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BAM Bamboo Barbican hiking socks review: not what they usually mean by “the grass beneath your feet"

Comfortable and sustainable, BAM Bamboo Barbican hiking socks are made out of naturally antibacterial bamboo

BAM Bamboo Barbican hiking socks
(Image: © Jessie Leong)

Our Verdict

Overall, BAM Bamboo Hiking Socks in a Barbican print are an impressive piece of kit – comfortable, easy to care for, durable and conscientiously made.

For

  • • Super comfortable
  • • Wash well
  • • Don’t smell
  • • Company-wide “Green Story” tracing supply chain

Against

  • • Very slight shrinkage after washing
  • • More expensive than normal socks

BAM Bamboo Barbican hiking socks: first impressions

BAM Bamboo Barbican walking socks (Barbican being the name of the print) are a thing of beauty – super soft, they lull you into thinking they’re just an ordinary pair of socks, thanks to their bright, stripy design, but there’s a lot more going on here than you’d expect. 

As a material, the moisture management properties of bamboo helps wick moisture away and its natural antibacterial nature helps prevent them from becoming smelly. A patterned design, reinforced heel, reinforced toe and 1cm top rib all help ensure the fit is snug without being restrictive, meaning feet remain blister free and comfortable. 

So how did they fare under test conditions for our best hiking socks buying guide? Read on…

Specifications

• RRP (pack of four): $23 (US) / £18.50 (UK)
• Unisex? Yes
• Sizes: 4–7, 8–11, 12–14
• Materials: 76% bamboo viscose, 23% polyamide, 1% elastane
• Length: Crew
• Colors: Multiple

BAM Bamboo Barbican hiking socks: on the trails

BAM Bamboo Hiking Socks

Bamboozled by choice (Image credit: BAM Bamboo)

Size and fit

BAM’s bamboo classic socks are a regular fit, meaning they can be worn as a liner sock. At 20–22cm, the standard BAM sock length means the sock comes up just below the calf, making them perfect to be worn underneath another hiking sock, and you’ll still be able to fit into your best hiking boots. A 1cm rib at the top makes the socks easy to put on, and means they stay up. 

Durability

While the natural anti-bacterial properties of bamboo fabric means feet stay fresh, the polyamide and elastane content helps the sock keep its shape. Plus, a reinforced toe and heel with a terry knit means the socks are resistant to wear in high impact areas. After six months of use, these socks still feel super soft. 

Material

BAM’s socks are made from bamboo viscose, which is an incredibly soft, breathable, and comfortable fabric made from plants. After starting life as a plant, mature culms or stems are harvested from the bamboo (which is actually a variety of grass), leaving the roots and the carbon in the ground so that the plant can continue to grow rather than being destroyed. (See also: the best eco-friendly outdoor brands.)

A former brand ambassador for Merrell and current Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion, Jessie Leong’s lifelong outdoor odyssey began with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award walks in the Peak District. This segued into long hill hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, multi-day treks in the Lake District, scrambles in North Wales and adventures scaling alpine pinnacles. When not walking, she can be found rock climbing, wild swimming, cycling, photographing, filmmaking, writing and modelling. Jessie’s most recent claim to fame is playing a Miss World contestant in the 2020 feature film Misbehaviour.