Monday, 10 September 2012

Gear Review - Men's Wool Ultra Socks- 2-3 Season

To say these have been a lifesaver would be a tad of an over statement – but my trip to Jersey would have certainly been more painful without them...

For reasons best left to another blog post, on my recent trip to film and experience walks on Jersey I discovered at Doncaster Airport I had left my walking boots at home.  I know, as I said, the reasons are best left to another blog post…

So, I was down on the itinerary to go on a “Moonwalk” along the coast during low tide, a walk through some the green lanes of Jersey and a challenging hike along the north coast part of the Channel Islands Way.

Now, for the Moonwalk, the crocs were a must, and they were fine for the roads and paths of the green lane walk – but for the north coast part of the Channel Islands Way – with its rocky coast, undulating paths and steep climbs, crocs certainly wouldn't have been my choice…  Brasher Fellmasters yes, crocs a definite no.

I had visions of blisters; of broken nails; of rubbed feet unable to convey me around the rest of my trip to this fabulous island.

So, having these socks in my kit back to review, I decided to save them for my coastal jaunt – and I'm glad I did.

First impressions are good.  The light grey colouring is one I don't mind people seeing between my trousers and my boots when I sit down, and it makes a change from the various shades of brown people who buy me socks for Christmas always seem to find.  (Seriously, how many shades of brown can there be in sock wool?)

Upon putting them on, it’s clear they are a great fit – not too big, which is always my bug-bear with walking socks.  This means all the parts of the sock is in contact with the areas they are supposed to on the foot.  The elastic around the top of the sock is judged well – not too tight as to stop the circulation to the foot, but not too loose that they fall down all the time.

So, I took them out for a road test along that north Jersey section of the Channel Island Way.  It’s strange attempting a path which, at times, can get quite challenging in crocs, but the socks certainly helped.  Obviously, socks with crocs provides nowhere near the support wearing a proper set of walking boots does but I was able to do the whole walk I'd planned without having feet throbbing like in a cartoon.  And when you think I’m walking around double the length of the 5 miles of the planned route to allow for the filming, that is no mean feat.

I can happily tell you that although they aren't necessarily designed to be waterproof, they do seem to resist water quite well.  Now, this might not be too important when you haven't got sidetracked and are wearing sensible walking boots, but when you're walking one of the most beautiful coastal paths in the world in crocs, it is good to know…  (note to self, always check footwear in future)  And when they get wet, they dry out quickly.

Subsequent wares of the socks inside proper walking boots have shown them to be most comfortable, and, during walks in the cooler temperatures of late autumn, fairly warm too.

So, in conclusion, they are a great ware and I certainly would recommend them for serious walkers everywhere... not just on Jersey.

What's good...
Great fit
Warm without being too sweaty

What's bad...
Started to go a tad bobbly after several washes

Brasher Men's Wool Ultra Socks- 2-3 Season - Rough price - £12
Walks Around Britain rating 8/10

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