What is it about new socks that makes feet happy? Is it the way they hug your feet? Maybe it’s the connection between your feet, the socks and your shoes. Who knows?! Regardless, new socks are always exciting because they haven’t been broken down yet by miles of compression, by dirty, sweaty feet, or by going through the washer. New socks are about the cheapest “joy fix” I can think of, and for me, they always do the trick!
As I have jumped into ultra running in the past 2 years, good socks that can truly handle the abuse are super important. The idea of extra padding sounds nice but the socks have to breathe too, not just give you extra cushioning. The Lorpen Ultratrail Running Padded and Trail Running Ultralight running socks are constructed with 35% of something called “TENCEL fibers” (along with 40% COOLMAX®, 15% Nylon, and 10% Ea. Lycra) which provide a soft comfortable layer against the skin (from their website) and so far, I can verify that these socks are definitely very comfortable. I have worn them 3 times, for a total of 38 miles, having washed them twice. The first run was blissful, as most runs are with new socks, but runs 2 and 3 were also very nice, as I pushed them through higher mileage and moisture. Bottom line, you will not be disappointed by these socks.
The first time I’d heard of Lorpen socks was within the last year when I found a great deal on a pair at Sierra Trading Post and snapped them up. They were very solid running socks that did the job without being too elaborate. Since then, I’ve had the chance to test two more pairs from this Spanish company, Trail Running Ultralight and Ultratrail Running Padded, each well-designed with several special features.
Both pairs proved to be softer and more comfortable that they appeared at first glance, with a great fit and nice contouring and breathability. Artfully placed panels of varied textures and thicknesses gently hug the foot, and a vented panel over the middle of the forefoot helps keep it cool and dry.
A “stabilizer wrap” around the middle of the sock provides arch support, and a slightly thicker circle with ribbed padding on each side of the sock protects your ankle bones (malleoli). This last feature is my favorite, and it’s what separates these Lorpen socks from the pack. Occasionally, my feet get thrown toward each other on a rough trail, and one shoe clips my opposite ankle. These little padded circles are not huge, but they are enough to soften the blow whenever that happens, making them a very ingenious and welcome addition.
The main differences between the Trail Running Ultralight and the Ultra Running Padded are a cushioned sole and slightly thicker fabric in the latter. Both pairs are very comfortable, functional, and (so far at least) durable.
Products & Price:
More about Lorpen:
“Lorpen began as a small manufacturer of technical socks in the Basque region of Spain in the early 1980’s. Our founders were looking to make innovative and functional socks for walking and hiking enthusiasts. We are now a company with manufacturing facilities located on two continents and we sell our socks in more than 60 countries worldwide.
While we have experienced significant growth, our founders still manage the company with their original vision intact, “to produce the best technical socks for serious outdoor activities.”
It’s not unusual for our designers to head out into the local mountains that surround our headquarters in the morning before returning to design socks in the afternoon. This is what makes Lorpen different. Our passion and commitment to excellence is a direct result of living and working in a natural environment.
Our vision also includes a commitment to preserve the environment in every aspect of business. This means that whenever possible we work with fibres that are created from sustainable and manageable resources. We also develop manufacturing processes that are sensitive to the environment and reduce the amount of post production waste at all levels.
All of this is accomplished while we continue to bring new products to the market that increase the users comfort and durability. We’re driven by our passion to make the best socks in the world.”
Thank you to Lorpen for providing us with a sample pairs. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.