by Lars Hundley
If you’re a runner or a cyclist, you’re probably familiar with the Swiftwick sock brand. Swiftwick makes their socks in the USA, and offers a wide variety of different colors, patterns, lengths and even fibers.
I’m a big fan of merino wool socks, and still own and wear a pair of Swiftwick merino socks that I purchased at a local bike shop all the way back in 2012. How would I remember what year I bought socks, you ask? I bought them specifically to wear at the Leadville 100 MTB race that year. I wanted a wool sock in case there was rain. They performed well for me that day, and have held up very well in the years since then.
Swiftwick sent me a pair of their latest Vision 5 Merino socks to review, and I’m please to tell you that they still make very good socks. The socks are made of 50% wool, 42% nylon and 8% spandex. The nylon gives the wool additional durability, and the relatively high percentage of spandex gives the socks a very tight, compression-like fit. Swiftwick calls it “moderate compression.”
These socks have medium cushioning, which is a little bit thicker than a typical very thin pair of cycling socks. But they are not significantly thicker than a pair of regular tennis socks, for example. They still fit just fine inside cycling shoes. I usually wear mine in temperatures down into the 40s, and have thicker wool socks that I wear when it gets colder than that. I wear them in temperatures as high as the 70s without feeling overheated. The toes are seamless, so you don’t feel any rubbing on the front of your foot.
If you’re looking for these socks in a different length, they also come in a shorter Vision 1 and a longer Vision 7 version. There are also multiple color and pattern options. And naturally, the socks also come in different sizes, depending on your shoe size, as well as women’s sizes.