Very decently priced, top-performing trail-running socks that offer excellent next-to-skin comfort, great odor-control and top performance.
Potentially not as durable as others
Not warm enough for cold weather
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BAM Bamboo Technical Trainer Socks: first impressions
Full disclosure: when it comes to reviewing these BAM Bamboo Technical Trainer Socks I may not be entirely unbiased. I’m a recent, enthusiastic convert to the joys of bamboo clothing, and I’ve taken to the stuff like a panda coming off a diet. It’s great. So I was probably always going to get happy vibes when first putting on these BAM Bamboo Technical Trainer Socks – and that’s exactly what happened.
The socks felt great on my feet. But it’s not just the next-to-skin comfort that’s impressive with BAM gear. As a natural material, bamboo is much more environmentally friendly than synthetic fabrics, and it’s also fine for vegan runners to wear.
In these socks bamboo is blended with merino wool and mostly recycled synthetic poly materials, and the whole manufacturing process uses far less water than industry usual (BAM say purchasing these specific socks over most alternatives is equivalent to saving 25.5 days of drinking water). The best trail running socks have never been greener.
And bamboo isn’t just a panda snack spun into yarn – it's a dynamic, comfortable fabric with lots of naturally occurring properties that work particularly well with active apparel, including excellent breathability, moisture-wicking capability and anti-stink attributes.
As a 100% natural fibre, it will also biodegrade after your sock’s lifespan is over - although these socks are pretty robust, so you should get plenty of runs done in them. It is absorbent too, as is the organic cotton it is blended with, so it’s not as light as some synthetic material when wet, when it will also lose some thermal properties (although this is a not a cold-weather design anyway).
• RRP (twin pack): £14 (UK)
• Gender specificity: Unisex
• Sizes: 4-7 / 8-11
• Materials: Viscose bamboo (40%), merino wool (10%), recycled Polyamide (37%), non-recycled polyamide, Elastane (2%)
• Length: Ankle
• Weight (men’s large, per pair): 39g / 1.4oz
• Colors: Black / Blue / Grey / Green
• Compatibility: A good three-season running sock for all kinds of terrain
BAM Bamboo Technical Trainer Socks: on the trails
So, that’s all well and good – but how did they perform when I ran in them? Brilliantly, is the short answer.
Instant comfort is, of course, a great starting block. They remained comfortable while running, and stayed in place no matter how far I went or how long I went out for.
This is a low-cut sock with a terry cushion sole and an extra-padded tab at the back to prevent your heel, Achilles, and ankle rubbing on the cuff of your best trail running shoes.
Other features include added mesh section for extra breathability – which really worked. These technical running socks also feature rib compression around the arch and a reinforced toe box.
Longevity can be a concern with natural fibres, but the synthetic content does make these a lot tougher. I have run several hundred kilometers in these socks now, and they are showing no signs of wear and tear.
And, at the end of all that activity, the socks do not hold on to odors anywhere near as much as running socks made with synthetic fabrics do – occasionally my wife even lets me back in the house while wearing them. So if you to get into trail running, stay green and keep your partner happy, they’re a good choice.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.