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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Zamst HA 1 Run LE socks > Test Report by Andrea Murland

Zamst HA-1 Run Socks
Test Series by Andrea Murland

Initial Report - April 17, 2014
Long Term Report - September 16, 2014

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 28
Location: Kimberley & Elkford, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)
Shoe Size: US Womens 6-6.5

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

I have had bouts of plantar fasciitis in the past, of varying severity. It’s always worse in the summer when I’m doing more hiking and running, and I usually have stiff feet in the morning even if I’m not experiencing pain.

Initial Report – April 17, 2014

Zamst HA-1 Run Socks

Product Information

Manufacturer: Nippon Sigmax Co., LTD.
Manufacturer's URL: www.zamst.com
Model: HA-1 Run Sock
Year of Manufacture: 2014
MSRP: US $34.99
Colour Tested: White
Other Colours Available: Black
Size Reviewed: S
Sizes Available: S, M, L, XL
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 38 g (1.3 oz) for the pair
Measured Height: 10.5 cm (4.1 in) (bottom of heel to top of sock)

Description & Initial Impressions

The Zamst HA-1 Run Socks arrived in packaging which describes, in multiple languages, the features of the socks and the instructions for use. It indicates that the socks are made in Japan and composed of cotton, acrylic, polyurethane, nylon, and polyester. The washing instructions are to use a laundry bag when cleaning in a washing machine, not to place in the dryer, and not to wash with whites or bright colours as the dyes may bleed. I’m not too worried about that last one, as my socks are white.

The socks are advertised to provide arch support and heel stabilization. The main body of the sock is a lightweight, stretchy knit material. The toe section of the sock, which is separated from the rest of the sock by a black band, is lightly cushioned, with a terry finish on the inside. The toe seam is flat and runs along the top of the toes. The top of the sock has a double-layer cuff, with the Zamst logo woven into the front exterior of the cuff, and the size woven into the front interior of the cuff. The front of the ankle of the sock has a kitted “wave” pattern, which is supposed to allow smooth flexion and extension. The heel pocket of the sock is made from a non-stretchy fabric. Now, the arch support. Running from the side of the achilles tendon, down around the bottom of the arch, and back up around to the other side of the achilles is a stiff, textured band with a woven-in zig-zag pattern. The arch support band is wider under the medial arch of the foot, which makes the socks specific to the left and right foot.

The instructions that came with the socks specify that they are to worn on the correct foot, and that they do not prevent or heal foot injuries. There are a number of precautions listed, including not to use the socks if my skin is sensitive or prone to allergies, or if I have abnormal conditions in the area including cuts, fractures, numbness, swelling or rash. In order to avoid poor blood circulation or injuries, I am not supposed to use the socks while sleeping or for extended periods. I am also supposed to discontinue use if I experience discomfort of any of the abnormal conditions already listed. That seems like a pretty scary set of rules for a pair of socks, but I guess they make sense for a support product.

The socks are white, though the arch support band is slightly yellowish in colour. In addition to the logo and size already mentioned, the model (HA-1) and which foot the sock goes on is woven into the body of the sock.

I noted a difference in the size charts between the website and the packaging. The website indicates sizes small through extra-large, and I picked small, with a range of US women’s shoe sizes 6-8.5 (I’m a 6-6.5). The packaging indicates that there is an extra-small as well, and puts the range of the small as US women’s 5-7.5. Either way, I fall into the small size, so it was a non-issue, but it was interesting to note.

Trying Them Out

I tried the socks on as soon as I received them. The socks were a bit tight to get on, and I noticed immediately that the arch support band isn’t stretchy. However, once I got my toes through that, it was easy to slide the socks on and get them adjusted. My heel slid smoothly into the heel pocket, though I have a bit of extra length in the socks. I could feel the support under my arch as soon as I got the socks on. I somehow wasn’t expecting to feel it that strongly. I noticed little pockets of fabric sticking out on the ends of the heel seams when I was examining the fit.

I wore the socks for a couple of in-home workouts, with shoes on, and found them to be comfortable. The little bit of extra length and corners at the heel seams weren’t noticeable. The fabric is soft and comfortable, and the cuff is snug without being uncomfortable. I could feel the arch support, and some tightness across the top of my foot, while working out, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. If anything, it was a welcome distraction from my panting.

Trying on the socks

Summary

The Zamst HA-1 Run Socks are lightweight ankle-height socks with built in arch support. They are comfortable and fit well, and I hope that they will be able to reduce the symptoms of plantar fasciitis that typically appear over summer for me.

Long Term Report – September 16, 2014

RunningField Conditions

I have worn the Zamst HA-1 Run Socks for eleven runs of distances of up to 8 km (5 mi) and in temperatures between 10 C (50 F) and 35 C (95 F). Most of the runs have been in dry weather, but there were a couple in rain or on wet trails. I also used the socks for about 35 at-home workouts, which involve a lot of jumping, two squash games, and one short hike.

All of the runs were in my trail running shoes, and the squash and workouts were in my court shoes. The one trial hike was in lightweight mid-height hiking boots. I washed the socks twelve times, in my regular laundry, with regular detergent, not in a bag, and hung them to air dry.

Observations

The HA-1 Run Socks fit me well and are comfortable. I haven’t had any wrinkles or the heel seams bother me. Once I’ve had the socks on in my shoes for a few minutes, I don’t actively notice the arch support, but I do still feel it quite strongly if I’m not wearing shoes. I have noticed that the socks seem to be easier to get on now than at the beginning of the test; I don’t know if they’ve stretched or if I’ve figured out the technique. I tried them in my hiking boots once, but I wear mid-height boots and the top of these socks was below the collar of the boots, which wasn’t very comfortable.

I have not had any plantar fasciitis symptoms this summer, which is great. I haven’t even had stiff feet in the morning, which is rare. I don’t know if that can be directly attributed to these socks, but they seem to have helped. For the last fifteen years or so I have gotten a bit of dull cramping pain under my arches when I do all sorts of activities (ski, bike, run, skate, etc.), and that did not ease with these socks. I did occasionally feel a “pull” just in front of my heel, on the bottom of my foot, usually late in a run. In these cases I have modified my stride a bit to prevent it from continuing, and I have never had any ill effects later.

The socks seem to do an ok job of moisture management. They are always damp when I take them off (even when it’s dry out) but are not uncomfortable while they’re still in use. I haven’t noticed any unpleasant odours after wearing them, though I have washed them quite frequently.

I have not noticed any signs of wear or deterioration on the socks. There is some discolouration and staining on the bottoms and around the toes, probably from my running shoes and some muddy spring runs.
Staining on the bottom
staining

Summary

The Zamst HA-1 Run Socks have been comfortable and performed well. I am happy to say that I have made it through the summer plantar fasciitis-free!

Thumbs Up:
Comfortable
Arch support

Thumbs Down:
A bit of staining

Thanks to Zamst and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test these socks!



Read more reviews of Nippon Sigmax Co. LTD gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Zamst HA 1 Run LE socks > Test Report by Andrea Murland



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