We kick off this week with a simple sock review from Swiftwick with views from two of our Ultra168 Supporters, Karin Burgess and Glen Smetherham – we wanted to get the male and female perspective on these socks to give our readers the low-down as to whether they’re any good or not. As part of being a supporter, we send out gear for our reviewers to test and keep, just one of the perks of being a Supporter. These are completely unedited (bar the odd spelling or grammar), and are as told by these two.
First up are Karin’s thoughts
Initial impressions: Hot pink?!? These certainly won’t get mixed up with my husband’s socks (they come in 11 different colours). I like the low-cut, but they’re still high enough to prevent the shoe from rubbing. The socks feel lightweight and durable – made in the US, apparently knitted with 200 needles making them the highest density available in socks.
First feel: ‘Like a glove’ as Ace Ventura would say. Quick to pull on, these socks are lightweight and feel snug, like a second-skin. The built-in compression supports the foot arches and is supposed to reduce fatigue – big claim, but in an ultra, anything that can help sounds good.
First run: I did notice my feet slid around in my shoes when I went on a road run. It reminded me of running in stockings, and I’m used to wearing toe socks which have a bit more grip. However, on subsequent runs I got used to the feeling.
Blisters: Luckily my feet are pretty tough normally, and I didn’t notice any blisters or hotspots.
‘Washability’: My daughter has been borrowing these socks, and they’ve been through the wash many times in the last two months – yet they are still in perfect condition.
Would I buy them? Yes, especially if I knew there was a chance of my feet getting wet on a run. My usual socks leave my feet damp and shrivelled by the end of a long run. These socks wick the moisture away quickly with no squelching feeling. I’ll certainly keep wearing them to see if I can actually get a blister!
And here’s the male view from Glen:
First impressions: They have very comfortable compression without feeling too tight in the toes. Socks fit snugly with no bunching & no seams at all. The socks come in various cuff heights ranging from below ankle (zero) to over the calf. (Twelve) I had the four which is a standard crew height sock. Swiftwick used a double welt compression cuff that stays up on the legs. They give you the feeling of a compression sock above the ankle without being too tight on the foot. They also add a bit more protection to the lower leg and reduce the impact of any rocks or occasional clipping above the ankle from the opposite foot.