I've worn the heck out of them, and have been very pleased with their performance and durability. They're noticeably warmer than regular opaque tights, and much more durable. The few snags I've had with them could be simply darned with needle and thread. Like most wool products, they have the benefit of being stink free, even after a couple of wearings. I think they're even "machine wash" although I always hand wash them just in case.
|not my actual legs :)|
So this year when I saw them on sale in a couple of places, I bought a couple of extra pairs. My pairs from last year were mediums, so I ordered a "heather gray" pair in medium. When they arrived they were shockingly tight- it was almost impossible to pull them up all the way, and I walked around all day feeling that the crotch was a couple of inches lower than it should be. I double checked the fit chart, and I was on the "edge' of the med/ large curve, but it didn't seem like they should be that far off.
So when I ordered two more pair in black, I ordered a large. Imagine my disappointment when even the larges turned out to be too small. I'm the same weight as I was last year, and I'm confident that I haven't gotten any taller, so what gives? I'm guessing that Smartwool changed either the pattern or the composition of the fabric. What's strange, is that the large ones fit almost exactly the same as the mediums.
In any case, I'm really disappointed, and am going to see if they will accept them back. I know REI will take the grey ones back, but I ordered the black ones from EMS, and I'm not sure how good they are about returns of worn stuff. After wearing the first pair all day in hopes that it would stretch out, I tried on the 2nd pair to see if somehow the first pair were defective. I wear a size 8 in most clothes, so I can't imagine what you would do if you needed a size 12, as there doesn't appear to be an XL available.
I've heard good things about the B.ella Merino ones, will have to give them a try.