GEAR REVIEW – Swiftwick Pursuit Thin Wool and Medical RECOVERY+ Compression Socks.
Last year, my stoke meter hit the fan after reviewing two of Swiftwick’s top sock products. I had never heard of Swiftwick and was very skeptical to review something so simple as, well, a sock. After spending months adventure testing their socks, I fell in a deep love with Swiftwick socks.
Fast forward a year later, with those Swiftwick socks as top players in my adventure wardrobe, the company contacted me to review a new and improved version of the Pursuit sock that I reviewed last year, the Pursuit Thin Wool. The Pursuit Thin Wool is a slimmed down and revamped version of Swiftwick’s kick butt Pursuit sock. It’s 50% thinner than its predecessor, but does it maintain all the benefits of a merino wool sock?
Swiftwick Pursuit Five Thin, ($19.99)
—> BUY YOURS
The Pursuit Five Thin is part of the Pursuit line, a merino wool sock with compression, moisture wicking fabric, seamless toes, and arch support. In testing these claims made by Swiftwick, I wore the Pursuit Five Thins on EVERY dirtbag adventure possible over the past two months. Some of these dirtbag missions involved over 20 miles of hiking on unstable and variable terrain, creek crossings, and mud slogging before they saw a wash and did it all over again. While I never minded the thickness of the original Pursuit socks, I do have to say that it was pretty awesome wearing these bad boys while hiking 6,000 feet of vertical, over six miles, in 90-degree temps.
- 5” compression cuff helps keep your socks up all day. In an 18-hour push in the mountains, they didn’t budge.
- Overall compression eliminated ankle and foot swelling that normally accompany dehydration and high mileage talus field slogs. The foot bed compression shape reduced overall fatigue and arch pain which I was oh so thankful for.
- The no-seam construction eliminated the chance at developing any hot spots and left the blister development up to the sole responsibility of your choice in footwear. You ain’t getting blisters from these socks.
- The knit patterns of the merino wool pulled sweat away from my feet and even stayed dry after putting them on soggy creek crossing feet, actually pulling the creek water away from my foot.
- Antimicrobial properties of the merino wool fabric made my feet smell like rays of heavenly sunshine after 20+ miles and 2-days of simultaneous use. Ok, maybe not heavenly sunshine, but my feet didn’t smell like a fungus infected pig farm like they certainly would have in another sock.
- Varying degrees of ventilation in the sock construction, which Swiftwick refers to as “zoned climate channels”, allowed for heat to be released from my feet and kept them as cool as possible in uncomfortable temperatures.
- Due to the thin nature of the socks and known friability of thin wool weaves, I initially questioned if these would hold up as well as the thicker, Pursuit version. After two months of solid wear and abuse, I can attest to their durability. They look as new as the day I pulled them out from the packaging.
Swiftwick Medical RECOVERY+, ($49.99)
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Ahhhh, a $50 sock?! Yeah, sounds pretty crazy. Like, what on this green earth can make a sock worth $50?!
One overnight stay with Swiftwick’s Medical RECOVERY+ socks will have you begging this pricey mistress to move in. The Medical RECOVERY+ socks are a class II medical device, classified by the FDA, which are an excellent resource for endurance athletes and those at risk for developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). For endurance athletes who travel, either by car or plane, I cannot stress enough the importance of quality compression socks both for pre-race travel and post-race recovery.
As an athlete, nearly three months after extensive ankle surgery, I found the Medical RECOVERY+ socks to be a valuable asset in recovery and reducing painful ankle swelling after long hikes or simply long periods of standing on my feet. I recently returned from a trip to Grand Teton National Park where I logged an average of 10 miles every day for six days and was so ecstatic to throw these bad boys on when I got home. They reduced muscle soreness and swelling, which dramatically decreased recovery time for me. I can’t wait to use these when I return to endurance running!
- The sock is constructed of graduated compression, so they are tightest around the ankle, reducing in tightness at the calf. This compression allows for faster blood return, thereby reducing/eliminating swelling induced by traveling or long periods of athletic pursuits.
- Sexier than those thigh high medical compression tights you get from the drugstore or your doctor and just as effective. You can rock these knee-highs with a mini skirt if you really wanted to.
- Same as for all Swiftwick socks, so as not to be repetitive I’ll sum it up as dry feet and solid performance for many days without needing to wash every day.
- I’ve only had these for two months, but I have been religiously wearing them. When I wash them, I air dry them rather than stick them in the dryer. They still look brand new.
Bottom Line – Sold. They don’t mingle with my everyday socks in the hamper, they go in the special hamper.
Addict Disclaimer – Thrillseekers Anonymous was provided with Swiftwick socks for this review. The opinions expressed above are my own and reflect my experience with Swiftwick socks. No one can buy my love!