‘Honest’ John Hall has been making socks since 1882. Originally creating quality hosiery for farmers, the original Scottish wool half-hose socks must have flown off the shelves. Fast forward to 2007, and the ProTrek range was born, and put to the test by team Polar Horizon during The Polar Race. 350 miles later trudging through deep snow and in temperatures of -50ºC, the team finished blister free. So when I heard I was being sent a couple of pairs for a week in Helsinki, I knew my feet would be well looked after.
Helsinki in February is normally around -10ºC, but these days the Baltic rarely freezes over, and the temperature for my visit hovered around freezing point. Positively balmy!
I chose the Mountain Climb socks for this trip, and although the majority of my walking was going to be on pavements, I figured I would benefit from the cushioning and the warmth.
ProTrek Mountain Climb socks
- Wooltech fibres
- Comfort toe seam
- Reinforced heel
- Sanitized finish for freshness
This is a heavyweight sock, and comes about halfway up the calf. Made from HJ Hall’s Wooltech blend of natural and manmade fibres, they certainly have the feel of a woollen sock, but have wicking qualities to stop moisture build up. In fact, the wool element is 38%, higher than some of the other ProTrek sock range.
Another noticeable feature is the reinforced heel and toe areas. This cushioned heel especially helps absorb the shock when walking. There are ‘sculpted’ zones around the arches and at the ankles which help to keep the sock in place when on the move, while the top of the sock feels looser than other socks. This feature helps to promote better circulation, and avoids having a ‘sock imprint’ on your leg.
I wore these with my Merrell boots, and being that bit thicker, made for a snug fit. My feet didn’t feel claustrophobic though, and they didn’t get sweaty at all throughout my trip. I was able to wear them over three days without any real odour problems, so that is a plus if you were on a multi-day hike. I didn’t expect to get blisters, as my boots are comfortable, and as the socks are virtually seamless, there is little chance of chafing. The ProTreks kept my feet cosy and warm in bitterly cold conditions, and I was glad of that.
There are five different styles in the ProTrek range, from cotton Light Hike socks to knee-length Mountain Comfort Top socks. From £10.50