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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wells Lamont Wool Socks Perhaps not the Best Homesteader's Choice

This will serve as my update on one of my favorite homestead wares: Wells Lamont wool socks.

Unfortunately, I have to report that after only one year of use they are showing severe signs of breaking down.

Maybe my hopes were a little high after all the good reviews I read on Amazon and other blog posts but I still think a good pair of socks should hold up longer than one year.

I bought a slew of these comfortable fellas after our house fire which was October 2013. Technically, you could say it's been a little over a year but I didn't post on this exactly when I started to notice the breakdown.

As you can see by my shotty phone camera, the heels are wearing out in a large area. The seam in that area is also stretching. I have had to mend (yes, guys can sew) one pair already.

I'm not ready to give them up becuase they are EXTREMELY comfortable. I wear them daily and I wear two pair for cushion.

Plus these aren't exactly the cheapest pair on the market either. My hopes that these would last a while was also fueled by their cost. I have around ten pair.

So, are they comfortable: yes. Do they hold up well with daily, regular use...doesn't appear so.

What do you think? Am I being unreasonable? Should a pair of socks only last a year and a half?

Have you found a better brand? Is there a special technique of washing to make them last longer?

I also have a pair of Carhartt thick socks that appear to be doing pretty well although they were purchased more recently. The cushion on the sole seems to be staying thick instead of matting down like most socks tend to do.

~OJD

15 comments:

Jason and Michelle said...

I have cheap socks. they are probably two years old. they are just now beginning to become a little thin in spots. I purchased my husband dickeys. They have held up better than other brands I have purchased.

OrangeJeepDad said...

Thanks for the input. I'll have to try Duckies. WL has a great reputation but I'm sure not impressed with the socks.

hobo said...

They don't make wool socks like they used to. The heel & toe area should be reinforced with nylon yarn since those are the major areas of wear. It's really frustrating to purchase a pricey pair of socks to have them fail within the year. My husband is trying the Carhartt ones, too, to see how well they wear. He wears a thinner pair over the wool ones to see if that helps prevent the wear spots. So far, so good.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but to expect socks to last longer than a year is wishful thinking! Wear and tear are also accelerated by wearing 2 pairs together. Not only are the fibers exposed to pulling, rubbing, and stretching against the shoes, they are doubly worn by the other sock. I would get fitted for a pair of shoes and then try one pair of these socks with them. If you need two pairs-the shoes are the wrong fit! Have you tried SAS shoes? They are hand crafted and built to last. A good work pair for a man usually runs around $160. Hope this helps. -Stealth Spaniel

Anonymous said...

Wearing two pair may be for warmth more than anything else. I have Fibromyagia and my limbs get cold very easily. I wear a cheap walmart and Carhart together, which usually keeps my feet warm. I agree with Jeep Dad, a pair of socks should last longer than a year. I don't know if I have high expectations or not though.

Side note, does anyone know how to mend the socks when they get like the picture? I have a darning needle and have been learning to darn but sometimes the socks wear out to the point I don't know how to mend it, such in the case of my oldest who simply wears her socks into threads! I don't fuss at her considering she is one of the most frugal 24 year olds around. She will repurpose the socks in various ways.

Ouida Gabriel

sidetracksusie said...

The ultimate tester of socks, my teenage son, is the owner of a few pair of Darn Tuff socks, bought at presents as they are expensive. We wash them inside out, and they NEVER go in the dryer BUT they look the same as they did two years ago.

They have a lifetime guarantee and can be purchased on Amazon. My brother, my son and I buy these for each other for Christmas, and I can't think of anything better to get or give. They come in a variety of weights and styles, and I have two light weight pair and two heavy weight pair. My brother has multiple pair. My husband prefers a different brand that is also expensive. I replace his socks every year.

Anonymous said...

I have been wearing the same Costco Kirkland wool socks for 5 winters now and they show only minor wear and no thin places. They cost $12 for a package of 4 so $3 per pair. Mid spring i switch to heavy cushioned cotton socks from Head brand, also from Costco. About $4 per pair but i have not checked the price lately. On the 5 th year with these also and no noticeable wear. Cotton socks till Oct. then back to wool. So seasonal use. I have severe neuropathy in my feet and they are hypersensitive to pain. Using these wool socks then the cotton starting in Spring then wool socks starting in the Fall minimizes pain due to substantial cushioning. In severe winter if outdoors I sometimes wear the Costco wool socks with a larger pair of Wigwam wool socks over the Costco wool socks but only if outdoors for most of the day.

OrangeJeepDad said...

Terrific testimonial! I no longer have a Cal-Ranch nearby to buy these specific Wells Lemont anyway. But I do have a Costco. Your suggestion is now on my list. Thank you very much!

I was wondering what the market would be for knee high/calf high wool socks with padded heels? As in, if I attempted to manufacture my own for retail. I like my socks high enough to extend beyond my boots but would also like the benefit of a little calf compression for blood flow and comfort after a long days wear.

OrangeJeepDad said...

I will look them up on Amazon, thanks!

spinnermom said...

Darning socks, or anything really, is simple. Pretty much just weaving with a needle and yarn. http://youtu.be/4nY1jTVyBE0 Love good wooly socks, but pretty much keep mine to myself because for one, wool is expensive, and not everyone knows how to take care of it, and for two, if I'm gonna spend 8-12 hours knitting something I prefer it not get shrunk, and abused, and tossed aside. :-P

Anonymous said...

Turn them inside out and machine sew with a double threaded nylon/cotton Schwartz denim needle. (French seam) You'll loose the official heel, but your real heel will create a new one.

SmartWool socks are expensive, but worth it. Or make your own - Elizabeth Zimmerman has some awesome patterns.

Anonymous said...

Redhead brand merino wool socks have a lifetime guarantee. Bought mine at Bass Pro Shop. Worn daily for one year with no visible wear.

Anonymous said...

I wear thru the heels of most wool socks within a year (I have 7 pairs of socks and wear a different pair every day). I wash them with all my other clothing (cool water, cheap detergent, low-heat dryer). I don't bother with turning them inside out. I have sweaty feet, prone to blistering and walk 10k - 20k steps per day, up and down steep hills. The most durable wool socks I've found are 'Darn Tough'. I purchase them from Amazon. Supposedly you can take them in to any store that carries them and have them replaced for free if/when they ever wear out. Mine haven't worn out yet, though.

Anonymous said...

Double up on any sock and it will increase the wear by more than double. Better to get thicker ones for warmth, with padded heels. Most sewing stores/youtube will show how to darn using what looks like a wooden doorknob. You will be recreating the toe or heel area, and can do this even if there are large holes. Numerous styles/stitches exist. Try a few and see which you like best. (Ie sewing, crotcheting, knitting). Good luck and many happy savings! Remember - our grandparents did this and wouldn't dream of tossing a sock because of light wear!

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