Wigwam Socks Review: Solid Performance at a Great Value
Wigwam socks are old-school, reminiscent of what your grandparents might have worn when thru-hiking with metal frame packs.
The primary fabric, Olefin, is moisture resistant, bulky and fairly comfortable. It’s not something you see in most performance socks nowadays, but it’s good enough in many scenarios and still has a place in the hiking world.
You can see how the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro socks compared to the other top hiking socks in our article on the best hiking socks. Or, continue reading for our full review.
|Hiking Socks||Score||MSRP||Material||Fabric Thickness||Cushion|
|Best Value: Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro (This Product)||
|$14.00||40% Olefin, 36% X20 Acrylic, 20% Stretch Nylon, 4% Spandex||Medium||Midweight|
|Top Pick: Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion||
|$20.00||47% Merino Wool, 46% Nylon, 7% Lycra Spandex||Medium||Very Light|
|Runner-Up: Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew||
|$23.95||62% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 2% Elastane||Medium||Light|
|Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool||
|$20.00||64% NuWool, 33% nylon, 3% Lycra||Medium||Midweight|
What We Like
Overall, the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro is a comfortable sock that wicks moisture on par with some Smartwool socks. This makes it ideal for hiking and backpacking, and even as a sleep sock. What Wigwam lacks in durability, it makes up for in its comfort and breathability.
The material used in the Wigwams is what makes them great. Olefin is a comfortable fabric that does not itch, rub or cause blisters. The spandex found in the calf means that you won’t be yanking at the sock to keep it up all the time. Though the fabric, especially on the heel, does stretch over extended use, it’s not as noticeable if only used for hiking.
Under moderate conditions, Wigwam keeps up with you. Even after a full day of hiking, when wearing trail running shoes as I do, the Wigwam stays dry.
Compared to other performance socks we tested, the knit is much looser, improving breathability and maintaining solid comfort. I never once received blisters when hiking in Wigwam, not even when bushwhacking through the San Juan National Forest for a full day.
I don’t get to mention this often, so it’s cool when I can. Family-owned Wigwam Mills was founded in 1905 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. To this day, the company is still 100% USA-made.
It’s an extremely environmentally conscious company that has managed to create a high performance, locally made sock at a moderate price. Wigwam even plays a role lobbying in D.C. for programs that support fair trade and limit the amount of imported products coming to the USA.
What We Don’t Like
The knit of these Wigwam socks is looser than others tested. Wigwam is less of a performance sock and more so hiking wear. While these fit great on days 1 through 3, on days 4 through 7 they were begging for a good wash.
They wick away moisture great, but taking Wigwam off and on, off and on, makes them stretch and thus makes me hesitant to bring them thru-hiking. Still, once they received a good wash, they bounced back like new.
As advertised, the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro is for hiking. It’s specialized for that purpose and doesn’t work well under other conditions — I would not take these on a trail run, on a fly fishing trip, climbing or to the office, simply because the loose-knit Olefin isn’t what I want.
I don’t discount Wigwam for not being versatile. They’ve deliberately made a great, specialized hiking sock. But I recognize that if you’re paying $14 for a single pair of socks, you may want them to do more than one thing well.
It’s a hiking sock, through and through. Use it as such.
Because of the bulk of this sock, Wigwam is ideal for four-season day hiking and even camping. I had no problem sleeping with these socks in December after a full day of hiking.
I wouldn’t use these as a thru-hiking sock, however, because without wash the fabric does loosen and stretch. It’s durable long-term and able to spring back quickly after washing, but that’s not something often accessible on long backpacking trips.
Of the socks we tested, Wigwam had the lowest price point and best value. That’s worth mentioning if you’re looking for a moderately priced sock specialized for a single purpose.
Wigwam is a great brand for any casual or first-time hiker because the moisture-managing ability highly reduces the likelihood of blisters. For a lot of people, that fact alone gives it a high value.
As a company locally owned and operated, Wigwam has proved that you don’t need to spend $20+ per pair to enjoy quality gear.
How Wigwam Performed in Our Testing
I like using these Wigwam socks for sleeping as a way to stay warm in my tent and really love using them for hiking. For the first half of our testing, Wigwam competed on par with big name brands Smartwool and Darn Tough. However, despite the great price point, I find their loose-knit and fit unsatisfactory in the long run.
Wigwam performed in the mid-quality range as a hiking sock, impressive considering the cheap $14 price point. As part of our testing, we wore the Wigwam socks for a full week straight without wash. These socks fit great and were very comfortable the first three days, but by days 4-7, the fabric had stretched and was in desperate need of a wash and dry.
More importantly, the moisture-managing abilities of these socks never faltered and it was surprisingly deodorizing by day 7.
Designate a pair of Wigwam socks just for sleeping and your toes will rarely ever be cold. Olefin is highly insulating, and unlike Smartwool, (in my experience) you don’t need to be constantly active to maintain warmth.
This is not a sock that I would run in. While the Wigwam does a good job of keeping your feet dry, the fabric stretches and slips. Without consistent wash and dry, the fabric may slide and cause blisters during high-exertion activity over time. It’s not so much of a problem during moderate-exertion activity, but a poorly fit sock is the last thing I want to worry about.
On days 1 and 2 of exercise, however, the breathability really made this sock enjoyable.
- Material: 40% Olefin, 36% X20 Acrylic, 20% Stretch Nylon, 4% Spandex
- Fabric Thickness: Medium
- Cushion: Midweight
The Bottom Line
If you plan to use these socks exclusively for hiking, you’ve chosen well. Wigwam, though old-school in design and knit, manages moisture on par with the top dogs. It’s a breathable blend that maintains its shape for short periods of time.
I would be hesitant to take these thru-hiking because they stretch, but as a four-season day hiking sock, definitely.