Armaskin blister prevention socks are a smart Aussie invention that work for skiing as well or better than for a host of other feet-pounding activities.
Bruce Easton from Wilderness Sports Jindabyne saw their potential for winter sports this April. They ticked a lot of ski boxes – blister prevention, keeping your feet dry, preventing chafing, insulation to name four very handy properties.
He decided to give them a test in the early snow in May. They passed that with flying colours, so he stocked them in and the word has been spreading as more and more skiers discover the difference Armaskin’s proprietary Silcone-Fusion (SiFusion) technology makes.
Blisters are the bane of skiing hard generally.
The more you ski, the more you are likely to get them. That is multiplied for any earn-your-turns back and side country skiing involving skinning and/or hiking.
Our resident BC guru and top tester Steve Leeder, who also works as a guide and ski tech at Wilderness, had seen them in the shop but not been convinced. Till he had a go and the penny dropped.
Steve is prone to 20km plus day missions – like Guthega out to Watsons Crags, some descents, and return. So he gives his feet a serious hammering. He filed this report from the Western Faces..
The last few trips into the mountains I have been getting a crazy chafe/rubbing/hotspot on my foot and it was getting really annoying.
Then I did a 12 hour day to the Crags and back and I had the most heinous spot form on my foot. I just figured well, I better re-mould my boots, and see what I can do to make that better. I didn’t really think about socks, or adding more socks to my system.
But on the way home from work at Wilderness Sports my boss Bruce handed me a pair of Anti-Blister ARMASKIN socks and said, “Have you seen these in the shop? You should try them out.”
OK, I totally will try them out.
I put them on as soon as we got home to see how they felt. Getting into them was not the easiest thing in the world, kinda reminded me of some compression bike socks I used for a while.
Once I had them on they felt really good. Tight. But good.
The inside of the sock is kind of like a thermal rashie. It’s a real thin rubber sort of material. The idea is to act like a second layer of skin, to give you a bit of padding, and to keep your foot completely dry.
The first ski day in them was a short one and I was kind of happy about that. The tightness on my toes was pretty uncomfortable. I mean it didn’t stop me from skiing but it wasn’t pleasant.
As soon as I was back to the truck the boots were off. I found my outer layer “normal sock” soaked. But as I rolled off the ARMASKIN my foot was really dry. More importantly, no hot spots. I’ll call that a win.
Next trip was a big day out to Blue Lake. A couple of hours on the skin track and a bunch of boot packing back up to ski a few lines.
I was pleasantly surprised when by about midday my toes were feeling normal.
Seems my liners had moulded enough to give my toes some more room. Normally, because I have intuition liners, my feet are always sweaty on a big day. But these socks are really keeping my feet dry so that’s an extra bonus for sure.
The real test will be when the boots come off and I see what’s really going on with my feet I’m thinking.
It’s another win. No hot spots, no blisters and no pain.
To be honest, I was really sitting on the fence with these socks before trying them properly. But once I gave them some time to get used to I’m really happy with them.
They are now a permanent thing for me.
For anyone who likes a race fit in their boots, l suggest if you can to mould your boots with your new ARMASKIN socks and normal socks on. This way the extra space in your toes are already there.
But even most people who do a race fit on their resort boots don’t fit their touring boots the same.
And for most regular keen skiers who don’t have moulded liners or do but with a bit more room there won’t be any problems. In fact if you have been feeling a bit loose in them they will snug your fit up nicely as a bonus. – Steve Leeder
They say: The Armaskin edge
ArmaSkin liner socks utilise proprietary Silicone Fusion (SiFusion) technology to generate novel performance characteristics in the skin, liner sock and outer sock combination.
The inner surface is a fine, porous coating of silicone. This holds firm against the skin while the non-treated external surface of the ArmaSkin is very smooth, allowing external movement to be deflected instead of being transferred to the skin layers as destructive shear forces.
The silicone layer is also hydrophobic, ie water hating, which means that moisture, ie sweat or river water, is pushed to the outside of the liner sock to be wicked away by the outer sock.
The ArmaSkin liner sock is super flexible, soft, breathable, and bacteria static meaning that it can be comfortably worn over extended periods.
Best of all, they are cheap!
People spend a lot on boot fits and foot solutions. Or the search for solutions. That includes plenty of really expensive sock options out there.
But Armaskins are only $AUD 45.99 a pair – great value.
Team them with regular socks. Aldi socks for example. And feel the difference.
Also, you can use them across the range of your outdoor activities. Skiing in winter, hiking, running, adventure sports in other seasons.
“We expect to sell as many or more over summer” says Easton.
There are 4 sizes, they are unisex.
Staying dry sure works for us – wish I had had these this October day a few years back