See Below for Update of Review
Unless you are a runner most people overlook their footwear. This is especially common with socks. The reality is that a good combination of footwear and socks can be the difference between a positive outdoor experience and hell. Working at a store that sells footwear I have seen/heard stories of all sorts of combinations. Some of these better then others.
In the last few years I have made the switch from synthetic or cotton socks to natural fibers. Wool has become my go to material choice. Feetures has a plethora of styles to choose from on their website. Mainly due to in store availability I selected the Elite Merino Light Cushion Qaurter socks. Such a catchy name! Feetures backs their products with a Lifetime Guarantee.
" Feetures! is committed to making products of the highest quality and utility. We stand behind every product that we make, and as a result back all of our products with a Lifetime Guarantee. Feetures! products are designed to withstand repeated wearing and washing, and to maintain their fit and feel over the lifetime of the product."-Feeturesrunning.com
Out of a mix of desperation (all my socks had holes) and convenience I picked up some Feetures. The socks were not purchased at a better time, as I was having blister issues with my trail runners. The socks made an immediate improvement and substantially slowed down blister development. I was immediately impressed. I have continued to use the socks for running, hiking, and biking and have not been let down. The added thickness of the sock has become normal, and has fit well in all pairs of footwear.
When placing the socks on for the first time I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of stretch. My previous pairs did not have near the same amount of stretch as the Feetures. They took more effort to get on, but felt as though they cradled my feet. A sensation that he never occurred. I would compare the fit to a very light compression piece. There is also a left and right sock. I have never seen this before, but it sort of makes sense. Why not design a sock specific for each foot. The main purpose for this specification is to insure that the arch support completes it's task. I am not normally a fan of arch support in shoes, but in socks it feels less constricting. The size of the socks seemed slightly large, but after the initial washing they fit perfectly. Overall the initial impression of the socks was positive.
-Lots of stretch. More then any other sock I have worn.
-Excellent blister prevention.
-Soft merino wool.
-Initial investment can turn some away.
-After initial washing lots of pilling occurred.
-Socks are rather thick.
Final Thoughts- Overall I would highly recommend these socks for anyone who is in the market. High quality merino wool, combined with an ideal amount of elasticity makes for an extremely comfortable sock. Add in the lifetime guarantee and you have a winner. If you run, hike, bike, backpack you need to look into acquiring a few pairs of Feetures socks. You will not be disappointed.
*Product was purchased
Update 10/16: After using the Feetures Elite socks for over a year, I am disappointed to report back on their longevity. I know some of you might be thinking, A Year? My socks don't last a year. When purchasing a higher quality product, you expect higher performance then your box store bag of socks. Understanding that things wear it out, durability should never become an issue. A few of the pairs that I own have been tossed out or are showing high signs of wear as seen in the photo above. The longevity of these are being compared to much thinner Patagonia Merino Wool socks (close to five years old before showing similar wear) and comparable thickness Darn Tough Socks (still waiting to see any signs of wear). I would like to say this has something to do with the fit of my running shoes, but my Patagonia socks have seen many more pairs of shoes. Even worse then the wear of my socks my GF's pair of Feetures wore out in just a few months. Needless to say I would recommend you spend your money on a different brand if longevity is a priority.