26 June 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Swiftwick Four Ole socks

Now you can buy Swiftwick socks and arm warmers directly from Bikefix, with free shipping! Visit our store!

Following our review of their awesome NaturWool 2Sox last fall, Swiftwick was kind enough to send us some of their socks to try. Marc gave me a pair of the company's Ole Four socks to try. We received them while it was still fairly chilly out and they looked like summer socks, so I put-off testing them until the weather warmed a bit.

I like natural fibers a lot, but I also recognize that man-made materials can be quite excellent too. These socks are an example of that. They are made of 80% Nylon, 15% Olefin [a fiber that absorbs .01% of its weight in water, has won a Nobel Prize and happens to float], and 5% Lycra. They are quite thin overall but have strategically placed thicker areas. They have a number of nice touches like a tighter-than-normal cuff to keep them in place, an almost imperceptible toe seam, and the sock size is knitted into the foot-bed. Best of all, they are also made in the USA baby.

They are very comfortable, but fit quite tightly and at first I was concerned by the tightness, but once riding it was forgotten (and it might even help reduce foot swelling on long rides). After a number of long hot rides I have decided that these socks rock. This sock does what its name implies- wicks moisture away from your skin. I was amazed at how cool and happy my feet were (and its been hot here). The highest praise I can give them is that they felt like they became part of my body. I had to keep looking down to make sure they were still on.

This is absolutely a summer sock, and I would hesitate to use it on epic-length ride at high altitudes because it would offer little warmth if the weather got cold and wet. That is my only caveat in recommending these socks. If cold (though not winter) weather is a possibility, Swiftwick also has a wool blend sock which we like very much too. The Ole is available in three different cuff heights. The company is also geared towards custom socks- these would make some of the nicest we've come across. You can view the range on the company’s website at www.swiftwick.com.



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