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Wearing out Socks

I bought some of these "lifetime guarantee" socks and thought I'd wear them out and send them back for a replacement.

That was 1 1/2 years ago. I wore them (one single pair) every day for all of last year and all of this year during the cool months and finally have two small holes.

I am dumbfounded as to how long these can wear!

Should I send 'em back or just walk around in awe about how good they are?


  • If you're giving useful advice, tell us
    what kind of socks they are.
  • I'm guessing they're not Smartwool.
    -- Last Updated: Dec-31-10 3:52 PM EST --

    I used to get Workforce (tm) white crew socks from Sears that were knit from "Turbo Hi-bulk Orlon" that you couldn't hole with a marlin spike and were cheap, too. They don't carry them anymore.

    Huh, looks like maybe the same? http://www.jtdirect.net/proddetail.php?prod=Workforcesocks

  • Just Imagine
    If you'd washed them sometime, how long they would have lasted?
  • what do you think the odds are
    that g2d will still be policing the boards in 2011?
  • question for clarification purposes
    Do you walk on your hands or your feet as a general rule?
  • I think you need to send them back
    to the company to see if they honor the warranty. Of course, if you've worn them for a year and a half without washing them, it might be seen as a terrorist attack.
  • Lifetime guarantee
    probably assumes reasonably normal use. Wearing the same pair of socks every day for 1.5 years goes beyond both normal and "heavy use" in the U.S.A.

    They might honor your warranty, but clearly you set out to abuse the privilege of benefiting from it.
  • For some time now, it's been you doing
    the policing. Caught by your own resentment.
  • A good cop is one on the spot.
    And one that's consistent. Carry on!
  • I have some Smart Wool and Thorlo
    socks I have worn for a long time and they are still going strong.
  • Options
    The socks
    The socks were bought from Redhead catalog. Actually they do not smell at all. I cannot believe how durable they are. And warm of course!
  • I may have to try these
    I've used Smartwool and other brands and they all wear out at the heel eventually (for me, at least). At $10/pair for the "lifetime" socks, they seem like they may be a real bargain. Perhaps they'll work well under a "lifetime" Gore-Tex dry suit.
  • Smartwool durability has been
    disappointing IME. The "PhD" versions seem better than the originals, but still not what I expect at that price. Fortunately, my wife actually likes to sit in front of the fire darning socks and she's good at it, too!
  • great socks Batman!
    Not only does Tilley make great hats, they also have socks and underwear that not only last, they can be washed at night and are dry by morning. Their UNHOLEY socks are guaranteed 3 years and I've been a customer for about 10. Fantastic socks, especially if you wear orthotics and need a thin sock and/or live in the tropics.
  • A Good Cop Like a Good Sock
    -- Last Updated: Jan-02-11 3:05 PM EST --

    A good cop like a good sock,
    will spin off many yarn,
    and though these may be shot with holes,
    we're disinclined to darn,
    in gaps where heels pound on a beat,
    for therein lies the rub,
    as fox in socks implore ole goats,
    "Come Billy, join the club."

  • Redhead has some good stuff .......
    -- Last Updated: Jan-03-11 2:48 PM EST --

    ....... been using the thier mirinowool socks for a few years now , I own 2 pair and she has a pair this year . I wear a 12 boot but the 13-15 Redhead sock has the better fit for me ... also Goldtip crew socks (JCPenny's) fit better in 13-15 . Socks always shrink a little anyway .

    The Redheads are thick and you don't want a shoe or boot too be tight when wearing them . I swap out the original (Redwing) boot liner with a thinner one when I use them in those boots , in my pack muks I can use reg. cotton under the mirino wools (enough room) .

    Got a pair of Redhead waterproof gloves this year ... and they are waterproof !!! (3 models w/Goretex in the lineup this year $39.,49.,59.)

    Been using Redhead non-waterproof for a few years now too . Both are really warm but the waterproof pair is everything one could want in a glove for darn cold and wet weather ... have to see how they hold up but so far so good ($49.) .

    Also finally have a pair of NEOS Trekkers (20") waterproof ... she (leighrobin) got me those for Xmas . Now I can walk through 18" deep water , icy streams and whatnot w/o getting wet ... problem is she doesn't have a pair so when hiking and we have ford a stream she'll have to do it the old way ... look for a rock hop or downed tree (Trekkers are almost a certainty in her future now) .

  • how do they smell?
    Sorta like a Tilley?
  • Options
    "Lifetime " warranties
    are usually for the "lifetime" of the item, not your lifetime.

    I love the feel of Smartwools, but they do seem to wear out quickly. Thorlos seem to wear like iron.

  • Military socks
    -- Last Updated: Jan-04-11 12:23 PM EST --

    Found this:

    Might be worth experimenting with some of these.

  • I bet I could wear them out
    My big toe nails seem to be some sort of mutation. They'll wear through anything.

    Socks, sneakers, boots, doesn't matter, I wear through the big toe first.
  • Options
    My big toe is also stick'in out but doesn't go through these socks. They are wearing from the bottom.
  • Costo "Kirkland" brand merino wool socks

    $11 for 4 pair. I wear them all year long. Love 'em. They get them in every fall. My store is sold out now though. When they eventually wear out it's not hard to throw them away at the price.
  • Kirkland Socks/Costco Quality
    Got some of those for my hubby several years ago, they lasted until last year when they finally started getting thin at the heels. He won't let me throw them out, even after I got him replacements (Field & Stream Hunters Socks from -dare I admit this- Dick's).

    Costco stuff was always super quality - even though I moved 45 miles away, it took me 5 years to switch over to the BJs in town.

    I bought a Kelty backpacking tent from Costco probably 15 years ago, and it's still going strong, kept me bone-dry during the huge, all-night thunderstorm over Charlemont, MA last July 17-18 (which I understand extended into NY state). Anybody else remember that storm?

  • serious sox fetishist
    I have a serious socks fetish (at least so my friends and family tell me) and have several pairs from probably every maker of wool and other material hiking socks. (OK, actually a little more than "several pairs" -- last time I was teased into counting I found I owned 114 pairs of socks of every style, fiber, pattern and color).

    I'm a construction manager so i wear hiker weight socks to work as well as play. So far my favorites for comfort and durability are several models made by Bridgedale. I've been pleased to find that Bridgedales regularly turn up in TJ Maxx and Marshall's stores for under $6 a pair. While I love Smartwools and Thorlos, these Bridgedales are better made, deliciously comfortable and wash and wear like crazy.

    I used to be in the outdoor gear business and recall a lot of failure returns on gear made with nylon "reinforcing" thread. It caused the pocket edges and hems of Sierra Designs "60/40" coats (made of 60% cotton and 40% nylon back in the 70's) to fray and was the downfall of many Ragg socks, which would wear to a bald mesh on the heels. Think about what would happen if you sawed across a piece of wool yarn with a length of fishing line and you get the picture of what happens when you mix non-stretchy tough nylon monofilament with wool fibers in a sock. I try to avoid socks that list nylon in the ingredients.

    I think it also helps prevent wear-through, especially in the heel and ball areas, if you always wear a cushioned insole with your shoes (of course, you need to fit them with the soles before you buy them to allow room). The friction of your foot against a hard leather innersole breaks down the fibers of the sock faster. You used to be able to find wool felt and even real sheepskin insoles but I have not found them for a few years, except to go in hip waders (kinda pricey). It would not be hard to make them, though. Plan to try that when these last pairs wear out.

    Keeping your toenails clipped short and rounding the corners will prevent most toe holes. Look for socks with the terry-cloth like fleecy texture inside, particularly around the toes, to help cushion against toe breakout. Having shoes that fit right and keeping them snugly laced so your feet don't rub or slide inside is good for your feet and your socks. (Sorry if this sounds preachy -- I sold outdoor footwear for years and did a lot of sock sermons.)

    Wearing the same pair every day seems like a whole lot of washing (and way too much daily hassle) to me. Did you machine wash and dry or hand wash and air dry them every night? If by hand, I wonder how being damp most of the time affected the wear? And were they always worn with the same pair of shoes? Just curious about that.
  • At last! A fellow sock fanatic!
    I agree with you on Bridgedale - I try to run or ski daily, and have rotated through the same 6 pairs every week for five years, and they show no signs of thinning anywhere.

    Thank you for info on nylon - never knew why some socks wore out faster than others, and that's why! I see more Spandex in the fiber content nowadays - is it replacing nylon?

    Re prolonging wear, I tend to double & triple-sock to cushion my super-bony feet, and that seems to make the socks last longer.

    I also find that socks last longer with lacing systems & shoe designs that prevent heel-lift and/or otherwise immobilize the foot inside the shoe.
  • Options
    Fox River
    Boot & Field Worsted Wool . Best socks I know of. Ten bucks a pair at TSC ,
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