Reflective Torch Socks
The search for the perfect sock never ends. Not in life or in cycling. But some days, it is ready for a little hiatus.
Enter Showers Pass.
When they say they make waterproof socks, this is what they mean.
I have not had the pleasure of the Crosspoint line. Truly waterproof material may or may not be the softest thing next to your skin, but socks like these would still be massively useful -- on their own or over a thin, soft sock -- throughout most of the Northwest winter. Showers Pass is an Oregon company. They know all about this.
I do know a lot about the Reflective Torch Socks. They have taken over not one, but two sock drawers in my family.
These are the company's shot at an all-round cycling-specific sock that you don't need to hold back for rainy days. It's a blend of wool, acrylic, poly, lycra, nylon and spandex, roughly in that order, because the result is a compact, flexible, durable wool-like sock. The big selling point is that little company logo, which is reflective material of the highest order. It works, though after a dozen or so trips through the washer and dryer the material is prone to falling off. My recommendation is to turn them inside out in the laundry. Or to just not worry so much about reflection and enjoy the part of the socks that will outlast all your expectations.
I have been enjoying them for about six months. In summer they were a bit warm and there was no rain to repel, but they wound up serving as the go-to backpacking socks for both me and Mrs. PdC. [She still nabs them when she can. This is a very strong endorsement. She doesn't take lightly to any old pair of socks.] When the rains came back, the Torch socks went on my feet in my shoes, to check for water resistance. They pass, though I'm sure the Crosspoints wouldn't exist if the Torches were 100% dry. I'd rate them as solid in the rain, in part because they don't absorb water very easily and if they do, the warmth of the wool prevents you from having too much trouble.
The big seller, Showers Pass' focus on reflectivity notwithstanding, is the construction. After six months these socks haven't shown even the slightest wear in the heel or foot ball areas. Spandex and lycra give it the kind of flexibility the material needs to not get ground down by friction. Considering they only cost $17.95 MSRP, this combination creates the kind of durability that equates to solid value. Big thumbs up here. Oh, and last thing -- they don't stain easily either. So don't be afraid of the white ones.
Spring Classic Jacket
OK, now companies are just trolling me. Everyone knows how obsessed I am with the Spring Classics. They know I'm going to like any product named Spring Classic. If our cafeteria sold a Spring Classic sandwich made of spam and American "cheese," I'd eat it. [Probably.]
But when a respectable company like Showers Pass makes a Spring Classic jacket, I don't think it's my bias that is getting me interested. It's the jacket itself. You've seen it already, actually. Here's Vlad Gusev wearing it in the 2014 Giro d'Italia.
Photo by tdwsport via Showers Pass
Yep, this isn't just another commuter jacket; the Spring Classic is cut and designed for racing. If we have a real classics season in 2016, you might actually see it in the Spring Classics. It's a hardshell rain jacket with stretchy, lightweight material in places like the arms where you need flexibility to make a form-fitting race jacket both aerodynamic and comfortable. I'll be trying one out soon, but if you can't wait, check them out at your LBS or online here.