Products I Love: Swiftwick
If you keep up with any fitness enthusiast, marathon runner, or cross fit participant, I am pretty confident you are well aware of compression socks and their benefits. I’ve tried a lot of compression products that are on the market, and I can honestly say I’ve had very mixed opinions. As I mentioned in a previous post, my hand’s down favorite for icing/recovery is 110% gear (especially for my knees). But what if you are looking for performance socks that you can wear while training, racing, or just out and about running errands around town?
That’s where Swiftwick comes in. I got first introduced to them through my mom who lives in TN and works at Gear Up Cycles in Murray, KY. Swiftwick is the ONLY cycling sock they sell, but that doesn’t mean options are limited. Swiftwick makes a wide variety of socks ranging from zero inches to 12 inches in length up from your ankle (0, 1, 2, 4, 7, and 12 inch).
So what makes Swiftwick so different from all the other athletic socks on the market? Many things! One of the first things that attracted me to this brand were the length options I mentioned above, yet EVERY pair of Swiftwick socks is still a compression sock. All too often, I see the only compression socks offered by a company are the full length, up to your knee socks. Yes, these are great for certain things, but they are definitely not for everyday wear. In terms of sizing, I’ve found a sock will feel more like a second skin if you use their sizing chart. If, however, you are someone who likes their compression to feel extremely tight (think circulation cutting off), then I would recommend you size one size smaller than what they suggest.
The other problem I tend to have with compression socks, is I overheat with them on, especially the full length options. There is NO way that I could run or cycle in your typical compression sock without overheating. Swiftwick products are different. Although I haven’t tried their full 12 inch (your typical compression length) sock, I have tried a variety of their one inch to seven-inch socks, and I found that Swiftwick socks do a great job of controlling the heat. They not only wick away the moisture, keeping your feet dry, but they allow your feet to maintain a more even temperature, even if you are doing high intensity type workouts.
This temperature regulation extends to your everyday life as well. Have you ever sat in your office at work with either your feet freezing or burning up? I have everywhere from my office, to sitting at home, or even at restaurants, however, when I wear my Swiftwicks, I find I don’t have near the problems with temperature and my feet. I love knowing that Swiftwick as a company cares about your foot health, and realizes that it is impacted by everything you do, not just during the few hours a day you may be involved with athletic activities.
Another complaint I typically have with socks is their lack of longevity. How quickly do you find your socks pulling in an area, getting stretched out, or just getting worn out all too quickly? Personally, I find this very aggravating, especially with my athletic/workout socks. As the socks lose their shape, I tend to have a greater chance of getting hot spots or blisters on my feet. Unlike the majority of socks on the market, Swiftwick brand socks have a very high needle count (200 for the majority of their products vs 80-100 for competitors). This high needle count means the socks are not going to get stretched out while wearing them, washing them, or even if someone with a big foot puts them on by accident.
This leads me to the next thing I’ve noticed, Swiftwick socks last! Instead of having to replace them regularly, I know people who have owned their Swiftwicks for 5-6 years. I personally have a pair that’s 3 years old, and they look exactly the same as they did when my mom gave them to me. So even though the socks may seem more expensive at first (anyone who reads my blog, knows I always want the best deal), but in reality with such a long life span, the cost of ownership is actually lower than buying a pack of socks from a chain store.
Along with their socks, Swiftwick offers compression arm sleeves. I was not aware of these until recently, so I have just started using them, but I think they are a great idea for fellow archers (or weight lifters or crossfitters, or anyone who is really pushing their arm muscles to fatigue). Just like the socks they have a comfortable, fitted feel, without feeling constricting. Previously, I have worn my cycling arm warmers during some the first few ends of tournaments beginning early in the morning, since they are easy to take off once the temperatures warm up. I’m excited that now I will be able to wear my Swiftwick arm sleeves, which will give me the same ease of use and warmth, while also giving me the added benefit of compression.
And now for the reason I absolutely LOVE this company, not just their products. Swiftwick supports ALL athletes across all sports, including para-athletes. They have developed entire products just for amputees, and are committed to using technology to make cutting edge products. My research on them has also taught me that their company culture encourages living an active lifestyle and their office is made up of century cyclists, Ironman participants, ultra marathoners and more.
Add to all of that the fact that Swiftwick is made in the USA. And even better, the good old state of Tennessee (the same state my parents now reside), and I like them even more. Not only are they made here, but they take a very serious stand on environmental issues, which is something I have always felt very strongly about.
I think there are way too many companies using the environmental or sustainable tag lines, but it’s more for publicity than a true concern to do good. Swiftwick is different. This company is founded on the very principles of producing a product with the least impact on society as possible. This is particularly impressive if you know that the textile industry is considered to be the second largest polluter on the planet. The biggest component of this comes from the dyes that are used to produce all the great colors we love.
Swiftwick avoids this altogether with technology and their selection of fibers. In addition to eliminating the need for dyes, their fibers wick mechanically vs chemically. As I mentioned previously, Swiftwick products have a very long self life, which in and of itself is more environmentally friendly (the longer you own, the less you need to buy). Also, they produce the ONLY recycled nylon sock on the planet (Sustain line), and Swiftwick takes time in making decision about where and who they do business with. This is more than just who builds the thread or where actual production occurs, but expands to include all aspects of the process in order to reduce the total number of miles their products travel before getting to you. That to me is the true definition of a company trying to be green!
And finally, for anyone looking to create their own socks, whether for a team, using your companies logo, or just because you want to design sweet looking socks, Swiftwick has a custom sock program to fit your needs (including fundraising opportunities). So hopefully you have all had the opportunity to try on a pair of Swiftwick socks, but if you haven’t check out their website, as they offer 100% guarantee, though I’m confident you won’t need it.
Posted on August 13, 2013, in Archery, Fitness, Great Products, Racing, Review, Running and tagged 110%, arm sleeves, compression, environment, socks, sustainability, swiftwick. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.