Over the past couple months, Stable 26 provided us with a pair of socks to review. Their performance hockey socks looks like any other run of the mill compression socks except with one exception: they have silicone pads around the ankle designed to decrease the negative space in the heel of your skate. Check out my view of the socks below:
Product: Stable 26 Hockey Socks
Color: Black socks, Red custom foot pads
Environment: Ice and Roller
First Impression: At first impression I looked at the already attached sizing pads (2mm and 4mm medial and lateral silicone pads are included but you can purchase an accessory pack that include two pads each in 2mm, 4mm, and 6 mm) and thought “how do I know what size to use,” and “how do I put these on?” Well, my questions were answered with the instruction sheet. One downfall of some of the accessory gear we review is the lack of direction/instruction. But the instruction guide helps you every step of the way. I liked how it tells you when you should use them for the first few times before you know which pads fit you, and to not use them before a big game if you just bought them. I also like how it tells you how your feet should feel when you have achieved a proper fit and how your feet should feel when you don’t have a proper fit.
Usage: It took me a few skates and some puzzle work before finding the right size for myself. Like the instructions say, start with the smaller pads and work your way up to the right fit.One of the best features about the sock is the elastic arch that is across the middle of the foot. The contour of it is designed to help keep the foot in place while maintaining a proper foot arch for maximum performance. One issue I have with the socks is that the blue L and R embroidered on the bottom of the socks to distinguish left and right are difficult to see. If they were embroidered in a color like red or white they would appear to be more visually appealing to the eye. One time early in the review I even wore the socks on the wrong foot forgetting they were marked left and right.
I’ve had the opportunity to wash the socks a couple of times while reviewing them. You’re able to keep the pads inside the sock and there wasn’t much noticeable shrinkage or loss of elasticity the next time I wore them. It will be interesting to see how they hold up 1-2 years from now. There are similar compression socks that I’ve owned that has lost their elasticity.
As for my foot, I felt more comfort around both sides of my foot. The silicone pads were able to fit comfortably between my foot and the boot of the skate. I felt that there was decreased sliding between the sides of my feet when trying to change directions while skating. I felt more control using the socks compared to skating barefoot and using regular cotton socks. In addition, the socks are able to keep the feet dry while controlling sweat that the feet generate while skating.
Conclusion: Aside from the L and R designation should be brighter, I enjoyed using these socks. I believe they are suitable for ice and roller hockey, but the only drawback I could see for ice hockey players is if you are looking for something that provides Achilles protection as seen in other socks that have Kevlar in them, you won’t see that in these. If you play other sports such as golf, running or skiing, Stable 26 manufactures socks for those respective sports as well. You can check out their website at Stable26.com. If you are interested in buying a pair, Ice Warehouse carries them for $29.99. If you just want the extra pads for a custom fit, they are available at Ice Warehouse as well.