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RUNNING SOCKS

Running Socks

As a sportsperson, the last thing you want is blisters. Being unable to take part in your chosen sport due to a stupid little blister. Like a papercut, a blister can be one of the most uncomfortable and painful things in the world. Getting the correct footwear goes a long way to stopping or reducing blisters if you are wearing the correct support level, cushioning level  and it is suitable for your sports terrain. Sometimes blisters still rear there ugly little heads but what I have found is that a decent pair of running socks makes a massive difference and works perfectly with your sports footwear.

Socks can start from £8 and go up to the dizzy heights of £40 but we mainly recommend socks in the £10-£12 range.  The important thing to think about when choosing a sock is what you want from them. Is it cushioning, is the sock length high or low enough and the thickness.

Our best selling sock brands are Balega, Hilly and Thorlos’ Experia.

Balega

Balega are the current number 1 selling sock brand in America and a close second in the UK. The best selling socks in this range are the Enduro and Hidden Comfort. Both are single layered, padded socks with blister resist materials. The socks are designed to hug the foot in all the right places to form the right level of support and give cushioning where needed. The great thing about this brand is that they take you from one extreme to the other. Whether you want super thin and lightweight or great padding that feels like you have your feet wrapped in duvets.

Experia

Experia socks come from an American brand Thorlos. They have a long history in making performance socks. With the experience of years of development Experia were born. They took their super impact absorbant thorlos pads and reinvented the upper, a complete face-lift as far as running socks were concerned. Today’s Experia comes in three different heights. No show, ankle length and calf length. The socks are all seamless with excellent padding under the ball of the foot, and toes, and the entire heel and achilles area. Gone are the days of plain black or white socks, Thorlos Experia come in a colour explosion with options that go with any outfit.

Hilly

We have stocked Hilly for the past 9 years and have seen the range evolve from 1 best seller to a full range of strong selling models. The best selling Hilly sock has always been the twin skin. Poly-propelen lining makes this sock very soft to wear and great in warding off the blisters. Its seamless, mid level cushioning, with great vented panels on the upper makes sure excess moisture is moved away from the skin to reduce and irradicate those pesky blisters. Designed by British running legend Dr Ron Hill can only mean that your feet are in good hands.

Some of the socks may appear expensive compared to the cotton three pack you can get for £10 from the supermarket but the money spent is well worth it. they also last a long time so if anything they are an investment in comfort.

My favourite socks have always been the Experia range. I probably have 20 pairs of them in all the colours and heights they have come in. when its cold I wear two pairs and they are also great when I am out on my bike. The heel padding makes bike shoes a lot more comfortable.

Victoria
Alton Branch

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Suunto Ambit2 R

Suunto Ambit2 R

When I first started running in 2003 at the age of just 11 I thought running was everything and the possibility of running a marathon was far out of my reach.

I remember seeing the likes of Paula Radcliffe achieving World Records on the streets of London and saying to my parents “I want to do that one day” (I think it was in reference to setting the world record but I’m not sure). With my running improving I thought the marathon was maybe, just maybe, a little closer to my grasp. 10 years into my running dream, I took the leap and entered the Berlin marathon to take the challenge I had only witnessed as a fan and the training became my life.

Eventually I got to the start line of the Berlin Marathon and once i set off in cruise control. I obviously found it very hard from 18miles on but my watch pulled me through, reminding me I had come so far and I only needed to keep going for a few more miles. Every bit of 26.2 miles were tough but I crossed the finish line in one piece.

 

The Suunto Ambit2 R has been released and is a watch that is optimised for the perfect running experience. At first I found the Suunto Ambit2 R a bit on the larger side compared to my standard day to day watch and was worried about the possibility of it being a bit heavy over longer distances. I first went for a run of just 5 miles to test it out and found I was looking at it every 3 or 5 steps as I was in awe of how good this unit was and how the size was a million miles apart from the light weight feel. It took a couple weeks to stop looking at it so often, checking my pace or how far I had been but now I have no issues at all. Their Movescount web service is great, to be able to download all your data to a laptop and relive the experience over and over again and analyse the run is really handy. The best thing about the watch during the training for me was even when you are bored on the 21 mile training runs the watch gives you the feeling that you are running with someone else and not on your own. If you also do some trail running this watch has  built-in GPS and accelerometer, this is not standard in most units, providing accurate pace, speed, cadence and distance even if you lose your GPS signal for a period. The Heart Rate strap is comfortable and signal was consistant so no dropping out.

 

This unit really is something that has changed the GPS market and is appropriate for all runners of all abilities.

Thanks for taking the time to read

Sean (Eastleigh Branch)

The Suunto Ambit2 R is now available at Alton Sports online and in all branches. For further information get in touch.