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Good traditional wool riding socks: Any sources?

Old 01-24-23, 06:58 AM
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MooneyBloke
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Good traditional wool riding socks: Any sources?

My main riding socks these days have been some Smartwool PhD ankle socks, but they are getting a bit ratty. I've been to some local sport shops (biking, running, camping) which carry the brand as well as Darn Tough, but they don't seem to have what I'm looking for. I'm a bit of a traditionalist, and I don't really want taller (or shorter) socks, and I'm looking for white or off-white just-over-the-ankle socks with high wool content. Any good recommendations?
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Old 01-24-23, 07:08 AM
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In my experience of living through 20+ winters in the mountains of New Hampshire, hands down the best wool sock producer in the USA is Darn Tough Socks located in Vermont. Their socks are guaranteed for life. If they fray or wear a hole, send them back and they send you a new pair.

They have socks in distinctive styles, for different disciplines, and they come in varying sizes! How about this one with rainbow stripes for your world championship vintage ride?

I promise you won't be disappointed.
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Old 01-24-23, 07:12 AM
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I do know that Darn Tough makes an excellent product, but none that quite are what I'm looking for: basically plain white with a two to three inch clock. I do not want something flashier; I'm after traditional cycling socks. (Think Merckx/Gimondi era)

That rainbow sock is too tall.
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Old 01-24-23, 07:22 AM
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The crew sock is probably not tall enough. But it does come in all white. Contact Darn Tough and ask if they can make you a few pairs. They are a very accommodating company.
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Old 01-24-23, 07:28 AM
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I like Smartwool socks for riding. They're merino wool, and come in various heights. I buy them at REI. About the same price as Darn Tough socks.
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Old 01-24-23, 07:49 AM
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I've been using Smartwool socks for riding too. I get a little frustrated with the redesigns and renaming of socks, but have found acceptable options. Plain white socks are what I prefer when using my traditional shoes, and the Walk Light mini socks seem to do the job.

Here's an "action shot" of the socks (or ones that look the same)...



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Old 01-24-23, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
The crew sock is probably not tall enough. But it does come in all white. Contact Darn Tough and ask if they can make you a few pairs. They are a very accommodating company.
Actually, that's a very close sock. Last I looked at their web site, the only shorties they had weren't merino. I work at a haberdashery that carries Darn Tough, so it's significantly in my interest to buy their socks. I just didn't find that particular model. They seem similar to the lightweight Smartwools I bought yonks ago.

Thanks for the heads up.

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Old 01-24-23, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I've been using Smartwool socks for riding too. I get a little frustrated with the redesigns and renaming of socks, but have found acceptable options. Plain white socks are what I prefer when using my traditional shoes, and the Walk Light mini socks seem to do the job.

Here's an "action shot" of the socks (or ones that look the same)...



Steve in Peoria
Thanks for the pointer. When I went to the local running shop where I bought my PhDs, they didn't have these. I'll keep these in mind.
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Old 01-24-23, 10:55 AM
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Darn Tough makes good cycling socks. Ya just gotta go to the source. A lot of Darn Toughs models don’t show up in stores: they make too many.

On the DT site, look for this:

Men's Run Quarter Ultra-Lightweight Running Sock

Its wool, available in white, and is what I consider a traditional height.

https://darntough.com/collections/he...37874239963322
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Old 01-24-23, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
Darn Tough makes good cycling socks. Ya just gotta go to the source. A lot of Darn Toughs models don’t show up in stores: they make too many.

On the DT site, look for this:

Men's Run Quarter Ultra-Lightweight Running Sock

Its wool, available in white, and is what I consider a traditional height.

https://darntough.com/collections/he...37874239963322
Great minds think alike. See my previous post above.
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Old 01-24-23, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Great minds think alike. See my previous post above.
Thanks for the pointer. These come in non-cushioned and cushioned varieties (for runners). In your experience, is there any downside to getting the cushioned version when cycling?
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Old 01-24-23, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by panzerwagon View Post
Thanks for the pointer. These come in non-cushioned and cushioned varieties (for runners). In your experience, is there any downside to getting the cushioned version when cycling?
My younger self would never have worn a cushion sock. Would have absorbed energy. My older self has worn cushioned socks and they feel just fine. But….my DT socks are un cushioned because, well that’s what I ordered. I’d probably get cushioned next time so that they fit well in all of my shoes.
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Old 01-25-23, 06:53 AM
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@panzerwagon I second @Mr. Spadoni. My older feet prefer the cushions in the socks, in every instance of wearing socks, not just on a bicycle.

If you've never tried wool athletic socks, I promise, (if you purchase an XL cushioned pair of Darn Tough socks) if you don't like them after a few rides, I'll buy them from you.
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Old 01-25-23, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
[MENTION=436855] (if you purchase an XL cushioned pair of Darn Tough socks) if you don't like them after a few rides, I'll buy them from you.
Since I take a Euro 41 cycling shoe, I suspect you'd find my socks (darn) tough going.
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Old 01-25-23, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
[ If you've never tried wool athletic socks, I promise,
This is an interesting conversation. Socks was one consumer product that I have never thought about, I get the cheapest, and presumed there is no reason to "go upscale".
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Old 01-25-23, 07:15 AM
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I hesitate to suggest an alternative in a thread about wool socks, but:

I've recently been buying socks made from bamboo and have found them perfect for cycling (and for everyday use as well). So far, they've been as durable as all-synthetic socks but feel more like silk. They're a bit expensive, though, but not more so than wool.
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Old 01-25-23, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
This is an interesting conversation. Socks was one consumer product that I have never thought about, I get the cheapest, and presumed there is no reason to "go upscale".
If your feet have ever been cold, try a good pair of Merino wool socks. Not wool/cotton blend, which IMO, are worthless. Merino wool will amaze you and the Darn Tough lifetime replacement gaurantee makes the extra price worth the investment.
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Old 01-25-23, 07:35 AM
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World Champion stripes: blue, red, black, yellow, green.
Olympic rings: blue, yellow, black, green, red

The socks' red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet rainbow is the color pattern of something else, NTTAWWT.
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Old 01-25-23, 02:29 PM
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For wool or wool blend, I go with either Wright's or Wigwam
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Old 01-25-23, 07:53 PM
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I've been a fan of Point 6. I don't think they do the fancy decorative colors like Smartwool or Darn Tough.
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Old 01-25-23, 10:00 PM
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A few years ago, I picked up a couple of pairs of Balega socks when buying new running shoes:

https://www.balega.com/shop-all.html?search_color=1436

Super comfortable and they’ve held up really well (much better than the wool socks I own).
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Old 01-26-23, 02:39 AM
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I like DeFeet Wooleator with 3" cuff, particularly the least flashy charcoal color D-logo style. I love wool.

They have a 1"cuff Wooleator Pro in "natural" color. It looks white-ish to me just going by the pics on their site.
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Old 01-26-23, 04:57 AM
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Thanks

Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
In my experience of living through 20+ winters in the mountains of New Hampshire, hands down the best wool sock producer in the USA is Darn Tough Socks located in Vermont. Their socks are guaranteed for life. If they fray or wear a hole, send them back and they send you a new pair. They have socks in distinctive styles, for different disciplines, and they come in varying sizes! How about this one with rainbow stripes for your world championship vintage ride? I promise you won't be disappointed.
thanks for the tip. My socks get worn at the bog toe. Hate it when it's a wool sock , they're expensive.
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Old 01-26-23, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I've been using Smartwool socks for riding too. I get a little frustrated with the redesigns and renaming of socks, but have found acceptable options. Plain white socks are what I prefer when using my traditional shoes, and the Walk Light mini socks seem to do the job.

Here's an "action shot" of the socks (or ones that look the same)...



Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-27-23, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
This is an interesting conversation. Socks was one consumer product that I have never thought about, I get the cheapest, and presumed there is no reason to "go upscale".
On our first ever tour, 700 miles in 10 days across the north edge of Washington ending in Kalispell, Montana, I happened to get a pair of wool cycling socks when I needed some chain lube mid-tour. Wow! Huge improvement in comfort where it really helps. Haven’t bought another pair of non-wool since, for any use. I’m now a Darn Tough fan, and have used their lifetime warranty. Great company, great products.

BTW, I use their lightest cushion version for all except hiking, for consistent fit on my various shoes.
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