Having recently been converted to specialist socks, I was excited to conduct a review of Bridgedale technical socks for hiking and running. This was partly because I could retire some socks, that like Sir Bruce Forsyth had gone on a little longer than they should. But strictly speaking I was excited because better socks means happy feet and more time on the trail.
When you think about your outdoor activities clothing, socks are probably the least glamorous item. You don’t notice the socks other people are wearing, and it’s not like Brucey will say ‘Give us a twirl’ if you’re wearing new socks. However wear the wrong socks for the job, uncomfortable socks, or even smelly socks and it can quickly ruin your (or your hiking companions) day.
Globally Bridgedale are the leading manufacturer of technical socks for walking, hiking, mountaineering, running, skiing, and everyday wear. Their goal is to make the most comfortable socks on the market, using the most modern materials and innovative techniques.
Although made in the UK, Bridgedale socks are sold in more than 40 countries around the world. You are as likely to see them in the British Peak District as you are on Mount Fuji in Japan or the infamous Appalachian Trail in Eastern US.
What makes Bridgedale technical socks different is their Fusion technology. They combine traditional wool and merino with technical yarns, to create unique materials that do different jobs. There are three types of Fusion: CoolFusion, WoolFusion and MerinoFusion.
Bridgedale believe so much in their socks that they all come with a three year guarantee. If you are not completely happy with the quality and performance you can return them to the place of purchase for an exchange. So a pair of Bridgedale socks is a risk free investment in improving the happiness of your feet.
Review of Bridgedale technical socks: CoolFusion
CoolFusion combines natural and manmade fibres to create a well ventilated sock that will keep your feet cool. They are lightweight, moisture wicking. They are designed to be worn in very warm conditions and during high levels of exertion.
For my review of Bridgedale technical socks I was sent three pairs of socks featuring CoolFusion. The Qw-ik ultra lightweight running sock, the Speed Demon ultra light hybrid, and the Light Hiker warm weather walking sock.
The running socks have been extensively worn over the British summer for both road and trail running, I have also worn them all day as trainer socks, and for camping. They are relatively thin socks, but with extra padding where it counts, making them comfy underfoot but light feeling.
The walking socks have been put through a few miles, although mainly on shorter hikes. Like the running socks I have also worn them all day plenty of times.
All three pairs have kept my feet very comfortable. I have not had a single blister and my feet have be kept cool and far less sweaty than in normal socks. To paraphrase Sir Brucey ‘Didn’t they do well’.
Review of Bridgedale technical socks: WoolFusion
WoolFusion combines Enduro-Wool with technical fibres to provide insulation, moisture wicking and most importantly durability. WoolFusion is the most hard wearing material in the Bridgedale range and is aimed at people who get a lot of miles under the belt often in cooler or higher places.
For this review of Bridgedale technical socks I was sent two pairs of WoolFusion: the Trail and the Trail Light. Both pairs are for trekking, aimed more at demanding trails where you are carrying your own gear putting more pressure on you feet. The only difference it the light version is less thick and for warmer conditions.
Unfortunately due to a leg injury I never went on any serious treks this summer. However I went out walking in the socks many times, including a couple of hikes with my two year old on my back in a kid carrier. I found the socks to be extremely comfortable, my feet never got sweaty and the socks are in the same condition as when new.
Review of Bridgedale technical socks: MerinoFusion
MerinoFusion combines Merino Wool together with technical fibres. Merino wool is known for its insulating and wicking properties, but also to be the finest, softest and most comfortable wool available. The technical fibres rapidly transport sweat away from the skin leaving your feet dry and comfortable.
As my review of Bridgedale technical socks was conducted in spring and summer I was only sent one pair of MerinoFusion socks – the Trail. They are designed for all day hiking in warmer environments. They are also great all round socks for adventure travel.
I have worn them on an all day hike and plenty of shorter walks and found them to be very comfortable. They are still soft after multiple washes, and now winter is drawing in I have found myself wearing them around the house as they are supremely comfortable.
Review of Bridgedale technical socks: Conclusion
I said at the outset that socks are not the most glamorous part of your kit. This is still true, but they are one of the most important. What Bridgedale have done is to provide a range of socks you can rely on, that are suitable for all activities and all conditions. So you can get the right socks for the job and they will do the job extremely well.
This review of Bridgedale technical socks has shown me that Brucey’s catch phrase ‘You get nothing for a pair’ couldn’t be more wrong. With a pair of Bridgedales you get comfy and happy feet meaning you get to spend more time doing what you enjoy. On that note I am off for a hike ‘Nice to see you, to see you?’.
You don’t have to Play Your Cards Right (one too many Bruce puns?) to get a pair of Bridgedales, they are stocked in Blacks, Cotswold Outdoor, Go Outdoors and many independent outdoor retailers. You can find out more about Bridgedale including your local stockist here: www.bridgedale.com