Remember when you were a kid? You had those white tube socks with the colored stripes on them, right? Well, to paraphrase Milhouse VanHouten: Remember tube socks? They’re back. In ski sock form! (We think the original quote was about ALF. He ate socks…or cats. Whatever.)
Smartwool started their PhD line of socks years ago, and they’ve always performed. Unfortunately, they’ve always looked like they performed. We don’t mean that as a compliment. Sorry, Smartwool. But, the upside is that there’s no downside to PhD socks, now. They look as good as they perform with the introduction of Smartwool’s PhD Slopestyle tube socks.
Come on, Engearment – you’re getting excited about socks? Duh. Yes. A smart pair of socks can make or break any activity, from hiking to snowboarding to grass skiing. Ever tried grass skiing? These socks would be awesome for it.
These tube socks, though? They may look hot, but they incorporate Smartwool’s PhD tech – the 4 Degree Elite fit system and Reliawool technology. The 4 Degree fit means four zones on the sock that stretch and flex differently. Reliawool adds extra wool in high-wear areas like the ball and heel of your foot to increase wear life. In addition to that, the Slopestyle offers padding on the shin and calf to add comfort and prevent shin-bang. The socks come up to your upper calf, with a height of 14″. These are medium-weight socks, so not ultra-thin, but they don’t take up too much space in a boot.
We took the Slopestyles out on some snowboarding and splitboarding missions to test them where they’re meant to be used. The fit is spot on – size large fits a shoe size 11. If you have large or muscular calves, however, you may find that the top of the sock constricts or falls down. Our impression is that Smartwool upgraded the stitching on these over the previous PhD iterations. If these socks fit over your calves, and you feel like looking stylish when the snowpants come off – and they always do – we can recommend these socks to you.
Sorry, we lied about more ALF jokes.
(Smartwool provided us with a pair of these socks. All of the opinions are our own.)
Need some help getting socked? Our Gear Concierge would love to help!