Performance and Support
ASICS is a brand that has built a solid reputation on the fit and support offered on its products. This extends to football as well, where boots like the Ultrezza are known for the solid support provided. Often this comes through heel raises, or some sort of extra cushioning. And support is the main theme for many ASICS products. And to back this up, technology is always closely involved in the development of products.
Fit and Feel
Before putting the socks on for the first time I was immediately struck by the feel of the socks in hand. The fibres of the sock are not really soft per se, but it was immediately obvious how good the socks would be when it comes to wicking away sweat. They also feel quite premium because of this material.
It was surprising that the socks were initially a bit difficult to adjust on the foot once they were on. The heel area was more snug than I was expecting as well as the section of the sock that sits where the laces would on a shoe. It was a bit weird at first, and while I wish it was a bit more elasticated, the advantage of this tightness soon became obvious during play because of the support it offered.
Speaking of support, the way the sock fits also means that the arch of the foot gets some support, which was a welcome surprise. Given the issues that many people tend to have with the arches, this sock could possibly be a good option. The flip side is that if you do not like pressure on your arch, it would be best to look for another option.
The socks have no internal grip pads on the inside of the sock, so there is no potential for anything to get bunched up on the inside of the sock like what happens with some grip socks like TruSox. Again, this is something that helps with the overall fit of the sock.
One surprise for me though was the fit of the socks was that I found them to have just a little bit of space on the sides of the toes. It seems like an oversight in some. Maybe ASICS did not worry to much about this because most people will go for the five finger option that they offer and that type is more popular in Japan but I was still not expecting to see this. During play there were no issues, I just noticed it because of the tight fit of the rest of the sock.
There is also not much cushioning on this sock, which I do not mind since I prefer my socks to be on the thinner side because I feel closer to the boot and the ball. But it is something to take note of if you like having that cushioned feel.
ASICS have also made the socks anatomically correct, which again helps with the fit.
An interesting aspect of this sock is that although there are no internal grips, the fibres used in the sock are designed in a way to still grip on the inside of the foot. These “ultrafine fibres” are designed to follow the external grip so that they work with the grip.
ASICS also says that they did testing to check on directional changes that occur during movement and from that data they designed the placement of the grips, which they call QU-GRIP. Because of this, the pattern of the grip is quite different from what you would find on other grip socks.
And to ASICS’ credit, it works really well. Since the grips are not as thick as other grip socks, they are not noticeable on the bottom of the feet and do the job needed without feeling like they get in the way. However, I did wish that the grips extended up the heel more, but that is more of a personal preference, and I did not have any heel slippage while wearing the socks.
To go back to the earlier point about the socks being good at getting rid of sweat, this means that the socks do not get too wet, which in turn helps with the grip, since the socks are not wet. I have not had a chance to play in the rain in these as of yet, but I imagine there will be no issues there given the quality of the sweat-wicking material.
Like I have mentioned before, a good-fitting sock is also important to the grip since the sock is working in unison with the grip and my feet, rather than the grips having to do more work to make up for a poor fit. ASICS nails it in that regard.
The ASICS Grip Socks are an excellent option, and I enjoyed the fit and the support the socks offered. The grip was solid, and I enjoyed how easily they got rid of sweat. However, I think they should have been just a little bit more elasticity around the top of the ankle and the toebox needed to be a bit tighter on the sides of the toes.
But in the overall performance of the socks these are small niggles and the socks have managed to get themselves into my rotation of grip socks. They may be hard to get outside of Japan, but if you get a chance to grab a pair, they are worth trying, especially because of that support.
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