The Keen Olympus socks were created with one goal in mind... to last a very, very long time. In fact, they are guaranteed for life! Similar to their other socks, they have a dedicated right and left sock, that is contoured to each foot and made from natural Merino Wool. They are a lite cushioning sock, with a seamless toe area, which prevents it bunching up at your toes when hiking. The claim to fame for this sock however, is the High-tenacity nylon fibers, which (weight for weight) are 15x stronger than steel. These fibers are blended into the heel and toe area to help stand up to the two highest wear points on a sock.
I felt that such a strong sock required a strong test, so this pair of socks has become my dedicated pair of socks while hiking the Frontenac Challenge. This leaves me with two challenges... will I be able to complete all 160KM before October 31st, and will the socks survive the challenge? We will find out at the end of the month!
Update: November 1st, 2013 - Just how far is 160KM? That's half the distance between Vancouver and Kelowna, or Edmonton and Calgary! I'm proud to say, this single pair of socks has hiked the entire journey!
One of the "rules" of hiking the Frontenac Challenge is to "Protect your feet". While having a solid pair of shoes seems obvious, socks might not be something you immediately worry about. While hiking long distances, if you wear through your socks, you are putting your feet at risk for blisters and you don't want foot problems deep in the woods.
This hiking challenge put these Olympus socks to the test, and even after all of the hiking, and numerous washes, none of the elasticity has given way in the sock. They still stayed in place after pulling them up each time, while wicking well and feeling just as secure as day one. I did encounter a tiny bit of pilling after hiking 26KM one day. It was a rough day with lots of tricky ascents and descents so I'm sure my feet were moving around a fair bit. I cleaned off the pilling to see if it continued the next day... but never encountered it again for the remaining 80k of the challenge.
I must say that I've been rather impressed with these socks and they've stood up to the challenge, and kept my feet safe so that I could enjoy the entire experience. They are a small worthwhile investment ($24 Canadian on the Keen site) and I wouldn't go on another long hike without them.