Opinionated World

Clothing Footwear Mini Reviews

1000 Mile Socks – Walk 500 Miles And 500 More

In the first of our new Mini-Reviews, we’re going to take a look at the 1000 Mile Fusion Anklet Sock. There’s only so much you can say about a pair of socks but 1000 Mile have given us the best opportunity to scribble down a few words for you.

For the most part, socks are generally something that people give little thought to unless they’re undertaking some sort of challenge, especially one that’s long distance. In our everyday lives, we tend to pull out whichever pair are nearest to the top of the drawer, regardless of whether they’re worn through or mismatched.

When it comes to exercise though, our kit is more thought through. We decide whether we want to wear bib shorts when we’re cycling, we choose what shorts to wear when we’re swimming and we choose our socks more carefully when we’re out running or hiking. After all, in those two disciplines the feet are incredibly important – your only point of contact with the ground. If they’re blistered, it’s game over which is why we take more care to prepare.

Tactel makes these softer than you can imagine.

Tactel makes these softer than you can imagine.

1000 Mile offer a range of socks with a ‘blister free guarantee’ which is a very bold claim. However, they also say their socks ‘reduce the chance of getting a blister,’ which doesn’t seem quite so assured. Ironically, 1000 Mile Sportswear act as a distributor for Compeed – the leading brand in blister preventative plasters.

Why the name, 1000 Mile? They say their socks are good to last for 1000 miles and if they wear out before then, you’re entitled to a replacement just like you are if you get a blister while wearing them. They must be pretty confident in their socks!

It’s easy to see how they work – they’ve developed a system that hikers have been using for a long time. Using a liner sock and a thicker hiking sock above keeps your foot drier, more protected and helps to prevent blisters. I can assure you the system works – I somehow managed to complete the Caledonian Challenge without a single blister. Still, I believe it’s mostly down to keeping your feet dry and regularly changing socks.

Inner and outer layers.

Inner and outer layers.

Used as intended - for running.

Used as intended – for running.

The socks use a Tactel liner that wicks away moisture to keep your foot dry and cool. The liner is stitched to the outer layer – what would normally be your second sock – which is a 57/41/2 percent split between Nylon, Tactel and Spandex. Tactel is a fibre twice as soft and 20% lighter than most other fibres. Crucially, it dries eight times quicker than cotton.

The 1000 Mile Fusion Anklet sock is designed primarily for running. It’s an ankle sock, as the name suggests but maintains the double layer design used in most of their range. I’ve never applied my two layer sock method when I’ve been running and I don’t know why – the benefits remain without any disadvantages over using a single sock. The Fusion Anklet sock is padded around the achilles tendon for comfort and a reduction in rubbing. Across the arch of the foot is what they call ‘arch bracing’ or what I’d call elasticated. Effectively it keeps the sock tight on your foot – a good thing as it prevents slip.

The toe end of the sock is the biggest change from what I’m used to – it’s visibly more padded than a standard sock and took a little while to get used to. If your trainers were already tight then frankly this might cause a blister rather than prevent one. Still, your trainers shouldn’t be tight in the first place.

I actually used them more for cycling than I did for running and found my feet were much cooler at the end of a ride than with the cheap cotton (ahem) ones I had been wearing. Mostly, I loved the softness of them and that remained even after washing. It’s like putting on a new pair of socks every time I wear them – everyone knows that feeling.

Fusion Anklet Socks - great for running and cycling.

Fusion Anklet Socks – great for running and cycling.

Other bonuses, while small, include only needing to put on one sock, rather than two and also an increase in space in your already heavy wild-camping rucksack – you’d need their walking socks for that though.

These socks RRP at around £12 but you’ll pick them up for under a tenner with a bit of shopping around. They’re well worth the money. A pair of their dedicated walking socks which swap out Tactel for Merino on the outer layer are just shy of £15 a pair. In comparison to what I wear this is a huge saving. Liner socks alone are the same price, so you’ll end up paying double the price and have no opportunity to send them back if you get a blister. For that reason alone, 1000 Mile socks are worth a shot.

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