The Design of Thorlos Padded Walking Socks

Design of Thorlos Padded Walking Socks

THORLO’s Design Matrix

We designed our Thorlos walking socks based on a five-element design matrix. These elements assure your feet are properly protected and will feel better whether you enjoy fitness walks around your neighborhood or get involved in long distance walking for charitable causes. Either one can be very hard on your feet.

Our design matrix includes:

  • Shoe construction;
  • Foot kinetics – the way your feet move;
  • Surfaces you’ll encounter while walking;
  • Climate; and
  • Consumer testing.

Together, these elements ensure Thorlos clinically-tested padded walking socks will deliver the guaranteed benefits and provide you with all the foot protection you need to both meet your cardio-fitness goals, as well as enjoy your walk. 

The Shoe & The Last

Thorlos are designed to work within your walking shoe. Even though there are shoes specifically designed for walking, we know most fitness walkers wear all sorts of shoes, ranging from aerobic to high-end running shoes. We take this variety into consideration.

Foot Kinetics

Walking creates repetitive stress on your feet. Distance walking will take a toll on your feet. That’s why we put extra padding in the heel and forefoot of our padded walking socks. The padding, made from our exclusive THORLON yarn, is designed to absorb impact similar to the way a catcher’s mitt absorbs a fastball.

The engineered padding also absorbs the shearing forces that cause blisters and other foot conditions that could interfere with your walking routine. We add also add padding to protect you from the “lace-bite” that can occur to the top of your foot.


There are two climates we consider: the climate outside your shoe and the climate you create inside your shoe. It may be hot out; it may be cold; it might be rainy and muggy. We take all those possibilities into consideration when choosing yarns and fabric blends.

As for the climate inside of your shoe, when you walk briskly over long distances, you create a good deal of perspiration inside your shoe. Thorlos exclusive THORLON yarns are designed to wick that moisture away to the outside of the shoe where it can evaporate.


With the design matrix in place, we then create a prototype. We’ll have a small group of in-house fitness walkers put the initial prototype to the test. When the results come in, typically there’s some tweaking, and then a larger test. We continue to test the product over and over again, until we’re absolutely sure it’s going to deliver the benefits that we promise. That’s how we guarantee your feet will feel better or your money back!

Importance of Proper Fitting

Now remember, your walking shoe, the Thorlos padded walking sock, and your foot work together as a system. It’s really important that you get the right fit. So, I encourage you to watch our fitting video.