Brian’s Impressions: Socks are probably the second most important piece of a runners gear (have you ever tried to run with unhappy feet), but it seems that it is an aspect that most people don’t talk about and didn’t get much attention until recent years. I’ve always preferred my socks snug and usually low cut so these were right up my alley. The fitment is so good that I even enjoyed the higher cut than the ankle socks that I generally pick.
The Lumen was my favorite by virtue of it’s highlighter yellow color alone, but I definitely noticed that I could wear them all day at work without dealing with some sweaty appendages after 10 hours and they were still comfortable to run in after. There was no sliding or bunching issues at all regardless of pace. The Marathon Fresh model was just as comfortable and it was in these that the extra cushioning built into the sock was a little more noticeable. They weren’t bulky, I like to keep my shoes fairly snug when I run and it wasn’t necessary to loosen them. The TwinSkin anti blister sock is a dual layer design to prevent friction as well as be more durable in the areas that tend to wear out (heel and toes). It did a great job, felt comfortable and never made me feel overly warm.
Geli’s Impressions: I like socks, and especially, of course, those that make my feet happy. Hilly Socks have many features that help my feet feel very happy. Two different kinds of Hilly socks I have tried are mono-skin and twin-skin varieties. The mono-skin socks are constructed from one layer of fabric, like all my other socks, while the twin-skin socks have two layers of fabric. The twin-skin construction helps avoid blisters, since any friction will be happening between the two layers of the sock, not between the sock and your foot. They feel a little bit thicker than the mono-skin socks, but they stayed in place, worked well, and didn’t cause me any trouble all day.
The third kind of Hilly sock in my drawer is the Classic Lumen. The socks are bright yellow with added reflective striping for nighttime visibility. They fit just as well as the other colors, and the bright colors will be fun to wear at races and during low light running times.
Like Geli, I like socks, and while I have plenty of running shirts and shorts, it seems like you can never have enough running socks. So it was fun to get a chance to test some socks from a company I hadn’t heard of. I received three kinds of Hilly socks to try: Two types of TwinSkin anti-blister socks (low-cut and medium height) and a pair of anti-odor socks.
The first pair I tried was the Marathon Fresh Anklet style, with built in odor fighting features. The jury’s still out on their long-term durability and resistance to stinkiness (though they seem to be holding their own in both categories so far), but they are easy to put on, very comfortable, and didn’t sag or slide down during a run. In fact, I barely noticed I had them on, always a good sign for running garb. Add the nice ergonomic design and pleasant colors, and these socks are a welcome addition to my running hosiery collection.
I have had good experiences with similar socks from Wrightsocks, so I expect this design to also work well in the Hilly versions. Although it takes a little extra effort to smooth out these socks and get the two layers to align without wrinkles, the comfort and fit is worth it. While I haven’t had problems with blisters for the last few years (knock on bunion), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so I appreciate the twin layer technology. I usually shy away from low-cut socks, but the TwinSkin Socklet version was just high enough to be comfortable. Again, neither pair sagged and once I was running, I barely noticed I was wearing them. Good fit, nice colors, and a choice of features makes Hilly a good option in the wide world of running socks.
I field tested socks in the Urban category as well as Night. As Geli mentioned above, I too like socks and I especially like socks that are comfortable and keep my feet dry. Slipping into a pair of the Lumen and TwinSkin is like slipping into Cinderella’s glass slipper. The sock might seem a little unforgiving at first, but when you put it on, i is a perfect fit. The TwinSkin has improved their drying rate by 25% and transfers moisture from the foot to the surface of the sock. The double-layer construction also features vented upper and arch grip to keep feet feeling cool. I felt the sock was incredibly durable and especially strong on the toe seam. I have strange feet and as I run, it seems my toes require more and more room.
The socks are strong and durable, but not so tight that toes are smashed into each other and crowded. (This feels like a perfect segue for a Joe’s Toes comic.)
The Lumen socks also feature High Wicking Coolmax Extreme Fabric and vent panels to improve breathability for those sweaty feet. The socks are designed anatomically to be worn by the left or right foot depending on the corresponding “L” or “R” printed on the toe. I found these to be comfortable, almost molded to my foot and will be one of my favorite socks for day time or low light situations.
Company: Hilly Running Socks
- Marathon Fresh Anklet ($12.95)
- TwinSkin Anklet ($12.95)
- TwinSkin Socklet ($12.95)
- Lumen Classic ($19.95)
About Hilly Socks:
With a PhD in Textile Chemistry, [Hilly founder Dr. Ron Hill, MBE] was able to combine his expertise and running background to design and revolutionized a core range of technical socks to cater the needs of the runner.
The range was split into two categories namely: Mono Skin and Twin Skin. The Mono Skin (single layer) range included the Marathon Fresh, Off Road and Super Racer Plus (now renamed Lite) and the Twin Skin (double layer), Moisture Management. All four socks have been improved over recent years.
The company has continued to grow and is now one of the UK’s leading brands of technical running socks and accessories.
Thank you to Hilly for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.