Rating: 5 / 5
Patagonia now calls what I originally bought or thought of as their expedition weight "capilene" socks -- Heavyweight Mountaineering Socks, $19.50 Style No. 49662.
(I bought my first pair a couple of years ago and mayber they were capilene, but I think it was just my imagination because the wicked and stayed dry so well.)
And, they are now made of Merino Wool blended with other stuff (or they always were wool and I was too goofy to get it). Check out the description at:
Anyway, the reason they are a 5 is that they work in the heat of summer and the cold of winter. I just took them out for a test run inside my hiking boots in 20 degree F air temp and 6" crusty and icy snow. Pure, secure comfort.
Have used them on long hikes in the heat of summer as well. (90+ degrees F.) Conclusion: They don't get hot in summer and your feet stay warm even walking under and in snow during the winter.
But that is only part of their plus side. They are very thick and unbelievably comfortable. I no longer use two sock layers since they are so cozy and thick enough that they wick perfectly -- never wet feet after hours on the trail in the summer or plunking around in the snow in the winter.
They also really conform to the shape of the boot and foot so I think they would qualify as a quasi-orthopedic shoe accessory. They help steady the foot on slippery surfaces or negotiating crumbly, crooked rock surfaces or crossing streams on a fallen log -- because they are thick and soft enough to conform the foot shape and boot shape like a kind of shock absorber unit.
Add to that they are chlorine free enviro sensitive Merino wool and its a slam dunk 5. And, they wash up and dry perfectly well without falling apart or shrinking, etc. My first pair of a couple of years is still in my pack, although it is now my "extra" pair.
I think of them as a survival sock as much as a piece of UL gear that replaces carrying sock liners, lightweight socks for an inner layer and an outter heavier sock for wet and snow conditions. (Of course my standard hiking boot is a Tecnica waterproof Gore Tex jobby so the vapor barrier thing isn't really an issue.) I even took the extra/spare pair out and used them for mittens and they worked great.
So for $19.50 regular price (I have seen them on sale for a lot less) they go with me anytime, anywhere -- with the confidence my feet aren't gonna hurt, freeze or burn.