Saturday, June 1, 2013

Review: Merrell Princess Fashion Socks


2013 Running of the Bulls 8K Photos by Shannon are here.

For my birthday, I got a pair of the much anticipated Merrell Princess Fashion Socks®.
Part of Merrell's M-Connect® series, the Princess Fashion Socks promise:
The connection, speed and glove like fit of Merrell Barefoot now with magical sparkle to make you look and feel like a princess! 
I was skeptical about them; it seemed like yet another marketing gimmick. But I decided to give them a fair test this morning at the Running of the Bulls 8K in Durham.

Scott was also very skeptical of the Princess Fashion Socks.
In fact he bet me $5 that I would not finish the race in them.
(Or did he bet me they wouldn't make me a princess? I can't remember)

Fit
I have a hard time finding shoes that fit because I have rather wide misshapen feet.
But these socks claim that "one size fits all", which is great news for me.

They seemed small, but I was assured that was by design

They fit rather snug, keeping my foot from moving around, yet allow my toes some wiggle room.
My heel kind of  comes out of them, but I think this is to promote "Earth Grounding", which is all the rage now.



Performance
The socks were quite responsive, allowing me to dodge in and around the crowds of runners. They were very light, weighing maybe 1 oz, and I was able to cut over a minute off my time from last year.
I also received many compliments on the aesthetics of the socks.
They seemed to enhance both my speed and fashionability in equal proportions.

Protection
The socks were fairly minimal, and had adequate ground feel.
However, between miles 3 and 4 along Ramseur Street, the asphalt got really rough. Even people in thick running shoes were running in the concrete gutter. I could have used a lot less "ground feel" there.

Otherwise the socks worked great running over the broken glass, hypodermic needles, and spent shell casings that litter the streets of Durham (just kidding! I love Durham. There was only a couple tiny pieces of glass the whole 5 miles)

The race finishes in the old Durham Bulls Athletic park, with the course circling around the "cinders" of the warning track. Here the socks were fabulous, keeping the pointy rocks from sticking into my soft cubicle dweller feet.



Durability
The socks were relatively poor in this category and ended up with several holes in them.

However, I know my personal running coach Barefoot Josh will blame me and not the socks for the damage. If I had been running "smooth" enough, there would be no wear at all. He can run in white socks and not get them dirty.

Final Word
At the end of the race, a guy came from behind and out-kicked me to the finish line.
But it really didn't matter at all, because I knew I was looking good. And that's really all that matters.
I love this race.
Usually when I start drinking beer before 8am, I am sitting at home alone.

It was very hot this morning.
Fortunately for this man, he had a bottle of the awesome
Nike Coolmax  Evaporative Cooling Fluid®
(available online for $8.95)







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