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September 2022

Gear Review: Icebreaker Hike+ Light Crew Socks

Guest Authors: Morgan Forbes & Thomas Westwood

Morgan's Review

Any seasoned hiker will tell you that a good pair of hiking socks is a must-have while on the trails. Despite the simplicity of a sock’s appearance, the purchase of a hiking sock can be rather complex – it’s important to consider durability, comfort, warmth and breathability. With Icebreaker merino wool all of this is possible, with the bonus addition of odour resistance.

The Icebreaker Hike+ Light Crew socks were very comfy and plush right from the get-go. It was clear to me as soon as I slipped into these socks they were designed for maximum comfort and a premium fit. Both the achilles and ankle support keeps your foot in place and enhances the all-around anatomical fit. Another remarkable feature I noticed while trekking in these socks was no bunching on the top of the foot. In addition, this allowed for more flexibility, freedom and comfort.

The Icebreaker design technology in addition to the natural qualities of merino wool, reduces friction, allows for high breathability and moisture absorption—preventing rubbing and decreasing the chance of blisters and/or hot spots. It was a pleasant surprise to be a few kilometres into my first hike with these socks and not feel the slightest bit of discomfort or rubbing in easily irritated areas.

Another benefit of merino wool is its ability to insulate when wet. This held to be true when I stepped in a creek nearing the end of our hike. Submerging both socks didn’t compromise their ability to keep me comfortable. Unlike cotton, merino wool doesn’t pin the cold, wet material against your body. Instead, it will keep you at a comfortable temperature and retain its soft feel.

The Hike+ Light Crew socks certainly exceeded my expectations in more ways than I could’ve anticipated. Icebreaker has set the bar high for merino wool socks and I am confident in saying I will be repurchasing this piece of gear.

Thomas's Review

This was my first experience wearing hiking socks and I have to say that they made a notable difference. The cushion made for a more enjoyable hike on my feet and the breathability kept my feet relatively dry considering I was wearing Gore-Tex hiking boots.

To top it off, the antimicrobial properties of merino wool that deters bacteria, creating unpleasant odors, really showed their abilities. I’ve struggled with undesirable foot odors following a day in hiking boots, not considering the socks I’ve been wearing could be a contributing factor.

To my great surprise, the typical odor was significantly reduced, if not hardly present after we wrapped up our first hike in these socks. Icebreaker's Hike+ merino wool socks would make for a substantial addition to multi-day outdoor adventures, travels or just about any time you’ll be working up a sweat and won’t be able to change layers for an extended period. For multi-day backpacking, climbing, and ski trips, merino seems like a no-brainer.

I will most definitely be purchasing more hiking socks moving forward.