By Sean Igoe
Conrad Anker’s ascents in the Alaskan Range, the Antarctic Ellsworth Mountains, and in the Himalayas are legendary. He summited Everest without oxygen, and with Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk he was the first to successfully climb the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru. Nobody understands more what it takes to tackle our planet’s biggest challenges in the outdoors, and Anker brought all of that knowledge to the table to partner with Smartwool and create the PhD® Outdoor Approach Sock.
Combining Smartwool’s innovations with Anker’s exacting specifications, these socks provide enhanced comfort and performance on the trail. This begins with the 4 Degree™ Elite Fit System, a nylon structure around which the sock is woven. The stronger fibers improve the socks’ durability and fit. A better fit eliminates air pockets and chafing. Flex Zones around the ankle joint also stretch for an improved fit and to maintain your full range of motion.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Smartwool without merino wool, and every fiber that touches your foot in the PhD® Outdoor Approach Sock is merino wool. The fabric naturally inhibits the growth of odor-causing microbes, a necessity for longer trips and expeditions. The fabric breathes well, and it retains warmth in cooler weather. It also wicks sweat, pulling moisture away from the skin, and dries rapidly. Smartwool’s wool is responsibly sourced from New Zealand, from non-mulesed sheep, and the company works hard to ensure animals’ well-being.
More than just merino, however, the PhD® Outdoor Approach Sock utilizes Smartwool’s revolutionary Indestructawool™ Technology. It fronts a nylon-reinforced exterior backed entirely by merino wool. The sock’s fibers, together with activity-specific mesh zones for enhanced breathability and moisture management, help to reduce foot fatigue. A versatile light cushion and the padded Achilles strap also feel secure and comfortable as you travel over rough terrain. That’s why with this sock you’ll last longer, work harder, and go farther, coming off the trail ready to go right back up the mountain again.