HJ Hall – ProTrek Explorer Socks

When I heard my letterbox clatter late one evening I got excited, maybe someone was posting me a leaflet for FREE curry delivery. But no. The powers that be at GearWeAre were popping a pair of socks through for review.

HJ hall sock

Socks aren’t the sexiest things to write about; after all, how much can one say about a pair of socks? They fit, keep my feet warm and don’t smell…that’s about it usually.

However, these weren’t just any old socks. These were ProTrek Explorer socks – technical socks in other words.

That doesn’t mean socks that can tune in your TV and mend your Mac – it means socks that have certain features to support your love of outdoor pursuits.

Technical socks can be quite expensive to buy, because they should have certain features that mean they are really good to your feet as you hike, climb, trek and tromp.

This can make them costly to produce – and dear to buy – which means that they deserve a good wearing and a comprehensive review wherever possible, to aid someone else’s buying decision.

So I didn’t really mind that it was socks through the letterbox rather than a free curry delivery leaflet, honest…

I’ve never bought (or received via my letterbox) a pair of socks that came with quite so much information before however. But these ProTrek bad boys came with acres of info …

HJ hall packaging

That put me off a little.

It was like the company behind the product felt the need to shout about it. Surely a sock should speak for itself. It’s either comfortable and warm, or it’s not.

Sadly in this particular case, I really don’t think the socks live up to the marketing hype.

Here’s (just some of) the hype :

  • Made from Merino wool
  • Comfort top
  • Comfort toe seam
  • Localized Terry leg (seriously…)
  • Lace guard
  • High heel (high heeled socks – new one on me)
  • Arch support
  • Water repellent
  • Stain resistant (don’t know about you, but I live in fear of staining my socks)
  • Moisture management
  • Made in Great Britain

Here’s the sock :

  • Warm
  • Soft
  • Not itchy
  • No seams that rub in all the wrong places – which is really good as they prevented blisters and sore patches even in my toughest boots
  • Wash well and dry fast
  • Hasn’t shrunk despite plenty of wearing and washing
  • Doesn’t stink even after a long walk, or a walk in my manky wellies

However…these socks :

  • Lack any form of support around the arch or ankle – which I didn’t like, and which didn’t really suit my middle-aged feet for long romps up big hills as much as other socks I have bought and worn
  • Come with way too much in the form of unnecessary blather about features and benefits…fortunately this is all printed on recyclable cardboard for ease of swift and eco-friendly disposal


In conclusion

If you’re looking for warm, soft and seamless socks, and you care about things like them being made in Great Britain out of Merino wool, consider these socks.

If you get annoyed by people using ridiculous marketing babble, or you want socks that really support your feet for walking long distances in unforgiving footwear, look elsewhere.

Finally, these aren’t high-heeled socks despite the marketing material, and if anyone can tell me a localized Terry leg is, I’d be delighted to hear from them, because frankly that just sounds silly.