(By: GolfSpy Matt) Kentwool boldly proclaims their product to be “The world’s best golf sock.” They state that this sock is odor resistant, comfortable, blister free, fatigue reducing, durable, and moisture wicking. I put these socks to the test with some 36 hole days in Myrtle Beach so that I could answer the real question, “$20 for socks?!?” Read on for the answer, spies.
From the Manufacturer
An avid golfer, KENTWOOL CEO Mark Kent had the idea to produce the “World’s Best Golf Sock” after standing in the 18th fairway of the BMW Nationwide Tour Pro-Am tending to blistered, bleeding feet instead of concentrating on the eagle opportunity guaranteeing him a spot in the final round.
Born from that moment is golf’s leading, premium merino wool golf sock that enables golfers of all skill levels to play their best while resisting blisters, abrasion and fatigue. KENTWOOL utilizes its nearly two-century old heritage of superiority in textiles to create socks which draw upon wool’s natural and cool performance fibers for moisture management, sheer comfort and other performance-enhancing benefits.
While Kentwool has expanded their line up to include some pretty sweet colors (blue, neon green, pink, purple), they are, at the end of the day, socks. Also, I can’t get fancy colors in my preferred style, no show, so that’s kind of moot for me. That said, I’m going to give Kentwool an A for style for offering varying types of socks (tall, standard, no show), and for the color choices.
Now here’s a category I can deal with it very simply: these socks are really comfortable. The material is unbelievably soft. The best part is that it stays soft and comfortable even after 36 holes. The fit is also very nice. There’s a bit of structure (designed to reduce foot fatigue), but it doesn’t infringe on your movement at all.
On my very first day of testing, I wore Kentwool socks with Kikkor shoes (reviewed earlier) and I felt like my feet could have lasted another 36 holes easily.
As I mentioned at the top, Kentwool makes a number of claims about the performance of their sock. I’ll run down the list and give you my thoughts.
Odor resistant? Check. Even after 36 holes in the South Carolina heat, these socks smelled fine.
Comfortable? I discussed this earlier; they are absolutely comfortable.
Blister free? Yup. The no show sock has a nice thick pad near the Achilles that keeps it from falling below the shoe. This solves my number one problem with no show socks.
Fatigue reducing? This is a question mark for me. At the end of the day, my feet were not fatigued. That much is good. What I’m not sure about is how much of this I can attribute to the socks. I’ve never really noticed foot fatigue except when I’m wearing bad golf shoes. Much as I love you, MGS readers, I’m not going to go out and buy, then wear, rotten golf shoes to test this claim.
Moisture wicking? Absolutely. After 36 holes my feet were bone dry.
This is the one spot where this product struggles. Kentwool has, without question, created a fantastic sock. That said, it’s still $20 for a pair of socks. If you walk when you play, I think there is good value in these socks because they will keep your feet dry and blister free. If you ride, socks are probably not a big deal to you.
The real problem for Kentwool is the amount of good socks available for less. While the Kentwool golf sock is better than any other sock I’ve worn, the question becomes, “How much better?” There are some very nice socks available for $10 a pair. Are these twice as good? Maybe, but that second Hamilton can be hard to part with.
In spite of all that, there is an argument to be made for investing in these. How much is it worth to not have blisters? I think anyone who has had that blister near their Achilles would easily plunk down $20 to make it go away. Additionally, these socks do seem (after a few washings) that they will last for a good long while.
THE PEANUT GALLERY
The Peanut Gallery’s response, which is probably similar to many of you, was, “$20 socks!?!?!” The outrage was tempered substantially when they felt how soft the socks were, and gave some thought to the benefits of good socks and the pain of bad ones. One of our PGA Pros was actually on board from the get-go, asking if Kentwool made a long sock that he could wear with pants during tournaments (they do). Overall, the Peanut Gallery was impressed with the feel of the socks, but generally not willing to spend the cash to get some of their own.
Kentwool has a fantastic product with their golf sock. As you can see, not a single point was deducted for style, comfort, or performance. The big hurdle is the $20 price tag. If the price doesn’t bother you, I would recommend buying a case of these socks; I’ve never worn a better pair. If you’re like most people and you don’t have infinite resources, I’d probably recommend trying a pair if you like to walk. If you’re a rider, you are probably not going to benefit as much from the performance of these socks. At the end of the day, it’s a great product that actually lives up to its claims.