12 June 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Castelli Lowboy sock

Mmm... Socks. Every cyclist I know has loads. Warm socks, cool socks, comfy socks and awful socks. Still, we find it hard to resist just one more pair. As temperatures have climbed into the 90s here, my warm wooly and trendy tall socks have made their way to the bottom of the sock basket. At the top? Cool socks.

The coolest of them all, I happen to think, are these Castelli Lowboy socks. Cool not only for their antibacterial Meryl fabric and their fancy Italian logos, but also for their in-the-shoe fit. The cooling gained by exposing my pasty white ankles to the summer air is hard to quantify but certainly noticeable- and much appreciated. The cut is just tall enough keep my cycling shoes from rubbing on my exposed ankles- but not one bit taller. From a few feet away, they're all but invisible.

The pictures here were taken sitting on the patio after a recent 60mi, 90° road ride. During this and other long rides, the Lowboys have done a good job at removing moisture from the foot itself, and the white band around the forefoot feels supportive (though my heat-moldable insoles are arguably doing much more of the work). On the mountain bike, they seem to be a bit too low- the low cuff seems to take in sand and dirt as soon as I start walking- they're really a road-only kind of thing. At $13, their price is on par with other cycling socks'. They're not cute or witty, but on a hot summer day, there's nothing else that I'd feel cooler wearing.



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