When I last did a round up of socks, I commented how bummed I was that Outlier stopped producing socks. Which is actually how I came across Farm to Feet, as I saw a rumor that perhaps they were the company who manufactured the socks for Outlier. I have no idea if this is true, I honestly doubt it, but since hearing about them I knew I wanted to check out their socks. I bought two different types to try out, but I want to focus on just one of them: Damascus 3/4 Crew.
The other is a thicker Merino hiking sock, which I will comment on briefly but otherwise nothing super special about it.
The thing about the Damascus though is that it is generally a light weight sock, but has full cushioning that Farm to Feet calls “targeted”. I’ve found them pretty great, so let me share with you.
Merino wool, I mean there’s no other way to go with socks, but yes these are all wool blends. The Damascus is 52% US Nylon, 44% US 10.5 Micron Merino Wool, and 4% US LYCRA® Spandex. The Boulder is a little higher merino: 71% U.S. Merino Wool, 28% U.S. Nylon, 1% U.S. Spandex. Essentially you reduce merino in the thinner sock to maintain durability of the item. Either way, my general sock comment is that anything close to 50% merino is all you need in socks, so both check that box.
Generally the feel of both socks is pretty luxurious. Even at only 19.5 micron, they are very soft feeling. The down side is that the stretch is oddly low in both. Especially the Boulder, where it can be a little tough to put on your foot at times — needs more stretch. The Damascus works a little better for stretch, but I still wouldn’t mind a little more.
Fit and Style
The Boulder is firmly a hiking sock in style. Whereas I think the Damascus in a neutral tone is fine for wearing with any type of boot — dress or otherwise. Beyond that it’s more of a casual athletic sock look.
As mentioned the stretch is not as prevalent as it is in other socks, and as such my roughly size 11 feet found the size Large (rated for 9-11.5 to really be on the edge of being too small. I worry that the XL would just be too large. But if you are on the top edge on the size chart, I would recommend sizing up. I can make it work, but I certainly need to pull the sock over my heel to stretch it around the heel into a proper placement.
Outstanding is my general review on the performance of these. Better than Darn Tough? Better than Outlier? Better than Wildly? Hold up there. Let me tell you what I mean, sock by sock.
– The targeted cushioning works exceedingly well on this sock. Often when wearing boots like my Iron Rangers I need a thicker sock for the tongue of the boot to rest against my foot, but this sock has that ribbed cushioning along the top of the foot and that makes the boots wear really nice.
– Generally a light compression around the arch, which gives a nice fit.
– Zero to seam issues.
– Moderate odor resistance, I would say two all day wears and then wash. Mostly to push the sock back into shape given the higher nylon and spandex content.
– Durability seems perfectly fine on this sock, no issues to report.
– The full cushioning feels like pure luxury to wear.
– There’s very light compression, instead the sock is shaped really well.
– No seam issues at the toe box.
– Very good odor resistance because of the very high merino content. I get about 3 wears, but the lack of spandex does mean the toe box gets floppy decently quick.
– The durability has me worried. After the first wear the heels on both pairs of my Boulder socks showed a lot of pilling. Subsequent wears seem to not be adding more, but I am worried that the socks will wear out in hot spots much quicker than they should for the price.
Overall, on par with most merino socks. They are soft, without being fuzzy soft. I prefer them over my Darn Tough socks for comfort, but worry about performance as I have had other Darn Tough socks for a very long time without issue.
I need to give you the sum up by sock type. The Boulder socks are really nice, but I wouldn’t buy them again. They are expensive enough and I worry about durability and if I were actually hiking in them I would think I want something that generally has a little more stretch and a much better fit — I’d stick with Darn Tough.
The Damascus though, even with it costing more money than the Boulder, I think it is a great sock. I’ll buy more of these. The targeted cushioning is smart, it makes the sock feel smart. Makes it fit and wear better — but only if you are wearing it with shoes. It’s not a good around the house sock. If you typically wear boots, you might give a pair of these a try — they are really nice.
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