Bridgedale X-Hale performance sock

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We have a team of ultra-runners, adventure racers, hard-core weekend warriors and folks who see product testing as the perfect excuse to duck out of the office with regularity for an extended "romp" even though they may have only just ducked back in. So when the Bridgedale folks told us they had the ideal sock for the faster feet on our team, we frankly rolled our eyes. We've tested too many pairs of socks from too many competing companies and, outside of a few subtle differences, a "favorite" sock has just as much to do with personal tastes and build of feet, as it has to do with feature benefits that are readily understandable -- fit, comfort, durability, moisture-management, etc.

However, after several months of hard-core use on the trails (both dry, dusty and hot as well as wet, muddy and cool or even snowy and cold), our team concedes that the Bridgedale's X-Hale, part of the company's "adrenalin" group, is one amazing sock -- and now a favorite for our team's long training runs, extended outdoor adventures, and even to pull on for race day.

The ankle-high socks are made of very lightweight merino wool fibers that are fused with Isolfil technical fibers -- Bridgedale dubs this its MMS (moisture management system). That combination of natural and synthetic materials (nylon and Lycra are also woven into the mix) results in excellent moisture management and thermal control as well as extremely good durability and remarkable comfort and fit.

Double cuffs around the ankles as well as weaving that allows the sock to snug securely underneath the arch results in additional support where desired and absolutely no slippage or annoying bunching -- even on those with narrow or low-volume feet. Recessed flat toe seams eliminate pressure points and potential abrasion. And just a bit of added cushioning in the toe and heel regions means these socks feel as if, well, you don't have socks on at all, which is the ultimate compliment. Over the top of the foot, along the laces, the socks feature super-light mesh construction which allows for maximum ventilation and reduces potentially annoying pressure points.

All of the preceding means, essentially, that the socks last forever, feel wonderful and won't generate blisters or chafing in most folks -- unless of course you are simply truly blister and chafe prone.

SNEWS® Applause Meter: 5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested Retail: $14.95

For more information:www.bridgedale.com

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