SOX FOOTWEAR CYCLING CREW SOCKS
37g £11.99 per pair
Sox Footwear Crew Socks are designed for cycling and come in a colourful array of flags and fantasies. I’ve found them very comfortable, although they are very much for the warmer weather – without additional protection from the cold.
Pros: very comfortable, range of designs.
Cons: best suited to warmer weather.
PolyLon 36 fibre bring together the benefits of nylon and polyester, which, according to Sox, makes for a durable but soft fabric, when knitted. Sounds ideal for long miles. As you’d expect with cycling specific socks, toes and heels are reinforced, with some additional support under the arch of the foot. The toe is seamless, again, not uncommon. The upper of the sock has a breathable mesh top, ideal for when things hot-up. The crew to is, unless stretched, 16cm from the base of the foot.
Colourful prints can look attractive, until they start to fade. Sox say that they have paved the way with technology that will prevent fading into that washed-out look. The range of Premium and Flag designs is phenomenal – there are black and white designs; others make a rainbow look dreary.
Our Sox were their traditional best sellers, the crew cut sock. However, they have expanded the range, and now offer ankle and knee-high socks, as well. Ours were form the “Premium Print” range, but there’s a “Premium Knit” range, too.
There’s a children’s sizing, but for adults the choice is Medium (4-7) or Large (8-12). Mine were the latter and slipped very comfortably onto my size nine and a half feet – I’m talking UK sizes here (European, I generally take 42). There’s a good deal of stretch, but one does not want to overdo it.
The reinforcement is just in the right places: yes, they fit like a glove - well, you know what I mean.
Machine wash at 40C, with no need for special detergents. I have put them in with the general wash. The good news is, that on a spin cycle, they’ve emerged almost dry – half an hour on the line has seen them refreshed and ready to go. There’s no sign of fading – as promised – but I’ve only washed them five times, so far. No bobbling, either.
Hand-washing requires a longer drying time, as you’d expect. On a breezy day, on the line, reckon on a couple of hours; more in less favourable conditions.
Ideal for summer, or warmer days. Rather unfairly, their first outing was at 1C on a commute at six in the morning. To be honest, I’d have felt a tingle in the toes in thicker socks. However, when things had warmed up to 11C for the return journey, toe-temperature was perfect. On the odd day when the temperature has topped 17C (testing time was in an English spring -things were beautifully temperate. I look forward to the mid-twenties!
Avoiding hot-spots on longer rides is a function of several factors – pedals, shoes … and socks. I have rarely suffered hot-spot misery, even on hundred—milers, and things have remained the same with the Sox socks combined with my regular SPD trainer types I use for touring and commuting. Although the fabric is far from bulky, there’s a definite improvement on non-cycling socks when wearing traditional-style leather touring shoes. Things have remained temperate, too, inside sportier waterproof shoes and under shoe covers. I’m confident that, when temperatures rise into the twenties C, they’ll perform well.
There’s been no soreness from seams and so on. The elasticated cuff holds things in place, too, even extending enough to tuck my office trousers in during the commute. The socks will stretch half-way up my calf, but that is not a good strategy in the long run.
Even better, I’ve worn the Sox under wool hiking socks inside a pair of hefty old Scarpa hiking boots. They’ve kept things cool and comfortable. Equally. On my feet for much of the day at work, they have done just as well off the bike as on. With long-term wear un mind, I’ve kept them on for four or for days and not noticed and nasty niffs. Even so, on tour or a long weekend, it isn’t any trouble to carry spares
Durability is harder to gauge. Time will tell, but some hundred hours of wearing, and there’s no sign of trouble.
Michael was highly impressed by DexShells Ultra-Thin Bamboo Socks. Although they come in at almost twice the price, they offer a more warmth when temperatures drop. Half the price of the Sox, Prendas Ciclismo Paris Bordeaux Socks are a race design, so lack some of the comfort features that add a little weight.
Merino, or Merino blends, remain a justifiably popular choice, but are significantly more expensive. Polaris Challenge Merino Ride Socks are half again as expensive as the Sox, for example. Follow Hollow’s Alpaca Socks are around twice the price, but are very adaptable.
Sox Footwear Crew Socks are well-made, comfortable, although with a bent toward warmer weather. Few brands give quite the same range of designs, should you wish to show pride in your nation, friendship for the country you are visiting, or prefer to express yourself through flamingos, exotic flowers, unicorns, and the such like. Moreover, they are adaptable, appropriate for all types of cycling, and good off the bike. I have taken to hiding mine in the non-sock draw: enough said.