Hobbling about a campsite with blisters on your feet can ruin a weekend in the great outdoors, so it’s important to make sure that you have the right gear on your feet. You might have the perfect pair of boots, but if you aren’t backing that up with the right pair of socks you could still be in for a rough time.
Bridgedale has been manufacturing socks for over a century and offers a lifetime guarantee on the quality of their product. They also offer a better value than some of the bigger brand names.
But do these socks really manage to offer everything you need at a lower price, or are you going to be left shuffling around the campfire at the end of the day?
I’ve worn these socks for about 20 hours now, in different weather conditions and for different lengths of time. To make sure I was getting the full experience of the socks, I paired them with my current main hiking boots (Grisport Saracens) as well as a pair of budget pair of hiking boots I bought a few years back from Decathlon.
The first factor to consider is the comfort these socks offer. I considered three main factors: cushioning, blister prevention and arch support.
First off, the cushioning of these socks is the best I’ve ever seen. That’s a bold statement, but the targeted cushioning really does live up to it.
Rather than the entire sole of the sock being cushioned, Bridgedale has designed targeted support underneath your heel and your forefoot. This means that you still get protection in all the right places, but your feet keep cool – even on hot days.
As someone with a medium arch, I had no complaints about these socks. However, I can imagine that the lack of all-encompassing cushioning might leave people with low arches or high arches feeling less protected as there is no cushioning directly underneath most of the sole or over the top of the forefoot like in other socks.
In terms of blister prevention, I found that these socks fit pretty well and stayed in place even on longer walks. Combine that with the Merino wool and targeted cushioning reducing moisture build-up and providing adequate padding, and these socks are great for preventing blisters.
You want a sock that lets your feet breathe, helps to regulate temperature and wicks away moisture. The Bridgedale Endurance socks do a great job on all three accounts.
These socks are great for warmer days and longer hikes when you really want to keep your feet cool. Unfortunately, there is a trade-off in the design which means that they aren’t as cozy as some other socks when the temperature drops. They are more than adequate for most days in the UK when paired with a good pair of hiking boots but if your main concern is keeping your feet warm, then I’d maybe recommend looking at …
These socks are made from Merino wool which is an ideal material for hiking socks. Merino wool wicks away the moisture when your feet start to sweat. Combine this with the reduced padding and targeted cushioning and you really notice a difference in how dry your feet are even after long hikes.
The overfoot ventilation is another feature that helps to make this sock breathable and allows air to circulate. The open mesh structure reduces insulation and allows hot air to escape from your feet.
I mentioned earlier that Bridgedale offer a lifetime guarantee for their socks, but it’s not quite as comprehensive as other brands. To quote their policy:
“Socks damaged through wear and tear, misuse, or neglect are not covered by this guarantee.”
But they do offer a lifetime guarantee to ensure against faults in the workmanship or materials of their socks, which is what I looked at to evaluate these socks.
Firstly, the socks are made from a merino wool blend. By blending the wicking, anti-bacterial merino wool with resilient synthetic fibres, the sock maintains shape and fit whilst also providing the traditional benefits of wool socks. Their FusionTech Merino Performance design combines the benefits of each material to produce an excellent material.
In terms of the craftsmanship, these socks are well constructed. The lifetime guarantee against poor workmanship does provide comfort that if you’re unfortunate enough to receive a pair that don’t meet their high standards, you can easily replace them.
Regardless of how long you’re planning to head out for, you want a sock that you can wear for as long as possible. Accidents can happen, you can lose your foot crossing a river and end up with a sodden foot, meaning you have to rely on a pair of socks you’ve already worn on your trip.
So how effective are these socks when it comes to reducing odour issues after a few wears and how easy are they to wash in the great outdoors?
Firstly, the moisture and temperature control features we’ve covered are huge benefits to reducing problems with odour for the obvious reason – less sweat, less stink.
I’ve worn these socks for a couple of days in a row and found no issues in terms of odour.
When it comes to washing these socks, they dry surprisingly fast. Some bulkier hiking socks can take a long time to dry out, particularly if they have thicker cushioning but the Bridgedale Endurance socks will comfortably dry out after a day strapped to your backpack or hanging up at the campsite.
These socks are very reasonably priced compared to other top level hiking socks.
Socks are not the most exciting piece of equipment to review – before writing this I thought socks were the sort of thing you didn’t notice the quality of unless it was poor.
But these Bridgedale Endurance socks really did impress me. They ticked all the boxes in terms of performance with my only concern being that they might not be warm enough in colder temperatures – but as a lightweight sock, they aren’t really designed with that in mind. They are also available at a very reasonable price, which makes them the ideal choice for anyone from beginners to experienced hikers.