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The sock is a lowly piece of attire, both literally and figuratively.  If Singletracks was to do one of those surveys with all the fancy infographics covering which pieces of apparel we put the most thought into, I suspect the bar for “socks” would be very short.  And while a sock may not make or break your day the way a pair of shoes or just the right pair of shorts could, having a nice, comfortable, and stable sock does make a difference, especially on very long rides or when riding in difficult conditions.

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This is Ms. Merino. She wants you to know her wool doesn’t itch (photo: wikipedia).

That’s where FITS comes in.  FITS makes an incredible array of socks covering all sorts of activities including skiing/snowboarding/Nordic sports, expedition, hiking, running, and even business and casual use, and they have put a lot of thought into their socks.  Notice that list doesn’t specifically mention cycling.  As it turns out, some of FITS products end up being ideal for cycling, even better than products which are marketed for cycling, especially in challenging conditions.

FITS socks are made with their Full Contact Fit system.  I normally associate the phrase “full contact” with football or various martial arts.  The last thing I want is to get beaten up, especially by a sock… how embarrassing.  FITS’ Full Contact Fit® is a proprietary blend of ergonomically-designed and patented features knit throughout each FITS sock.

FITS Full Contact Fit begins with patented features around the toe and heel, both carefully formed with ergonomic precision to eliminate rubbing and abrasion. Known as the Dynamic Toe Cup™ and the Heel Lock®, a patented form-fitting cup is precision-knit around both the heel and toe-box that secures the heel in place and follows the natural contours of your toes. A patented Full Contact Cuff® runs the length of the calf and follows the natural curvature of the leg to ensure comfort, not squeeze or sock-sag.

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I had the opportunity to sample two of FITS’ offerings, the Pro Trail and the Light Ski, both in a variety of sports and conditions, and found them both to be superb socks.

Pro Trail

The Pro Trail features added cushioning in the heel, the extended quarter top, and multiple vents on top of the foot for breathability.  The socks are 58% merino, 32% nylon, 7% polyester, and 2% spandex.

Ever since my youth, I have avoided wool as thick, not-so-breathable, and moisture-retaining.  The blend FITS uses here is impressive.  The merino wool is anything but itchy, especially as blended with the other materials.  It’s quite a recipe, which I used on long hikes, non-technical rock climbing and, of course, cycling.

The sock was able to remain comfortable across a wide range of temperatures; I tested them in ambient air temps as high as the low 70s and as low as the 30s, and they kept my feet as warm or cool as I wanted.

At the risk of having my man card revoked, I’ll even add that they were ultra comfy.  All those thoughtful, patented features FITS brags about are indeed useful on the trail.  There is zero sag or slip, and the sock remains exactly where it should. IMG_0031

Light Ski

The Light Ski was an even bigger surprise.  Additional Light Ski features include light, sculpted cushioning for the entire foot, all-around arch support, a flat knit toe seam, and graduated compression throughout to increase circulation.  It is constructed of 66% merino wool, 26% nylon, 6% polyester, and 2% spandex. I’m not sure why one sock uses more of one ingredient and less of another, but I am sure, having used each, that FITS got it right.

This sock was also ultra-comfy, but more importantly, it amazed me with its performance.  I first put this sock to the test on the slopes.  I can honestly say it is hands-down the best ski sock I’ve ever owned at any price.  While I’m a cold weather lover at heart and never complain about low temps, that doesn’t always extend to my feet.  I have a very high instep and the act of clamping down a ski boot enough that allows my foot to remain secure in the boot inevitably restricts circulation, leading quickly to cold feet, numb toes, and, on more than one occasion, frostbite.  This problem all but went completely away when skiing in the FITS Light Ski sock.  Even on a day with highs in the single digits, my toes got only slightly cold, but I could feel them all day and was never uncomfortable.  FITS’s claim of increased circulation is confirmed.  As long as FITS makes the Light Ski, it will be the only ski sock I ever purchase, unless I decide to give the FITS Medium Ski sock a try. IMG_0033

Out on the Trail

I was curious to see how all that comfort and warmth would translate to cold weather riding.  Getting to test these socks in cold weather proved to be a bit of a challenge since we seemed to be in the midst of a month-long warm, dry spell here in Colorado.  Nonetheless, I made sure I got the FITS out in the cold by grabbing the night lights and heading out for some pre-dawn rides when the temps barely crept in the teens.

That high instep gives me the same trouble cycling as skiing; by cinching down a shoe tight enough to avoid heel slop or other annoying loose spots, I inevitably cut off circulation.  This isn’t really a problem on warm days, but midwinter it can make for a miserable ride.  Again, the FITS socks eliminated the problem and on two hour rides that never topped 15 degrees, I could focus on whining about how cold my ears were since my toes never sought my attention.  If you’re looking for a great cold weather or fat biking sock, you need look no further than the FITS Light Ski.  I won’t be sending my little piggies out into the cold without the FITS.

Bottom Line

FITS socks are competitively priced with other socks aiming at the same market.  Two things make this quite impressive.  The first is the stellar performance described above.  I have paid similar or higher prices for other such socks and enjoyed nowhere near the level of performance offered by FITS.  The second is the fact that all FITS socks are actually manufactured in the USA, at the FITS sock mill, which is collocated with their company headquarters in Niota, TN.

FITS Pro Trail $17.99
FITS Light Ski $23.99

Thanks to FITS for providing the socks for review.

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