Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Tactical Socks

Given how much is spent on police and military boots it is surprising to find how common it is to neglect making a proper investment in some quality socks.  Personally I think a lot of people blame the poor comfort levels of their boots on the fact they haven't bothered to select some proper socks and in fact I think a lot of people end up spending too much on uber Gucci boots when they could get away with spending a lot less on the boots and bit more on some quality socks.

Personally I have experienced quite a few different brands and styles of socks over the years as a civilian and going through Royal Marine Recruit training.  As a civilian I had the luxury of a pair of nicely broken in Lowa Mountain Boots (in limited edition Sepia) as an RMR Nod it was pussers issue CAB boots (some of the other recruits replaced their insole with a more Gucci footbed but I did my training with the standard footbed.)

If I start with the best and work my way down to the worst.

1000 Mile Fusion Service Socks
These were the socks that saved me when my feet were already wrecked from an earlier poor choice and once they had carried me home I quickly bought 3 more pairs of 1000 mile socks and never looked back!  1000 mile socks are slightly unique in their 2 layer system, the inner being a 100% Tactel super comfortable, high wicking base layer and the outer being a 40% Merino Wool, 29% Nylon, 23% Polyester, 6% Cotton and 2% Lycra blend.  The two tier system is not unlike the sock and sock liner combinations that are on offer from other brands like Bridgedale, but with 1000 mile it is just in a handy single unit and it works incredibly well, being super comfortable and both warm when its cold and cool when it is hot!

Magnum MX3- Patrol Socks
These were a surprise high performer! The socks are a fairly basic "mid thickness" single layer sock made from 70% Mag-Dry, 27% Nylon and 3% Spandex. Given their "weight" they are actually quite warm (too warm for the summer), but the material blend is incredibly comfortable and highly  wicking, keeping your feet fresh.

Lion Workwear Ultimate CoolMax Tactical Patrol Socks
I am not sure of the exact blend of these socks but the description mentions CoolMax, Elastane and Polyamide.  These socks are toasty warm, which is why I pulled them on during a particularly cold exercise  however that backfired after a we embarked on a hefty yomp and my feet soon started to suffer.  Whether it was the heat induced sweating or the construction of the sock itself I don't know by the soles of my feet soon started to blister up nicely...They might be ok in colder climbs!

At the bottom of the list - Milcom Patrol Socks very basic in every way, made from 63% acrylic, 28% wool and 10% polyester they offer only minimal improvement over pussers (standard) issue socks...if any really.  I found them to be kind of itchy and offered minimal blister or pinch prevention and were not especially warm.  On the flip side they do come with a years guarantee, but as they lived a the bottom of my sock draw there was minimal chance of them being worn out within that time frame with me.


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