The Swiftwick Flite XT Trail socks are also comfortable for the road

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Little attention can be paid to socks other than when the UCI brings out the tape measures. And while socks aren’t as exciting as a $14,000 bike, they can be an affordable way to get comfortable on the bike.

The Swiftwick Flite XT Trail socks, available in 2-inch and 5-inch heights ($24 and $28, respectively), have a plush, plush feel, with a particularly grippy sole and heel, thanks to Swiftwick’s GripDry fiber. Although these socks were designed for mountain biking, gravel or cyclo-cross, they are also very comfortable on the road.

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This GripDry fiber at key contact points helps keep the balls of your feet from slipping in cycling shoes, as well as your heels from slipping out of the heel cup.

This grip is even more effective when paired with a bike shoe that has grippy fabric like the Shimano S-Phyre 901.

GripDry fiber on the Swiftwick Trail XT sock helps prevent feet from slipping in shoes. (Photo: Greg Kaplan)

The merino wool upper is excellent for keeping these socks low odor, as I discovered by wearing them several times without washing them to assess this feature. And after a few wash cycles, the fibers at the bottom of the sock are still adherent. These socks provide effective protection from cold air, when temperatures dip into the upper 40s, as well as when riding indoors, where temperatures and humidity are consistently higher.

Another notable comfort feature is the seamless toe. A slightly compressive panel in the midfoot, surrounding the arch of the foot, is also a pleasant element of comfort. I used these socks for a several hour training ride and had no hot spots.

Swiftwick Flite XT socks are available to purchase from the Swiftwick website.

Wiley C. Thompson