This Spring we took to the ski slopes, the backcountry and the early season hiking trails to test out a wide sample of the Fox River socks range for women. We reviewed Fox River Socks for men a few years ago and were taken with the ethics of the company as well as what they had on offer. With some recent updates and additions to their product line we felt it would be well worth another look, this time focussing on their range for women.
Fox River socks have been in the business of making socks since 1900, this makes them one of the oldest and most well established sock manufacturers in North America. They operate out of Osage, Iowa and are committed to keep manufacturing local and sustainable, ensuring a quality product from yarn to design to production. They support a number of charitable initiatives, the most fun of which is supplying sock monkey socks to organizations and groups who make sock monkeys for sick or vulnerable kids. On top of that they also support initiatives for women in adventure and health including Breast Cancer Research Fund and the Peaks Foundation. Fox River Socks introduced their first pair of women’s specific socks in 2000 and have been expanding their offering since—now with quiet a large, technical and diverse range on offer. Fortunately on their website socks are categorized into distinct categories and the key features are well described, in this review we will focus on three activity specific ranges: Peak Sport, Outdoor and of course Snow.
Fox River socks recognise that not all feet, tastes and circumstances are the same so they focus their expertise on blending fibres to accommodate this as well as provide comfort and durability. The significant fibres are:
Or tech-knowledgy as Fox River socks describe it with their one hundred years of sock study behind them. The notable technology and fit systems applied in the socks we tested out are:
Material: 45% nylon, 18% TENCEL, 18% polyester, 16% NanoGlide® nylon, 3% spandex
Part of Fox River’s Peak Series Sport Collection and made using TENCEL for long wearing performance and moisture management, each design is highly articulated with sock fitting technology.
Material: 75% Merino wool, 24% stretch nylon, 1% spandex
Classic merino fibre hiking sock:
Material: 40% nylon, 29% Merino wool, 29% acrylic, 2% spandex
Part of the Adventure Cross Terrain Collection made Merino wool combined with acrylic and nylon for warmth, comfort and durability.
Material: 42% nylon, 28% Merino wool, 28% acrylic, 2% spandex
Part of the Adventure Cross Terrain Collection made with Merino wool combined with acrylic and nylon for durability features include:
*NEW for 2017
Material: 38% nylon, 31% PrimaLoft acrylic, 24% Merino wool, 5% NanoGlide nylon, 2% spandex
Designed for performance and comfort by integrating Primaloft and merino wool fibres.
Material: 33% Merino wool, 33% acrylic, 32% nylon, 2% spandex
Merino wool combined with acrylic and nylon for warmth, comfort and durability.
Material: 57% Thermolite polyester, 40% nylon, 3% spandex
A non-wool sock made with highly insulating and moisture wicking Thermolite.
Material: 47% nylon, 35% Merino wool, 15% silk, 3% spandex
The luxury and performance of Merino wool and silk with advanced anatomical fit for pro-level boots.
Going by the array Fox River socks has on offer each design utilizing specific fibres and engineering there is no doubt they have their bases and our feet covered. I have reviewed a few other sock manufacturers specifically for ski socks but none have offered the diversity that Fox River socks offer and based on the socks I have tested there is no doubt they know their stuff when it comes to engineering socks. From high performing technically detailed socks to classic good ole fashioned socks they offer designs ranges to suit all feet, activities and tastes. Truth be told I have really enjoyed testing out these socks and while I can’t go through every particular feature of every sock I will outline the highlights. Let’s start with what’s new for 2017—the PrimaHIKE and PrimaSKI socks—soft, articulated and true to the moisture wicking claims these are quality technical socks where all angles of the design have been looked at. I found the 5550 PrimaSKI LT great for spring ski touring. I am sold on the Tencel® fibre of the Versa ankle socks, they leave cotton for dead—these are now my go to for a brisk walk/hike up our local mountain after work, they don’t move or bunch which is a testament to their advanced fit which uses the HELIX FIT™ system and left me wishing I had tested other HELIX FIT socks like the Zermatt LW ski sock. The URfit™ System is equally impressive and would suit those who prefer a sock that offers a quality technical fit with less compression. On all socks, I had no issues with hot spots on toes thanks to smooth flat toe seams.
The Bromley ski sock is a worthy alternative to wool with it use of soft Thermolite® polyester which offers excellent moisture management. That said, I am biased when it comes to Merino wool, I am a life-long fan of Merino wool and find the socks that retain that feeling of warmth and softness wash after wash are the ones that have the highest percentage of Merino wool such as the Wilmot LW ski socks and the classic Trail Master. Speaking of the Trail Master with 75% Merino wool content it won the prize for most cosy but if you plan intense activity I would opt for the articulated fit of the PrimaHIKE or Basecamp Crew where you won’t risk bunching or hot spots. The Mariposa ankle sock is less performance and more comfort than the Versa ankle sock thanks to the full cushion sole and higher Merino content. I was dazzled by the fact the VVS® UL PRO ski socks combine Merino wool with silk fibres and despite the superb, pro-ski anatomical fit, they didn’t retain the warm to touch, quality feel after washing a few times which left me feeling the percentage of nylon may be a little too high. I might leave these socks to the ski racers. I did notice that the socks with a high synthetic fibre content are prone to pilling on the heel so that’s another thing to watch out for.
All Fox River socks offer a great choice of colours, with articulated and padded areas highlighted well.
See above in review.
Quality / Price 2/2
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