We recently had the pleasure of testing the Brasher Naturale antibacterial socks on a camping and mountain biking trip to the Whinlatter forest trail centre in the Lake District. Brasher are famed for producing top quality outdoor equipment that is as suitable on the trail as it is for everyday use.
Taking on some of Whinlatter’s competition standard XC courses is a great way to find the flaws in outdoor gear. Within five minutes of starting the Altura South loop, I’d already ploughed through several puddles and experienced the familiar wet feet feeling that is part and parcel of mountain biking. Thanks to the bamboo yarn construction, the socks are extremely quick drying and I felt no discomfort. As the ride progressed, the July sun took its toll on the rest of my gear, but the Brasher Naturale socks coped admirably and the mesh uppers allowed good breathability and ventilation.
By midday, we’d completed loops of all the trails and headed back to the campsite for a change and shower. This provided a great opportunity to test the Naturale men’s short version of the sock. Designed for use with walking trainers for light hiking and casual use, the socks feature a raised ankle support to prevent rubbing and a padded sole to enhance walking comfort.
As with the long socks, the short version was extremely comfortable, but in the midday summer heat, the two season construction seemed a little over the top. To have a two season short trainer sock seems to be somewhat of a paradox as during the day you have hot feet and during the night you have comfortable feet but cold ankles. All of Brasher’s walking socks are available in a range of seasonal thicknesses, but like us, you may find that a single season short sock is the best option for you.
Like most outdoor equipment, the socks boast a range of technical construction techniques and advanced fabrics which ultimately mean very little unless they can live up to the hype. In this case, the most impressive feature of the bamboo/nylon/lycra weave was the antibacterial properties. At around £10 per pair, they are not cheap for a pair of socks, but perhaps after a weekend of sweat, mud and puddles this is money well spent to have a kit bag that doesn’t smell like the inside of a cow!