#Sockgame

I’ve honestly never paid an awful lot of attention to my socks. Broadly they were white (where my shoes were white) and black (for the winter). I never did what Lance did. Socks were something to wear or keep me warm. I didn’t pay any attention to their length, per se, but, it seems my subliminal preference was for the short sock. So that’s something like a 9cm cuff at least while we are still in the Article 50 trigger period. Once we leave the EU we’ll be standardising our approach to socks of course with variables in inches only. And pounds, shillings and pence no doubt.

Anyhow, there are things surrounding socks that you may not be aware of. The first is that socks are hot right now. Indeed, they may well be the hottest piece of cycling apparel. The second thing is that there is a trend towards what Lance did. Not, not THAT thing, the sock thing. And not the black ones, no, the LONG ones. Long is cool. And we don’t stop there, colourful is good, vibrant is on message and, get this, ODD socks are a thing. That passed me by I have to say. I was aware that there were some out there but I didn’t realise that it had become widespread. So, to be in with the in crowd you need long, colourful non matching socks, got that?

With that in mind, I’ve decided to eschew the boring white sock and embrace what is now. And in doing so I’ve amassed a few new socks over the past few weeks and thought I’d do a bit of a write up.

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dhb Aeron 9cm sock

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I probably erred in my first selections. Each of the three socks that follow (and are pictured above) are 9-12 cm socks. In retrospect I probably would have gone longer. But they are still sufficiently long. The dhb (9cm) Aeron sock is no stranger to me, I still have the pair that dhb asked me to test last year and they are still virtually as new. That’s pretty good considering that I’ve used them for all sorts of nefarious off road purposes. They’re still as springy as they were when new and still wash really well. They’ve lost no colour. So there’s going to be no issues at all in relation to durability. dhb describe their socks as having the following features. Chief amongst them is that Meryl yarn which keeps things fresh and pong free.

  • Low weight and low bulk construction
  • Light compression support to help blood circulation
  • Meryl Skinlife yarn – durable and breathable
  • Anti-microbial protection
  • 9cm cuff length
  • Made in Italy
  • Padded footbed at the pedal contact area
  • Reinforced heel + seamless reinforced toe box

These are good socks. They’re comfy and actually pretty warm. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still use them in pretty high temps, so they’re versatile. They’re also cheap, coming in at a mere £9.00 new but are currently discounted to £7.47 if you’re a platinum customer. And, if you really want to be on message, then there is a 13cm version too. And, get this, those are currently reduced to a fiver in some colours. There are plenty of colours to choose from too.

Ale Air Light high cuff socks

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These are a tad more expensive at £12 rrp but that’s still not breaking the bank. It does get hard to justify socks at more than a tenner but, hey, sock game. It’s a small price to pay to complete the look. These are more lightweight that the dhb above so these really are more of a summer sock. Fit is excellent and, well, that colour.

  • Lightweight construction
  • Breathable mesh

Umm, way to go Ale. Where’s the extensive property description? No matter. These are a 12cm sock so that big longer on the calf. There’s nothing super technical in terms of their description but they’re nice and light, comfy and seem to be fairly durable so far. No long term reports as to washing but I’ll try and report back as I wear them more extensively.

Castelli Fausto Socks

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The Fausto socks are named after Fausto Coppi, of course. Though I’m struggling a little to link the design with the iconic rider, but there we are. Of my initial run of socks these were the most expensive coming out at £13 rrp. They are made for a meryl skinlife based yarn which means lots of nice little anti bacterial properties. And, once again, these are more of a summer sock than an all season one on account of their lightweight properties.

  • Meryl® Skinlife base yarn
  • Pro height with lined cuff

So far, so good, some nice pleasing new socks. But, I was after something that bit more special for ‘those days.’ So on my hunt went.

Madison Sportive Socks

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And I happened on these lot. Good colour selection, good look and bang on message in terms of length, coming out at the gold standard 15cm. Now, I know what you’re thinking, they’re odd socks. And, yes, and, no. If you click on the link above you get the impression that’s what Madison are going for. But you need to dig a little deeper as you get a twin pack of socks for your £14.99. So, two pairs of socks in two colourways. I have to say, I didn’t realise that at the time and order the ‘orange pair’ and the ‘yellow pair’ at a combined price of £28 from Leisure Lakes. I was therefore pretty stoked to receive 4 pairs of socks at an average price of £7 each. And, if you want that odd sock look, you can mix and match the orange or yellow pairs. I’d not really mix the orange with the yellow though. Madison make the following claims:

  • A perfect 3 season sock, the Sportive long sock offers superb comfort
  • Made in Italy from the finest fabrics, the Sportive sock is both supportive and comfortable
  • An open knit upper gives a nice flow of air
  • The soft touch socks will last the test of time
  • Long 6.5 inch cuff length
  • Pack of 2 socks with different patterns
  • Made in Italy
  • Limited lifetime warranty

And, I was pretty pleased. They’re staggeringly good value in a twin pack at that price. Good fit, seem to be very well made. So, I was doing ok, stocked up for most days, just wanted to push the boat out for the really special days.

This is Cambridge A Bloc Socks

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And I finally plumped up for these. And, I have to say, these are pretty much perfection. £13.99 each, 15cm cuffs, meryl skinlife yarn and natty colours. OK, that’s not cheap, and they’re not awfully better than the Madison ones, but they are a really soft construction and with that design I think there’s enough to justify the price.

These do come in odd. Indeed, the majority of the TIC range consists of odd colour socks. There are some matching pairs in there too, should you wish. TIC make the following claims:

  • Super soft technical yarn
  • Reinforced heel & toe for extra durability
  • Turned ankle cuff to prevent slippage
  • High-density, mid-foot elastic band for foot support and stability
  • Air Mesh diaphanous web construction for breathability
  • Flat seam toe for riding comfort

And without evaluating the effectiveness of all of that I can say that, well, they are lovely. Fit is bang on. The one thing I hate in a sock is where the heel comes beyond the heel. These are great. To be fair, all of the socks here are a good fit, I just thought these were among the best of them. Nice colours, seem to be good quality and just feel that bit special.

I think that’s probably enough socks for now but, I don’t know, perhaps another couple of pairs of the TIC ones? Polka dots next mind. Enough stripes for now. The thing about the #sockgame is that you can’t win at it. You just have to keep playing it.

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