Let me paint you a picture: I’m two weeks out from my 17-day trek on the John Muir Trail. I’m backpacking to Iva Bell Hot Springs, primarily to test out the gear that I’ll be using on the JMT. About two miles in, I start to feel a hot spot on each of my outer heels. I do my best to ignore it and keep hiking. Finally, after 12 miles of hiking, we arrive at the hot springs and I am BEAT. Over the last few miles, my speed has averaged about 1 mile per hour.
Upon arriving to camp, I immediately tore off my hiking boots… and there they were. Two two-inch by one-inch blisters spanning the length of my outer foot. I’ll spare you all the gory details, but just know this: the next two days were absolute hell for me. We had planned on staying at Iva Bell for a full day and exploring the area, but with the 12 miles back ahead of us and my decreasing ability to even walk, we decided to split the days into two and head home the very next day. By the time that we got back to the car two days later, I was in more pain than I have ever been in my life. I was reduced to tears so many times over those two days – if I couldn’t hike 12 miles without getting atrocious blisters, how in the hell was I going to hike 211 miles over the course of two-and-a-half weeks??
The next two weeks were spent researching every avenue that I could possibly use to avoid blisters during my JMT hike. Eventually, it was decided. I was going to wear sock liners underneath my hiking socks, and stop multiple times a day to cool down in creeks and rivers. It ended up working – I was able to avoid crippling blisters – but let me tell you, those extra steps were a pain in the ass, and I was still rocking a few small blisters here and there.
So, you are probably wondering, why are you telling me about your gross blisters and overwhelming feelings of defeat before you even started the JMT? Well, moral of the story: I honestly thought that I just had horrible luck with blisters, and it would be something that I would always have to deal with on backpacking trips. Yes, I understand that there are far worse problems to have in life, but for someone whose passion in life is hiking and backpacking, it was a shitty problem to have.
Fast forward four years and I had basically given up on finding a good hiking sock. I’m really not trying to be dramatic, but I honestly just came to terms with the idea that I walked weirdly and it was just an inevitable part of hiking for me. It was then that I stumbled upon Bear Feet Co…
After checking out their instagram and website, I decided to order a pair on a whim (honestly just because they were super cute – I had no expectations that they were going to cure my blister problems). A few weeks after getting my first pair, I went on a late season backpacking trip to Big Pine Lakes in the Eastern Sierra. By the time we got to camp, almost five miles and 2000 feet later, I had ZERO blisters. ZERO. ZE. RO. It was truly a miracle.
I had a brief moment of doubt that it was just too good to be true, but after scrambling all night up at Big Pine Lakes and hiking down the next day, my feet were still as comfortable and blister-free as could be! In addition, it dipped down to below freezing that night with winds up to 30-40 mph. My feet stayed warm and toasty, even when I was outside the tent during dinner. I was so excited that I literally got home and ordered their wool sock bundle that night!
During the last weekend of January, I really put my Bear Feet Co. socks to the test and took them snowshoeing. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to bring gaiters, and my shoes were soaked by the end of the day (think walking in puddles for the last 4 miles of our hike). I expected the worst when I got to the car and changed into dry shoes, but even though they were soaked, not a single blister was to be had on either of my feet! I was legit in shock. How many socks do you know that don’t rub blisters when they become wet? Huh?
Anyway, enough blister talk. Aside from being scientifically-proven not to rub blisters, they are also super soft, padded on the bottom of the sock, and have a reinforced toe and heel! The wool insulates the foot to keep it warm during cold temperatures and cool when it is hot outside. Perfect sock conditions for any pleasurable hike. Bonus: each purchase comes with a cutie free sticker!
Not only do Bear Feet Co. make hiking socks, but they recently started selling ski socks as well! Of course, I had to try out a pair, and as soon as I got home from my ski trip, I ordered two more! Now, I’m going to be honest here… there is one (1) thing I look for in a ski sock: the ability to peel my ski boots over said ski sock in less than 10 seconds. Well, lo and behold, I got my boots on in less than FIVE, which, to me, is the ultimate PR of getting ski boots on. The fact that they also didn’t make my calves feel like they were suffocating was just icing on the cake at that point. I was sold before I even started skiing.
If you are interested in trying out a pair of Bear Feet Co. socks for yourself, head over to their website. They are priced extremely well for such a durable and dependable sock. As a thank you for checking out this gear review, use my code MEGHIKES for an additional 20% off of your order!*
*Disclaimer: Although I’ve recently partnered up with Bear Feet Co. and am able to give you guys a discount, it in NO WAY affects my review of this product. My opinion now is the exact same as it was after my first time using these socks. I literally bought five pairs of these socks (at full price! *gasp*!) before becoming an Ambassador to Bear Feet Co. In writing this gear review and offering you 20% off, it is my hope that you’ll love these socks just as much as I do!
If you have any questions about Bear Feet Co. hiking socks (or if you purchase a pair and love them!), let me know in the comments below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!