Thorlos® - The Original Padded Sock Design Explained - Video

What differentiates Thorlos from all other socks on the market today is our clinically-tested padding. It is our core technology. It’s the key to the protection and comfort you experience when wearing Thorlos clinically-tested padded socks. You can see the difference yourself, simply by turning Thorlos padded socks inside out. Once you have the padded sock inside out, you will notice how dense the padding is—and if you squeeze the padding, you will feel how resilient it is. How many loops? Ten of thousands! We use our exclusive THORLON yarn and other proprietary yarn blends and fabrics to wick moisture away, ensuring a protective environment for your feet.  


The padding density varies, depending on the part of the foot we are protecting. Where the shear and impact forces are extreme—usually in the ball and heel—the padding will be more dense to buffer against those forces, reducing the causes of foot aches and pain.

The padding will also be particularly dense where your foot experiences peak friction or shearing forces. The terry fabric works as a system to dissipate the forces that would otherwise occur, often resulting in blisters, pain and pressures.

Less dense padding is used in the arch area for a better/secure fit. In the end, our core Engineered Padded Technology™ is adjusted based on foot kinetics consistent with the anatomy of the foot.


Different activities place different stresses on the lower leg and foot. Here are a few examples of how the activity dictates placement of our engineered padding:

Running: The heel-ball-toe action of a runner puts tremendous shearing and impact forces on the ball and heel of the foot. So you’ll find our clinically-tested padding in those areas of the sock for protection against the common injuries suffered by many runners. Watch our running design video.

Tennis: In tennis, you need extra protection for tops of your toes; otherwise you will be a candidate for the painful condition known as “tennis toe.” So we have extra padding over the top and ends of your toes for protection and comfort. Watch our tennis design video.

Basketball: Basketball shoes typically have extra-high ankle support to minimize sprains. Thorlos clinically-tested padded basketball socks have protective padding that extends well up the heel and Achilles to protect from the high-top shoe collar.

Ski: Your shins are susceptible to an aggravating friction called “shin bite.” Thorlos ski products provide protection up and down the shin so shin bite doesn’t get in the way of your enjoying what may be your only trip to a powder mountain this year.

See the product description page for each Thorlos product to learn more about how the engineered padding is different in terms of density and placement for each activity-specific Thorlos.

Independent Testing Confirms Benefits

In the early years of our company, we received overwhelmingly positive responses to Thorlos from consumers, health care and sports medicine professionals. Our engineered padded socks allowed people to participate in their chosen activity longer than they had thought possible, and in many cases, pain-free. Health care and sports medicine professionals told us they were recommending our padded socks to their patients who experienced foot pain or other foot conditions. So, when medical researchers asked us to test our padded socks, we took that opportunity. Over the past 20 years, our padding has been the subject of eight independent clinical research studies that were subsequently published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

The results of those studies show that our clinically-tested padding reduces blisters, foot pain and other foot conditions by absorbing shearing forces and impact loads; reduces pressures on the feet that contribute to pain and other foot conditions; and also wicks (or moves) moisture away from the foot—important because excessive moisture is a catalyst for blisters, athlete’s foot and other fungal and bacterial infections.

Clinically-Tested Padded Socks

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Our clinically-tested padding is designated with a padded sock with cross icon. These are made in activity-specific designs (e.g., running, walking, golfing, hiking, tennis) for people whose feet hurt during or after activity—perfect for anyone who wants maximum protection to reduce the chances of injury and to protect the fat pads on your feet. Wearing Thorlos will allow you to play longer, better and safer and enjoy your activity more.

Lite Padded Socks

We also offer Lite Padded Socks. These padded socks have thinner padding—but more padding than other thin performance socks on the market. These are for people whose feet do not hurt during or after activity. Lite padded Experia®, with its specially sculpted pads and its ultra-lightweight sock frame is a great choice if you’re looking for an aerodynamic fit and protection without weight.