Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gear Review: Swiftwick Peformance One Sock by Rick Maehlmann

Product: Swiftwick Performance One Compression Socks

Details: The PERFORMANCE line of compression socks are made in America and designed to be the best socks you will ever wear - GUARANTEED. To deliver top Performance we use Olefin fibers to produce a fast drying, lightweight sock with superb abrasion resistance and long-lasting durability. As a fiber, Olefin retains less than .01% of its weight in moisture and resists deterioration from chemicals and perspiration. The combination of nylon and spandex with the Olefin antimicrobial fiber helps create a softer, more comfortable sock with incredible breath-ability for everyday wear.  Olefin, the only Nobel Prize-winning fiber, has a great story. Its production leaves very little waste; therefore, it has less environmental impact than most polymers and is easier to recycle. Olefin also has the lightest specific gravity of any other fabric.

Technology: A compression sock that has a 1" cuff that sits just over the ankle, giving you more compression at and above the ankle.

Pricing: $10.99 per pair from the and also available locally at Fleet Feet Huntsville.

Impressions: I recently ordered a couple of pairs of American-made Swiftwick Performance One socks (color black) and tried them out during two runs on consecutive days. The first run was a 9 mile run and the second was a 15 mile run. Before I get into how the socks performed during those runs, I’d like to mention why I purchased these socks. I’ve worn Swiftwick socks nearly exclusively for more than a year now and have been satisfied if not thrilled with their products. Also, Swiftwick provides a “stat” chart on their website that simplifies the process of selecting the right sock. I’ve found this chart to be a convenient and useful tool for selecting a sock from the notable Swiftwick collection. This tool rates compression, footbed thickness, durability, breathability, and wicking on a scale from 1 to 10 for each of their socks. For the Performance these categories rate 7, 6, 10, 7,and 7 respectively which is a strong mix of these categories. I selected the Performance Ones because I tend to be pretty rough on socks and durability is maxed out at 10 on their scale. Swiftwick Performance socks can be purchased in six different heights: zero, one, two, four, seven, and twelve with zero being below the ankle and twelve covering the calf. I selected the Ones because I know this height is minimal but is also high enough to prevent any possible foot to shoe rubbing. So how do these socks actually feel “out of the box” and perform during a run? Well, I was impressed at how soft or plush these socks felt as I slipped them on for the first time. Swiftwick mentions on their site that they use Nobel Prize-winning Olefin fibers that are produced with very little waste, are easy to recycle, and have the lightest specific gravity. So in addition to all of that, they are pleasant to put on your feet. As far as performance goes, I was very pleased with how my feet felt after those two runs. The Performance lived up to their billing as being lightweight, abrasion resistant and fast drying. I’m looking forward to logging many more runs in these socks.

Rick is an original member of the Fleet Feet Racing Team from Huntsville and together with his wife Katie have contributed tremendously to the running community since moving to Huntsville in 2000. His team biography can be found here.