Not that long ago, we brought you word of a new American-made (down in North Carolina) company making socks dedicated to helping out your feet at work, traveling, or at play. How so? By taking some of the ideas that we see in performance workout gear, and creating socks for specific situations. I tend to find myself a dedicated wool sock guy these days, but I was curious to see what Burlix had on offer. To that end, we were able to spend time with a few different varieties.
Before we get to that, let’s talk about socks. I mean, why all this attention? As you likely know (or at least, you will know now) cotton is one of the worst possible materials to put on your feet. They don’t wick moisture, once they’re wet they won’t keep your feet warm, and they like to provide a home to odor-causing bacteria. Those are just a few drawbacks to cotton socks. Sure, they’re inexpensive, but you do get what you pay for. That’s where other materials can help out. Wool is about the gold standard in my book for addressing all of those shortcomings. Not everyone is on that bandwagon, and I respect that. And frankly, at the gym, most of my workout gear (socks aside) is synthetic technical fabrics, so why not the socks that I wear outside of the gym?
The Burlix lineup offers some key capabilities across their lineup. Find yourself sitting a lot? They’ve got compression for that. On the move? How about temperature regulation? Those are just two examples, of the six that the lineup has. That Burlix lineup- while differentiated – does have a number of features that are standard across all of the varieties:
- Seamless Toe: Constructed without bulky seams to reduce abrasion and prevent blisters.
- Antimicrobial: Kills and prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
- Moisture Wicking: Helps transfer foot moisture to the sock’s outer layers to keep feet dry.
- Achilles Cushioning: Targeted cushioning provides support where it’s needed most.
- Left & Right Foot: The cut, padding and stitching are all designed for your left and right foot exclusively for an overall better fit.
- Arch Clinch: Extra support & stability to reduce foot fatigue. Hugs your foot to keep sock in place.
- Odor Resistant: Keeps your feet dry and helps reduce foot odor.
Past those baselines, there are features that come into play depending on the particular style of sock that you’re wearing. For our review, we were sent samples of the following styles, for which I’ve listed their specific features:
- Moving Calf Boot Sock
- Key feature: The boot socks have a temperature control feature that keeps feet at an ideal temperature.
- Materials (as reviewed): 85% acrylic / 13% nylon / 1% spandex / 1% polypropylene
- Moving Mid Calf Crew Sock
- Key feature: contain energy technology that uses body heat to boost stamina and breathable mesh with cooling yarn for additional airflow.
- Materials (as reviewed): 68% nylon / 15% polyester / 12% polypropylene / 5% spandex
- Relaxing Calf Crew Sock
- Key feature: Utilizing recycled yarns to support a clean environment, extra cushioning is provided for maximum comfort. This style is best for lazy days or everyday activity.
- Materials (as reviewed): 58% polyester / 37% nylon / 5% spandex / 1% polypropylene
- Sitting Calf Crew Sock
- Key feature:The crew design offers lower leg compression to enhance blood flow for improved circulation.
- Materials (as reviewed): 83% nylon / 10% polypropylene / 7% spandex
Reviewing those materials, you can see that it’s all man-made materials in the mix. The first concern for these Burlix socks, then, is going to be how they actually feel. Fortunately, modern manufacturing methods can turn out a yarn that feels really nice to the touch. And that’s important, as socks are in immediate contact with your feet all day. Even pulling them out from the package, the synthetic yarns felt good to the touch. After a quick trip through the washing machine, it was time to put them to the test.
In large part, the Burlix socks feel just like socks that you’re already used to – and that is a plus. The sitting socks offer compression, but it is mild enough that you don’t feel like your calves are in a clamp. The moving socks – with their temperature control and (on one pair) mesh panels (again for airflow and temperature control) aren’t immediately noticeable, just that feet feel comfortable. At the end of the day, these were socks that stayed up, stayed in place, and kept me comfy. Was I picking socks for the scenario? Sure, I was, and that’s what these are intended for. Their purpose knit, and you’ll be best-served by using them for their intended purpose.
Now, if you are used to plain cotton socks that come in multi-packs, the $15 a pair price tag will feel like sticker shock. For me, that seems quite reasonable here, at least compared to what I regularly pay for my favorite brand of wool socks. The Burlix don’t carry the same lifetime warranty (can’t have it all), it is worth noting; time will tell how they hold up. Regardless, if you are someone who can’t stand the idea of wool socks, the various options from Burlix just might be worth a gander. If nothing else, I think the Relaxing lineup is perfect for weekend lounging. If you’re ready to move on from cotton, give something like the Burlix socks a try. Your feet, your nose, and your shoes will definitely thank you. burlix.com