December 12, 2009
By Anderson Bowman
I have been using Thorlo brand socks for as long as I have been hiking. They make the only socks and sock liners that I am willing to purchase. When the chance to get my hands on the new Thorlo Experia Wool/Silk socks came along I was willing to wrestle someone for a pair.
I may have had to wait a bit, but at least I did not have to wrestle anyone for these socks. They are so new that after a bit of digging I could not even find them on the website. According the information that came with my pair of test socks, the company had been trying to meet demand for the Coolmax version of this sock before they could even consider starting production on the Wool/Silk version. I always knew the world was full of Thorlo fans besides me.
The Thorlo Experia Wool/Silk Socks are a “micro-mini crew” design which means they are short socks. Other than that I would go so far as to describe them as anti-socks. Thorlo seems to have gone as far as to remove all the extra “sock” fabric from the Experia Wool/Silk Socks and left me with what appears to be a pad for the balls of my feet and my heels. Other that those two portions of the sock, the rest is very thin, stretchy fabric. I know that description probably does not do them justice, but the Experia Wool/Silk socks are constructed from just about as little material as there can be and still be considered a sock.
While it may look strange, I have a feeling that this is not a bad idea. Make the important, stress bearing portions of the sock thick and do away with the rest actually seems logical to me. Make the most important portions of the item durable and comfortable and while the rest of the sock is thinner and holds everything else together in a functional form.
I have put the socks on and logged a few miles of trail running in them using my old Sketchers brand jogging shoes. They fit just great and the idea of padding where it is needed and none where it is not needed works pretty well from casual use. I am looking forward to putting more use on them as I do more hiking and running over the next few months so that I can see how they are going to hold up over a prolonged period.
January 12, 2010
by Anderson Bowman
After a month of hard use by my limited standards I have been very impressed by the Thorlo Experia Wool/Silk socks. I have probably used them at least every other day for running (outdoors and on a treadmill), and so far, so good.
These socks have taken a pounding on my feet, but they have held up very well to the abuse. I have only washed them a couple of times and despite constant use they have never really started to stink. So to start with REALLY COMFORATABLE and fairly stink free is a good sign to me.
They take a bit of getting used to since they are almost like not wearing socks at all. They are light weight and just about as unsock-like as I can imagine. Their lack of bulk makes them perfect for my running shoes and in a pinch I have worn them with dress shoes as well. The one place they do not belong is in my hiking boots. I gave that a whirl once and that was about it for me. My ankles rubbed against the boot and left me with some nasty hot spots. I cannot blame the Thorlos for this since they are obviously designed to be worn with athletic shoes and not boots, but I had to give it a try.
As far as running or other exercise related pursuits, the Thorlo Experia Wool/Silk socks are great. The padding has held great after a couple of washings and constant use and at this point I have no worries about the durability of these socks.
I want to touch on comfort for just a moment before I sign off this month. My first impression of these socks was that there was no way they could be real socks. There was just not enough fabric there to make them work. After wearing them around the house and in shoes I discovered that the lack of fabric does not matter a hill of beans. The padding is thick enough to protect the important parts of my feet and durable enough to hold up to heavy wear. I cannot tell what kind of socks they are when my shoes are on and that is the point I guess I am trying to make. They may look weird, but they work just as well if not better than the other low cut athletic socks I own. I know they tend to smell a whole lot better than my other socks after a week of use.
I have also had no issues with hot spots or blistering in these socks. I know they get rather damp after a run, but they have not led to any type of foot damage of any kind. I lean towards synthetic socks when I run because of their moisture wicking abilities, but I will say that the natural fibers in these socks work just as well as any synthetic sock I have worn.
I will be back in about a month with new pictures and an update on how well these socks are holding up.
Strange Looking Socks that Feel Like Heaven on My Feet
February 13, 2010
by Anderson Bowman
At this point I cannot believe that I have been using the Thorlo Experia Wool/Silk socks for three months. Between trail running and running on the treadmill, I have been wearing these socks almost every other day for this whole time. I guess simply stating that I like them is a bit of an understatement.
A typical run is between 2.5 and 4 miles dependant on several factors. Despite the wear and tear the socks still look new and feel just as good on my feet as they did the first time I put them on. My only complaint at this point is that I only have one pair of them, but I am pretty sure that sometime in the near future I will remedy that by purchasing a few more pairs.
I feel pretty secure in wanting more of these socks since my first pair has held up to my cycle of running every other day and washing once a week for the last three months without any visible signs of wear or tear. They fit fine, the padding is still fluffy, and they do not have any nasty odors that will not wash out. I am actually pretty impressed by the fact that these socks never seemed to develop any serious odors even with only a once a week washing.
I have never been a huge fan of ‘short’ topped socks like the Thorlo Experia Wool/Silk socks, but at this point I can honestly report that they are one heck of a sock to run in. They keep my feet warm and comfortable in cold weather and allow my feet to breathe and cool off in warmer situations. There have not been any terrain or climate issues that have forced me to use any other pair of socks on my running over the last few months.
All I now need is a few more pairs and more time to run and I would probably in running heaven with these socks. So I will go hide my one and only pair from my wife and hope that she never figures out how comfortable they are till I have more pairs to share. So while they look a bit strange, they work like little slices of heaven.