It has happened. The ideal of a hiking life free from foot blisters has been achieved. As any hiker knows there are many ways to end up with blisters. Lorpen has used cutting edge and environmentally responsible technology to address each and every one, in a single sock :Â The Lorpen Merino Mid Weight Hiker.
As a long-distance, low-budget backpacker I have had my share of foot problems. After a few hundred miles of carrying a loaded pack I started to respect the amount of discomfort a decent sock could save me from. My system however, was the old friction reduction through the use of a liner and sock combination. While the benefits were certainly worth the expense, replacing flimsy liner socks every few hundred miles was necessary. And I would often find myself cursing the little stocking imp invaded my pack, leaving me with half a pair of whatever sock I happened to need at the time. My point here is liners and different socks for different situations added up fast. More socks equals more expense, more weight, and more hassle. I feel quite confident after a week of testing that I could be most comfortable, and more importantly, blister-free carrying a single pair of Lorpen’s midweight hikers in a wide variety of conditions over any distance.
Temperature, moisture and friction are enemies to the feet of hikers everywhere. Lorpen has conquered friction and thereby eliminated the need for sock liners by using a unique combination of responsibly sourced natural yarns and small amounts of high tech synthetic yarns resulting in a sock that does not slip or move around. The socks stay where they should almost as if glued to your feet.Â Temperature control can be found not only in the excellent regulatory qualities of itch-less Merino wool, but also in a multi-density knit pattern that allows heat to move away from your foot when you need it to, and still provides enough loft to keep out chilly air when you are trying to keep warm.Â Moisture control is achieved using all of the above technologies as well as a wicking weave that draws moisture away from your foot resulting in a super fast drying sock, and super fast drying feet.
I wore the socks as I would any sock for the the first couple of days.Â Despite the pleas from my feet to trust that the Mid Weight Hiker worked as advertised, I decided to see for myself how well the technology held up when faced with some of the more likely unpleasantness experienced by all hikers form time to time. First I decided to do a little walking around wearing just the socks on a variety of outdoor surfaces to test out their durability. This hike sock performed well with no snags or visible wear (other than the expected dirt and debris) even after a half mile on concrete sidewalk and high desert mountain trail. Next I decide to try and give myself a blister. Waiting for the hottest part of the day, I strapped on socks and boots dunked each foot into a bucket of water and set off walking down the hottest asphalt I could find. Even after purposeful pronating and not allowing breaks for almost 90 minutes I didn’t even feel a hotspot forming.Â I had one last test planned, and this one had my feet threatening divorce: I was going to walk 5 miles in a secondhand undersized pair of hardened leather cowboy boots. I have to say I was a bit worried but the socks performed more than admirably, the seamless toe really shining when the pressure was on so to speak. My feet finally realized that there had never been anything to worry about. All in all I have been wearing this pair of Lorpen Merino Mid Wieght Hiker socks exclusively for a week and the astounding thing is they don’t smell like anything but wool!Â I expect I will be wearing these socks for some time to come.
I feel the need to point out that the socks I tested were from Lorpen’s classic collection. On their site you can read about even more advanced new technologies such as their TRILAY3R system, and their Life Fit designs. It seems Lorpen has a lot to offer, and based on my experience, I highly recommend them. I certainly look forward wearing them.
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