I’m always on the lookout for good running socks, so I was chuffed when this little pair landed on my doorstep. I was a bit sceptical at first, because wool? On your sweaty feet? Feeling all scratchy and woolly and wet? *shudder*
Wet wool is like fingernails down a blackboard for me. It’s nauseating and makes me feel spiky.
But I gritted my teeth and gave them a go anyway…
And was very pleasantly surprised. In fact, I love them.
I tried them out on a cold, windy day and found them to be extremely comfortable.
Let’s take a look at the sock features. Yep: there are features. And there bloody should be when you consider they’re about a tenner.
So, the marketing blurb says:
“We put all of our smarts into these new and improved run socks that feature our 4 DegreeTM elite fit system, ReliaWoolTM technology for superior durability and a virtually seamless toe. Women’s-specific mesh ventilation zones provide ultimate temperature and moisture regulation where female runners need it most. A low cut height provides that ideal balance of protection and style.”
(You can watch a video here explaining the tech & development behind the sock)
Okay, let’s take a look. Firstly, I wasn’t aware that women’s feet and men’s feet differed in the way they sweated, but I’ll take their word for it.
The toe is seamless, which makes the socks very comfortable indeed. They’re also padded in all the right places: toes, ball and heel of your foot, and up onto the outside ‘knuckle’, where your little toe joins your foot. And over the inside ‘knuckle’, where your big toe joins, too.
The rear cuff of the sock is also padded, to provide some cushioning where the back of your running shoe meets your achilles.
All this works really well to make your feet feel pampered and comfortable while running. I haven’t had blisters since I’ve been using these socks — which goes some way to showing that (for me at least) these are top notch socks.
They were very comfortable the other day when I went for a run on a lovely warm spring evening, too. My feet didn’t overheat and they didn’t get unpleasantly sweaty. In fact, they were less sweaty than when I wear my other running socks.
As for the balance of protection and style, I couldn’t really comment on the style aspect. Due to the fact that I look like a cross between a velociraptor and Mr Motivator when I run, to varying degrees depending on how tired I am and how far I’ve gone, the last thing on my mind is what my socks make me look like.
I’m too busy worrying about not expiring, and also what my interesting running gait makes me look like.
So, style aside, I give these socks two big toes up.
Good work, SmartWool. I’d buy them. In fact, I’m going to buy myself a second pair.
Price: £13.99 (RRP)