To the best of my knowledge this heavy weight sock from sock guru’s Horizon is the first to feature PrimaLoft’s Silver Performance Yarn Merino Wool Blend, this innovation gives you additional softness and warmth, but also means that they are faster drying than a basic merino sock.
Fit wise they are great – when worn with walking boots/shoes you simply don’t notice them – and like a good goalie – if a sock is doing a good job you really shouldn’t notice them. They are snug enough that when worn with wellies they don’t do that annoying thing of wandering off under your feet. When worn with the aforementioned rubber boots you really do notice and benefit from the softness and cushioning that the PrimaLoft/Merino wool combo gives you.
Interestingly (well to me anyway!) the sole is Isofil – which is polypropylene, so these socks really are rocking a lot of tech within their fibres. The advantage of the sole being polyprop is that it tends to wick moisture better. I can attest that this works thanks to a few (unintended!) hours wandering along the Shropshire Way in wellies – my feet were rather hot thanks to wearing entirely the wrong footwear for the length of time I was out and about but I didn’t get that horrid damp feeling that you can get with other bog standard socks.
The heels and toe are reinforced with Cordura (yet more tech!) to supposedly give you more durability. But, this is where the socks lose some of their wow factor for me. I’ve had them on a long term test now (6 months) and have worn them a fair amount when out walking and the heel part inside is looking a little bit worse for wear. The Cordura may well be tough but the inner PrimaLoft mixture can’t seem to take the same battering and is looking, well, exhausted! To a layman’s eyes it seems like the hard Cordura is wearing away the PrimaLoft.
The keen eyed amongst you will have noticed the ridge detailing across the front of the foot – these are more than just a design flourish and are in fact ventilation channels to aid breathability.
One last design feature to bring to your attention is the in-turned welt – this is the bit at the top of the sock. This is a good couple of inches which is great as it really adds to the comfort factor when out on a long-ish hike.
I tested the heavy weight Expedition sock but they are also available in a lighter weight explore version which are both calf length. There is a longer knee length Extreme version which is best suited for mountaineering boots and the like.
So in conclusion, price wise they are on a par with others in this category, and for this sum of money you are also buying into a fair bit of research and investment in the socks materials.
When turned inside out these are not the neatest pair of socks I’ve tested (but who tends to do that other than eagle eyed testers?!) They more than live up to their claims of comfort and warmth and you could really fill the time whilst out walking entertaining your hiking companions by listing all the tech that is wrapped around your feet!