Socks are the most mundane part of the cyclist’s outfit. Only very rarely do they gain any attention, and then only because they’re associated with big-name riders. For example, in 2005 Lance Armstrong (no doubt in an EPO-induced frenzy which he escaped detection of, just as he had hundreds of times before) switched from white socks to black. Everybody noticed. No doubt the USADA will end up introducing this episode as evidence, since they have little else concrete to offer.
But I have worn white cotton socks, totally undetected, every summer since I began cycling. I did have one other pair, red with Cycle Sport magazine logo, and I kind of liked them. They were made from “miracle fabric,” the kind that stretches easily, wicks moisture away from the skin, weighs nothing, and feels cool. But they were only one pair, and the inertia of habit kept me from thinking of new socks when I already had a drawerful.
Then recently I got an email from bicyclinghub.com. They’re a great outfit for cycling gear; most of my kit comes from them. This time they were offering a free third pair of Castelli socks free when I bought 2 at regular price. These socks looked great: they were made of the good stuff, they had classy color schemes, and they came in a range of sizes. My cotton socks are sized from men’s size 8 to 13. They really need a stretch to fit my size 13 feet. There is no bigger size. The Castellis came in XXL. It’s their biggest size, and though Italian clothing runs small, I figured they’d be OK. So I bought three pair. Plus some cycling shorts, also XXL, that were “practically free” since they got me over the limit to qualify for free shipping.
Good call on my part! The socks look great, though the coolest part of the design is on top of my instep and thus hidden by my shoes. They feel light, smooth, and cool. They don’t bunch up in my shoe; they don’t ride down. Now my red pair has some company, and my cotton socks are getting a well-deserved rest.
Now that’s real “joy of socks.”
Note: My next punning post on this title will be about a sports nutrition diet featuring tofu. It will be called “The Soy of Jocks.” Only you can prevent this atrocity. Send your tax-deductible bribe today.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2012.