Realizing that men and women can be quite different when it comes to gear, clothing, and footwear (I’m tempted to quote that kid from Kindergarten Cop), we have been actively seeking out more women to assist with reviews. Tamara is the ideal tester for footwear, as she walks to school and work after her morning run, so her shoes and socks see a lot of miles every day. Plus, we like her writing style, and she’s brave enough to sniff test socks. Here’s her debut post, a review of some of the Point6 socks we were given at Outdoor Retailer earlier this month.
Good socks are critical to comfortable running – get the wrong pair and you’re looking at blisters, black toenails, or just plain overheating and discomfort. So when Brian brought me a pair of socks to try out, Point6 Extra-Light Mini Crews to be specific, I told him I’d never had a pair of wool socks before and I wasn’t sure it sounded like something I’d want to run in. My feet get really hot and sweaty even in the super light mesh synthetic socks I normally wear, so why would I ever put wool on them? Then he started tossing out words like “anti-microbial” , “moisture control”, and even “temperature regulation”.
“I always thought wool socks were for hiking and camping.” I said.
“Give them a try.” he replied.
I was intrigued and, I admit, more than a little skeptical about all these claims. As I was new to wool socks, I did a little research and found there was a lot to back up these claims. Wool is naturally anti microbial and has a lot of properties that could prove beneficial in running as well as the more traditional uses of hiking and camping. Merino wool is considered the best in terms of strand gauge and comfort. Point6 in particular uses very fine gauge, high quality Merino wool for their socks. The company is named for 98.6, the ideal body temperature that their socks help maintain. They make socks in numerous weights and styles for many different purposes. As an added bonus, they look great! This particular pair was their new Aloha print, featuring blue hibiscus flowers on a black background. Add to that the fact that they use only compact-spun Merino wool, which makes the already top quality wool even more resistant to pilling and allows for more merino fibers per inch for added comfort and strength, and Point6 has a winning recipe. Point6 also has 2 more qualities I love to find in any product. They’re made in the USA and have a 60 day guarantee.
Somewhat reassured, but still skeptical, I decided to test them out. The first test was just a standard morning run. I put them on and immediately loved the cushioning and the arch brace. The toe-seam was even as smooth as promised. I didn’t even notice it, which is saying something as my favorite socks are seamless. They did feel a bit warmer than my standard mesh socks during the run, but not uncomfortably so. I was pleased (and a little surprised) to find that my feet did not continue to build up heat as normal during a run, but just stayed as warm as they began even without the extra airflow the mesh affords. The real surprise came when I returned from my run and kept my shoes and socks on without even thinking about it. My feet were just plain comfortable, not over heated like I normally experience. Add to that the fact that when I took them off my feet were nearly dry (and if you knew how much I sweat, you’d know what a big deal this is), and I was seriously impressed. I showered and pulled them back on, for a full day of work and 5 miles of walking. When I finally came home and took them off and gave them a tentative sniff I was, once again, impressed. They didn’t smell like anything at all. So, I wore them again the next day, with the same results. Then, just for good measure, I washed one and wore them in a race this weekend. When I got done, my feet were again more comfortable than I was anticipating. I (very tentatively) sniffed them when I got home and really wasn’t sure I could tell the difference, they smelled almost identical. I now plan on wearing them several runs in a row on a regular basis. Although, since they are machine washable and dryer safe, I won’t feel too bad if they get tossed in with my other running gear.
All in all, I have to admit that my skepticism was misplaced and Point6 socks have surpassed my expectations and lived up to every claim the company makes. Their quality, comfort and durability make them perfect for a variety different sports and activities, or for everyday use. I’m looking forward to getting myself some of the running ultra light micro socks and suggest you head on over and check them out as well. You really won’t be sorry. www.point6.com