By Laurel-Lea Shannon
You`ll find plenty of reviews of different kinds of cycling gear, everything from saddles and bikes to shoes and gloves, shorts and jerseys, but one thing you’ll never see reviewed is cycling socks. Now, I realize that cycling socks are a low-cost item and they don’t have the same curb appeal as, say, a $3,000 bike. But the socks you wear cycling are a very important feature of a comfortable ride. The wrong socks can make even a high-end cycling shoe feel bad, and they can ruin a long-distance ride.
Cycling socks have become one of my pet peeves because I have trouble finding a pair that fits. Socks that fit me on the first few rides soon stretch and start bunching up in my shoe, or they are too thick, making my shoe uncomfortable. Or, like the princess and the pea, I`m bothered by the top or bottom stitching of the reinforced toe, which, after 80 km (50 miles), starts to feel like a thin strip of steel wool being dragged across my feet.
Often, while in cycling shops, I browse the sock section in search of a solution. The first problem seems to be my foot size. I wear size 6 but most of the women`s cycling socks I see are for size 7 – 9 ½. That’s it. If you happen to have smaller or larger feet you’re plum out of luck.
As the publisher of Women’s Cycling I’m sent lots of different cycling gear to review but only one manufacturer has ever included socks. As it turns out, they just happen to make the only cycling sock I’ve ever worn that fits. The socks don’t travel in my shoes, they are thin, and they wick well. The name of the company?
The folks at Specialized are smart. They know that people, and their feet, come in all different sizes. So they make socks in extra-small, small, medium, large and extra-large for women and men.
How’s that for a winning concept? Sell socks that fit. No unisex or one size fits all socks, or just size 7 – 9 ½ socks, but different size socks for different size feet. Whether you’re size 3 or 14+, at Specialized you’re going to find a sock that was made to fit you.
Specialized sent me the SL Pro Mid sock in size small (shown above). These puppies have covered a lot of miles on the bike this summer. They’ve been put through the wash over and over again. They haven’t stretched. They don’t bunch up in my shoe and the reinforced toe seam doesn’t make its presence felt.
My feet have never been happier. I love these socks. Thank you Specialized! Please send more . . .
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