Gear Review - Bridgedale
"The Ultimate in Sock Performance"
The origins of the BRIDGEDALE brand of outdoor socks can be traced back to 1915 when John Black established his factory in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. BRIDGEDALE the brand was first introduced in the 1980's and has continued to grow ever since with an expanding range of products designed for of all types of outdoor activities.
The publicity states that "every fibre in a Bridgedale sock has been carefully selected to deliver a specific function. Its content has been carefully measured to perform this function. Bridgedale has placed great emphasis on moisture control and has achieved this by combining the best of the man-made fibres with Mother Natures finest".
"The basic problem with an all synthetic or all natural sock is primarily one of moisture control. Although wool has excellent absorption properties, synthetic wicking fibres are best for moving moisture (perspiration) away from the skin. Therefore, Bridgedale's basic principal of MMS (Moisture Management System) is to layer a moisture conducting (synthetic) fibre next to the skin which transfers perspiration to an outer absorbent (natural fibre) layer. This enables feet to remain dry, blister-free and comfortable."
Twenty-seven different products (including liners) are now available and each is designed for a specific purpose. They are contained within four Ranges - Extreme, Trekking, Global (formerly Outdoor) and Sports-Tech.
The products reviewed were those most relevant to walkers and included AT Boot Plus, Summit, Trekker, Women's Trek and Light Hiker amongst others. All the socks were packed in a sleeve with specific product information, including fibre content. The packaging also allows you to feel the sock, a useful idea in these days of impenetrable packaging!
Trying on a pair for the first time you immediately get a sense of well-being as the sock is designed to "hug" your foot with its construction carefully designed to ensure comfort. When in use the comfort level does not diminish and even after a hard 10-mile mountain walk your feet feel fresh and dry.
The technical construction of the socks is the key with support, impact resistance and moisture control all considered at the design stage. The performance certainly lived up to Bridgedale's claim that they "believe that the quality of a sock lies in its make-up and construction".
Tested socks have now been used for many walks and for day to day trips to the office. In addition they have been subjected to the rigours of the washing machine. All have kept their shape, colour and comfort.
Reports from those testing the products have been unanimous supporting wholeheartedly the quality and comfort of Bridgedale socks.
Reviewed throughout 2002 by LJ, KS, AL, RE, DW and others.
The Bridgedale web site is full of information from history of the company to detailed descriptions of its products. Of special interest is the detailed activity guide in the form of a chart. This enables you to select on sock length, climate and activity to help you choose the prefect sock. - A brilliant idea.