Bridgedale X Hale Trailhead Socks

Summary: Comfortable and durable, about all you need in a sock
Price: £12
Value: 6/10
Performance: 7/10
  • Ankle sock with targeted impact padding and ventilation areas,
  • T2 anti-compression loop,
  • Mesh surround areas,
  • WoolFusion fibres.
  • 41% polyamide, 29% merino wool, 29% polypropylene, 1% Lycra.
  • As part of their Fast and Light range, Bridgedale’s X-Hale Trailhead sock is designed to be worn with lighter, more breathable footwear in warmer conditions and during high intensity activity. Essentially they are designed to be worn with lighter, lower height footwear like trail running shoes and for adventure racing type activities.

    It can be hard to get too excited about socks; most people just find ones that work without giving blisters and swear by them. Getting geeky about bikes and kayaks seems to be acceptable but talking about socks in extreme detail can raise a few eyebrows!

    Well, I’m going to have a go…I have been a long time fan of merino wool socks and have not used synthetic socks for years, so when these arrived I was sceptical that they would win me over, but reading the materials list I was surprised to see they contain 27% merino wool. Merino wool is great for keeping you warm when it is cool out, cool when it is warm out and has the supreme talent of being naturally anti-bacterial so does not allow bacteria to breed, hence merino fibres do not get smelly. Merino though is not that durable when it comes to high friction applications like socks, so the main construction is from a nylon and polypropylene mix with Lycra to give it all a nice snug fit.

    The Trailhead has ‘T2’ dual cushioned thick loops in the heel and ball of the foot, the areas where you need it most, and has a thinner more ventilated layup in areas where you do not need the cushioning. After a year of near daily use the cushioned sections are not quite as sprightly as they used to be, but still do the job and are standing up far better than my other merino socks – the strength of the nylon gives them durability, though they do get a bit smellier than socks with a higher merino content.

    I have used these for epic runs and expedition races and cannot really remember much in the way of blisters, so that is a tick in that box. They kept my feet mostly cool and they are still going strong after a hard year so double tick there. The price is maybe a little steep at £12 but you can find them cheaper if you shop around and bearing in mind the weaving technology involved in making them and the durability, then it is probably a fair price really.

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