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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Stance Hike Lite Socks | Review

The power of a decent pair of hiking socks should never be underestimated. So, can Stance’s Hike Lite bring the goods?

Why We Chose The Stance Hike Lite Socks: Wicking, good temperature regulation, well constructed.

They key thing about these socks is balance. Not in terms of you know, stability, but in terms of materials. That’s because, rather than just using one primary material, the Stance Hike Lite feature a blend. They call this Feel 360.

32% of the fibres are Merino wool. This is the perfect material for temperature regulation, keeping the feet warm when in cold temperatures while also being able to let them breathe when things heat up. If you do sweat in them, Merino has a brilliant wicking ability i.e. it will lift and spread moisture thinly throughout fibres to make the drying time faster. Another good thing about Merino is that it has natural anti-microbial properties, meaning that it’s able to reduce the effect of bacteria that causes odours.

“Merino is the perfect material for temperature regulation, keeping the feet warm when in cold temperatures while also being able to let them breathe when things heat up.”

Then there’s 43% nylon and 20% polyester. Like Merino, these materials are excellent at wicking moisture and drying quickly, but they bring a bit of durability to a sock as well, ultimately expanding its lifespan. The downside to these synthetics is that they’ll start to smell quickly, and that’s why it’s important to get the ratio right between natural and manmade fibres. We’d say Stance have achieved this.

Last but not least, 5% of the blend is elastane, which will keep these socks feeling snug and supportive.

The Hike Lite Socks feature a blend of Merino, nylon and polyester – or what they call the feel 360. Photo: Chris Johnson

This useful blend of materials is backed up by a well thought through construction. There’s another balance struck here, and that’s between lightweight breathability, and durability. The majority of the Hike Lite has a fairly thin and stretchy weave but to prevent it from wearing down (and to stop your skin wearing down as well), there’s reinforcement added in all the necessary places – that’s on the heel and toes. A terry loop weave has been used to achieve this, adding that extra bit of soft cushioning where it’s needed. You can see whether any hiking sock has this knit and where it’s used by turning them inside out.

Turning a sock inside out is a good way of checking the seam closure also. Put simply, the less seams the better. If they’re too pronounced, especially around the toes, there’s a risk of blisters forming. This has been well addressed with the Stance Hike Lite though as the toe box has a completely seamless closure.

Overall the Hiker Lite isn’t a sock to call upon for winter hiking – it’s not made for that kind of stuff. But, for summer, when you want ventilation, quick drying and all-round comfort, a pair of these would serve you well. That’s if you don’t mind the fairly hefty price though.

By the way, Stance say on their website that these should be washed at 40C and that it’s better to keep them out of the drier.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor

“I’ve always liked using Stance’s hiking socks, and I’ve put in a fair few miles in them over the past couple of years. What I think I like most about them is that they genuinely seem to retain that ‘new sock feeling’ for wear after wear.

“I’ve found this particular model to be great for hikes in mild-to-warm weather. It’s the perfect thickness and blend of materials, offering the right balance of warmth, breathability and protection.

“If Stance partnered up with Polygiene to add their permanent odour control to these, they’d be even better.”

There's slight reinforcement at the toes and on the heel. Photo: Chris Johnson
Merino wool is the perfect material for temperature regulation and comfort. Photo: Chris Johnson

Stance Hike Lite Socks

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