Brent started wearing Thorlos years ago as he experimented with and fine-tuned foot-care while adventure racing, a sport that is notorious for being tough on the feet. After several years of blister-free racing he convinced Abby to give them a try after she struggled with blister issues over her first couple of seasons racing. Not long after, Abby too was a convert to Thorlo socks, and the team jumped on board soon after. With a variety of socks to choose from, everyone has their personal favorite Thorlo socks, and our feet are much happier as a result. Allowing us to race faster and longer without injury or discomfort, Thorlos keep our feet healthy and race-ready whether we are racing six hours or over the course of several days. In expedition races, the condition of one’s feet can sometimes make the difference between a joyous finish and a heartbreaking DNF, and so they are without a question one of the most critical pieces of gear we rely on.
Review: Field Test
I was recently reminded during Snowgaine 2016 that Thorlos really are the best socks out there. I began adventure racing over a decade ago and in my first year or two I discovered Thorlo and then brought them to the rest of the team. Nearly 100 adventure races later, I have raced in Thorlo socks almost exclusively, with essentially no blisters to report. Literally, no blisters. Considering the foot carnage so many people experience, I think this speaks volumes to Thorlo socks.
This past weekend, I began the first day of CNYO’s Snowgaine in a pair of thick, warm socks. They weren’t Thorlos, one of the only times I have ever raced in anything other than them. We had eight hours of running and trekking ahead of us and then eight more hours the following day. We set off for a long day in the woods, and two hours later, we were parked on the side of the trail as I peeled off my socks. My heels were hot, and I wanted to apply some foot lubricant before things deteriorated. And there, on the back of my heels, were blisters. The first I’ve had in the better part of a decade.
Abby, being a good teammate, offered to give me the Thorlos off of her own feet, and while I hesitated at first, I knew that these blisters could cause a major problem if we didn’t take care of them. I accepted them, though I figured that with two blisters, one of them already open, they were still bound to get worse.
But this is why we have loved wearing Thorlo socks over the years. I put on some foot lubricant, pulled Abby’s Thorlo socks over my blisters and we set off. I ran gingerly at first, but after 10 minutes or so, I was able to forget about my blisters as the Thorlos protected them from further damage. Not only that, but I was able to race the next day as well without my blisters getting any worse.
So, why did I choose to wear those other socks, since I almost never wear anything else? Probably because it was 15 degrees when we started and heavier wool socks sounded better. Thing is, even when I changed into Abby’s thinner Thorlos light hikers, I was plenty warm, even when we were crossing knee-deep creeks rimmed with ice. Ultimately, I don’t have a great reason, other than it was one of the absolute rare times when I did something that wasn’t routine. And I was reminded very quickly and painfully why I have that routine. Thankfully, Thorlo socks saved my heels from worse damage and allowed us to finish our race without being slowed down or knocked out by torn-up heels.
-Brent Freedland, March 7, 2016
Team Rootstock’s Favorite Thorlo Socks: