The oldest company in this review, Fox River Mills has been around since 1900. While they originally made socks (and a few other products) for lumberjacks and outdoorsmen, it wasn’t until the 60’s that they really started to address America’s growing interest in outdoor sports. While they are no longer located in the Fox River Valley that gave them their name, they are still an American company, with their entire production coming out of Osage, Iowa. And like many other companies profiled in this review, they’re family-owned and operated. They’ve also embraced technology in order to bring you outstanding socks. Their patented Wick Dry Â® Health Systemâ„¢ incorporates an ingenious dual layer design where the inner yarn repels moisture, while the outer layer attracts moisture, keeping your feet dry, regardless of temperature. This is accomplished with a mix of natural and synthetic fibers.
In keeping with most of the other brands being reviewed, Fox River provided a pair of their lightweight x-training ankle socks, which is a CoolMax, nylon, and spandex blend sporting a nicely cushioned sole and the requisite flat toe seam. This would be the sock for running and cycling. In addition, I reviewed their All Sport Escape 1/4 sock, which is a lightweight sock, but with a bit more substance to it. Think of it as a hike and bike sock. It’s constructed of Ingeo, a natural fiber derived from corn, along with nylon, recycled polyester, and spandex. Quite possibly one of the “greenest” socks in the bunch.
First off, I missed a minor detail worth mentioning. While the All Sport XL is for shoe sizes 12-14.5, the x-training XL is for sizes 13-15. So I ended up with a wonderfully fitted ankle sock that was just a bit too big. On the bright side, this didn’t cause any major issues, other than a less than perfect fit. This sock is on the lighter side of middleweight, with high density cushioning in all the right places. At 65% CoolMax, 33% nylon, and 2% spandex, they are comprised of all man-made materials, (no merino or alpaca) and incredibly soft. Only one other brand came close to the softness of the Fox River socks. With that softness comes outstanding moisture management from the CoolMax, and plenty of durability as well, due to the nylon content. It should provide long lasting performance.
Another highly technical sock in both design and materials, the All Sport Escape 1/4 has so much going on, I could probably dedicate an entire post to just this sock. Besides the previously mentioned 40% Ingeo, the All Sport contains 23% polyester, which was sourced from reclaimed plastics, such as soda bottles that would normally end up as landfill. By the way, the environmentally friendly theme is continued in the packaging, which includes soy based inks printed on recycled card stock. With all that attention to raw materials, they had to create a sock that would put them to good use. Some of the noteworthy features incorporated into the design are mesh panels on the sides and over the toes for ventilation, a spandex arch support, dimensional knit which helps it to keep its shape, and dense cushioning in the heel and toe/ball of foot areas. This all adds up to an excellent all-around sock for sports use or every day wear. While I found that this sock does everything expected of it, performance-wise, they truly pamper your feet too.
This post and related comments can also be found on Twospoke.com
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