We Took The Challenge And Wore Them For Five Days.  Here’s What Happened.

Bison down and Merino wool make a warm and durable combination.

We love buffalo, the distinctly American creature who has been denizen of the Great Plains since pre-history, who was deified by native Americans, who has captured our imagination in countless legends, songs, stories, novels, and movies, who has shown up in hamburgers, (bison burgers) and who now contributes to keeping our feet warm. Such a versatile critter, we hardly imagined that they had enough…what, fur?…to make things out of.

Apparently so. An enterprising company out of Kennedale, TX, makes a variety of clothing and accessory items from what they call “Bison Down”. Come to think of it, have you ever seen a buffalo shivering? Their undercoat of thick down is the insulating mechanism that keeps these huge mammals warm. Ron and Theresa Miskin, the good folks at The Buffalo Wool Co., were kind to send us a couple of pairs of buffalo down socks for testing.

In the letter accompanying the socks, they wrote: “If you’re feeling brave, wear them for two, three even four days…We think you’ll be impressed at how they hold up, keep your feet dry. and don’t get ‘stinky’ like cotton or synthetic socks.”

Well, we went for five days.  We were impressed with how they held up and how warm they were. We hiked in our hiking boots, sat through Thanksgiving, went to the store, and, truth be told, even slept in them on a couple of particularly cold nights. All for the sake of not exactly science but an honest product review for our readers.

At the end of five days, we gave them our personal sniff test. Not bad, we thought, but we need a second opinion to be statistically correct.  So, when our grown up son visiting for Thanksgiving was sitting on the couch one evening, focused on a football game, we asked him to do a sniff test.  In honesty, we didn’t really ask him. Rather we shoved our five-day ripe socks into his schnozola and said, “Smell this”. After an awkward discussion, he agreed they didn’t have the aroma of the bottom of long-abandoned gym locker.

And they really didn’t.  They were terrific.  We noticed these socks were nice and thick, the kind that is really comfy for hiking, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and outdoor activities in the cold weather whatever those might be.  The model we tested was made of 40 percent Bison Down, 40 percent Merino wool, 18 percent Nylon and two percent Spandex.  When we first opened the package, we noticed they were quite silky smooth and soft feeling.  They remained what way for the entire test period.

On the other hand, such thick socks might not be a choice for ski socks. SeniorsSkiing.com co-publisher Jon Weisberg, who also is testing a pair, says that some ski boots are so fitted to the foot that thick socks might get in the way, make the boots to tight and the feet too cold.

In any case, you can find a wide variety of different socks, hats, gloves, and even yarn at the Buffalo Wool Company site.  The model socks we tested were the Trekker Buffalo/Merino Wool for $38.  Other socks were as low as $32. Other products included different combos of Bison down with either silk or Merino wool.

And think of the fun you can have challenging your family members to a game of “how long can you wear your socks”.

The American Bison never shivers.
Credit: Brittanica

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