Mo Bridge hikes the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. Photos courtesy of Swiftwick.
If you’re even a little bit bike-geek, you know the brand Swiftwick, with its simple “wick” pattern adorning the back of buff calves around the globe. Personally I admit it’s practically the only thing I wear anymore, and not just because they’re based and manufactured in my home state of Tennessee.
As these stories often go, the original Swiftwick socks were conceived and developed by a mountain bike racer, back in 2008, looking for a better product for his team. Early product seeding was done around the pits and campfires of endurance mountain bike races, and the brand still participates through ambassadors at Dirty Kanza, Kona and The Barkley Fall Classic, among others, being athlete led and performance driven. The socks are still made in Tennessee and the wool is sourced in the U.S.
“Our desire to build the best socks is rooted in our desire to help others enjoy the activities that mean so much to us,” Swiftwick’s Katy Holmes told the Gear Institute.
Mario Srnik hikes Moose Mountain in Alberta, Canada. Photos courtesy of Swiftwick.
Now the cycling sock company is expanding into the outdoor market, with the launch of its Pursuit Hike socks, hitting stores last month.It’s funny because I’ve heard a lot of people who aren’t cyclists bitch about cycling socks being too thin, but many cyclists I know only wear cycling socks, for skiing, with dress shoes, etc. Personally I love the small amount of compression Swiftwick socks provide and the attention to detail in materials and construction.
“We’re proud to provide the Swiftwick experience to an expanded customer base,” said Swiftwick president Chuck Smith. “We set out to develop a sock for hiking and backpacking that combined classic outdoor elements with the fit and technology that separates all Swiftwick products from the competition. The finished product has been tested on trails in the nearby north Georgia mountains, the Teton Range, the Swiss Alps and the jungles of Vietnam.”
Swiftwick created the Pursuit Hike for backpackers who require dry performance on the trail. Like all Swiftwick socks, the new hiking socks are crafted with Contoured Compression Fit and Fiber First Moisture Wicking to create a dry, and ideally blister-free, micro-environment for the feet.
To create a performance hiking sock, the company added Olefin fiber to Merino Wool. Fiber First Moisture Wicking technology, the company says, is based around Olefin, an inherently water repellant fiber without harsh chemical coatings. By adding Olefin to the footbed, Swiftwick moves moisture from the bottom of the foot up to where it can escape as vapor. Merino Wool as you know is a natural fiber that is soft, comfortable and excels at moisture management and thermal regulation.
Swiftwick offers the Pursuit Hike in light and medium cushion, in simple, classic outdoor colors.
Is this sock a game changer? Probably not. But it does give you a chance to exercise your brand loyalty beyond the bike; and in my testing the socks definitely perform as well or better than anything else out there. Add them to your quiver and let us know what you think.