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I can remember a time in my cycling life when I thought a sock was a sock. I was probably 14 or 15 at the time and would’ve never thought for a second that in the future I would have so many options for socks. Let alone that I would care about the blend of material used, the height of the sock, or the thickness. Over the years I have come to love a comfortable pair of cycling socks to the point that I almost have a tear in my eye when the first hole starts to appear. Most socks have gotten better over the years and those holes are starting to become less and less frequent and the Showers Pass Torch sock is no exception. I have had the chance to put the Showers Pass Torch through the wringer on a variety of mountain and road rides. The big test for the socks was an endurance mountain bike race. I’ll get into how it performed in a minute.
Initial Thoughts on the Showers Pass Torch Socks
Over the last few weeks I have been able to put the Showers Pass Torch socks through the wringer. I have worn the socks in just about all conditions, outside of extreme cold or snow. Right from the start I liked the look of the socks and the crew length height. The reflective safety logo was also a nice touch. The pair I received to test was a size medium/large, which are sized for a mens 9.5-11. I was a little worried they might be on the tight side since I am a size 12. However, when I slipped them on they fit like a glove. If you happen to fall on a border line size I wouldn’t be afraid to get the smaller size. Two areas of any sock that can bother me are the toes and the heal. I can’t stand a sock with raised seams. Showers Pass opted for a very flat toe seam, which not only increases comfort, but also decreases any added pressure. The heal of the Showers Pass Torch socks comes with an anatomical fit. This fit allows the sock to hug your foot, decreasing any friction or rubbing. The anatomical fit additionally decreases any chances of bunching and blisters. Showers Pass made sure these socks are built to last. With added padding in the toes, heals, and balls of the feet. By doing this they not only increased comfort but also took care of the three major areas susceptible to wear and holes. The Merino wool blend of the socks will keep your feet from over heating, but will keep them warm as well. The Torch socks aren’t overly bulky, but they are also not an ultra thin sock either. If you like a really thin sock, then this might not be the sock for you. I was initially impressed with the Showers Pass Torch Socks, but how did they perform on the road and trail?
Performance of the Showers Pass Torch Socks
A couple things I noticed when I slipped my cycling shoes on was one the socks didn’t move or bunch up staying right in place. The other was the top of the sock had a low profile, this helped prevent the tongue of the shoe from cutting into my foot. This feature increased the comfort of the shoe especially when flexed during a ride. I wore these socks during a handful of rides, but the big test for them was a 60 mile mountain bike race. With the Spring weather we’ve had in Colorado the trail was a mix of just about everything including heat, mud, river crossings, and a long time in the saddle. I was most concerned about the water and my feet getting wet, but the Merino wool blend did a fine job of drying out. The race had 5 laps and each lap had a couple river crossings so just about as the socks dried out I was lucky enough to drench them right back in the river. Overall, I never felt like the socks were water logged or causing my feet any added friction. The increased padding on the heal and toes did their job keeping my feet comfortable and prevented any blisters. After almost 6 hours of riding I didn’t have even a start of a small blister. A big plus for these socks.
The Merino wool blend of the socks help prevent odor and I have to say the socks actually didn’t smell too bad after destroying them during that race. The Merino wool nylon blend did its job of temperature regulation. I couldn’t tell any major temperature shifts in my shoes. Only after about four hours did I start to feel a bit of a hot spot on my left foot, but I think it had to do more with my shoe then the actual sock. Over all the rocks and bumps the comfort band at the top of the socks kept them right in place, with no slippage what so ever.
Overall during the race I have to say I was extremely happy with the way the sock performed and held up to all the conditions thrown at them. One feature I haven’t touched on yet is the reflective logo on the achilles of the sock. This is a great feature if you’re out riding around town at night or doing a 24 hour race. The reflective logo is made of 4-way 3M stretch material that has the reflectivity of 500 candles. I had my wife drive behind me in the car and she could see the reflective socks for a good distance off. The one problem I had with the reflective logo was that on one of the pairs I wore the logo actually came off all together. I have to take some fault for this possibly, but I still don’t think the logo should come off that easily. I read the washing instructions after I had dried one of the pairs in the dryer, which the care label says to air dry them. I am assuming this caused the logo to come off. I made sure not to dry the other pairs in the dryer and I have not had an issue since. So I am not sure if this was just a one time case, but to be on the safe side I would say just air dry the socks after washing them.
I said earlier I have been wearing these socks regularly for the last few weeks. I have washed them multiple times and they look just as good as the day I received them. I don’t see any reason the Showers Pass Torch socks won’t last me for years to come. My only real issue is with the logo and its durability. As I noted above I think if you follow the care instructions it should be just fine, but it’s still an area of concern.
Final Thoughts on the Showers Pass Torch Socks
If a quality sock is what you’re looking for then the Showers Pass Torch socks are for you. The socks offer great comfort and durability. The socks are offered in four colors including black, white, charcoal, and bordeaux. If the crew length isn’t for you the exact same sock is also offered in an ankle height model. Besides socks Showers Pass has a large selection of quality cycling apparel, if you’re in need of some apparel to keep you on your bike year round head over to Showers Pass’s website and check them out, you won’t be disappointed. For more info visit www.showerspass.com