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Thorlos Socks and Foot Blisters

84N - maximum protection
The things that we wear affects our performance directly or indirectly, specially those that touches and are most close to our skin. Remember the 2004 Pacquiao-Marquez fight? Manny Pacquiao during that fight sustained foot blisters early in the round due to the cheap socks that he used. Although Pacquiao made it until the 12th round, he said he couldn't properly move around because the blisters really hurt. But I didn't really believed at first that his blisters were due to the socks that he wore.

When I came back active to running in 2008, I always experience getting blistered. Those foot blisters though do not hurt and are not attained in a single day as the skin only gets peeled-off little-by-little, accumulated day-by-day as I run and train. But I did not attributed those blisters (that became callus) from the socks that I used. I am one of those who don't 100% believe that the clothes/apparels that we use affects our performance and just thought that the blisters, chaffing, and the stinky smell are all just part of being active and always sweating out.

Little did I know that these troubles of chaffing, blisters, and etc. can also be prevented by: 1) proper break-in; and 2) wearing the appropriate apparel.

Last December 2011, I received the Thorlos Running socks that I ordered from Sir Kalvin Sangalang. I was excited but also skeptical if it will really do any difference for me and my feet. I was surprised when I get a hold of the 84N Runner socks. It was thick but as light as any other socks that I have.

As of posting, I have already quiet abused my usage of the 84N Thorlos socks at the following road and trail races:
  1. Run United Regional Series Cebu 2011 (road)
  2. 1st Mt. Ugo Phil. Int'l SkyRace 2012 (high-altitude trail)
  3. Salomon XTrail Test Run and Actual Race (road-to-trail)
  4. Run and Raise Scholars (road)
  5. Nature's Trail Discovery Test Run (trail)
  6. SlimmeRun 2012 (road)
The 84N Runner was not made as a trail running socks, and with the number of trail races I ran, the socks became quiet over-used literally, but not really literally. Ugh, confusing?

From Mt. Ugo (that peak on the left) to Manila (the flats)
From the very first moment that I trodded it at Mt. Ugo (I just didn't have a photo what the socks looked like after that event), it seems that it gathered all the Mt. Ugo soil dusts which sticked hard on the fabric due to the combined sweat and mildew of the trails of Mt. Ugo. Cleaning it after the race wasn't easy as I have to soak it more than thrice for two days. Not only that as soaking wasn't enough to remove those sticky dirts and muds, scrubbing the fabric hard with my hands on every side have to really do the job after days of re-soaking it.

That routine of washing the socks was my ritual after every trail races that I used it, both from the trail muds in Tagaytay Highlands and the combined trail and river muds of Tanay. But after all these "hardships" that the 84N have undergone, though it was no longer as beautiful as a brand new pair, it is still usable, the fabric is still intact, and in fact, it didn't even de-form, and the snug-fit on the arc was still the same. Amazing right?

Lycra® fiber in arch and instep for a no slip fit.
I remember back in 2010 when I bought a pair of five-toed running-specific socks (the expensive one) for my CIHM race. It was a good sock and it did good during the CIHM although I suffered swollen toes, which I attributed with the shoe that I used during the race. A month after, I used the same pair of socks and shoe, and this time, it got muddy as it rained hard at Nuvali (Sta. Rosa, Laguna). After soaking the socks for a day and scrubbing it, oh the toes lengthened! It got deformed to the point that I can no longer use it unless my feet and my toes gain longer size.

The 84N Thorlos socks is absolutely tough than other general sports and running-specific sock brands. I wonder now how tough is the trail-running specific Thorlos socks would be?!

As for the blisters, I never experienced the accumulating blisters-to-callus anymore. The last time I got blistered from the run was during the Mt. Ugo Skyrun, left foot, and that was because of the wrong taping that I did. After re-adjusting the tape, the blistering stopped and did no longer aggravated. Wanna look at my feet? =D

This was only a minimal dirt that it got after a wet trail run in Tanay
On road races, Diadora Samurai 3 and Thorlos
(it was also paired during the Salomon Trail Run)
(More about the technical specs of 84N Runner Thorlos socks from this link)

My remaining wish for Thorlos is that hopefully someday, they could also come up with a five-toes design socks so I could use it with my VFF. Another thing that I want to see on Thorlos socks is a side-indicator because I am particular with wearing the same side of sock to the same side of my foot (left-side pair for the left-foot, right-side pair for the right foot) which is not possible for socks that do not have this kind of indicator.

I was used to wearing general sports socks which I also use as my office socks but now, I have already segregated my office socks against running-specific socks - that includes two of my Thorlos'.

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