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Little thought may be given to socks other than when the UCI brings out the tape measures. And while socks may not be as exciting as a $14,000 bike, they can be an affordable way to be comfortable on the bike.
The Swiftwick Flite XT Trail socks, which come in 2-inch and 5-inch heights ($24 and $28, respectively) have a cushy and plush feel, with a notably grippy sole and heel, thanks to Swiftwick’s GripDry fiber. While these socks may have been designed for MTB or gravel or cyclocross, they are really comfy when riding on the road, too.
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This GripDry fiber at the main contact points helps to keep the balls of your feet from sliding in cycling shoes, and also your heels from pulling out of the heel cup.
This grippiness is even more effective when matched with a cycling shoe that has an anti-slip fabric like the Shimano S-Phyre 901.
The merino wool upper is excellent for keeping these socks low-odor as I discovered when wearing them a few times without washing to gauge this feature. And after a handful of wash cycles, the fibers on the bottom of the sock still are grippy. These socks offer effective protection from cool air, when temperatures dip into the upper 40s, as well as when riding indoors, where temperatures and humidity are consistently greater.
Another notable comfort feature is the seamless toebox. A lightly compressive panel mid-foot, surrounding one’s arch, is also a nice comfort feature. I used these sock for a multi-hour trainer ride and didn’t get any hot spots.
The Swiftwick Flite XT socks are available for purchase from the Swiftwick website.