A minimalist’s take on padded socks – full review Thorlo Socks

Real Run Ryan Review Thorlo

Make sure to see my GIVEAWAY at the end of the post

Company – Thorlo 
Product Review – Experia ($17.99), 84N Runner ($13.99), Trail Running (!5.99)
Website – http://www.thorlo.com/
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When I first saw Thorlo I thought to myself, what a joke, these socks are for old folks, who would ever wear a “padded sock“, especially a runner/”athlete” like myself. In-fact I worked hard to become a “minimalist runner”, or what some may call a “barefoot” runner, though I must admit I haven’t really gotten into a true barefoot shoe/sandal just yet. But I’m one of those types of people that like to understand why I don’t like something, rather than getting someone else’s opinion I rather gain my own. So, I reached out to Thorlos and asked if they would send me some of their socks to test and review. On first contact, Thomas over at Thorlos asked some very engaging questions (more on that later) which started a very interesting dialog with not only himself but at few other folks over at Thorlos. The conversation was around my running style and being a “minimalist” runner. I sensed some apprehension due to their “padded sock” technology and I automatically giving their product a bad review. During our dialogue I sensed that they really believed in their technology and the motto of their company. After a few weeks of email conversations we finally came down to a few pairs that would give me a feeling and understanding of their “padded sock” while keeping with my minimalist running style.

I should mention that I’m a Feetures Ambassador; however, this doesn’t limit me in reviewing other sock lines, and like all my other reviews I give my honest feedback.


Who is Thorlos

Thorlos was born in the 1980’s and created by Jim Throneburg his mission, “Our passion and purpose is to be Caretakers of the World’s Feet”.  In-fact Thomas from Thorlos drove this point to me on various occasions as he stated,Thorlos is not “selling socks” but more importantly about inviting people to be more aware of the importance of their foot health”. What I really liked about the folks over at Thorlos was they never pushed me on why they were better than another brand, and why I should use/promote them over another sock company. They would always reference the science behind their brand and see their sock as an “integrated solution” to a individuals various activities. I was very impressed in how they conveyed themselves and their brand!


What is Thorlos

Thorlos in short is a “padded sock“, they pad the sock in the heel and balls of our feet. They claim that their technology helps protect these areas of the foot that over time and improper footwear break down, thereby causing foot pain and various other issues. Their padding density varies based off of the activity an individual is performing, I was given three of their running socks to review.


The “Padded” Sock(s)

Out of all the socks I was given by Thorlos these were my favorite. They were very thin in the areas of arch and upper thereby allowing my feet to get airflow quite nicely. The “coolmax” material I found wicked away the perspiration and kept my feet very dry, The “padded” area’s density was not overwhelming as I could feel the pad around my ball and heel, but I was able to still feel the ground on contact thereby keeping me light on my feet.

The 84N Runner was my least favorite, as I thought that the padding was too much on the balls and heels of my feet, and thereby hindering the ground contact I came accustomed to feeling. Having said that the sock is well made and again, like the Experia, the upper and arch was thin and allowed my foot to breath. The LYCRA didn’t give me the arch support I though it would give me. However, my foot didn’t slip in the shoe due to the non-slip fit. The other thing I didn’t like about this sock was the ankle grip. It’s lose and I was worried that the sock would slip from the ankle, it didn’t, but still I’d like to see a tighter fit around the ankle area.

The trail sock lived up to the hot muggy trails of Georgia. This shoe reminded me a lot of the 84N with it’s padding density, however on the trail is was welcomed. The sock did give me the “padding” I needed for the trail, but allowed me to feel the ground contact a bit more, thereby keeping me light on my feet. It seems though that this trail shoe lacks in arch support and again like the 84N was sagging in the ankle area. While running in them they they didn’t slip but they didn’t give me that sense of “I’m not going anywhere” feeling. I was constantly worried that they were going to slip into my running shoes. The fabric that is used is excellent, no friction blisters, even after a three hour half marathon (not my best time). This sock with a few tweaks has the potential to be my goto trail sock from now on.




  • Support
  • Wicking material
  • Tight snug fit
  • Padding where I need it and just the right amount


  • Cushion
  • Thin upper and arch
  • Wicking material


  • Cushion
  • Thin upper and arch
  • Wicking material
  • Lose feeling (84N & Trail)
  • Color pathways (All)
  • Support (84N & Trail)
  • Padding (Too much 84N)



If you are like me and you’re a “minimalist runner” you are going to love the Experia, I found the sock to have just the right amount of “padding” with just the right amount of support. If you’re If you’re a trail runner I would give the trail sock a shot, even though in some areas the sock is lacking, in what is has in other areas make this sock outstanding for the trails. And if you are a casual runner, or maybe a walker I would suggest the 84N series, for me the lack of arch support, lose feeling, and blah color-pathways make this sock my least favorite, However, you need that extra “padding” and you don’t need arch support or mind the blah colors, then this sock is for you!


Thorlos is having a “Free Pair Offer” where they are inviting you to try for yourself one of their outstanding socks. To take advantage of this offer please link –>here.

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Ryan Light

About Ryan Light

I started to run after a very stressful time in my life. I suffered most of my life with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), panic, and anxiety. I tried everything from diets to conventional medicines – nothing worked. Running saved my life – literally, I was at the bottom with my OCD, panic, and anxiety, and on the verge of suicide. Running gave me a new found adventure, a goal, an escape so to say. It’s been seven years since I took my first run…Currently I have run over 40 Half Marathons, Three Full Marathons, and countless amounts of 5 & 10Ks” and loving every minute of it. I’ve made some outstanding friends, overcame challenges I thought I’d never could, and best of all found a passion in life! To learn more...http://realrunryan.com/about-running/