What are the benefits of Thorlo?
If you were able to walk barefooted on grass or gentle terrain all the time, you would not need Thorlos. But since most of us walk on man-made surfaces -- concrete, asphalt, hard floors (and let's not forget that man-made surface called the shoe or boot) -- we need protection from those surfaces. Inside the shoe or boot, the foot must move dynamically within a limited range in order for you to walk or run effectively. During all moving activities the foot is subjected to three main forces: Pressure, Impact and Shearing force. These three forces are responsible for virtually all the damage your foot incurs during standing, walking, running, and other sports and activities that involve bodily movement. In addition, the movement of the feet in moderate and strenuous activities generates perspiration. In fact, during strenuous activities, the feet can produce about nearly 1 litre of sweat in a day. Too much moisture inside the shoe is not healthy for the feet. Moisture that is not evacuated from the shoe provides an environment in which bacteria and fungus can grow and compounds the effect of the three damaging forces on the feet - pressure, impact and shearing force. Thus, it is critical to control moisture inside the shoe.
Pressure is simply direct force applied to the surface of the feet when you place your weight on them. When standing still, this pressure is static, with about ½ your body weight placed on each foot.
Impact is the sudden and forceful contact between the foot and the surface during walking, running and other sports and activities. It is, in effect, 'dynamic pressure', and it increases the potential for damage to your feet: When you walk, each foot absorbs an impact of approximately 1-1/2 times your body weight. When you run, each foot absorbs approximately 3 to 4 times your body weight. This means that a person weighing 70kg would put an impact force of 100kg on his or her feet with each walking step, and 200 to 279kg on his or her feet with each running step. You can imagine the toll that takes on your feet over the course of a lifetime!
Shearing Force is the movement of different layers of tissue in opposite directions. It occurs when your foot moves inside the shoe or boot, and it causes blistering and breakdown of the tissues in the foot if not controlled or diminished in some way.
The Thorlos anatomically designed, patented terry padding protects your feet from these forces. The padding reduces static pressure at impact and diminishes shearing forces through what we call the 'Control·Slide®' phenomenon. This means that instead of the tissues on your feet moving in opposite directions, the terry padding moves under your feet, transferring the movement from the tissues of the foot to the terry padding itself. And to ensure that your feet are protected from the adverse effects of accumulated perspiration inside the shoe, surface moisture and water vapor are effectively channelled to the outside of the foot where they can be evacuated through the shoes. This is accomplished with the Thorlos proprietary yarn combinations that include THOR·LON® Acrylic, THOR•WICK® COOL and other high-tech fibres that 'wick' moisture away from the foot.
This combination of moisture management and the reduction of pressure, impact and shearing forces reduces fatigue, and helps you to enjoy your sport or activity longer, with the confidence that your feet are protected by the best foot gear available today.
ONLY Thorlo have peer-reviewed, published medical studies that confirm these benefits of pressure, impact and shearing reduction, as well as a study that shows the benefit of enhanced circulation in the lower extremities from wearing Thorlo.
The knowledge gained from these and other medical studies, as well as anecdotal evidence collected over more than 20 years, has been combined in THOR·LO Comfort·Science®. Our experiences have led us to identify 7 elements of comfort: Moisture, Pressure, Shear, Circulation, Temperature, Posture and Stimulus. The understanding of how these 7 elements combine and interact is incorporated into our design and development processes, and it allows us to produce the ultimate in foot protection and comfort for you.
Please note that the references to impact forces, shear and pressure and the benefits provided by Thorlos only applies to those Thorlos we describe as “CLASSICS”. Our lighter weight products still provide benefits in moisture management but without the superior benefits provided by the more heavily padded socks.
Do Thorlos come in natural fibres - like cotton or wool?
Let's deal with one at time. Cotton is a great fibre for outer apparel. It is cool and breathable; and it feels good next to the skin. Unfortunately, in the closed environment of a shoe, it becomes the enemy of the foot. During activities both mild and vigorous, the foot perspires. Cotton is what is called a hydrophilic fibre - it attracts and absorbs moisture. As the cotton fibre gets wet, the fabric collapses and loses all its protective capabilities including resilience. This of course can lead to blisters and other foot issues, and it's why you will NOT find cotton in Thorlos, except in the tops of a few of our styles (but never in the foot). We put it in the tops to help absorb perspiration that may run down the leg before it gets into the shoe or boot.
Wool is also a great fibre. It has excellent insulating capabilities, and it retains those capabilities when it gets wet. Unfortunately, wool is prone to abrasion - it is not particularly durable. Like cotton, it too tends to absorb water, up to 35% of its weight. It will dry fairly quickly when exposed to the air; but again, in the closed environment of a shoe, like cotton, wool tends to absorb water, the fabric collapses, and it loses its protective capabilities. Many of the Thorlos outdoor products have some wool content; but we blend wool with other high-performance fibres that retain their protective resilience to provide insulating capabilities without sacrificing protection and durability.
Will the thickness of Thorlo require an increase in my shoe size?
In about 80% of the cases, yes. Studies have shown that most people tend to wear shoes that are too small for them. Thorlo offer various levels of protection for sports and activities based on the intensity of the activity specific demands placed on your feet. Thorlo offer lightweight, mid-weight and heavy weight padding in activity specific and sport specific designs. The various padding weights and the location of the padding provide appropriate levels of protection for the sports and activities in which you participate (for example, golf is not as demanding on the feet as tennis, so Golf Thorlo have mid-weight padding, while Running & Tennis Thorlo have heavy weight padding). It is important that the shoes you wear are large enough to accommodate the extra thickness of Thorlo. For the best outcome and to achieve full benefit from Thorlo, activity and sport specific footwear should be fitted with Thorlo activity and sport specific sock products on your feet. No one wants to feel that their shoes are too tight - that leads to discomfort and less than optimal performance. Follow our fitting tips to get your best Thorlos fit.
How do I get a proper fit with Thorlo?
GUIDE FOR FITTING Thorlo SOCK PRODUCTS WITH ATHLETIC OR "REGULAR" SHOES
Thorlo sock products work optimally when fitted as a 'system' with your shoes. If you wear them with shoes that have already been fitted with 'ordinary' socks, you may experience the sensation that your shoes are too tight. If your shoes are too tight your feet may hurt, they may feel hot or they may feel cold; and you don't want this to be the case. So be sure to follow this fitting guide to get the best protection and comfort from your Thorlos and your shoes:
1. Put on Activity Specific Thorlo when being fitted with the appropriate activity specific shoes.
- Tip: Activity Specific Thorlo may increase your shoe size.
2. Select the activity specific shoe of your choice.
- Tip: Choose the shoe size to fit the larger of your two feet (Most people have one foot larger than the other).
- Tip: Purchase shoes by the way they feel, not by the size indicated (Sizes differ among all shoe styles and brands).
3. Try the activity specific shoes on with Activity Specific Thorlo and feel how they fit.
- Tip: You should be able to move your big toe comfortably.
- Tip: There should be the width of your thumb between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
- Tip: The heel should fit comfortably, be laced well back into heel pocket for minimal slippage.
- Tip: Notice that the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
- Tip: Fitting should be done towards the end of the day, as the feet tend to enlarge slightly from the exertion of daily activities.
4. Purchase your activity specific shoes and Activity Specific Thorlo as a system for maximum protection and comfort.
GUIDE FOR FITTING Thorlo SOCK PRODUCTS WITH BOOTS
Boots are typically made of more robust materials than activity specific shoes and frequently are required to assist with performing arduous tasks so extra care in fitting is required.
Thorlo sock products work optimally when fitted as a 'system' with boots. If you wear them with boots that have already been fitted with 'ordinary' socks, you may experience the sensation that your boots are too tight. If your boots are too tight your feet may hurt, they may feel hot or they may feel cold; and you don't want this to be the case. So be sure to follow this fitting guide to get the best protection and comfort from your Thorlo and your boots:
1. Put on Activity Specific Thorlo when being fitted with the boots.
- Tip: Activity Specific Thorlo may increase your boot size.
2. Select the boot of your choice.
- Tip: Choose the size to fit the larger of your two feet (Most people have one foot larger than the other).
- Tip: Purchase boots by the way they feel, not by the size indicated (Sizes differ among all shoe and boot styles and brands, manufacturers have different lasts).
3. Try the boots on with Activity Specific Thorlo and feel how they fit.
- Tip: You should be able to move your big toe comfortably.
- Tip: There should be the width of your thumb between your longest toe and the end of the boot.
- Tip: The heel should fit comfortably (be well laced back into the heel pocket) with slippage of no more than ¼ inch; and the curve of the back of the boot should match the natural curve of the Achilles tendon area.
- Tip: Notice that the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the boot. Make sure that the boot flexes in the right place for your foot (at the last 'knuckle' on the big toe).
- Tip: The arch area of the boot should 'wrap' snugly around the foot's arch area.
- Tip: A key to proper fit unlace the boots and push your feet right to the front, you should have at least a thumb width of space between your heel of the larger foot and the boots of the longest digit. Don’t fit them too short, another test is to have 2cm in front of the longest digit on the larger foot.
- Tip: Fitting should be done towards the end of the day, as the feet tend to enlarge slightly from the exertion of daily activities.
4. Purchase your boots and Activity Specific Thorlos as a system for maximum protection and comfort.
Where can I find a store that sells Thorlo?
Go to our dealer locator to locate your nearest Thorlo retailer. If you are looking for a specific style/size phone ahead. Email: email@example.com and we will help you with suggestions.
How do I decide which style I should use for the sports or activities in which I participate?
Thorlo are designed and constructed to protect your feet from the specific activity demands of a variety of sports and activities. To select the most appropriate Thorlo for you, follow these guidelines:
1. Think about what specific sport or activity you will be doing: What type of shoes, boots or footwear will you be wearing?
- What conditions will you be subjected to (for example, will you be doing your activity inside or outside; will there be heat, cold, high humidity or other environmental factors)?
2. Determine if there is an activity specific Thorlo product for your particular activity. Thorlo have been anatomically designed, and are available for the following sports and activities:
- Hiking / Backpacking
- Mountain Climbing
- Military (combat boots)
- Safety Toe
NOTE: Because of the specifically designed protective qualities of Thorlo sock products, many people choose to wear sport and activity specific Thorlo for sports and activities other than those for which they are designed. In some cases, this is OK - for example, squash, cricket (and other sports involving lateral movement) creates impacts on the feet that are very similar to tennis; and thus, Tennis Thorlo typically will provide adequate protection for other sports such squash and cricket. However, in general we cannot recommend using sport specific Thorlo for sports or activities other than the ones for which they are designed. For example, Running Thorlo are designed to provide pressure, impact and shearing protection for the repetitive heel-toe motion involved in running. They are not designed for the quick stops, starts and lateral movements of sports such as basketball or tennis.
- Choose the activity specific Thorlo that are appropriate for your sport, activity or lifestyle situation. Many of the Thorlo styles come in multiple shaft lengths, including over-the-calf, crew (which typically comes up to mid-calf), mini crew (which comes up to just above the ankle bone), micro-mini crew (which comes up to just below the ankle bone), and roll-top (which comes up to just above the shoe line). Choose the height that best suits the footwear, the temperature and the playing conditions you will be experiencing. NOTE: Certain very large and very small Thorlo sizes are not available in most stores in all heights. To see which Thorlo styles are available in various heights and sizes, go to our "Products" page and click on the individual product.
- Selection of the appropriate Thorlo styles is generally very straightforward. However, due to the proliferation of shoe and boot types and the various conditions that you're likely to encounter outside, Thorlo give you a wide range of choices in running, outdoors and snow products. All Thorlo products are inherently designed and constructed with varying levels of protection that are appropriate to the level of intensity of the activities and the conditions in which you will be doing your sport or activity.
In running, for example, most people need the protection of the regular Running Thorlo product. However, many runners prefer a thinner, lighter weight product. Some competitive runners even prefer to train in thicker sock products (get to start line uninjured), but to run competitively in thinner products.
And in hiking and backpacking, new, and diverse styles of footwear, varying terrain and varying climatic conditions give rise to the need for different levels of protection.
For these reasons, Thorlo offer various levels of protection (with heavier or lighter padding) within certain style categories. Overall, the best approach is to choose the level of protection that is appropriate to your own physical condition and the environment in which you will be pursuing your activity. If you have foot issues (most people over the age of 40 have at least some minor foot issues and even the start of Fat Pad degradation) or are going to be in harsh environments (extreme cold, very challenging terrain, carrying heavy backpacks, on your feet for extended periods of time, keeping a very fast pace, etc.) you will need the highest Thorlo level of protection to prevent and compensate for Fat Pad loss. If you are pursuing your sport or activity at a more moderate pace, if you have no major foot issues, and if you are not planning to be in harsh environments, you might want to choose a medium level of protection. If you are not participating in vigorous activities, are dressing casually or dressing up, or are just 'hanging out,' a lower level of protection would be appropriate for you.
To get help in choosing the most appropriate type of Thorlo for your situation, go to our "Products" page and see the various styles we offer. For each style there is a usage guide and a grid showing the padding benefits of the product. If you still have questions, go to our Contact Us page and ask us for help in choosing your Thorlos. We realise that with so many products it is not always easy to choose; but we're always available to help you.
What do I do if I'm having difficulty locating a particular Thorlos style, size or colour?
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Thorlo guarantee and how to return?
See our Thorlo Comfort Guarantee and our Returns provisions.
What do I do if I have a complaint about my Thorlo?
We want to know about it! Our aim is to have you as a loyal customer for life. Your issue is our opportunity to learn and continually get better at what we do. Submit your information by going here by emailing us at:
How should I launder and care for my Thorlo?
- Perspiration and unsaturated body acids can cause deterioration of the elastic. Launder your Thorlo as soon as possible after every use.
- Thorlos should be laundered and tumble dried (is best) inside out to 'fluff' the terry padding and achieve maximum cushioning after each wearing.
- Wash Thorlo with like colours: Whites should be washed with white clothes only! Use the warm or cold water setting on your washing machine and use permanent press or gentle cycle.
- Do not use chlorinated bleach, or laundry detergents containing chlorinated bleaching agents, on Thorlo. Use of these agents results in fibre deterioration as well as breakdown of the spandex (elastic) and loss of elasticity.
- To receive full benefit of the Thorlo product design, we strongly recommend using liquid fabric softener in the rinse cycle. This is helpful to extend product wear. Fabric softener lubricates both the fibres and the elastic, keeping them flexible and allowing them to stretch as designed. It also helps to maintain correct sizing, stretch and durability. Fabric softener sheets in the dryer are NOT a substitute for using liquid fabric softener, although they do help to reduce static in the dryer.
- Line drying is not recommended, as it can contribute to the premature breakdown of the elastic core (UV). We advise that Thorlo be tumble dried on permanent press or low heat dryer settings. High dryer temperatures can cause shrinkage and spandex breakdown. The tumbling process in the dryer helps restore the fibre loft and 'reinvigorates' the terry padding for maximum protection. It is like comparing a tumble-dried towel with a line dried towel, most people prefer the former.
- Be certain your Thorlo have been thoroughly dried after laundering. If they are put away damp, spandex breakdown can result due to excess moisture still present in the elastic.
- Put your Thorlo on with care: Place hands on either side of the sock and gather fabric up to the toe area, pulling the sock on around the toes. Then gently pull the socks over the foot and up the leg. Do not grasp socks at the top and insert the foot as this can cause the spandex to weaken and break.
- Periodically a loose end of spandex may work itself to the outside of the sock. This is not a product defect. If this occurs, do not pull the elastic because it can cause unravelling. Clip it with scissors before you put the socks into the washing machine to prevent premature pulling, breaking or unravelling.
Treat your Thorlo for what they are - - high quality, great value
protective gear for your feet!