Review: Pearly’s Possum Socks

If you’re like me you have a drawer full of cycling socks but I doubt you have any quite like Pearly’s Possum socks. These cold weather socks have kept my feet warmer and more comfortable on the bike than almost anything else I’ve tired. I’ll start this review off with a little Q & A.

Q: Are these socks actually made from possum fur?
A: Yes, Pearly’s are made from about 40% possum fur and 45% merino wool, among other materials.

Q: Are possums the most disgusting animals on the planet?
A: Yes, I think so. I’m not sure if it’s their beady eyes, their sharp teeth, or their ghost-like appearance in the dark but I do thank the possums for providing their fur for these socks.

Pearly’s founders Duke and Margo discovered possum power on a hiking trip in New Zealand and set out to produce their own possum socks for cycling. I’ve been waiting for at least 9 months to put these socks to the test in cold weather and now that it’s winter, Pearly’s are my go-to mountain biking socks.

Brushtail Possum, photo: Wikipedia. These guys are much cuter than the possums that live around me.

Still skeptical? Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

The common brushtail possum was introduced to New Zealand by European settlers in an attempt to establish a fur industry. There are no native predators of the possum in New Zealand, so its numbers in New Zealand have risen to the point where it is considered a serious pest … Since 1996, possum fur, obtained from about 2 million wild-caught possums per year, has been used in clothing with blends of fine merino wool with brushtailed possum fur

Check out that loft.

At first glance Pearly’s Possum socks seem thick and I wasn’t looking forward to trying to cram my thick-socked foot into skinny bike shoes. Fortunately the thickness of the sock hasn’t been an issue at all–the possum down seems to naturally compress quite nicely. Even with my wide feet, I haven’t noticed any hot spots or tightness wearing Pearly’s with my regular cycling shoes.

Close up of the merino wool / possum fur weave.

True story: during one night ride while wearing Pearly’s I saw a possum waddling across a parking lot. Completely ignoring the mountain biker’s pledge to avoid startling animals, I chased the possum, quickly gaining on him as he headed for a wooded area. Then, just as I got within 15 feet of the ugly beast, he stopped, turned toward me, and made a horrible hissing noise while baring his long, pointy fangs. I slammed on my brakes, yelled a choice expletive, and vowed to never again chase a nasty possum on my mountain bike!

Pearly’s socks also seem to repel water droplets very well which is a big plus in terms of retaining warmth in unpleasant conditions. And since they’re also made from merino wool, they tend to retain much of their insulating value even when completely soaked.

I don’t know about you but I can almost feel the soft warmth in this photo. (sock turned inside out)

It’s evident that Pearly’s Possum socks are quality constructed and appear to be very durable. The stitching is tight and unobtrusive in the toe box.

All this warmth, comfort, and durability does come at a cost: $58 for the pair, to be exact. Still, considering how ornery those possums must be when they’re sheared (ha!), these exotic socks may actually be priced just right. Compared to other wool cycling socks I own, Pearly’s are certainly the warmest and best I’ve found for winter riding–so maybe possums aren’t all bad after all.

Thanks to Pearly’s for providing these socks for review.