When it comes to socks, I feel like people who aren’t under the ‘extremely active’ umbrella don’t really care. It’s unfortunate because, they have a great impact on your performance, comfort and recovery ability. I am sure some of you out there are thinking, “Yeah right!”, but I assure you, it’s the truth. I switched to Swiftwick socks 2-3 years ago and noticed such a significant change in the comfort I had on and off the bike, I never looked back. Since then, I have exclusively worn Swiftwick socks for cycling, hiking and running. Even if I plan on spending a long day on my feet, these guys are strapped around my toes.
Swiftwick has a few new socks on the market I recently picked up and have been wearing for the past few weeks. With some solid wear time on them, I thought I would pass on my advice to all of you. First up is the Pursuit ($15.99). The sock I have most favored over the past few years is the Aspire model because of how thin it feels. I don’t like or want a lot of padding in my socks. Padding for the most part collects and produces moisture, which is never good for the feet. The Pursuit, although a tad thicker than the Aspire, is still very minimal, compresses against my feet well and is extremely comfortable. I’d have to argue that they are more comfortable than the Aspire’s.
The Pursuit is a combination of natural and thermal properties using 36 micron Merino Wool and is the only 200-needle compression wool sock on the market. Now, I am sure once you heard the word ‘wool’, it scared some of you away. Merino wool construction isn’t what you are thinking. These aren’t your heavy duty sub zero temp wool hiking socks. The Pursuit wicks sweat away very well, yet not as well as the Aspire.
One of my favorite parts of the socks is the toe box. You can see how they reinforce the area so you don’t have to worry about toes popping out. I have several Swiftwick socks with thousands of miles on them with no holes. As you can see below, all of the high-stress areas have been reinforced to support all 3 arches in the foot. I never get hot spots or blisters from these socks. The model I am wearing is the Pursuit Seven Heather. The seven is my chosen length for cycling. It’s tall enough to always cover any portion of my shoes (cycling or hiking boots) and protects my feet from low brush and grass.
The second model I picked up are the bright blue, Aspire Zero Fusion Blue ($12.99). I’ve been wearing Aspire’s for a number of years as I’ve already mentioned. They are super thin, wick better than any other sock I’ve worn and compress my feet well. The zero size is perfect for running and daily walk around.
All of the important areas are reinforced and the high sweat areas like the top of the foot have added ventilation. The breathability is great and the Aspire is one durable sock. They’ve never let me down. I should also mention that all Swiftwick socks are built with antimicrobial materials, which means my feet don’t stink as they do in a normal cotton sock.
Looking to help keep my legs happy during travel, I decided to also grab a pair of the Medical Recovery Socks ($69.99). I’m on the road a lot, putting an average of 40,000 miles a year on my car. Long road trips usually spell doom for my legs and feet. After a long trip or flight, my feet are tired. Most people probably aren’t aware of how much your body swells at elevation. That’s why people often recommend loose shoes or untying your laces before takeoff.
The first issue for me when buying anything that goes over my calves is, will they? For those of us with larger calves, getting socks like these on can be a pain. I have a pair of Aspire Twelve’s that take me a bit of time to get over my calves. The Medical socks don’t. They have a lot of stretch built into the 360 degree compression design. I tried them on in the shop first and was pleased to know I wouldn’t have to break a sweat to put these socks on.
These socks feel really good on my legs and feet. Aside from travel, I wear them most after long days in the saddle. I’m no doctor, so I am not about to list a bunch of facts about medical sock technology. The guys at Swiftwick will though. They put these socks under a microscope to assure you they would provide the highest level of compression suited for improved circulation and reduced recovery time. The toe bed also provides compression for each little piggy, as you can see above wrapping mine.
The reinforced heel pocket provides extra cushion and durability. The band around the top of the sock keeps them in place. They have yet to fall down. A common problem for guys like me. So, do they work? Yes. It’s not magic and no, my feet aren’t miraculously recovered in 10 minutes after 4 hours in the saddle. I have noticed less muscle spasms and feet soreness after wearing them for a good hour or two after a long day. At $70, athletic people will be more likely to grab them but I would still recommend you try a pair for yourself when you have a trip coming up. If you aren’t happy, Swiftwick will make sure you are taken care of.
It’s pretty obvious I’m a fan of the brand. I usually purchase 3-4 new pair every year and wear the crap out of them. On top of all the technical details, all of the socks are proudly Made in USA and the Swiftwick is committed to sustainability.
“From the fibers in our products, to reusable packaging – our company strives to be carbon neutral in our every day approach to creating products with environmental sensitivity. Our philosophy is to conserve and recycle to balance our impact while refusing to use chemicals in our products.”
Stop buying bulk cotton 12-pack’s from Walmart. Your feet deserve better. The Swiftwick Guarantee promises that if you aren’t happy, they will send you a new pair or even a competitors pair of socks. Who else does that? Nobody.
Head on down to your local outdoor or cycling shop and try a pair today. Or, grab a pair online at www.swiftwick.com. Tell them we sent you!
As a long-time user, I recommend giving Swiftwick a try. They've been good to me, several friends and they guarantee your happiness. You won't be disappointed.