Teacher’s Comments: Makes walking better
Longtime readers will know that The GolfBlogger is a dedicated walker—not only on the course, but on hikes with the Boy Scouts, around town and on snowy days indoor at my school. I play better when walking, and it helps keep me fit, but there are occasional consequences: a stiff back, sore legs and blistered feet. I solved the stiff back issue a few years ago when I went to a Sun Mountain Push cart. And the sore legs only really show up when I play a course with difficult terrain.
But blisters are a recurring theme. I’ve tried different shoes and socks, rotating them between rounds or walks, applied moleskin and BodyGlide and still I get blisters. It’s not an every day occurence, but they surely will rear their ugly heads after three or four days of walking in a row. At the very least, I’ll get those proto-blister hot spots. I’ve come to the conclusion that either my gait is awkward or my feet are shaped strangely.
So I was intrigued when I saw an advert for Kentwool Tour socks with a “no blisters” guarantee. I was concerned, however, about the fact that they’re made of wool. I like wool socks when I’m playing in Michigan from October through April, but supposed them too much for summer heat and humidity. In that weather, I’ve always worn “performance socks”—mostly Coolmax type products—for their cooling properties.
Still, I was interested enough to contact the owner and he was kind enough to send a couple of pair for review.
As it turns out, fear of overly warm feet was unfounded. In warm, humid weather, the Kentwool Tour socks are easily as cool as any I’ve worn. Even better—after three straight days of playing, my feet are blister- and fatigue-free. In fact, there are no words to describe the comfort of the Kentwool Tours.
The basic secret seems to be in the quality and processing of the wool. That’s not surprising, given that Kentwool has been spinning yarn since before the Civil War. Kentwool uses what it calls an “air infused super fine merino wool yarn.” The “Windspun” method combines a blend of natural and high tech fibers and yarns.
Wool, as every hiker knows, is breathable and doesn’t absorb sweat like cotton (Cotton is Rotten is a Boy Scout mantra.) And so in cold weather, wool makes perfect sense. In that environment, the last thing you want is sweaty feet, which will quickly turn to cold, clammy feet. Dry is warm.
My wool hiker socks, however, are of an entirely different nature than these Kentwool Tours. The Tours are a very lightweight knit, from a “superfine” and very soft merino wool. I have an expensive merino wool sweater that I can wear pretty much year round in complete comfort, and these are no different.
Kentwool also has built in a vent panel along the top as part of what it calls a “micro climate system.” Combined with wool’s wicking properties, the result is cool, dry feet.
The blister-proofing comes not only from the dryness, but also from cushioning from what Kentwool calls “strategic micro-stress points,” as well as heel, toe and bridge reinforcements. These are elastic weaves that keep the fit tight and reduce slipping at those points.
Kentwool is a family-owned business that’s been spinning yarn since 1843. Owner Mark Kent got the idea to make performance golf socks after a grueling four days of playing and walking in a Nationwide Tour pro am. Having run out of gas on the final 18th, Kent wondered aloud “Why doesn’t anyone make a great golf sock?” His caddy then challenged him to make one.
Kent took the challenge to his team at Kentwool and the result was the Kentwool Tour golf performance sock. At $20 a pair for the low profile socks, they’re not cheap, but they’re also not meant to be. Kent’s goal was not to make the best pair of $10 socks, but the best pair of socks, period.
The Kentwool Tours come in two styles and two colors. There is a short, ankle-length sock and a regular calf-length model. Either comes in black or “natural,” which is a sort of off-white. Think sheep.
The final word on the Kentwool Tours is that they’re cool and have lived up to their blister free promise. I’ve become an instant fan. I want more.
You can see Kentwool’s Youtube ad below: