Socks for trail and road review

Last updated: 16-Aug-18

By Alice Morrison

I know of few pleasures greater than stepping out in a new pair of socks. Those runs are always good runs. Here I test out four sets of socks designed for different terrains and distance. Prepare yourself for a veritable smorgasbord of socks.

Bridgedale Speed Trail

Overall score: 8/10

Features

  • Merino ventilated construction
  • Mapped T2 anti-compression padding at key pressure points for impact protection
  • Extended above ankle cuff
  • Fibre Content

    • 22% Merino Wool/Laine Merino
    • 21% Coolmax™/polyester
    • 55% Nylon/polyamide
    • 2% LYCRA®/Elastane

I liked the natural feel of these socks. They had good breathability and overall are quite a thick sock so were very suitable for rocky, rough trails. The slightly higher ankle height prevented any slipping down.

Under the mid-section of the foot, there is a stretch panel so these will fit all different shapes with no problem. They washed very well and the merino did mean less smell at the end of the day.

I would use these for longer trails and trails where you are going to do a mixture of walking and running. The extra thickness made them very good for any kind of hiking cross-training too.

Bridgedale Qw-ik

Overall score: 9/10

Features

  • Merino running sock suitable for road or trail running
  • Crew length fit with lightweight T2 padding providing underfoot padding and protection
  • Fibre Content

    • 46% Nylon/polyamide
    • 26% Coolmax®/polyester
    • 26% Merino Wool/Laine Merino
    • 2% LYCRA®/Elastane

Great socks in two words. Very cool and comfortable. Again, they have that natural feel due to the merino and have enough padding but are not too thick. These socks are good on the trail but also on the road. I particularly liked the weave on the top which let in maximum air flow. The heel had plenty of reinforcement to cope with any bashing.

I would use these socks on the trail or on the road when you are going for a long, steady run. They kept my feet dry and cool and I had no rubbing whatsoever.

Hilly Marathon Fresh

Overall score: 8/10

Features

  • Polygiene – permanent odour control
  • Mid-level anatomical cushioning in key pressure zones for optimum comfort
  • Upper foot venting
  • Under toe seamless construction
  • Fibre Composition

    • 97% Polyamide
    • 3% Elastane (LYCRA® SPORT)

Photo credit: Alice Morrison.

A very different type of sock, this one. They are designed for 5km to marathon distance and for road running. Snug to the foot and thinner material but still with very good padding to protect vulnerable areas.

A more technical sock with good wicking abilities. When I took them off after a 10km road run, I braced myself and had a sniff and they didn’t smell too bad so the anti-odour was working.

I would use these for road running up to marathon distance. They felt good on my foot and in my road trainers.

Hilly Ultra Marathon Fresh

Overall score: 9.5/10

Features

  • Polygiene – permanent odour control
  • High abrasion resistance
  • Mid-level anatomical cushioning in key pressure zones for optimum comfort
  • Vented upper and arch grip
  • Under toe seamless construction
  • Anti-Slip Grip
  • Anatomical protective ankle fenders
  • Front and back alignment tabs
  • Fibre Composition

    • 74% Polyamide (Nylon)
    • 11% Merino Wool
    • 11% Polypropylene
    • 4% Elastane (LYCRA® SPORT)
  • UK Retail £13

Photo credit: Alice Morrison.

I am a fan of Hilly socks and that warm, fuzzy feeling when I unroll a pair has definitely been extended to these ultra marathoners. They felt great on my feet. They were a good, snug fit onto the foot with padding in the heel and toe sections.

The anti-slip grip worked and I felt that they helped keep my foot in place in my trainer. I liked the front and back alignment tabs too. I was running under a hot sun and about half way through I realized that my feet still felt pretty cool – a very good sign.

I would use these socks for long trails and for race running. They have the right mix of technical and comfort.

Conclusion

As with all things, it depends on what kind of running you are doing as to what kind of socks you prefer. This group of four reviewed above covers a wide variety of needs from trail to road.

 

Alice Morrison is a novice ultra runner who loves the challenge of difficult trails and terrains. She lives in Morocco and splits her trail training between the rocky Atlas Mountains and the desert.

Have you used any of these Bridgedale or Hilly socks? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

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OUR RATING:
4/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"I braced myself and had a sniff and they didn’t smell too bad"

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Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.