When it comes to cards and socks, thin-to-win is how I play. Mid-weight socks see some use in the early morning and night hours, and there are a couple of months that warrant using thick wool foot mittens, but 80% of my socks are thin, stretchy, and compressive. Oh, and almost every pair I own is black. Yet somehow, I found myself pulling on a pair of turquoise Troy Lee Designs Camber socks for a recent ride on a warm day, and I ended up being happily surprised.
Crafted from a stretch merino wool blend, with a mid-foot compression arch, the Camber socks fit perfectly and exhibited no bunching or looseness. I was surprised at how well the Cambers fit in my Sidi’s, which are well broken-in but still have the signature snug Italian fit. In my Five Ten Impacts, the Cambers felt like they were custom made for the shoes, eliminating foot movement without having to crank down the laces, which, I admit, my preference for thin socks predicates with those roomy kicks. Thanks to wool’s inherent temperature regulating and fast-drying qualities, the Camber socks are comfortable in a wide range of conditions, from warm to cold and from wet to dry. I’ve ridden the Cambers in 80-degree (American) temps and felt fine. Granted, a thin, mostly-mesh sock would probably have been cooler, but the Camber’s supremely comfortable sole cushioning made up for the slight increase in warmth.
Take a look at most cycling socks and you’ll find a chassis designed to minimize bulk, which feels great, but also offers no shock absorption. Previously, cushioning was never something I thought about regarding cycling socks. However, after wearing the Cambers on several long rides without feeling sore in the sole after pedaling through rocks for hours, even in my stiff XC Shoes, I will be breaking out my finger calipers when purchasing socks from now on.
On the hottest days, I’ll most likely still wear my Swiftwicks because of their extreme ventilation and thin, compressive feel. But for rides in cold to warm temps, I’ll happily enjoy the cushioning, inherent moisture wicking and temperature regulation, and of course, style, that the Troy Lee Camber socks provide.