Wednesday, March 9, 2011



Words/Images Judith Ecochard

MADE IN THE USA…unlike practically everything else on the planet, many brands of performance socks---including two companies we review here…Thorlo® and Fits™Sock Co.… rely on the technical know-how to deliver the innovations that make a difference in foot comfort. We can only think of Los Angeles made, high-end denim …kinda a similar industry... where the concentration of skilled workers and quality control trump dollar savings gained from manufacturing abroad.

And we strongly feel---that socks make all the difference between misery and tolerable when the rest of one's outfit is a head to toe "What Not To Wear..." 

With the multi-hued, cool looking Experia socks, North Carolina based Thorlos has us all running in a minimalist cushioned socks with moisture management capabilities. (Prior Review).

NEW: The 84N Runner “MAXIMIN PROTECTION = MINIMUM WEIGHT” for Spring 2011, a new padded sock that’s all about full protection without the weight ---only an added ounce added to the mix.

Activity specific as MO has always been a Thorlo mantra---and this new sock is great for serious runners---- those pounding away on uneven surfaces like trails, or logging in long distances--- and desire the ball, heel, toe protection of the classic Thorlo.

WHAT ELSE: Thorlo is using Invista’s Lycra® FX™ …which is a special yarn that’s cooling, extremely dry efficient…moving moisture away from the skin, and with enhanced rebound action too.

Basically, all the desirable properties of CoolMax® with a high recovery…that’s helpful especially for those suffering from blisters, or black toe. 

AND---terrific fit/no slippage---in specific men and women’s designs.

FITS™ SOCK CO. naturally emerged from the 110 years oldster; Niota, TN based Crescent Sock Company. Having produced as a private labeler, the accumulated know-how in superior construction fit, using top materials (the multi-tasker Merino Wool) results in a new breed of performance socks tricked out smartly AND gloriously branded wrappings ---as good as any launch we’ve ever seen…

Including beauty/cosmetic debuts where the packaging is beyond serious.

We had a tutorial on the whole company MO---with:

---Made with 18 micron wool yarn (FYI-cashmere is 16)---for soft to the skin warmth, breathability and amazing fit of ultra-fine Merino Wool…for the “FEEL”

---A looped toe---with no noticeable toe seam (as in no friction there which can be immensely annoying)

---Sculptured shapes that include an expanded toe box---that opens up a bit (and recovers) so it doesn’t bunch up ---as the same time as the rest of the sock has a compression type of support via a contoured leglock...

---And socks with a deep heel pocket and non-slip arch support---so one’s actually heel always stays put in the sock---aka “FITS in place.”

Summed up in the “FUNCTION of F3 Technology™ (of the Fit, Feel, Function mission-that) prevents bunching, hot spots, and friction.”

Uni-sex sizing in color-coded labels (indicating size wise and cushion level), mark the activity specific socks that all manage to mold to ones feet.

We thought the Ultra-Light Low-Cut Hiker, “…that your shoe won’t eat…” great for day hikes…

There’s also a Light Hiker Qtr, Light and Medium cushioned Hiker crews and a thick Rugged Crew, great for colder temps. $17.99-$20.99)

The over the calf Ski socks--- in Ultra-Light, Light and Medium cushioning options (heel, toe, shin), and the fully Merino Wool cushioned Winter Sports product (with a durable nylon reinforced exterior) ---were getting a lot of attention when we were there.($19.99-$24.99)
Double-Duty -Lighting Up

Running socks (low cut, quarter, light and ultra-light), and specifically packaged socks and liners for hunters, trackers (we assume that means human bounty hunters-and law enforcement tracking parole violators----the kind of hunting we think really requires a skill set) and waders---as in fly fishing----are also for sale. ($15.99-$20.99)

We zeroed in on the Business socks that featured a Liner type ped-covering ...

...and a crew with the comfy flat-knit design for pricey dressy footwear. In urban appropriate black, of course.


A double welted top with hidden size and style identifier---really handy when doing ginormous amounts of laundry for multiple family member.