ZAMST HA-1 RUN SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
September 15, 2014
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mbbp2013 (at) hotmail (dot) com
Los Angeles County, California, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in spring 2013. Since then, I have selectively purchased new, more lightweight gear, while I still carry some heavier gear from my car camping trips. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. I am a tent camper looking for ways to lighten my pack. My backpacking trips are currently weekend excursions in Southern California, USA. If my business travel allows me to get away, I try to backpack one or two weekends a month.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Nippon Sigmax Co., LTD. (ZAMST Global Headquarter)
Year of Test: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://zamst.us/
MSRP: US $34.99
No Listed Weight
Measured Weight for the Pair: 1.45 oz (41 g) for the Women's Medium size
Other details: available for men and women.
Sizes for Women: Small - Medium - Large - XLarge
Available colors: white + black
|Right Sock outside|
|Left Sock inside|
The ZAMST HA-1 Run Socks are designed to reduce plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. To accomplish this, the socks have several special features:
- a firm knit construction that gives functional support of the arch
- strong weave around the heel for improved stabilization
- anatomical design specific to the left and right foot.
|Close-up Sock outside|
|Close-up Sock inside|
I received white ankle-high socks. They consist of a variety of weaving patterns. The double-layered cuff has the ZAMST logo sewn-in on the cuff outside and the size (here: MEDIUM) on the cuff inside. A zig-zag woven, firm (non-stretchy) band loops from the cuff down underneath the foot arch and back up to the cuff on the other foot side. This band is wider on the arch inside and it is therefore important to wear the correct sock on each foot. Above the heel and in front of the heel are stretchy woven sections designed to stabilize the heel. Right below the cuff on the sock front is an elastic supported wavy portion. The stretchiest portion of the entire sock is on the instep. This stretchy fabric also holds the L / R indication (for left or right foot) and the HA-1 model name in black. The toe box of the sock is separated from the sock main body with a black stripe. The toe box seam feels virtually flat from the outside, yet has quite a bit of a weld on the inside. This toe box is well-cushioned terry cloth.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
ZAMST alerts that the HA-1 socks do not prevent or heal foot injuries. The socks are for arch support and it is important to wear the left sock (marked L) on the left foot and (R) on the right foot, plus wear the appropriate size. The precautions mention to not wear the socks if the skin is sensitive or prone to allergies and in case of abnormal conditions (like cuts, fractures, numbness, swelling or rash). The socks shall not be worn for an extended period of time and not while sleeping. And if the wearer experiences any symptoms like numbness, pain, swelling, etc. wearing the socks shall be discontinued.
The HA-1 socks are made from cotton, acrylic, polyurethane, nylon and polyester.
The HA-1 socks can be machine washed while inside a laundry bag. The white socks have a few black portions and the manufacturer alerts that the dye may bleed. The socks shall not be placed in a dryer.
TRYING THEM OUT
On the ZAMST website, the sizing chart shows the SMALL sock size for shoe size 8.5 (European 39). Yet those socks were too tight for me. Instead I got the MEDIUM sock size and on the packing unit, I noticed that MEDIUM covers from 7.5 to 9.5 (European 38 - 41). So there is a sizing discrepancy between the ZAMST website and the actual packing unit. ZAMST recommends selecting the larger size, if a person's foot size falls between two sizes.
When I first tried on the ZAMST HA-1 socks, I noticed how tight they were especially around the arch.
Due to the portions of non-stretchy material, I first pull the sock over the toes with the remaining fabric bunched up in the arch area. Then I pull the cuff up over the heel and I tuck the heel portion in place.
Putting on these tight-fitting socks is a bit more effort than putting on any of my normal (loose-fitting) pairs of socks. I noticeably feel the inside arch lift from the stiff band around the foot arch. So far I have only worn the socks a bit around the house to get a feel for their tightness.
I am looking forward to testing the HA-1 socks during my conditioning activities at the gym and on walks in my sneakers. Especially during intensive gym cardio work-outs I have been bandaging my feet and I am keen to find out if the HA-1 socks will improve my foot problems during jumping and running activities.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have successfully used the ZAMST HA-1 Run Socks at the gym for these 50-minute group activity classes:
RIPPED (high intensity Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance work-out)
14 50-minute classes
BodyBlast (muscle conditioning class)
9 50-minute classes
Mat Pilates (anatomically based class emphasizing body awareness while building strength and flexibility)
9 50-minute classes
plus one 50-minute indoor cycle class on a stationary bike
PERFORMANCE DURING USE
2012, I joined a new gym and have since worked out about five times a week when in town. Throughout 2013, I often experienced weak ankles, at times felt sharp pain on the soles of my feet and could not determine why I had foot pain and how to treat it. I visited a podiatrist who suggested expensive custom-made insoles which I never got made.
When I started wearing the ZAMST HA-1 Run Socks in May 2014, I immediately noticed how they truly uplifted each foot arch and how each heel was well tucked in. I right away stopped bandaging my feet and with the support of the HA-1, I have been feeling very comfortable even during intense cardio workouts since.
During a typical RIPPED class, upbeat music is played and supported by each catchy song, the instructor guides us through a different athletic activity: one song may focus on kickboxing moves; another on quick steps with jumping jacks and scissor jacks; the plank, knee lifts, burpees and squats ... and many more fun workouts over the course of 50 minutes. RIPPED involves a lot of jumping, bouncing and direction changes at high speed inside a gym studio with fellow students nearby. Since May, the HA-1 have provided firm support for my feet inside the gym shoes.
|Getting ready for RIPPED|
BodyBlast sometimes incorporates a stepper, quick sideway steps including grapevine, jumping, working with an elastic band and other aerobic type workouts. I have felt very secure in my shoes with the HA-1 socks and am no longer bandaging my feet for these active moves during the 50-minute classes.
|During Mat Pilates|
Mat Pilates is performed without shoes: with my HA-1, I either stand on a thick cushioned gym mat, a Bosu ball or adjacent to the mat. The 50-minute class focus is on balancing, on yoga inspired moves, on the flow of postures. I have felt firmly grounded in my HA-1 socks during these balancing activities.
|Balancing on the Bosu Ball|
Once during RIPPED and once during Mat Pilates, I got a cramp in one foot while wearing the HA-1. During the RIPPED class, I took that one sock off and continued barefoot inside that gym shoe for the remainder of that class. During Mat Pilates, I repositioned the sock and made sure the firm arch support was spot on and the heel in its place. That helped.
I think those two instances of foot cramping happened because I rushed from work to the gym, hastily put on the socks and possibly did not focus enough on tucking each foot perfectly into each sock. I have since come to learn that I have to focus on double-checking that the zig-zag woven, firm (non-stretchy) arch support is properly positioned underneath the foot arch and that the sock heel is properly hugging my heel. If I follow this little routine, I am not getting any foot cramps.
Once I wore the HA-1 socks for an indoor cycling class. But I very quickly noticed that the well-cushioned toe box of the HA-1 is far too bulky inside my tight fitting cycle shoes. My feet felt jam-packed and cramped inside the narrow, firm, stiff cycle shoes and I could not wear the socks for the entire 50-minute class. I finished the class in the cycle shoes without socks.
I have not worn the HA-1 during hiking activities: the socks are only ankle-high and I am wearing taller hiking boots with even longer hiking socks.
SOCKS OVER TIME
After each workout, I am air drying the HA-1 socks by loosely hanging them over a drying rack. They are dry overnight, ready for the next gym activity. I do not notice any odor or smell.
I have machine washed them eight times so far. Each time, I have placed them inside a pillow case or other surrounding fabric. I have always washed the socks with my white laundry and they have not discolored, despite having black fabric portions and the black-red ZAMST logo. Afterwards I have always air dried the HA-1 socks. I have not once placed them in a dryer.
I am noticing that the socks
(a) are showing very little pilling
(b) are no longer snow-white as they were in the very beginning. I guess because my gym shoes are black-colored inside, that dark color may rub off on the top of the socks. And during Mat Pilates I am working out in the socks with no shoes on, so the soles get a bit more dirty directly on the floor or mat than protected inside shoes. Knowing that the ZAMST HA-1 socks are also available in good-looking black, I would select black in the future.
|Socks after 4 months of gym use|
I love the ZAMST HA-1 Run Socks because I am foot-pain free. I no longer need to bandage my feet inside my gym shoes. The HA-1 provide strong foot support for me.
I am very grateful to ZAMST and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me experience the benefits of the ZAMST HA-1 Run Socks.
I will continue wearing the ZAMST HA-1 Run Socks for my many gym activities.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
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