RW Test: Socks

Here's what to look for:

Wicking Opt for socks that contain some or all of Lycra, polyester, nylon or wool. These help wick sweat away, keeping the socks, and your feet, dry and comfortable and helping prevent blisters.
Stitching Choose flat seams or a seamless design in crucial areas such as the heel and across the toes to cut out chafing and blisters.
Fit Ensure the fit is snug and look for elasticated sections around the arch and across the top cuff, which help to keep the sock in place.
Breathability Mesh panels allow air to circulate in order to keep the feet cool.
Ergonomics Many socks come designed specifically for the left and right foot so that the fit is extra snug, and can also have special cushioning features on different parts of the sole for a plusher ride.


Under Armour Heatgear Lo Cut, £10.01 (pack of two)
Contact www.underarmour.com

The heavy ribbing and mesh support on the arch meant they stayed virtually glued to the foot like a second skin. The seamless design of the heel made for a comfortable ride but after about four miles the stitching on the toes started to rub slightly, while wicking was average, so long runs in these aren’t recommended.

How It Rated
Fit 9 Comfort 7 Wicking 5 Cushioning 6 TOTAL 27


Craft Run Pro Cool, £8
Contact www.craft.se or 01685 812 111

Made from a polyester/Lycra mix, these felt extremely thin but wicked away sweat very well – so best for summer use. Mesh panels on the ankle and top kept the feet cool and compression ribbing around the arch kept the sock in place. However, there was some rubbing from the stitching on the toes.

How It Rated
Fit 7 Comfort 6 Wicking 7 Cushioning 4 TOTAL 24

 

 


1000 Mile Ultimate performance socklet, £7.99
Contact www.1000mile.co.uk

The wicking quality was the most impressive thing about these socks. They’re on the thick side so are best for winter running. Cushioning was above average and the fit was snug initially, but they lost shape after a few washes, which made them bunch up slightly on the run.

How It Rated
Fit 6 Comfort 5 Wicking 8 Cushioning 7 TOTAL 26


Bridgedale Active Coolmax, £9
Contact www.bridgedale.com

Made from a cotton/Lycra/polyester mix, these were among the thicker socks on test but were cushioned because of this, although perhaps better suited to cold weather. The fit was secure, particularly around the heel, although they did become slightly loose around the middle after a few runs. Wicking was excellent.

How It Rated
Fit 7 Comfort 7 Wicking 9 Cushioning 7 TOTAL 30


Boosox Pro, £12.50
Contact www.crewroom.biz

Made from eco-friendly bamboo fibre, these socks were breathable and felt soft and fluffy to wear. Cushioning was superb thanks to a thicker sole, and the fit was secure and snug thanks to ribbing on the arch and across the cuff. Wicking was also extremely impressive even when running in hot weather.

How It Rated
Fit 7 Comfort 8 Wicking 8 Cushioning 9 TOTAL 32


Thorlo Experia, £10.99
Contact www.specialistsocks.co.uk

The cushioning on these socks was outstanding, thanks to thickened sections around the heel and under the forefoot, and yet they weren’t overly weighty. An elasticated compression section around the arch and the cuff kept the sock in place, and they possessed excellent wicking ability and good breathability.

How It Rated
Fit 9 Comfort 9 Wicking 8 Cushioning 10 TOTAL 36