A Day Hiker Reviews Thorlos Socks for Sock-Off 2011

Thorlos The World's Best Foot Care! If you’ve been following my blog you know that I wrote a guide a while back outlining some points to consider when choosing the right hiking socks which caused quite the debate on twitter and eventually spawned the ultimate sock showdown… The Great Sock-Off 2011!

Point6 was the first sock tested and you can read my evaluation of their pros and cons and see how well they measured up in my review here – A Day Hiker Reviews Point6 Socks for Sock-Off 2011

Thorlo is the next sock up so I donned my Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks and hit the 8 mile Sag Valley Yellow Trail once again. Field testing my Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks with the following criteria in mind:

  • Price and availability
  • Comfort and Fit
  • Padding and Support
  • Durability
  • Overall Performance on the Trail

This is not my first time wearing Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks, in fact I own more than a few pair. However, this is the first time I have systematically and methodically tested them based on pre-defined criteria and as with last weeks review… I was more than a little surprised at my findings.

Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks

Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks

Price and availability:

My Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks set me back $13.99, which is actually pretty inexpensive as far as hiking socks go. I purchased them from Dick’s Sporting Goods but you can find them just about anywhere including REI, The Sports Authority, Campmor or if you really like a bargain, you can do like I do and Get The Outdoor Gear You Need At Up To 70% Below Retail At The Clymb.com

Comfort and Fit:

As I said I have worn Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks before and I am used to their fit, which can be a little loose. If you’ve never worn them before the first thing you will notice is their thickness. They are quite thick, perhaps twice as thick as the wool socks reviewed last week, yet they are still comfortable.

Padding and Support:

I expect padding and support from a hiking sock and Thorlo excels in this category. My Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks offered supportive cushioning across the instep as well as under foot without being bulky or constricting. Thorlo definitely has the upper hand in this category.

Durability:

Just as last week, I have to say this is a wash. A hike of 8.5 miles is not nearly long enough to test the true durability of any sock. However I will update this after several more hikes, and several more washes to let you know how they held up.

Overall Performance on the Trail:

I have to be honest here… I came into this thinking the Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks would run the table in this contest and yet I have to report… I’ve had a change of heart. Although Thorlo claims their all synthetic fibers help pull moisture away from the foot, unlike natural fibers like wool which tend to absorb your sweat and cling to your foot, I found the exact opposite to be true. My feet were much drier after hiking in my Point6 socks from last week than they were after hiking the same hike in my Thorlo socks this week. Although still a good sock I think  overall Thorlo socks did not do as well as I expected in The Great Sock-Off 2011 and I may have a new favorite.

We’ll see what happens with the next contender… Stay tuned for the next Great Sock-Off 2011 review featuring the Injinji Outdoor Series Trail Toesock!

Full Disclosure: I purchased the Thorlos socks used in this review myself, they were not provided to me by the manufacturer nor their distributors. I was not compensated in any way to provide an opinion on their products, services or website. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

What do you think of the Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks?  Do you have any questions about them?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thorlos is Next up in Sock-Off 2011: Pre-Hike Rundown

Thorlos The World's Best Foot Care! Last week brought us the first round of reviews in the ultimate sock showdown, The Great Sock-Off 2011.  Adam Dave and I put our Point6 socks to the test on the trail and then offered our opinions on their performance.

You can read Adam’s Point6 sock review at his blog HikingTheTrail.com

And Dave’s Point 6 sock review can be found at his blog DaveCreech.com

My Point6 sock review was rather surprising, especially considering that I was advocating synthetic fibers coming into this debate! Quite frankly Point6 did better, much better than I expected a wool sock to do!

Now Adam, Dave and I will be hitting the trail again. This time wearing Thorlos synthetic fiber socks and putting them through their paces. Just as last week all three of us will put our socks to similar tests, evaluating their pros and cons, and then compare them to see which fiber reigns supreme! Will it be wool? Or will it be synthetic?

Once again I’ll be hiking one of my favorite trails, the 8 mile Sag Valley Yellow Trail. A loop starting at the Swallow Cliff parking lot, the wide trail hugs the base of the bluff as it heads eastward, eventually circling southwest to McClaughry Springs and then to the top of the moraine above McClaughry woods. The trail then weaves down through the Laughing Squaw Sloughs and continues west across the Sag Valley, named for the former Saganashkee Swamp.

The Gear:

Thorlo-CoolMax Synthetic trail running socks in Keen Targhee II’s

The Criteria:

  • Price and availability
  • Comfort and Fit
  • Padding and Support
  • Durability
  • Overall Performance on the trail

Point6 put in a strong performance last week… Can Thorlo match it? Who knows? Follow hashtag #Sockoff2011 on twitter for more information!

But don’t just take my word for it! Remember to read Adam’s Thorlos review at his blog HikingTheTrail.com, and Dave’s Thorlos review at his blog DaveCreech.com, and of course you know where to find mine right? So stay tuned for the results!

Better yet, instead of just reading about it… Why not participate? Get up, get out, and get hiking! You can Get The Outdoor Gear You Need At Up To 70% Below Retail At The Clymb.com So join today and get yourself a pair of wool socks and a pair of synthetic socks and participate in The Great Sock Off 2011!

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