This is a Guest Review by Chris.
Mid-life crisis still in full flow (and showing no signs of diminishing), I signed up for JustWalk, a 60km trek across the South Downs from Goodwood Racecourse organised by a company called Across The Divide.
With only 9 days to go and having just completed a 27 mile warm-up with holey old Bridgedales and a ropey pair of running shoes which were a long way beyond their serviceable life strapped to my feet – my trusty Scarpa mountain boots seemed over the top for this one – I found myself nursing a couple of painful sausage-shaped blisters across the backs of my heels and sore, gooey and mangled skin on the balls of my feet (apologies for the graphic description).
Clearly a re-evaluation of my choice of foot clobber was required before the big day.
Having canvassed a number of people experienced in this type of activity, including a few squaddies, the ’1000 Mile Sock’ was mentioned a few times so I decided to give it a try, reasoning that it should be more than adequate for a measly 37 miles.
1000 Mile socks use a double layer of material, so that it’s these two surfaces that rub over each other during walking, and save your foot from rubbing on the shoe. The idea being that the sock becomes an artificial blister itself.
Standing in my local sports shop, it was soon apparent that the ‘1000 Mile Sock’ is not just one sock, but a whole bewildering range; socks in every material you can imagine (and some you cannot) and numerous styles, shapes and sizes each intended for a specific activity or set of conditions. I ended up picking up a pair with ‘new’ on the packet and the longest list of features and benefits (without really reading them). The statement that stood out for me, though, was ‘BLISTER FREE GUARANTEE’. Specific details of the ones I selected can be found below. They were around £11.
So, did they work?
Well, on the big day my walking partner and I actually completed a total of 67 km (in a 60km race – don’t ask) after 10 hours and 47 minutes of non-stop walking and, unbelievably, my feet actually appeared to be in better shape than before I started! I confess to protecting my left heel with a Compeed and some zinc tape, but that’s all. I should mention that it was a reasonably warm and humid day and my feet remained completely cool and dry throughout. So yes, I have to say they were astoundingly effective.
Whether I accidentally chose the perfect pair for the activity I was doing, I have no idea, and the fact that I was wearing lightweight and ventilated Nike running shoes (new!) may have contributed to the coolness of my feet. I guess that my experience may not have been the same had I teamed them a different boot or shoe.
A few details from the 1000-mile site which are interesting.
The Fusion sock features:
• Full padded achilles tendon protection – the first sock to offer you this!
• Arch bracing gives additional support.
• Extra padding for toe, ball and heel zones.
• Double layer construction eliminates friction between the foot and shoe, reducing wear and preventing blisters.
• Tactel Inner layer wicks away perspiration to keep feet dry and cool.
• Outer layer: 57% Nylon, 41% Tactel, 2% Spandex.
• Inner Layer: 100% Tactel.
SUMMARY: Simple one this… they work brilliantly.
Tags and search info for this review: This is a walking sock review. GearWeAre.com tests and reviews hiking socks, running socks, outdoor gear and camping equipment.