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About Thorlos: Beyond Socks

Jim Throneburg, owner and CEO of THORLO, Inc., always remembers his father’s belief: “your life is worthwhile to the extent that you strive to become the acknowledged ‘best’ at something.” Jim and his father succeeded in doing just that: as contract knitters in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, long before the invention of the Thorlos brand, they earned a reputation for making the best high-quality socks for other well-known apparel brands. Their dream was to develop their own brand—the best-made product that people would value to the point of asking for it by name, and that would result in repeat sales and by word of mouth.

In 1980, a few years after his father’s passing, Jim realized their dream when he invented Thorlos, originally conceived to be the most protective, sport-specific athletic sock. The Thorlos brand was so successful, and the company received so many letters and emails from satisfied consumers, health care  and sports medicine professionals, that Jim realized people were getting more than the best athletic sock; they were getting something beyond socks – they were also getting foot protection, comfort and foot health benefits.


But testimonials from consumers and doctors (whose patients reported relief from foot pain and other foot conditions) weren’t enough for Jim. To prove the benefits of Thorlos and put substance behind the claim, THORLO donated its engineered padded socks to clinical researchers, who studied the impact of the unique, patented padding on both healthy, active adults and people with feet at risk—that is, people with diabetes, whose feet are at increased risk of ulceration and amputation, and people with rheumatoid arthritis, who experienced serious foot pain. The results of eight ground-breaking research studies showed that Thorlos unique, patented padding reduces blisters (caused by friction and shear forces), foot pain, pressures and moisture—the primary forces that damage the skin/soft tissues of the foot—when fitted properly with appropriate shoes.

Today, Thorlos padded socks, with the original patented padding designed to provide the benefits described above, are referred to as clinically-tested padded socks (CTPS), and they have been shown to protect against various foot conditions.


True to the Thorlos heritage, CTPS are also activity-specific—that is, Thorlos uses its clinically-tested padding strategically in products designed specifically for activities such as walking, running, hiking, tennis, golf (about three dozen activities, altogether). The design video that accompanies each product description explains the factors that are taken into consideration in the design, development and testing of each activity-specific CTPS. These padded socks are appropriate for people whose feet hurt during and/or after participating in the chosen activity, who participate in activities in any manner that places high stress on the foot, and for those who want to prevent foot conditions in the future.

See the Beyond Socks section for more information on Thorlos CTPS, including the proprietary fiber blends used to ensure maximum comfort, protection and moisture-wicking properties, and insights into the use of  variable-density padding to provide both protection and high performance on difficult terrains.

Protection without Weight

THORLO also makes Lite Padded Socks (LPS) for people whose feet don’t hurt during or after participation in their chosen activity. LPS offer more protection than other thin performance socks on the market. Experia starts with an ultra-lightweight frame. Specially sculpted pads are are placed in the ball and heel to provide protection from impact and friction/shear in the foot’s “strike” zones. Experia eliminates all but the most essential padding. While both have more padding and provide more foot protection than other thin socks on the market, the padding in Thorlos Lite padded socks and in Experia have not been clinically tested.

Made in America

THORLO makes all its padded sock products in North Carolina, and is committed to keeping its production facilities in the USA. THORLO is a third-generation family company, and considers its employees part of that family. Everyone is committed to craftsmanship, and with that craftsmanship comes quality, value and the benefit of better feeling feet. See our section on Made in America, which provides more information and a video.

Customer Service

THORLO’s customer service is almost as well known and highly praised as its foot-protection products! The company’s Customer Care Center is located in Statesville, North Carolina  and staffed by local THORLO employees who know the products inside and out. Consumers are invited to call with questions, concerns (or praise!): 1-888-846-7567 Monday thru Friday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM Eastern.

Brand Promise Guarantee

THORLO’s promise  underscores the company’s confidence in its products and commitment to offering the greatest value to its loyal customers. Thorlos brand-promise guarantee:  “Your feet will feel better or your money back.®”

Value Proposition/Testimonials

To learn more about how we view and measure Thorlos value by our consumer testimonials and product reviews, click here.

Media Contact

Jennifer Crawford