TEKO M3RINO.XC Midweight Hiking Socks

They Say - The TEKO M3RINO.XC Midweight Hiking (SRP £14.95) provides greater freedom of movement without bunching with a high-loft cushioning and support. This sock is for anyone requiring an extra level of cushioning and offers a more classical looking sock. It is available for women in sizes S, M, L in Cranberry and Charcoals and in a unisex model S, M, L, XL in Charcoal, Brown and Olive.

We Say - Teko market their socks as the Best Socks on the Planet and also the Best Socks FOR the Planet, which highlights the eco friendly, sustainable stance the company takes. We have these socks in both unisex and female size, the female packaging explains that they’re made from organic merino wool. For those unsure of what this means, the general drift is this. Regular merino wool, thats the wool you find in every merino product (unless it says it’s organic), is often farmed in a pretty cruel way. The merino species of sheep is prone to have flies lay eggs in its crumpled rump, so to stop this the rump is hacked off. It’s a common practice called Mulesing. The skin and flesh around the tail is just hacked off, the sheep isn’t operated on or drugged, it’s just hacked apart. Not nice, and the practice shouldn’t be supported, in my opinion.

So, full marks for the female version of the socks. The packaging for the unisex version doesn’t say they’re organic though so I got in touch with TEKO to ask them about this. They said that although these socks are non-organic they are made from responsibly sourced, mulesing-free and chlorine-free merino. So whilst they are not classed as organic this doesn’t have to be taken as a negative. I’ve actually met lots of small, independent farmers who adhear to organic standards when they produce our wool/food but they can’t get the organic accreditation because it’s too expensive, or the red tape is too complicated. The main point for me in this case, therefore, is that these TEKO unisex socks are mulesing free and responsibly sourced, which is good news.

OK, let’s get onto how the socks perform.

I pulled them on and they felt lovely. Really very, very comfy. The packaging explains that they offer an extra level of cushioning over regular socks. I’m not used to wearing much cushioning/padding though – my socks are always quite thin and my boots/shoes are almost barefoot style with very little padding in their soles – so I did wonder how my feet would feel after a few hours. Like many people I’m a bit confused nowadays about what’s good for me, what with so many experts expressing conflicting advice. Do my feet need support? Or will having support make my feet muscles atrophy, and therefore lead to injury to my calves/knees/upper legs? Well, who knows, you’ve just got to try to find your own way, I think. I’ve tried out all sorts, from going completely barefoot (which caused me injury and gave me a shocking cold that lasted 6 weeks) to being fully padded, and now I just try to do my best. These socks felt that they were very well made and had the capacity to keep me warm and protected. So to me that meant they were worth a go.

My first walk in them lasted 5 hours over varied terrain. During that time I never thought of my feet once, which is what you want really. No thoughts means no problems. They’re not so tight around the ankles that you get that indent from the elastic either, which is a bonus. This no doubt go towards keeping the feet warmer, as the blood is allowed to circulate freely, rather than being restricted around the ankle area.

It was about 6 degrees on that first walk but there was a 50mph wind howling so I’ve no clue what the actual temperature taking windchill into account was. My toes were kept warm throughout though, so I can imagine they’ll do very well when the winter closes in for real.

My second walk was for another 5 hours, again over varying terrain but this time in much colder weather. The result was the same though – my feet were kept warm and comfy.

I then wore them for another 3 days, without washing them, during which time I took 3 more hikes of between 3 and 5 hours each. At the end of this time they still didn’t smell – which is pretty impressive – and my feet felt good.

And that’s all I can say for now. I am going to be wearing them in Canada in the early New Year, where it’s going to be around the minus 5 mark most days, and I have confidence that they’ll serve me well. They certainly feel well made enough for the job. Teko seem a good brand to bear in mind if you’re looking for comfy, warm, ethically sound socks.

If you’d like to see the socks online, click here - http://tekoforlife.com/

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