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Semi-Serious Sock Study : 21.5 Months
on December 7, 2016
Spoiler: I liked Gold Toe the best!
I wear white cotton crew socks basically every day, two pairs on workout days. I wear them with high-impact athletic shoes, work/walking shoes, and occasionally heavy work boots. I want them to last (no holes, no saggy tops), I want them to be comfortable, and I want a fair value for my money.
So when I retired my old inventory nearly two years ago, I picked up five different brands of white crew socks.
Durability: As I wore the socks, I tried to be very diligent about 'rotating stock' -- pulling socks to wear from the right-side of the drawer, putting in freshly-laundered ones on the left. In theory, they all received about the same amount of wear-and-tear.
Wigwam (2/5): Unraveled at the top quickly -- after the first washing, three socks; after the third or fourth, almost every sock had loose tops. These thick socks took around a year before I started seeing holes in the toes or heel.
Under Armour (4/5): Some unraveling around the 8 or 9 month mark, no holes until year two.
Fruit of the Loom (3/5): Little unraveling, but heels thinned before the end of the first year, leading to holes.
Hanes Cushion Crew (3/5): Modest unraveling, but moderate holes at toes and heels around the 9-12 month mark.
Gold Toe Cotton Crew Athletic (5/5): Outstanding -- so far, no unraveling; two toe holes, one heel hole.
Comfort: There's two factors for me -- first, softness; second, thickness/padding. Also, I'm not looking for a compression sock (like for when I fly, or if I develop CHF) -- nothing *too* tight (and none of them were).
Wigwam (3/5): Very thick (for a crew sock), well-padded; stiff -- even after months of washing, they almost felt starched.
Under Armour (5/5): Good thickness; started soft, became even softer after a few washes.
Fruit of the Loom (3/5): Felt slightly thin; good softness.
Hanes Cushion Crew (4/5): Good thickness; slightly stiff, but not as bad as Wigwam).
Gold Toe Cotton Crew Athletic (5/5): Thick, but not too thick; softest out-of-the-plastic, and better as time went by.
Value: All bought on the same date, non-sale prices (just standard Amazon prices)
Wigwam Super 60 Crew ($2.97/pr)
Under Armour Charged Cotton Crew ($2.50/pr)
Fruit of the Loom Heavy Duty Crew ($1.81/pr)
Hanes Cushion Crew ($1.78/pr)
Gold Toe Cotton Crew Athletic ($1.72/pr)