Product Type: Sock Shop Jeans LEvi s
Newest Review: ... my nice winter duvet but I guessed they were worth a try. For all I know all socks could have a tog rating of some description, if only an... more
Sock Shop Heat Holder Thermal Socks
Member Name: collingwood21
Sock Shop Heat Holder Thermal Socks
Advantages: Feel soft, fluffy and comfortable; Keep warm feet warm for hours; Machine washable
Disadvantages: Very bulky and so hard to get into some shoes; Not so good at warming up cold feet; Look silly on
So what makes Heat Holders different to other socks? Well, they are made from an extra heavy bulk yarn that is intensively brushed to make them very soft and fluffy on the inside; the result of this is a material that holds the maximum amount of warm air close to the skin as is possible for the volume of material. This process has achieved a sock so warm that it has a tog rating of 2.34 (compare that to the rating of 0.33 for a typical cotton sock or the 1.3 of high quality four season walking socks). The resulting sock does look big and bulky - even compared to the heavy duty hiking socks that I normally wear throughout the winter - but they feel very soft, and the fluffy interior is light and comfortable next to the skin. I'm not going to pretend that they look attractive on (they reach nearly to my knees and make my feet look huge), but as the only person who will ever see them in all their middle aged glory on me has a vested interest in me not having icy feet when I get into bed anyway, then I could not care less about how silly they look.
Test 1: Walking through snow
My feet warmed up much quicker than I have come to expect whilst walking, and stayed toasty warm throughout my walk. I was pleased to note that despite the thickness of the socks my feet did not get uncomfortably hot or sweaty (something that has happened with some hiking socks in the past), so they seem to allow the skin to breathe well. This is important, as sweaty feet will cool rapidly and become very cold once exercise has finished. True to their name, the socks held the heat generated whilst walking very well for around 2 hours afterwards, a huge improvement for me compared to other socks.
Test 2: Wearing on cold feet around house
I have also tried putting my Heat Holders on to try and warm my already cold feet up whilst sitting still, but have had less success with this (presumably because there needs to be warm air to trap for the socks to be effective). If you are just sitting around in a cold room, there will be little warm air to trap so they are not going to work any better than a pair of slippers, I'm afraid.
Test 3: The cautious machine wash
While Heat Holders are advertised as being machine washable on a cool gentle cycle, I was a bit nervous that the fluffy brushed interior of the socks would disintegrate as soon as I tried to wash it. However, I am pleased to see that they wash well, retaining their shape and not leaving any fluff on the rest of my laundry. Many washes later, they look in good enough shape to last the rest of this winter easily, and I expect them to still be good enough to use next year as well.
The use of my Heat Holders has been hugely beneficial, and I have easily got my money's worth from them; while they struggle to warm your feet up from cold if you are not moving around, once you provide the warmth for the material to trap next to your skin, they are incredibly effective. The only problem I have experienced with these socks in the size of them; there is one size for women (4-8) and two for men (6-11 and 12-14), and they are very generous with them. I wear size 5 or 6 in shoes, and find the women's socks to be quite big and bulky, making them difficult to get into some pairs of shoes I own. Women with small feet may find them unmanageably large.
Heat Holders cost £6 per pair (£7 for the large size of men's socks) and are available in 11 colours from their manufacturer, the Sock Shop. I have also seen them on Amazon, outdoorgear.co.uk and in Sainsbury's, but external stockists only seem to sell the black version.
Highly recommended for people with cold feet.
Summary: The best thermal sock I have found
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