SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew

Priced: $14.67 - $21.95 Rated:   - 5 stars out of 5 by 12 reviews.
SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew
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Color: Black
Available Colors: $14.67 - $20.95
30% off
Regularly: $20.99
Al's Sports $15.74
25% off
Regularly: $20.99
Ramsey Outdoor $17.99
14% off
Regularly: $20.99 $18.95 - $20.95
9% off
Regularly: $20.99 $18.99
9% off
Regularly: $20.99 $18.99
9% off
Regularly: $20.99
Appalachain Outdoors $19.95
4% off
Regularly: $20.99
Denali $20.95 $20.95 $20.95
Moosejaw $20.95
Gearx $20.95
Mountain Gear $20.95
Rock/Creek Outfitters $20.95
REI $20.95 $20.95
River Sports Outfitters $21.95
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SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew -
SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks are the highest performer in the mens SmartWool socks line, great for trail running, hiking, mountain biking and more.
Crew sock height is the second highest in the SmartWool line, coming up to traditional crew height below the calf, keeping dust and dirt off your skin.
Made of the all natural, odor free, moisture-controlling Merino wool fibers for which SmartWool socks are famous.
Wool-on-Wool (WOW) technology puts more SmartWool in high-impact and high-wear areas to help reduce shock and abrasion, making these performance socks a lasting pair.
SmartWool's 4-Degree Fit System means special attention to ankle, arch and insteps to keep sock in place - no bunching or slipping with this pair!
Strategically placed mesh zones provide maximum foot ventilation.
100 percent SmartWool fibers against your skin absorb sweat in its vapor state, which means sweat never condenses to make your feet wet and clammy, and odor-causing bacteria won't build up.
Duroyarn reinforcement for added comfort and durability.
High-micron sock fibers are itch free, and won't shrink.
SmartWool and its New Zealand Merino wool partners have developed Zque, the world's first traceable Merino fiber value chain to ensure environmental, social and economic sustainability, so you can buy SmartWools with a good conscience.
Our favorite SmartWool mens socks, these SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks are guaranteed to make your feet happy.


  • ReliaWool is a patent-pending reinforcement construction that puts more wool in high wear/high impact areas to increase durability and comfort
  • Merino wool keeps your feet dry and inhospitable to bacteria that can cause odor
  • 77% Merino Wool, 22% Nylon, 1% Elastic
  • 68% Merino Wool, 29% Nylon, 3% Elastane
  • Knit in USA of 70% Merino Wool, 28% Nylon, 2% Elastane
  • Merino wool provides excellent temperature control and moisture management, so you're warm when it's cold and cool when it's warm
  • WOOL on WOOL technology


  • Ankle bands, upper instep bands, lower instep bands and arch bands connect to the feet for a great fit and feel
  • New 4Degree elite fit system uses two elastics for greater stretch and recovery to keep the sock in place
  • The 4 Degree Elite Fit System is a proprietary four-point supportive system that provides an incredibly secure, comfortable fit around the heel, arch and instep.
  • Crew height coverage to fit with a variety of boots

Wash and Care:

  • SmartWool socks are guaranteed not to itch and can be repeatedly machine washed and dried without shrinking
  • Turn inside out to avoid pilling. Machine wash on the gentle cycle with cool or lukewarm water using mild, non-bleach detergent. If you prefer powdered detergent, make sure to dissolve it completely before adding. Machine dry on low or medium heat.

Support and Cushioning:

  • Light half-cushioning for comfort and shock absorption


  • Mesh ventilation offers increased breathability
  • Strategically placed mesh zones provide ventilation for temperature and moisture management

Weather and Wind:

  • Flat knit durable toe seam for high burst strength


  • Unisex sizing


  • Duroyarn reinforcement for added comfort and durability
  • Patented ReliaWool Technology in high impact areas provides the longer lasting protection to keep feet comfortable
  • Trail tested comfort and mountain tough


  • Wow Technology In High Density Impact Zones To Reduce Shock & Abrasion
  • 1x1 ribbed legs and 2x1 ribbed welt tops
  • 100% SmartWool against your skin
  • Discount will be applied when you check out. Offer not valid for sale-price items ending in $._3 or $._9
  • PhD Outdoor Light Crew socks rise 8.5 in. height
The SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew men's sock used SmartWool's proprietary 4 Degree Fit sport support system to give you the ultimate in support and a secure, comfortable fit around your foot's heel, arch and instep. The PhD Light crew sock uses ReliaWool Technology in high impact areas, providing longer lasting protection and a more comfortable feel. Mesh ventilation zones allow your feet to breath. The SmartWool sock has a flat knit, durable toe seam for extra strength.

FEATURES of the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew.
SPECIFICATIONS of the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew.

The PhD Outdoor Light Crew is SmartWool's most versatile outdoor sock to date. The lightweight, half-cushion sole is highly durable and shock absorbant. Featuring the 4-Degree Fit System and new WOW (Wool on Wool) technology, this sock is perfect for cool light hikes and winter biking and trail running.

Smartwool's light half-cushioned PhD Outdoor Light Crew is their most versatile outdoor sock. Thanks to WOW Technology in high density impact zones, shock and abrasion are reduced. The 4-Degree Fit System keeps the sock in place.
You don't need a PhD to figure out what a class act these men's hiking socks from Smartwool® are.
Features a light, half-cushioned outdoor sock ideal for light hiking, trail running and biking.
Ribbed cuff with ankle band for comfort.
Contoured Flex Zone on topside.
Arch band at upper and lower instep for support.
4-Degree Banded Fit System construction for performance fit.
ReliaWool™ Technology in high impact areas provide longer lasting protection to keep feet comfortable.
Strategic Mesh Zones for maximum ventilation.
Machine wash warm inside out, tumble dry low.
Crew Cut length.
Made in the USA.
Ramsey Outdoor

Our light half-cushioned PhD Outdoor Light Crew is our most versatile outdoor sock. Merino wool next to your skin controls moisture, temperature and odor.

Appalachain Outdoors
As one of Smartwool's most versatile outdoor socks the PhD Outdoor Light Crew is perfect for hiking, biking or walking around town.
Mountain Gear

With enough textile technology and design for an entire doctoral program, the PhD Outdoor Light Crew sock from SmartWool keeps your feet comfy, ventilated, and odor-free for a long day on the trail. Specially designed for mid- to low-top trail boots, these impact-absorbing socks let your feet breath and move.


New, improved PhD socks are more advanced than ever! SmartWool Outdoor Light Crew men's socks feature innovative new fabric, a more comfortable fit and smart design details that enhance performance.

Made in USA.


The Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Sock for Men features Reliawool Technology for improved durability in the high wear areas and the 4-Degree Elite Fit System, to keep the sock in place and giving you all-sport versatility.

SmartWool's PhD Outdoor Light Crew features Reliawool Technology for improved durability in the heel and toe and the 4-Degree Elite Fit System, to keep the sock in place and giving you all-sport versatility.

River Sports Outfitters
Our medium full-cushioned PhD Outdoor Medium Crew is a perfect sock for cooler hikes. Thanks to WOW™ technology in high density impact zones, shock and abrasion are reduced. The 4-Degree Fit System keeps the sock in place.
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Available Color(s):Cadet, Black/Red
Cushioning:Light Half-Cushioned
Fabric:68% Merino Wool, 29% Nylon, 3% Elastane
Fit:Crew height
Height:8.5 in / Crew
Material:68% Merino Wool/ 29% Nylon/ 3% Elastane
Materials:68 percent wool, 29 percent nylon, 3 percent elastic
Sock Thickness:Light
Sock Type:Hike/Trek
Sock cushioning:Light cushioning
Sock height:Crew
Compare specifications to related products.

Similar Products:

SmartWool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light CrewSmartWool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Crew$12.95 - $19.95
SmartWool PhD Outdoor Medium CrewSmartWool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew$15.95 - $23.95
SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Socks (and)SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Socks (and)$14.50
SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew 3-PackSmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew 3-Pack$62.00

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SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Awesome, Bodacious, Radical Socks!

I have bought and liked these socks for a number of years now. They're my "Go-To" socks. From pretty much Fall to Spring and anytime pants are worn, these socks are hugging my feet. They're warm and don't stink like normal cotton socks. Something about the wool helps wick moisture away and prevents bad odor. At the gym and summer months, I go with the phD low cut running socks. 99% of my socks are Smartwool. Did I mention they're durable. I've had some pairs for five to six years now and they still perform great! Don't let the steep price tag send you running. However, if you're smart like me, you'll snag up some pairs when REI has them on sale. Woop woop! Regarding the previous reviews, these are a LIGHT sock, not medium or expedition weight, so they're supposed to be cooler and thinner. Have you seen how many varieties of socks Smartwool offers?! There's a sock for every occasion! Take the leap and buy a pair. You'll love them!!
Blonde_dude at REI on 02/02/2013

My favorite pair of socks

Great everyday sock or light hiking/backpacking, I prefer more padding when I have a 50+LB pack but these are my go to any other time. Cushioned where you need it and not where you don't. Has all the quality and durability I've come to expect from Smartwool without the bulk and overheating of the heavier socks.I felt they were a bit pricey for everyday socks until I started wearing them everyday and realized how comfortable they are and how well they are built.
Ean86 at REI on 06/06/2013

My favorite socks

My favorite socks. I bought them for hiking, but now wear them every weekend, regardless of what I'm doing. Many other socks have excess padding in the heels or beneath the ball of the foot. These socks are very well-fitting, with minimal padding, and this is what makes them so great in my view. Basically, these socks are second skin for your feet; cool, comfortable perfect for almost any weekend occasion outside of sandal season.
GabrielArne at REI on 10/10/2012

Worth the money

I used to get blisters all the time on my heel while hiking. So, I was told to wear liner socks to help prevent blisters. With these socks, I don't have blisters and I don't wear the liners. I guess this is what you pay for!
JoeBoarder at REI on 09/09/2013

Great Socks

I wore these on a pretty rough 7 mile hike in the mountains. I was a little concerned about the boots that I was wearing but I believe these socks made the trip a lot better, especially carrying over 50 pounds on my back.
jorben at Rock/Creek Outfitters on 06/06/2013

Great fitting, comfortable socks!

I have been searching for a durable, well-fitting pair of socks to wear while walking/hiking/travelling. These are great! They fit the foot well and are durable. I can bring 2 pair, wash one and wear the other. I've bought several pairs.
Ga Hiker at REI on 08/08/2013

Great Socks!

I have several pairs that I wear for daily use. Very comfortable and durable
Rustypellican at REI on 04/04/2013

You can't go wrong with SmartWools

Love this product. Comfortable, reliable, and always great quality.
vargus08 at REI on 12/12/2013

Negative Reviews:

New but not improved

this is the second new smart wool sock I've purchased. the first "new" pair was their new crew sock. it was also significantly thinner, and not as nice as the old, these are also significantly thinner which makes them not as nice. i'd say they are 30% thinner.

The problem with the thinness is that they do not hold your foot nearly as well as the original, even though they talk about how they have improved the fit. maybe if they used the same amount of material with the new design they'd have an improvement, but as these are not as thick as the old, the new design doesn't feel improved real world.

the second problem with them thinner is that the balls of my feet over heat from friction. and the heels just feel less cushioned.

i purchased 7 pair of the original phd crew light socks on on clearance, and bought this one pair new at the store in seattle to test them, based on my last experience with a new design from smart wool. now i now i will stock up on the old, then look for a new brand of sock.

i was one of smart wool's biggest fans, and since this is the second new sock that is using significantly less material, i'm not happy. not to mention, the cost is still the same.

there is no way these would beat out the old phd socks in a real world wear test.
Thomas Shea at REI on 06/06/2012

Thru-hike tested, thumbs down

I purchased these in Erwin, Tennessee on my 2013 NOBO thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I wore them for 100 miles and got the first hole with many more to follow. By the time I threw them away, the state of their disintegration had become a running joke with my trail family. I would not recommend them for any serious use. However, they were comfortable and resisted stretching out excessively between washings.

By comparison, my first pair of Darn Toughs lasted over 1,000 miles before the first hole, and they feature a lifetime guarantee. I started the trail with REI Light Hikers and got lots of good use out of them though they had a tendancy to stretch out excessively after a few days. I think both of these products offer durability in-line with what one can expect from hard-use hiking socks. The Smartwools don't cut it.
Cory in GA at REI on 12/12/2013

Under valve, Over Priced

Product did not stand up to even light use, REI and First Accent Socks are much better.
Emerine Kid at REI on 12/12/2012

Neutral Reviews:

Work well but tight

I wear a size eleven and a half to twelve shoe so I bought XL SmartWool PHD Socks for persons whose shoe size is 12 to 14. I could barely get them on! After being washed several times, they are still very tight and hard to get on. Once I have them on, they breathe well and keep my feet dry. Try them on before you buy. If they fit me better, I would have recommended them.
Birds1 at REI on 01/01/2014