and comfortable, but not like its merino wool-blend contenders. Composed of 41% polypropylene, 34% acrylic, 23% stretch nylon, 1% stretch polyester, 1% spandex, this sock feels good on the skin but it's not as comfortable or cozy as the Smartwool PhD Medium Crew. Also, it has a fit that suits both men and women, but it's ideal for men because it doesn't have a fitted heel or forefoot.
While the Wigwam has some compression paneling, it doesn't compare to other socks in this review. Compression panels around the ankle and arch of the foot did not exist which caused the sock to move around while exercising. A model with much better compression paneling is the Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew (for men) and the Darn Tough Micro Crew for women. Both fit like a glove and don't move at all while out on a hike or a run.
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'd prefer a model with better cushioning and a more extended design, be sure to the check out the Darn Tough Full Cushion (for men) or the Smartwool Hike Medium Crew (for women).
For a synthetic sock, this one was surprisingly warm in both warm and cold conditions, scoring an average six out of ten in this category. It can retain its insulating properties in both wet and dry tests, though it didn't retain as much heat as merino-wool blend contenders. While it does a decent job keeping feet warm, this sock is not the warmest out there, but it's not the coldest either.
During our dry tests in Alaska, we compared the Wigwam to merino-blend options like the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion. In our comparisons, we found ourselves choosing merino wool options because they kept our feet warmer on the mountain. While the Wigwam provided ample warmth at night in a sleeping bag, we found insulation was lost if standing around in sub-zero temperatures. We found this trend to be similar to other merino-wool blends.
During our wet tests, the same trend was true. While the synthetic does insulate in damp weather, it didn't do as well as mid-weight merino blend options like the Smartwool Hike Medium Crew. As a result, it earned a lower score than other socks in this review, though it still provides average performance and temperatures that are above freezing.
Overall, this synthetic sock is a great option to keep you warm in dry temperature above zero, but we'd recommend a merino wool-blend model if you're looking for a super warm sock option. That said, it does provide some level of warmth in both warm and cold temperatures.
Wicking and Breathability
As the only synthetic-blend sock in this review, we loved the wicking capabilities and breathability of the Outdoor Pro. Its excellent performance landed it an eight out of ten in this metric. Even though the material seems thick in some places, the fabric is not tightly woven, allowing better airflow. On a hot day running in Peru, we anticipating foot sweat and discomfort, but were surprised to learn that the fabric breathed easily, keeping our feet dry in temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit! Also, it does not absorb water readily making it an ideal option for wet weather.
The reason it didn't score on par with other merino-wool contenders is because of its wicking performance in cold weather. On warm days, it does a great job at keeping our feet dry and comfortable; it wicked and breathed quite well in warm weather. However, when temperatures sunk, so did the fabric's wicking ability. For example, while exercising in Alaska, we noticed our feet became super hot and warm while splitboarding in sub-zero temperatures.
While the Darn Tough Full Cushion was able to wick in these extreme and high-intensity situations, moisture hung around the sock, making the foot feel cold and clammy by the end of the ski tour. As a result, we'd recommend that 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 to help wick away the moisture.
Overall, we like the Wigwam sock for all conditions. We think it's a great wet and dry sock option because of its breathability and water-wicking capabilities. We'd just recommend using a liner on colder days where the mercury dips below zero.
Scoring a ten out of ten in this category we are stoked about the durability of the Wigwam hiking sock. The high-quality polypropylene fibers are more durable than merino-wool contenders. After stretching them out, putting them through the grim, and testing them over the terrain, it 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 six years! Even though this model only comes with a two-year guarantee, the construct is incredible. This is one bomber sock that will last you a long time.
If you're in the market for a lifetime guarantee, all Darn Tough socks come with one!
Scoring a ten out of ten (again) in this category, we were impressed with the Wigwam's ability to dry. This isn't surprising as synthetic fibers are to wick and dry faster than organic fibers. In our dryer tests, this sock was the fastest to dry. In our field tests, we observed the same trend. Drying this sock out on a rock (after being drenched in a river) took just under two hours on a hot summer day in the sun.
As a result, we would recommend this hiker for multi-day adventures where you might encounter rain, creek crossings, and more. Its fast drying speed will allow you to have dry feet the next day. If you're in the market for a quick-drying merino wool sock option the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Socks is our fastest drying merino wool sock.
This Best Buy winner is a great hiking sock because it's versatile. Out of all the contenders in our fleet, it's best for wet weather, thanks to its synthetic construct that wicks and dries quickly. It does great in cool to warm weather, making it a great option for day hikes, backpacking trips, and long trail runs!
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. Though, if you're on a tight budget, be sure to check out the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Socks (only $10 per sock) or the People's Merino Wool Hiking Socks ($9 per sock). Both are lower quality construction with different performance features that you might prefer.
The Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro is a versatile everyday synthetic hiking sock that does well in all conditions, though we'd recommend another option if temperatures are frigid (or a sock liner). It provides the best in durability and drying speed, for a low price. Take it with you in wet or dry conditions.
— Amber King
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