When the packaging reads “Best socks on the planet”, you can’t help but expect something a little special.
And what adds a bit of X-factor to these otherwise unassuming kit staples from Edinburgh-based firm Teko is the material they are made from – recycled fishing nets, which explains the firm’s second boast “Best socks for the planet”.
The microfibre used in the creation of the socks is 100% recyclable (a facet which earned the firm the top gong in the sustainable innovations category at 2015’s International Outdoor Industry Awards). The company also allows customers to send their threadbare pairs back to Teko to be made into new socks.
Despite the slightly unorthodox material, the Italian-made Runfit Evapor8 socks include a number of appealing features – including a lack of seams, moisture wicking and extreme durability.
With my feet surrounded by a sock made from recycled yarns, I was concerned about a lack of comfort and cushioning as I pounded south-west London’s pavements on a series of one-hour runs throughout August.
Happily, these little black-with-blue wonders (the blue hue of the socks’ accent was chosen to represent their marine origins) were easy to forget about – which is meant very much as a compliment.
The socks’ seamless design means that there’s nothing to rub against your toes as you travel – something I’ve found has led to some pretty nasty blisters in the past, particularly around my little toes.
More surprises came when I came to peel the socks off. Normally, when clad in bog-standard black office-wear numbers, socks end up a rather soggy affair. But, when I shed my shoes I found my feet were comfortably dry – and cooler than I’d expect after an hour’s run.
As a man who has experienced the tedium of treating athlete’s foot in the past, anything that helps make my toes less hospitable to opportunistic fungi the happier I am.
The Teko website pegs pairs at £10 a pop, and while they aren’t the cheapest running socks you can find online neither are they the most expensive. Given their quality, comfort and temperature control they’re probably worth spending those extra few pounds on.
And if you care about your environmental footprint as well as your physical one – you’d be hard-pressed to find socks that combine great functionality with green credentials like these.