Sunday, 30 September 2018 20:39

Teko Socks: Tested & Reviewed

Written by Henry Iddon

Socks - where would we be without them. After all without them you wouldn’t be able to put them in it. Cavemen used to wrap animal skins around their feet, and in medieval times those who wore socks were seen as being of the noble classes. Originally woven by hand until the invention of the knitting machine in the 16th Century they were often made of wool, or silk for the upper classes.

Socks aren’t just about keeping you warm though, but also to ease the chaffing of shoes. This latter point being essential for the outdoor enthusiast, no body wants a blister!

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So what of the Teko brand ? Well as well as being made in their Italian factory they also appear to have strong eco commitment - using South American merino wool, polyester from plastic drinks bottles and regenerated polyamide from commercial fishing nets. The offices and factory are powered by renewable energy, exclude chlorine from production and use non toxic dyes, and are Bluesign® certified as well as meeting OekoTex100 standard. They use minimal packaging, keep additional supply chain production as local as possible and pay suppliers a fair place. Oh and support The John Muir Trust and European Outdoor Conservation Association.

Of course the most sustainable thing you can do is purchase products that get worn regularly, don’t languish in a drawer, and are also durable with a reasonable lifespan. So what of the Teko socks on test:

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Ankle length Enduro Merino Multi Activity sock in grey made from 26% Merino Wool, 26% Recycled Polyester, 46% Polyamide Nylon, 2% Elastic

Mid calf length Discovery Merino Multi Activity sock in blue made from 30% Merino Wool, 30% Recycled Polyester, 38% Polyamide Nylon, 2% Elastic

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Either sock could be used for a multitude of sports, hiking, cycling, running etc. and although there is subtle difference in merino content the ankle sock contains more polyamide nylon. I assume to increase durability in a sock with a slighter greater emphasis on the running market.

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The first impression putting these socks on is the luxurious soft feel of the inside - that sense of softness you get walking on a thick new carpet. They’re not bulky however, offering a light cushioning with three season activity in mind. The ankle length Enduro didn’t effect the fit of my usual running shoes but is thicker than a regular ‘road cycling’ sock so I deferred wearing them on road rides and only used them as a running sock plus for some general wear when I knew I was having long days on my feet. However comfy your shoes the importance of good socks can’t be overlooked, and pounding the pavements can be as good a test for shoes and socks as time on a more natural path.

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Both pairs have flat seams which eliminates any potential areas that may result in chaffing. My foot size being 44 /45 or between 10 1/2 and 11 in old money, the size large on test which covers EU 42 - 45 or UK 8 - 10.5, provided an excellent fit with ample room for wriggling of toes and the heel area fitting wear it should. They’re made in an asymmetric fit, so there is a left and right, nicely illustrated by an angled brightly coloured line across the toe. No need to reach for your glasses on a dark morning to read ‘L’ or ‘R’ as is often the case on many socks.

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The mid calf length ‘Discovery’ quickly became my go to sock for mountain biking, they fit well in my regular off road shoes, and the additional length compared to the enduro provided a bit more lower leg protection from stones and muck flicked up from the front wheel. Also slightly warmer on early starts, and defence from nettles, brambles and other protruding enemies of the single track rider.

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On a couple of hikes they also performed well, comfy on warm days and enough elasticity / grip not to slide down and ruffle inside a boot.

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Nothing tests durability more than repeatedly getting filthy and machine washed, although the UK had dry summer there was still ample opportunity to get wet and muddy on two wheels. Non more so than the Hope Pre Peaks event, which featured a whole day of rain and Pennine mud. After numerous machine washes at 30C in Ecover both pairs have come up spotless and looking like new, with only some minor pilling on the Enduro.

Overall I was very impressed with the durability, comfort and quality of Teko socks.

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