The wonderful world of sports and outdoor socks
Socks! Ordinary little items of clothing that keep you feet warm and comfy while inside shoes or slippers. They come in pairs and different colours and all too often get lost in the wash. Oh, but there is a whole lot more to socks than most of us could ever imagine.
In the world of sports and outdoor activity activities, socks now have their own department, with many shops and on-line stores giving over far more space to the perfect pairings than ever seems necessary. For socks now come in numerous shapes, sizes, fits and colourways. They are made from hundreds of different materials. They offer a host of technical detailing that until you’re told you might need, you could never have thought you would!
I’ve watched with fascination over the last five or so years as the number and range of socks in sports shops and outdoors stores as multiplied. This is no understatement. Where once there were running socks in three sizes, now there are dozens of socks and all in many sizes. For starters, there are single skin, twin skin, anklet, elite cushioned quarter, 1,00 milers, compression, trail, dri-fit, knee high, lightweight, padded, heavier weight socks. And that’s not all of them!
In the outdoors shops, where you might want to buy hiking socks, climbing socks, cycling socks, camping socks etc etc the long list of types of socks continues.
In my own sock draw I have socks in numerous categories (not all paired obviously!). My sock collection includes: single skin and twin skin for road running, cushioned running socks for off-road, waterproof hiking, knee-length walking, cushioned walking, fitted ski socks, ski tube socks, cycling specific socks, and on and on. I’m not sure I actually own an “ordinary” old-fashioned pair of socks anymore. You know the type, nondescript in black and suitable for all kinds of shoes!
I think that for every type of sports and outdoors footwear that I own – and I do own quite a range! – I have at least three different types of socks to suit.
I’ve been thinking for a while that I might start a whole new section on this blog that looks at the merits of the different socks. Maybe I’ll invite guest sock bloggers! In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you about the latest pair of socks that have been sent to me for my views. Brasher Naturale Socks are pretty typical of the modern-day species of outdoor socks in that they include a lot of features. These are:
- Lightweight and natural 100% bamboo yarn
- UV resistance
- Climate control
- Cross-sectional micro fibre to absorb and evaporate moisture
- Natural anti-bacterial properties.
- Mesh construction at the top of the foot to assist breathability and ventilation
- Long and short styles
- Range of colours, including a lovely purple and lilac for women.
- Lycra support bands in the arch and ankle areas to prevent slippage and rotation.
- Double cuff to gently hold the sock in place.
The socks are priced at £12 for a pair of Naturale Long and £11 for Naturale Short. Believe me this isn’t pricey when you compare the socks to some thinner, more easily worn out running versions that come in at more than £12 a pair.
While I tried the shorter Brasher Naturale Socks, the G-Force popped on a pair of the longer socks. We both grinned instantly when we felt how cosy and soft the socks are on bare foot skin. “Like padding about on strips of marshmallows,” said the G-Gorce. “Lovely and cosy and comfy,” he added. I agree/d.
I’ve worn these socks while out tramping on the hills and when cycling (I hate to have chilly feet while on my bike). They fit snugly and don’t move about (as they suggested on the label). They have kept my feet warm on chilly spring and summer days and when hiking to the top of Munros.
I’d recommend them for lighter style hiking during warmer months. In the winter I prefer a sock that is a thicker (see “kit reviews” for a few ideas).
I’m a little ashamed to admit that the G-Force and I also did a sniff test on these socks. Having worn them for an evening walking to the pub, then overnight in a sleeping bag while camping out and then while on our bikes for a few hours our feet/socks smelt remarkably OK!
Good-looking, practical and with lots of useful features (although I’m not entirely convinced that my feet need quite so much technical detail) the new Brasher socks have become a favourite for me – and they are still living as a pair! Result.
If you check out the link for Brasher women’s socks you’ll discover there are 14 pairs in this one department. Then there are another 12 pairs of men’s socks and even a pair of Adventure socks for the kids. This is just one outdoors clothing company. Every brand has its own range of sports and outdoor socks. Just take a look. But be warned as the choice can be utterly mind-boggling. Does anyone want to employ me full-time as a sock reviewer?!