If your sock selection criteria is limited to whatever happens to pass the “sniff test,” you may want to skip this article. On the other hand (or foot, as it may be), if you view socks as equipment, then read on.
Founded in 2008, Swiftwick produces its entire product line in the United States (Tennessee, to be exact). The company offers socks for a wide range of activities, and was recently announced as the top-selling cycling sock brand throughout the first quarter of 2013 at independent bike dealers. GRAVELBIKE tested two of Swiftwick’s popular cycling socks–the Aspire and Sustain.
When I read that the Aspire was perfect for narrow feet, my interest was definitely piqued. Having feet that are both long and narrow, finding cycling socks that fit snug can sometimes be a challenge. I’m pleased to report that the size large (43-46) Aspire fit me perfectly. While the Aspire is very form fitting, the sock offers excellent moisture management and breathability. The lightly padded footbed is comfortable without adding unwanted bulk (which is a must for tight-fitting cycling shoes). The Aspire retails for $12.99 to $16.99 depending on cuff height.
Like the Aspire, Swiftwick’s Sustain socks are knitted at 200 needles. This process increases comfort, provides a soft feel, and improves durability, and increases resistance to penetration by foreign objects. According to the company, the Sustain is the only sock on the market created from post-industrial recycled nylon. Additionally, no chemicals are used to wick away moisture. The Sustain’s foodbed felt slightly more plush than the Aspire, but at the same time, the sock was slightly warmer (which I only noticed when the temperature rose above 90°). The Sustain retails for $11.99 to $16.99 depending on cuff height.
Disclosure: Swiftwick provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.