Lorpen Tri Layer Light and Ultralight Trail Running Sock Review
Lorpen is a quality sock brand based in the Basque region of Spain (read: tested in the rigors of the Pyrenees). Their vision is “to product the best technical socks for serious outdoor activities”.
I have been wearing both the Light and the Ultralight versions on the trails for a few months. They have become my favorite trail running sock because they just do exactly what they are supposed to do: stay dry (layer tech), stay put (fit), and keep the dirt out (height). While I haven’t yet raced in these, I would choose the Trail Light for an ultra, because Lorpen would be the least likely to cause me any discomfort or irritation over the long haul.
Both the Tri Layer Trail Light and the Tri Layer Trail Ultralight are made from 36% Tencel, 35% Coolmax, 18% Nylon, 10% Lycra, and 1% Modal. Tencel and Modal are the natural yarns, while the others are synthetics.
Lorpen socks fall into three categories: Tri-Layer (most technical), Classic (quality, simple socks), and Comfort Life (comfortable, colorful, everyday wear). The Trail Running Socks fall into the Tri-Layer category.
The Tri-Layer technology combines three layers to strategically wick moisture away from your feet, keeping you dry and comfortable. Layer 1 is non-absorbent (hydrophobic), and transports moisture quickly away from the skin into Layer 2. Layer 2 is absorbent (hydrophilic), sucking the moisture up and and distributing it for quicker evaporation. Layer 3 is a durable nylon, providing great abrasion resistance.
Many double- or multi-layer socks focus on blister protection, as the layers move independently from one another. On the Lorpen Trail socks, the layers are combined in a way that makes them feel like a single-layer sock (i.e. you don’t notice the layers). My only criticism of the sock is that, after several washings, I see what may be signs of wear. At first I thought the flecks were pilling, but since it doesn’t feel like pilling, I think the flecks are just a view of the various yarns woven together. I haven’t noticed any degradation in performance.
The only difference between the Trail Light and the Trail Ultralight, is the additional cushion at the forefoot and heel of the Trail Light. (I tend to choose the Light for longer runs, during which the extra padding is appreciated.) Despite having three layers, the Light and Ultralight are true to their names, providing what I consider to be the ideal thickness (or rather, ‘thinness’) in a running sock. This ‘shorty’ sock extends well above the ankle, which means no slipping down into your shoe, and no dirt or rocks entering the top of your sock.
The fit of the sock is as exceptional as the material selection. While they are not anatomically specific to the right and left foot, they are anatomically specific to gender (yep, men’s and women’s feet are different). The LIFE Fit system takes these differences into consideration, and makes special accommodation for each.
Both Men’s and Women’s LIFE Fit include:
- Lycra® Plus to prevent slipping
- multi density knitting for better fit and cushioning
- a mesh instep to reduce bulk and aid with breathability and moisture release
- a flat knit toe seam to prevent irritation
- But because Women have narrower feet, our Women’s LIFE Fit also has:
a narrower heel and forefoot to reduce bunching and discomfort.
Both the Light and the Ultralight have a ribbed band that completely encircles the narrower arch area. I have a narrow foot, and I believe this close fit between midfoot and heel is what significantly helps to keep the sock in place. The result of all this thoughtfulness, from a user standpoint, is simply a sock that stays put and stays comfortable. I am a forefoot/natural runner, and I often have ‘sock-slippage’ issues around the heel, which I don’t have here. The Lorpen Trail socks just quietly get the job done every time. Which is perhaps why, despite having a drawer full of socks, I am always digging through my dryer to find these.
The Tri Layer Trail Light (Men’s = XTR, Women’s = XTRW) comes in three color patterns. MSRP $12.99
The Tri Layer Trail Ultralight (Men’s = XTRU, Women’s = XTRWU) comes in three color patterns. Available in both Men’s and Women’s. MSRP $10.99