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Thorlo ResearchThorlo Research

Thorlo has spent seventeen years conducting scientific research and has participated in twelve scientific studies to prove that Thorlos' unique anatomical design can create the ultimate comfort system. The results of these studies enabled Thorlo to produce anatomically designed, sport-specific sock products, each specially engineered to protect the feet according to the demands of each activity. All that research is contained here for you to look at. You can look at the summaries below. Take a look, and you'll see just how much scientific knowledge goes into every pair of Thorlos made:
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Thorlo ResearchThorlos Protect High-Risk Diabetic Foot
Studies of Experimental Hosiery in Diabetic Neuropathic Patients with High Foot Pressures

Aritidis Veves, MD; Ewan Masson, MRCP; Devaka Fernando, MRCP; Andrew J. M. Boulton, MD; Use of Experimental Padded Hosiery to Reduce Abnormal Foot Pressures in Diabetic Neuropathy, in Diabetes Care, vol. 12, No. 9. October, 1989.

Twenty-seven patients with diabetes and abnormal plantar pressures (15 men, 12 women), ranging in age from 26-78 years, took part in the study. The objective was to define effective strategies to protect the high-risk diabetic foot because lower-extremity amputations remain 15 times more common among diabetic subjects, due to the foot's insensitivity to abnormal pressures and loads.

Shear stresses are a factor in the development of foot ulcers.
Specific Thorlos were responsible for a large reduction in both peak pressure and time-pressure.
Specific Thorlos created a significant reduction in dynamic foot pressure.
Conclusion: Specific Thorlos may be a useful, acceptable and inexpensive method for protecting the diabetic insensitive foot from abnormal pressures.


Studies of Experimental Hosiery in Diabetic Neuropathic Patients with High Foot Pressures

Aritidis Veves, MD; Ewan Masson, MRCP; Devaka Fernando, MRCP; Andrew J.M. Boulton, MD; Studies of Experimental Hosiery in Diabetic Neuropathic Patients with High Foot Pressures, in Diabetic Medicine, vol. 7, pp. 324-326, January, 1990.

Laboratory research to ascertain if pressure persists with Specific Thorlos: 10 patients with diabetic neuropathy wore Specific Thorlos regularly for 6 months.

Shear forces apply to all surfaces of the foot in the shoe.
Specific Thorlos reduce pressure stress on diabetic neuropathic feet.
Shoe fitting: Use Specific Thorlos designed for use with the sports specific shoe.
Specific Thorlos reduced peak foot pressures by 31% at base line.
After six months, peak foot pressure reduced by 17%; researchers believe a 15%
reduction is enough to prevent ulceration.
Tennis Thorlos reduced peak pressure by 17%.
Conclusion: Specific Thorlos contribute to the care of the diabetic foot. No patient developed a foot ulcer during the six-month study. Specific Thorlos may have a place in the management of the insensitive foot.


Friction Blisters and Sock Fiber Composition, a Double Blind Study

Kirk M. Herring, DPM and Douglas H. Richie, Jr., DPM; Friction Blisters and Sock Fiber Composition, a Double Blind Study, in Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, Vol. 80, No. 2, February, 1990.

Thirty-five long distance runners complete 80 run trials with Specific Thorlos patented sock products made from 100% acrylic fibers; Runners also completed an addition 80 run trials with Specific Thorlos patented sock product made from 100% natural cotton fibers. Both products were manufactured by THOR LO, Inc.

The Specific Thorlos constructed with an acrylic fiber kept feet drier than the Specific Thorlos constructed with cotton fiber, and those wearing the Specific Thorlos constructed with an acrylic fiber showed 50% fewer blisters than those wearing the Specific Thorlos constructed with a cotton fiber. When blisters did occur, the Specific Thorloss® constructed with an acrylic fiber showed blisters that were only one-third the size of those resulting from the Specific Thorloss® constructed with a cotton fiber.

Conclusion: Patented Specific Thorlos constructed with an acrylic fiber were associated with fewer blistering events and smaller blisters (mm2) when compared directly to Specific Thorlos that were constructed with cotton fibers.


Friction Blisters and Sock Fiber Composition

Kirk M. Herring, DPM, Douglas H. Richie, Jr., DPM; Friction Blisters and Sock Fiber Composition, a Single Blind Study (Part 2), Presented at 75th Annual Meeting of the American Podiatric Medical Association, Las Vegas, NV, August, 1990, published Comparison of Cotton and Acrylic Socks Using a Generic Cushion Sole Design for Runners, in The Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, Vol. 83 Number 9, September, 1993.

Twenty-seven runners completed 20 runs of 45 minutes each to compare two ordinary socks. One sock product was constructed with acrylic fibers and the other with cotton. The ordinary socks were constructed without the dense padding found in the patented Specific Thorlos design.

No significant difference in blistering frequency when comparing acrylic versus cotton.
No significant difference in size or severity of blisters.
Conclusion: When the construction of the ordinary socks was not the patented Specific Thorlos construction, there was no significant difference between acrylic and cotton ordinary socks.


Standard instructions for the Department of the Army on the importance of foot care

Foot Care Department of the Army, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, April, 1990.

Standard instructions for the Department of the Army on the importance of foot care, socks, boot, proper fitting of boots, cold weather protection, differential lacing and the multi-component boot system.

Education on the care of blisters.
Good sock products provide a variety of protection.
Importance of correct fitting of boots.
Conclusion: "Given the criticality of the feet to dismounted movement, it is incumbent of leaders to put paramount importance on preparation and care of feet."


Painful Rheumatoid Foot - treatment studies

A. Veves, E.M. Hay, A.J.M; The Use of Specially Padded Hosiery in the Painful Rheumatoid Foot, Boulton University Departments of Medicine and Rheumatology, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK.

Eighteen patients (seven males) with rheumatoid arthritis and painful feet from 30-71 years of age with disease range from 1-40 years. A six-month study.

Specific Thorlos provided significant pressure relief during walking and standing.
Reduced painful symptoms 51% during walking and standing.
Satisfactory over a long period of regular use.
Conclusion: Specific Thorlos are useful in reducing pressure and providing pain relief in the painful rheumatoid foot. Combination of this product with specially designed shoes may be of most help in this group.


The Use of Thorlos Walking and Support Hosiery in the Treatment of Circulation Problems of the Feet and Legs

"The Use of Thorlo Walking and Support Hosiery in the Treatment of Circulation Problems of the Feet and Legs" Authors: Dr. Alice Brown, Pharm D.; Dr. Jack Brown, DO; in Osteopathic Physician.

Thirty-six men with venous insufficiency (swelling of legs, or varicose veins) participated in the study; 18 patients wore Specific Thorlos for four months.

Specific Thorlos improved circulation in feet and in legs nearly 100%.
The use of Specific Thorlos dramatically reduced swelling in one month.
Deep vein circulation went from abnormal to well above normal in three months.
Conclusion: Chronic aching and foot fatigue, due to prolonged standing and walking, can be significantly improved with the use of Specific Thorlos.


Impact of Sock Systems on Frequency and Severity of Blister Injury

Impact of Sock Systems on Frequency and Severity of Blister Injury in a Marine Recruit Population, {Not a THOR LO Project}. U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760-5007, March, 1993.

Three hundred and fifty-seven Marine recruits tested three different types of socks: (1) standard; (2) standard with thin inner sock; (3) thick, dense outer sock with thin inner sock.

The thicker sock caused 11% of total blisters (group 3).
The standard sock caused 28% of total blisters (group 1).
Conclusion: The heavier, more dense sock reduced the overall incidence and severity of blisters in Marine recruit training. Sick call visits were required by 24.4% of group 1 with severe blisters.


Role of Experimental Socks in the Care of the High Risk Diabetic Foot

Heather J. Murray, DPOD M, Aristidis Veves, MD; Matthew J. Young, MD; Douglas H. Richie, DPM; A.J.M. Boulton, MD; Role of Experimental Socks in the Care of the High Risk Diabetic Foot, American Group for the Study of Experimental Hosiery in the Diabetic Foot. August, 1993, A multicenter patient evaluation study.

Eighty-six high-risk patients (69 males, 14 with Type I diabetes) range in age from 34-85 years and a diabetes range from 1-45 years for a six month period.

Specific Thorlos provided significantly more comfort.
85% of patients evaluated were good or very good.
Conclusion: Specific Thorlos have a high level of patient satisfaction and may be an acceptable and inexpensive method of protecting the high-risk insensitive diabetic foot. Must be worn with shoes that accommodate the thicker padding.


Test Report: Improved Sock System Customer Test

Test Report: Improved Sock System Customer Test. United States Army Test and Experimentation Command Experimentation Center Fort Liggett, CA 93928-5000, January, 1994.

1,079 soldiers and Marines tested five different systems in tropical, temperate and cold zones.

High comfort.
High durability.
Improvement in injury protection.
Conclusion: Military personnel found Combat Thorlos were the best sock product tested in a field environment.


The Effect of Padded Hosiery in Reducing Forefoot Plantar Pressures

Shawn Flot, MPT; Von Hill, MPT; Wesley Yamada, DPM; Thomas McPoil, PHD, PT, ATC; and Mark Cornwall, PHD, PT; The Effect of Padded Hosiery in Reducing Forefoot Plantar Pressures, in The Lower Extremity, Vol. 2, No. 3 September, 1995.

Eight healthy subjects ranging in age from 23-44 years tested an extra-depth shoe with Specific Thorlos padded sock product for eight weeks.

Test results were recorded from within the shoe.
Temperature and moisture were also recorded.
Forefoot plantar pressure was significantly reduced in the hallux and the central forefoot.
Conclusion: The results indicate that padded hosiery (Running Thorlos) can significantly decrease forefoot plantar pressures when initially donned, after wearing for four hours of activity and over a period of eight weeks of wear.


The Shock Absorbing Properties of the Thorlo Tennis Sock

Stephanie L. Jones; The Shock Absorbing Properties of the Thorlo Tennis Sock, School of Physical Education, Division of Sciences, University of Otago; Dunedin, New Zealand, September, 1996.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the shock absorbing properties of the ThoroLo tennis sock product. Ten regional representative female tennis players, ranging in age from 12 to 48 years, performed typical tennis foot motions on a 12-meter piece of Pro-Bounce artificial turf placed on a flat vinyl surface in the Biomechanics Laboratory at the University's School of Physical Education. Using an F-SCAN device placed inside the shoes, measurements were taken for peak plantar pressures and total contact area under the feet of the subject.

Tennis Thorlos had a significant effect in reducing plantar pressure in the foot by 13.8%, when compared to a standard sport sock product. Tennis Thorlos also significantly increased the mean contact area by 9.2%, when compared to the standard sports sock.

Conclusion: The reduction in pressure and the increase in total contact area provided by Tennis Thorlos will help reduce the stresses on the foot during tennis participation, and may provide a method for reducing the risk of force-induced injuries to the lower limbs.