One-dimensional nanostructures such as Ni and Co nanowires (NWs) show anisotropic thermal properties in a direction parallel and perpendicular to the NW axis. Thermal diffusivity of Ni and Co NWs embedded in a 100-nm pore anodic alumina (AAO) template has been measured in a direction perpendicular to the NW axis, using an infrared thermography-based non-contact approach. The measured thermal diffusivity values in the radial direction are 0.728×10 -6 and 0.732×10-6 m2s-1, respectively, for the Ni and Co nanocomposites. The changes in the thermal diffusivity of the synthesized NWs alone were estimated using a first-order lower bound model (FOLBM). A nearly seven- and sixfold reduction, respectively, of thermal diffusivity in a direction perpendicular to the NW axis is estimated for the synthesized Ni and Co NWs. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.