Each month Wildfoot Travel’s Dave Cheetham reviews a piece of travel gear. From clothing to cameras and tripods to text books, the product-in-focus may vary, but the forthright honesty remains constant. Here Dave reviews a recent purchase, Lorpen’s flagship Expedition T3+ Trekking Socks.
Before I write this review, I feel I should explain. Aside from having spent my fair share of time in the outdoors visiting cold places, I am also ‘a sock person’. Yes, you read that correctly. We (sock people) are a particular breed of person. The kind of person who looks forward to pulling on a new pair of socks with the same unwavering enthusiasm a dog shows as its master appears at the front door, after returning from a long trip. I love the way good socks feel. I love the way they look, fit, and yes – even the way they smell.
With that clearly stated, and off my chest, I will jump right in.
I recently invested in a couple of pairs of Lorpen T3+ Expedition Trekking socks – at the chilling cost of around £50 per pair. Having coughed up that kind of cash, I was expecting big things.
Thankfully, they are everything I hoped for and more.
The fit is excellent and the socks retain their shape and elasticity between washes with unfaltering reliability.
These socks are warm. No, correction, these socks are ‘hot’. For anyone who suffers with cold feet, they are a true godsend. Their furnace-like warmth is balanced wonderfully with a lack of bulkiness and an amazing light-weight feel that can only come from the latest in fleece technology. Which, for the fact-gathering, technically-minded amongst you, comprises of a layer of PrimaLoft® insulation sandwiched between two layers of Polartec® Power Stretch® fabric.)
The cut is high so these socks can buy pulled way up over boots or wellies. And once they are pulled up, they stay snugly in place without rolling down or wrinkling up beneath.
When working hard physically, the cut and the fabric excel in every department. They provide great cushioning and a connection to outer footwear that seems much more free from friction and abrasion than any other ‘warm’ socks I have come across.
What’s more thanks again to the fleece technology, these socks ‘wick’ moisture away from the skin towards the outer layers so effectively, that sweaty or damp feet never seemed to be an issue.
At base camp, with boots removed, the thick fleece soles felt more like slippers than any pairs of slippers I have ‘slipped on’ in my life.
Moving on to the often-unmentioned practicalities of adventure travel. On my last trip I regularly washed these polartec toe-tinglers in the sink, wrang them out , ‘whirled them around’ in the bathroom a few times then hung them up, before waking to find them dry and ready to lend their loyal service to my old plates of meat one more time.
For future cold weather trips, I will always reach for these reliable servants with a smile. Because I know I can rely on them to keep me warm, dry and comfortable – and that’s pretty much all you can ask of a pair of socks.
For some people, keeping your feet warm and comfortable can be the difference between an amazing trip and a disastrous one. If you are one of those people, I recommend you invest in a pair of these ‘tootsie toasters’. You may, like me, be so impressed that you immediately order a second pair, to be sure you never have to spend a day in the cold without them wrapped snugly around your feet.
A final note on the cost – you can find these socks available between £80 and £35, depending on size and stockist, so shop around a little.
As for me and Lorpen’s £50 price tag? Would I pay that price again?
Yes – in the blink of an eye!. My sock drawer used to be bursting with socks that were far cheaper, but nowhere near as comfortable or effective as these beauties.