How do you solve a problem like a sock review? Socks are ubiquitous. You’d be forgiven for pushing them to the back of your mind in favour of worrying about other items on your kit list.
You’d be in remiss though; socks maketh the race.
When faced with a sock review though – what do you do? What sets a sock apart from another fuzzy footglove? Surely the criteria that socks have to meet are: stay on my feet and don’t let me get blisters the size of a small island. We shouldn’t really celebrate this most basic of sock achievements; the absence of pain and skin damage. After a run of absolutely ruining my feet, however, I’m quite ready to shout about socks that aren’t going take bits of my feet with them when removed.
Unlike most of the 1000 Mile range, their trail socks are single layered. This style comes with additional padding around the heel, toe ball of foot and Achilles. They’re a merino blend, which honestly, I don’t usually like because I find it uncomfortably warm on my feet. I took one for the team in this instance though, and so far I do not regret it. Merino is excellent at wicking moisture and drying out quickly. It’s about the only natural fibre that works in OCR, and they even have a little vent on the top of the foot to stop them getting too fusty.
They have a tighter band around the midsection and over the ball of the toe to keep them in place, but I do find that they twist a little bit, so they’d need to be properly aligned when I’m putting trainers on or they would drive me insane, but otherwise they are light, comfortable and most importantly, not itchy.
1000 Mile are a reputable brand, famous for the ‘Blister Free Guarantee’, where they promise that the socks won’t attack your feet for at least 1000 Miles of use. They very kindly sent in a pair of their new trail sock for us to put through their paces, so faced with the issue of how to review a seemingly innocuous garment, I decided to just wear the pair to near-death, and see how the journey went. Unfortunately (or fortunately) they’re so hard wearing that they aren’t even nearly near death despite being put through their urban and rural paces.
I have, in the past, tried to keep my socks quite minimalistic; thin, anti-blister socks have been my go to, but in recent months, I’ve gotten some hellish blisters, and not even when running in wet conditions. I reluctantly admitted that it probably was my trainers, but had stubbornly refused to throw them away, despite the fact that they had utter contempt for my feet. I decided to resurrect them to see if the 1000 Mile Trail Socks could supress my shoes’ newfound appetite for bits of my skin.
So far, so smooth; a suburban 5k left my feet in pristine condition. One point to the 1000 Miles. My feet didn’t heat up too much either, which is usually the warning sign that pain is a-coming.
Next challenge: The mud run. Wet, uneven conditions, awkward twisting and turning of feet on obstacles and chest-deep mud. These are just a few things that will test even the most specialised OCR gear. Due to the padded areas on the socks, I worried they were going to hold a lot of water. And in truth, they did squelch a bit, but I had set them a near impossible task. I can’t say that if affected my gait or comfort when running though, and if you’ll forgive the horrendous picture, you’ll see that when I took them off after the run, you’ll notice that my foot was incredibly clean considering the literal bogs I had squelched through. There wasn’t any debris in the socks, so I was very happy with the snug fit around my ankle. Again, blister free.
It’s hard to feel deep love for a pair of socks, but it’s very easy to feel contempt for a pair that make your feet feel like they’re screaming every time you put weight on them. I’m happy to say that the 1000 Mile Trail Sock is an investment that your feet will thank you for, and at 12.99 for two pairs, so will your wallet. These socks will carry your snug little feet through trails and tribulations for less than half the price of a competitor. You will notice they are thicker than most anti-blister socks, so you have to make that a consideration when choosing your shoes, and they seem to come up a little big, but they wash well, keep their shape and most importantly, live up to their blister free guarantee. No brainer.