If you were able to walk barefooted on grass or gentle terrain all the time, you would not need Thorlos. But since most of us walk on man-made surfaces -- concrete, asphalt, hard floors (and let's not forget that man-made surface called the shoe or boot) -- we need protection from those surfaces. Inside the shoe or boot, the foot must move dynamically within a limited range in order for you to walk or run effectively. During all moving activities the foot is subjected to three main forces: Pressure, impact and shearing force. These three forces are responsible for virtually all the damage your foot incurs during standing, walking, running, and other sports and activities that involve bodily movement. In addition, the movement of the feet in moderate and strenuous activities generates perspiration. In fact, during strenuous activities, the feet can produce about 2 pints of sweat in a day . Too much moisture inside the shoe is not healthy for the feet. Moisture that is not evacuated from the shoe provides an environment in which bacteria and fungus can grow, and compounds the effect of the three damaging forces on the feet - pressure, impact and shearing force. Thus, it is critical to control moisture inside the shoe.
Pressure is simply direct force applied to the surface of the feet when you place your weight on them. When standing still, this pressure is static, with about ½ your body weight placed on each foot.
Impact is the sudden and forceful contact between the foot and the surface during walking, running and other sports and activities. It is, in effect, 'dynamic pressure', and it increases the potential for damage to your feet: When you walk, each foot absorbs an impact of approximately 1-1/2 times your body weight. When you run, each foot absorbs approximately 3 to 4 times your body weight. This means that a person weighing 150 pounds would put an impact force of 225 pounds on his or her feet with each walking step, and 450 to 600 pounds on his or her feet with each running step. You can imagine the toll that takes on your feet over the course of a lifetime!
Shearing Force is the movement of different layers of tissue in opposite directions. It occurs when your foot moves inside the shoe or boot, and it causes blistering and breakdown of the tissues in the foot if not controlled or diminished in some way.
The Thorlos anatomically designed, patented terry padding protects your feet from these forces. The padding reduces static pressure and impact, and diminishes shearing forces through what we call the 'Control·Slide®' phenomenon . This means that instead of the tissues on your feet moving in opposite directions, the terry padding moves under your feet, transferring the movement from the tissues of the foot to the terry padding itself. And to ensure that your feet are protected from the adverse effects of accumulated perspiration inside the shoe, surface moisture and water vapor are effectively channeled to the outside of the foot where they can be evacuated through the shoes. This is accomplished with the Thorlos proprietary yarn combinations that include THOR·LON® Acrylic, THOR•WICK® COOL and other high tech fibers that 'wick' moisture away from the foot.