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
- 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.
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.
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!