It's probably showing our age but we never thought when we were younger we would look forward to slipping on a pair of fresh new socks! That smooth insertion into a sock you know no one else's grubby grimey toes have set foot in! Now, there's a thing in the cycling community known as having 'sock game'. Ours in the past has been quite bland if we're being kind to ourselves. So trying to keep with trends, Stance had sent over a couple of pairs from their 360° range for us to test on our now sunny commutes...
Well like anything new you open and even though it was socks, you still get the Father Christmas feeling unwrapping the packaging and slipping on those bad boys! We try not to do so much research into brands before receiving products to review otherwise out first impressions are kinda false. The socks themselves looked huge, more like compression socks. We were sent over the Travel Crew and Trackstand Crew pairs to wear and both carried the theme that someone went crazy with a ruler! This is not a criticism at all, they were bold designs but did leave you thinking what mixture of kits would they compliment well, after all, sock game is all about the look.
The Trackstands were slightly different in that they had a subtle pink camouflage pattern covering the front of the foot. Just a personal thing for us but we don't quite fully understand the focus for patterns anywhere below the ankle as the chances of anyone else seeing them is slim unless you're telling us you wear transparent shoes when you're cycling?! Each to their own though...
As we mentioned, both pair of socks looked tight length but once on, they had come up mid-shin, we have only just learn this is what crew length is hence the word 'crew' int the product name! Doh! We usually wear above ankle or quarter socks (the terminology for these lengths vary depending who you ask it seems!) but pulling the Stance socks up high felt more comfortable from a riding perspective, only worry we had was the fear of them riding down but it could be to my own calves or the compression from the socks, they held well on my test rides.
It was an interesting time to test socks as although technically we're in Summer time, the days often begin with chilly morning and end with warm evenings. For the fresh commutes into work, these socks coped really well with any cold snaps thrown it's way. The commutes home though did become a little sweaty, temperatures were hovering around 20°C and those who do know us know we sweat a lot, we even perspire making toast!
With that said, the socks aired out well, no squishing of sweaty feet through the house (Mrs NITP was pleased!). Kit choice though was a bit of a muddle for us, again personal choice but dark socks we prefer to wear with a dark kit so they partnered up well with our Proviz kit. Problem is that this is Summer time, not frosty night commutes so we will have to get some of other kits on and put on a little fashion show for the wife, sure she won't mind!
They were comfy, the designs were modern with a balance blend of boldness and subtlety, they were definitely an upgrade on our now moth eaten looking socks rolled up in our cupboard. Question is though for the price you pay, does Stance up-level your sock game? Well these socks retail at £15.99, for us, that's definitely in the premium price range for a cost you could probably get a 2-3 pairs from somewhere else (we won't drop other names in reviews - we feel that's not a fair focus in the feature - but one brand we come across a lot always has socks going for £1.99). But will you get the quality in material and a better fit? Probably not, a good pair of socks will feel just as smooth on the 20th as much as your first outing, we're confident that Stance will still be in our sock drawer for many rides to come...