At some point over the last year, I have managed to end up on a bloggers list that gets flogged to marketing agencies and PR firms in the hope they can get some free advertising for whatever rubbish they are selling. Mostly this means spam emails but just occasionally something lands in my inbox that piqued my interest.
In this case comfortable, hard wearing, anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking socks….. Mohair socks.
I have been trying to stop accepting freebies in return for reviews – as tempting as it is to get free stuff, it is actually surprisingly time consuming to write review posts. I would really much rather spend my limited blogging time (very limited – this blog has been suffering from neglect recently) writing about trying enthuse two young kids with the love of Dartmoor (tick), introducing Kwackers (the wild swimming temperature duck) or plotting the next leg of the #CountyCastleCaper. I am also no gear-freak (or whatever the expression is) and there is only a certain amount of enthusiasm I can summon when talking about the finer-points of fleeces, head torches or socks.
That said, I was really interested to read the email from Steve and Jenny, the owners of Corrymoor, about their Mohair socks, and a few emails later myself and Sarah had a pair of Companion Mohair socks each to try out (mine in Burgundy and Sarah’s a denim blue).
At this point I should mention the range of socks Corrymoor have. When I headed to their website to pick the pair I wanted, I was not prepared for the plethora of options available: the sportsman and the gentle-top (short lightweight socks), the companion and the adventurer (short thicker socks), the eventer and the explorer (¾ length socks), long socks, and all sorts of specialty socks. The short lightweight socks seemed the most appropriate for hiking (we opted for the companion) which come in an impressive range of colours: 16 in total.
Mohair is the fleece produced by Angora Goats, which originated from Turkey. Mohair fibre is made up of keratin (like our hair or wool), but the scales of the fibres are flattened and overlay each other giving a smooth surface (unlike wool). This results in a comfortable, hard-wearing, antibacterial (no smell), moisture wicking and non-felting sock (according to the literature at least!)
Angora Goats (borrowed from Corrymoor’s website)
Before I talk about the socks themselves, one of the things I liked about Corrymoor is what the company seems to stand for. They are based in Blackdown Hills in Devon, not too far from our new home in Taunton, on 128 acres of farmland which is farmed to Organic standards of soil association. As well as their angora goats, they also have a herd of organic beef and a few merino sheep.
Sarah and I have been wearing our respective pair of socks for almost six months now (wow this review has taken a long time to write!). The socks are comfortable and work well as hiking socks (thanks in part to the cushioned sole and reinforced heel). Both pairs have been washed countless times but have remained the same size and texture. Last weekend finally gave us a chance to give them a decent test as we hiked in the dusting of snow and freezing conditions on Dartmoor for most of the day. Whilst the cold seeped through our gloves and jackets eventually, our feet remained warm throughout the day!
As far as criticisms go, wearing the socks does give you the slightly odd sensation that your feet are sweaty when they are not. Perhaps they increase foot temperature slightly compared to other socks, but better wicking keeps your feet dry. There is also some clumping of wool inside the socks (is this felting?), which perhaps hints at wear over longer use (but otherwise makes no difference!).
Overall we really like these socks and they are our first choice from the sock drawer before a hike (which is the highest accolade I can give a pair of socks), and will definitely be buying more pairs in the future. You can pick up a pair of Corrymoor Mohair Companion socks for £13.60.