By Jason Boyle
According to the Swiftwick website, the company started “when a mountain bike racer saw the need for a high-performance sock with superior moisture wicking and incredible fit.” Their website has a good amount of information on the company and there are several things that stood out to me. They have a mission statement that shows their drive – “Our team empowers life’s adventures through thoughtful design, superior craftsmanship and a continuous passion to help others do what moves them.” I also appreciate that they make their socks in the USA, as I am more likely as a consumer to support US based companies. They do a nice job explaining the technology in their socks and provide a graphic overview of their entire line up of socks and what activities the types of socks are best suited for.
I am reviewing the Aspire Twelve socks. The Aspire Performance line up are socks that feature minimal cushion and medium compression. The Aspire 12 have a fabric content of 46% Olefin, 43% Nylon and 11% Spandex. Swiftwick claims that the over the calf compression sock will “stabilize muscles, reduce fatigue and improve performance” and is ideal for long distance running. The socks come in black and neon yellow and retail for $29.99.
I have worn compression sleeves and compression socks for a while and I personally find relief while running longer distances, so I was excited to try these out. The Aspire Twleve socks are thin with minimal cushioning as suggested. I would say they are as thin as a pair of dress socks.
As with any other type of compression socks, they are challenging to get on because of the compression. I find that if I scrunch up the material to get my toes lined up in the appropriate spot, I can then pull them up easier. I definitely find them easier to put on while sitting down.
I wore them around the house for a bit and found that they were comfortable. The compression is about right, and I like how they come above my calves almost to my knees. I have large calves and have not found any regular socks that will stay above my calves. Hopefully the compression in these socks will keep them in place.
I generally evaluate socks on a couple of criteria – comfort and durability. The following are some examples of the questions I will try to answer while reviewing the socks: Are the Aspire 12 socks comfortable? Do I want to wear them or do I have to wear them for the review? Do I get blisters while wearing the Aspire Twelve socks? Are the Aspire Twelve socks durable? How many miles can I get out of the socks before they wear out?
Final Update: Swiftwick Aspire Twelve Compression Socks September 16, 2018
I have used the Swiftwick Aspire 12 for over 100 miles of hiking, backpacking and running. Some of the highlights include hiking and camping at Buccaneer State Park on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, backpacking in Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Northern California, backpacking to the Walls of Jericho in the James D. Martin – Skyline Wildlife Management Area, and running on the Mississippi River Levee. Temperatures ranged in the upper 90s on the Levee to the low 60s in California. I also wore the socks on a daily basis in my boots at work.
As I mentioned in my initial thoughts, I evaluate socks on two main criteria – durability and comfort. I want to start with durability. I was initial concerned with how long they would last since the socks are very thin, especially in the ball of the foot and heel areas. I have put over 100 miles of running and hiking on the socks and they are still in good shape. I also wore my second pair at work for a week at a time and they look good too.
My second concern with durability is whether they will continue to stay up and keep compression. I have large calves and usually high socks eventually succumb and slide down. Not the Aspire – they have maintained their compression and have stayed up in all situations.
I also evaluated the socks on their comfort. I have been very impressed with how comfortable the socks are. The compression is just right on my calves and my feet. I felt like the thinness of the socks would lead to some blistering, and I was right initially. I had some small blisters on the front of my toes. However, this occurred because the socks are thin, and I had to adjust how I tied my shoes to account for the less bulk of the Aspire compared to my typical choice in socks.
Overall, I have been very pleased with the Swiftwick Aspire socks. They are comfortable and durable and provide the right amount of compression. I will continue to use the socks as I enter my fall marathon training cycle. This concludes my final report.
Special thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and Swiftwick for supplying the socks for this review.