Review: Blis-Sox gel-lined socks to prevent blisters
Blis-Sox are marketed in the UK by Zurego, an independent family-run Health and Beauty supplier based in Cheshire, UK. They test absolutely everything themselves before they even think about putting anything on the market.
In the words of Zurego:
Blis-Sox® are a simple but amazingly effective way to prevent and protect heel blisters. The secret to Blis-Sox®’s outstanding comfort is the soft but tough thermoelastic polymer gel which is bonded inside the heel area of the flexible, seamless open-toed sock. The gel absorbs friction and impact shock around the heel, protecting the skin from abrasion injury, as well as reducing heel strike impact on every step.
The socks are available in two sizes – UK/US 3-11, EU 35-45 and UK/US 7-14, EU 41-47.
I was sent both sizes because my boot size, UK 10, fell within the size range of both pairs of socks. They suggested that the smaller ‘tighter’ fitting sock would suit more intense or steep terrain use. Whereas the larger size would benefit from a larger gel coverage area and suit a wider foot/ankle, or more gentle activity.
The online advertising states:
Blis-Sox® reduce impact and sheer forces around the heel for amazing comfort and protection when walking or during any other activities. The advanced polymer gel in Blis-Sox® slowly releases nourishing oils that soften and moisturize skin.
Absorbs impact & sheer forces around heel & Achilles tendon
Reduces friction to help prevent and protect blisters
Non-abrasive and won’t cut or scratch your skin
Wear under your usual socks
Dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, odourless, washable and reusable.
I have a pair of Gore-Tex walking Shoes that have always given me blisters on my heels, if I walk more than a couple of miles. I have tried every permutation of socks to resolve the issue, but nothing works. This was to be the challenge for the first trial – a 6-mile hike over mixed terrain in my ‘killer trainers’.
My first concern was that the forward seam would rub or be uncomfortable because it only came halfway down the foot. I had worn ‘half’ socks in the past and found them very uncomfortable to wear. My other major concern was that the gel layer would separate from the fabric of the sock or would disintegrate.
Stage One Verdict
The results of the first trial where very favourable. For the first time I was able to wear my walking shoes on a longish walk without fear of gaining a blister on my heel. I walked 6 miles over mixed terrain including tarmac, rough track and grass, with steep climbs and descents.
Throughout the walk I felt no slippage or rubbing. My concerns over the rubbing caused by being a ‘half’ sock came to nothing. I felt no discomfort throughout the entire short walk. When took the sock off my feet felt moist, but it is hard to say whether this was the ‘moisturizing’ effect of the socks or sweat!
The next trial will be conducted over 10 miles of rough chalk path with over 1000 feet of ascent and descent.
Stage Two Verdict
For this stage I walked 10.5 miles using the larger pair of socks and my standard walking boots. Now whilst I rarely get blisters with these boots, I do suffer from impact sores to the heals if doing a longish walk over hard chalk paths.
On what was the hottest day of the year to date, I enjoyed a leisurely 4 hour walk over four major hills on the South Downs. At no stage did I feel any discomfort or irritation caused by the Blis-Sox, in fact my feet hadn’t felt so good in a long time. No impact sores or discomfort.
At the end of the walk, the gel was still in place and there was no sign of any deterioration within the sock.
I was pleasantly surprised how well the Blis-Sox performed. I had been very dubious when I first received them in post, I have has experience of half socks that have created a sore spot on the soft mid foot tissue. With the Blis-Sox I never experienced any discomfort or soreness.
For me, the real challenge had been with my trainers. I had never really been able to wear these since I acquired them, due to slippage around the heal creating very painful blisters. The slippage still exists, but there is no rub effect on the heel and hence no blisters.
If you suffer from blisters, then give them a try. Not everyone will get on with them, but that the nature of life. I was sceptical at first but now converted. I will continue to use them, and I can’t say that about every product I have trialled and reviewed.
But they are not just about blisters. On long walks I suffer from impact and heat sores on the base of my heals. The Blis-Sox alleviated this problem by providing an element of cushioning through the gel insert.
If there was one down-side to the product, it would be that they are just half socks. I would prefer a sock that extends to protect the ball of the foot, a common area for blisters.
Would I recommend them – yes, I would.
Zurego is run by our small family team who between them have many years of experience in researching, creating and marketing high quality health & beauty products. We have worked for international giants, well known local brands and small independent businesses, all of which has helped to give us an understanding of what you really want from your health and beauty products and, just as importantly, how to create something to fit that need.
Disclaimer: I was supplied a couple of pairs of Blis-Sox which I used for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.