CEP Dynamic+ Outdoor Wool Socks
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May 27, 2015 at 6:10 am #1329305Max DiltheySpectator
Since I've got a blood malformation in my foot, I often use compression socks to keep swelling at bay, and to reduce pain in the malformation itself. That's pretty similar to what most people, including ultra-marathoners, use the socks for. The compression keeps me from dealing with pain issues on multi-day hikes and bike trips, and improves the way my feet feel after a long day. Less fatigue, less pain, less soreness. I'm a believer.
CEP hooked me up with their Dynamic+ Outdoor Compression Socks, since I was using Swiftwick and the Walgreens model with questionable durability and a less than ideal fit. These were a welcome upgrade to something I already relied on heavily for long hikes and runs.
The socks have an interesting fabric blend:
64% Nylon – for durability.
18% Merino Wool – Don't get me started. Eliminates odor, and keeps feet healthy, clean and happy.
10% Spandex – Putting the 'compression' in compression socks.
8% Silk – Silk used to be a much more prevalent fiber in athletic clothing, but has fallen by the wayside. It's antibacterial, stronger than wool, and very comfortable.
After eight weeks of near-constant use, the durability on these socks is still A+. The nylon-heavy fabric should last about a billion wears, compared to other socks (like merino dress socks, yuck! Five uses and I've got holes).
You can see from the close-ups that the fabric is very tightly woven. It feels like armor. I don't hesitate to go off-trail with these, as it doesn't feel at all vulnerable to rips and snags. It's a rock-solid sock. Since these are the "Outdoor" model, I'd say this is exactly what I needed these socks to excel at, so they lived up to my expectations. I wouldn't hesitate to pack them for a thru-hike or other long-distance endeavor.
Despite the fact that my feet are slightly different sizes, the sock fits both well. The construction of the sock supports the ankle and envelops all the key muscle groups individually, which is pretty high-tech. Since it has specific panels for your forefoot, ankle, heel, etc, it seems to custom-fit each of my unique feet. I like the way it fits, and it stays put completely even after ten hours of activity or more.
While the jury is still out on any performance increases, compression socks are invaluable for me for reducing pain. If you're struggling with soreness, a bad ankle, swollen feet, or any other muscle or cardiovascular difficulty, these are worth a try. An Ultramarathoner worth their salt wouldn't carry a shirt tag if they didn't have to, but these socks consistently make it into their kit. That's worth something!
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