When I look at areas of importance on the bike I always look at the contact points on the bike, feet, rear end and hands. These contact points being the pedals and shoes, saddles and rear end and of course your hands.
When you think of these you thing you automatically think of your pedals and shoes, shorts and saddle and gloves and grips. What some may overlook are the socks, the shoe insole and in some cases chamois crème for the longer rides.
For me I always have a hard time finding a proper fitting pair of shoes and I consider the proper shoe a really important component of the total fit and overall comfort of the bike. What can really destroy that in a heartbeat is a poor pair of socks. Something as simple as your socks can make or break a great day of riding!
Socks always drive me nuts if they move on my feet or the seams on the toes hit me in the wrong place or rub on the shoe the wrong way. So I am picky on the socks that I wear. I’ve found some socks that I like more than others and some that I don’t like at all.
A few months ago I started wearing Swiftwick socks. These are socks with compression in them with a 200 needle count of thread offering your feet amazing support especially in the arch. Swiftwick makes Olefin and Merion socks in varying lengths. Since I am allergic to wool I have been using the Olefin socks.
The first thing you notice when you put on these socks on are how snug they are to your feet, they fit like a second skin. One I like about this is the support that they offer your feet and the fact that they don’t move on your feet to bunch up or cause blisters. Socks with this high of a needle count are said to be so tightly knitted that they block any other debris from getting into your feet. This feature would make them ideal for mountain biking or trail running.
What really impressed me about these socks was when I was waiting for some new daily wear shoes to come in because I couldn’t get through a day without my feet hurting in my current shoes. No matter what I did my feet always hurt at the end of a day, usually hurting after about six hours of wearing them. So one day I put on a pair of Swiftwick socks that I usually had been using for riding and wore them to work. What a difference they made! The support in the socks allowed me to get through a ten hour day primarily on my feet with no pain. When I got home my feet didn’t hurt like they had been. I had loved the socks when I was using them for riding but after this day I was totally sold on the socks.
Some other things that have impressed me when I was wearing the socks are how dry my feet are after I wear them during long rides. The socks managed the moisture extremely well for such a long ride. For me the more important thing about the socks was they didn’t move around on my feet. I like to have a little room in the front of the shoes for my feet and what I have found with other socks is that I can often get the sock to be comfortable during the first portion of the ride but somewhere along the ride they seem to move around.
These socks are certainly my new favorite socks. I highly recommend them for everyday wear as well as cycling.
Swiftwick socks come in several different lengths for your comfort. In the Olefin socks they have the Zero Ole which sits just below the ankle. The One Ole which has a one inch cuff and is one of my personal favorites. There is the Four Ole which is a 4 inch ankle cuff to offer you support. Then there is the Seven Ole and the Twelve Ole which offers managed compression for your calf as well. They make all of these lengths in the Merino sock as well. I haven’t tried them yet but Swiftwick also makes armwarmers that I look forward to trying soon.
Stop by the store and check them out I am sure you will love them as much as I do.