Sock supremos Bridgedale believe it’s the little things that make the biggest difference to our lives. This includes matching the right thickness of sock to the right kind of walk.
Recently they asked a group of outdoor enthusiasts what they wish they’d known before getting started in hillwalking. One of the main answers was that people wished they’d known more about the different weights and thicknesses of socks. After all, not every journey takes place at the same temperature or on the same terrain. Matching your socks to the right type of walking adventure is key for comfort. Bridgedale has put together this guide to four key sock weights, so you know which ones to wear, and when, and what for.
Designed for colder conditions (tested at -25°C), these are Bridgedale’s most cushioned and insulating socks. They suit mountaineering and trekking boots best. Heavyweight styles, including Explorer Heavyweight Merino Performance and Explorer Heavyweight Merino Comfort, have terry loop insulation throughout. This provides a defence against the cold with high-density cushioning that stays resilient for all-day shock absorption and comfort.
Bridgedale’s midweight socks are designed for hiking and trekking in all conditions, other than real extremes. The range includes their HIKE Midweight Merino Performance and HIKE Midweight Merino Comfort socks. These offer a balance of high-wicking yarns to significantly manage variations in temperature that cause feet to sweat. They have resilient cushioning throughout the footbed and around the ankle to keep your foot comfortable in varying terrain in both leather or synthetic footwear.
These Bridgedale lightweight socks are for for warm-weather hiking and trekking. The HIKE Lightweight Merino Performance and HIKE Lightweight Coolmax Comfort, have been designed for use with lighter footwear. They feature underfoot cushioning for comfort but have a light open-knit structure for breathability.
Because they make use of some of the finest yarns available, these are Bridgedale’s lightest socks. Despite being ultralight in weight, the socks are very resilient on the trail. Including HIKE Ultralight T2 Merino Performanceand HIKE Ultralight T2 Coolmax Performance, these socks have zoned (targeted) underfoot micro-cushioning for all-day comfort, while the main body features large areas of mesh venting, allowing your foot and lower leg to breathe and evaporate moisture quickly.
Along with their various weights and thicknesses, there are plenty of other sock factors that make Bridgedale special. We spoke to Mark Brennan, Managing Director of Bridgedale, to ask him what he thinks sets Bridgedale's socks above the rest, and for a few tips on foot comfort.
"Women’s socks aren’t just the same as men’s. They’re smaller, with bespoke sizing, and have been specially adapted around the heel and toe areas to allow for a women’s slimmer foot and higher arch."
Merino Performance Fit
"Every Merino Performance style has elastic running through it from foot to calf to ensure a close fit, with no slippage."
"This is the name we give to the blend of yarns in our socks, all designed to wick (move) moisture away from your feet, keeping them dry, warm and comfy."
"Our top tip to pass on, whether it be because your feet have got wet or you just need a freshen up, is always carry an extra pair of Bridgedale socks with you."
Invest in your feet
"There’s no hiding the fact that Bridgedale socks aren’t the same price as normal socks. But if you’re planning on walking lots of miles, a pair of Bridgedale socks is an investment in your feet and your comfort, and in the long run could even save you money."