SockOff2011 kicks off with an up-close and personal look at the Point6 Hiking Tech 100% Merino Wool Sock! I tested my Point6′s in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve on a 9+ mile round trip hike to Thompson Peak. This hike took me through mostly loose, rocky terrain littered with cacti, dry brush and sharp rock. The socks took the abuse better than I did…
Point6 Price and availability
The entire line of Point6 socks have a very competitive price point compared to the rest of the market. The hiking tech medium mini crew is priced at $17.95 which is right in the middle of the $16-$20 range for most wool/wool-blend hiking socks. Point6 socks are not widely available as of yet (though they seem to be expanding their market). I was not able to find any retail locations in the Phoenix area and only two or three locations in the Houston area that carried the product. Even the places in Houston I found that carried Point6 socks, only had two or three options in the store. However, Point6 has a fantastic website and makes shopping for the right sock and ordering the sock extremely easy. Order processing and shipping is very fast.
Point6 Comfort and Fit
As soon as my Point6 socks showed up in the mail, I put them on. The fit is amazing and they are extremely comfortable to wear. The toe doesn’t twist or bunch, the heal drops right in place and the top fits snug and secure. I have tried a lot of different socks and the wool socks are not as soft, typically, as the wool-blends but these wool socks were not rough or abrasive (as most people expect from 100% wool products).
Point6 Padding and Support
Point6 has a very comprehensive padding and support system designed into their socks. From the ultra-smooth toe seem to the arch support to the ankle bracing, these socks fit the bill for versatile, supportive sock structure. I have very high arches and some chronic ankle problems so finding a sock that can support my foot usually means looking for a very technically designed sock. My new Point6′s seemed to provide support in all the right places and padding where I needed it. I don’t look for a ton of padding from my socks (I expect my insoles to do their work). The “sport-specific” cushioning in these socks did it’s job.
We really didn’t test these socks long enough to judge durability properly, I will say this though: After one 9 mile hike in the dusty, rocky desert terrain I was in these socks looked exactly the same as they did when they arrived in the mail. Amazingly, I was sweaty, dusty, dirty, scraped and sunburned and the socks were dry, clean and unaffected.
See durability follow up here.
Point6 Overall Performance on the trail
My overall impression of the 100% Merino Wool Point6 Hiking Tech socks is that they are great outdoor socks. They provided me with everything I look for in a hard-use outdoor sock. They are relatively lightweight, they seem (time will tell) very durable, the fit and function is flawless. I would highly recommend these socks to anyone who is hard on their outdoor gear.
Stay tuned for my next SockOff2011 review featuring the Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running sock.
To see the follow up post after MUCH more experience with these socks, click here…