GooseFeet Gear Down Socks & Over-Booties [Gear Review]Posted by Claire Walters on Dec 4, 2016 in Clothing, Featured, Gear Reviews, Trail Gear Gallery | 0 comments
Just like a pair of down pants, I have been wanting a pair of down socks for quite a while. Not those down boots with the hard outer soles that can be worn around camp, but down socks that I can wear inside a sleeping bag or a quilt. The thing is, in cold weather my toes will get cold and then never seem to warm back up, despite the fact that I wear my super thick Lorpen Expedition socks inside my Marmot Helium sleeping bag… Once my toes get cold, they just don’t seem to want to warm back up. So, earlier this year I finally broke down and picked up a pair of down socks from GooseFeet Gear!
I like that Ben offers a number of options to really get these down socks the way I want them. Of course I can pick which size I need, but I can also choose from different materials and even colors to use for the shell, and even how much of the high power 850 down fill that I want in them. So, what options did I pick? Well, I will tell ya…
The total weight of my downs socks in the above combination of choices comes in at 2.1 oz, which is a 1.9 oz weight savings from the above mentioned Lorpen Expedition weight socks. And considering that I only used those Lorpen socks to sleep in (as I will do with these down socks), this is a huge weight savings! And after wearing them on a recent 3 night hike, as well as a few other times around the house, I can confidently say that I believe that these down socks will be times warmer than my Lorpen socks. This in itself is even better than the weight savings, but combine the two, and it’s simply awesome!
However, after getting the socks, I started thinking… What about those nights when I wake up in the middle of the night and have to go answer the call of nature? Cause this happens to me…it seems like every night I am out on the trail, I have to get up at least once a night to pee. After thinking about this, I decided that I didn’t want to have to pull those warm down socks off, put on my cold boots, go pee and in the process, risk getting cold toes… I wanted to leave them on and keep my toes warm! So, I started eyeballing the over-booties that Ben also sells on his site…
It didn’t take much time after this that I decided I wanted to get a pair of the GooseFeet Gear over-booties to use with my down socks. To me, they just seemed to make too much sense, not to mention that I did just save 1.9 oz of weight by going with the down socks over the Lorpen socks. The way I saw it, if I can still have a comparable weight, but end up with a more versatile set-up, then it is indeed worth it. So, it was actually when I placed my order for my down pants that I also placed the order for the over-booties!
Like the down socks, the over-booties also have a few different options to choose from, such as color, size and sole material. I ended up going with the size large over-booties with black uppers and Dyneema X soles, and they weigh in at 2.2 oz (which does include the supplied stuff sack).
The over-booties are listed as being waterproof, which is a nice feature, however, I do not plan to need to use the over-booties often, so this point is not so important to me (unless I accidentally pee on them while half asleep one night…) My plans are to use these primarily at camp just before bed, as needed during the night, and maybe for a bit in the mornings. This is also another reason why I decided to just go with the lighter weight Dyneema X as the outer sole material. I just don’t plan to put many miles on them and the ground conditions are not to terribly rough, so I felt that the Toughtek material was a bit overkill for my needs.
The over-booties have a cinch cord around the top to close the booties up around my ankles, and then another cinch around my lower ankle. These together help to stabilize the over-booties around my foot. There is also a 1/4″ thick piece of ccf cut out in the shape of insoles in the bottom of each over-booty. These insoles offer a bit of structure to the over-booties as well as protection for the bottom of my feet, however, these can be removed to save an additional 0.4 oz of (combined) weight if desired. (All of this can be seen in the above video.)
As I mentioned above, I have only been able to use these on one trip so far. But, on that trip, I used the socks in conjunction with the over-booties (as planned) on all 3 nights and mornings. Overall, they work well with each other. In my opinion, they are sized appropriately so that the over-booties layer over the down socks without compressing the down in the socks. I will admit, I have found that on any sort of incline the socks will slide around on the ccf insoles pretty easily though. So, I had to really think about and plan where my footsteps took me with each step when on a hill. I am not sure how this can be rectified, and I will be completely honest and say that it can be a bit annoying in certain situations, however, in the grand scheme of things, it is not enough for me to even think about leaving them behind.
So far, I am very happy with both the socks and the over-booties. (I’m not even giving the Lorpen socks a second thought.) If I had to rank these items on a scale of 1-5, I would give both the down socks and the over-booties (on their own) an easy 5, due simply to fit and finish. However, when worn all together, I would have to go with a strong 4 due to the fact that they do slide around a bit. However, they are better than anything else I have used to date, so they will definitely keep a place in my pack for cold weather hikes!
Thanks for reading everyone!
Disclaimer: I purchased both the GooseFeet Gear down socks and the GooseFeet Gear over-booties at full price with my very own, hard-earned money. I am not affiliated with GooseFeet Gear and have no obligation to “review” either of these items.
For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.