In more traditional times, when Ma’ stayed home and cooked and cleaned while Pa’ worked at the rock quarry, an old idiom stated that “the easiest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” It’s not that I don’t like a good meal, but one way to this man’s snowmobiling heart in through happy feet, and it starts with quality socks.
No matter how good your boots are, if your socks are sub-par you’re going to be unhappy. Like most people, I’ve found plenty of bad socks over the years. The Arctiva Insulator Socks I used last season are quite the opposite. They were comfortable, fit well, were warm but not stifling, and didn’t make my feet feel clammy then cold when I was working up a sweat on more enthusiastic rides.
A sock is something that’s often taken for granted, but a lot of engineering goes into a set. The new-for-fall-of-2018 Insulators are 45 percent polyester, 30 percent nylon, 24 percent merino wool and 2 percent elastane – a formula devised with several goals in mind.
Arctiva’s Brandon Mueller explained that the merino wool found around the foot provides insulation qualities. Like other smart wools, it is designed to trap sweat without holding it against the wearer’s skin.
The wool is then intertwined with nylon for durability in high-wear areas like the heel and toes, plus polyester for drying/moisture control – in fact, nylon dries five times faster than cotton, Mueller said. The elastane, meanwhile, provides the stretch and the right amount of hold on the rider’s leg.
The interior of the sock has a soft terry finish, though special care was taken when shaping the sock around the ankle to not inhibit movement of a booted foot – if you look closely at the picture, you’ll see a distinct narrow strip where the top of the foot transitions to the ankle where material was taken out.
Enough on the sock engineering, let’s get to what’s important: I was very comfortable when wearing them! The Insulator is designed to be a longer sock for overall leg comfort and to prevent chaffing at the top of the boot – they came up to near the top of my calf but comfortably short of the knee.
The socks held their fit on my bird-like lower legs well – never trying to crawl down into the boot. And, most importantly, I was comfortable using them no matter the weather.
The Insulators come in two sizes – for shoe sizes 6-9 or 10-13 – and are only available in black with touches of red. They look nice and wear well, but you’ll never be confused with some of the sock snobs who feel their multi-colored de-signer socks make them truly special!
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the October 2020 issue of Snow Goer. Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.