Switftwick has confidence and I.like.that. They also do their homework–checked out previous blog posts to see what other gear we had reviewed. When approached about trying out their product their reply was, “Our mission is to break you from your bad sleeve habit…we’ll send you some and let you make up your mind.” Sounds like a CHALLENGE!!!
Before trying out Swiftwick’s Aspire Twelve compression socks, I had only been exposed to compression sleeves, which start at the ankle and hit just below the knee. Swiftwick claims that a full sock alleviates swelling in the feet by beginning compression in the footbed, then working its way up to the top of the calf. I’ve avoided a full sock until now because I love a little substance to my socks and most compression socks are very thin. I have to say I was a little skeptical but again, I loved their confidence in their products.
I first gave them a try for recovery. After a long run, I slapped those bad boys on and let them work their magic and indeed they did. I had been dealing with sore calves for a few weeks, due to a shoe change and wouldn’t you know it, that tenderness dissipated after a few wears of the socks!
With the temps being close to a bazillion degrees lately, I was hesitant to wear a full knee high for any length of time. But I put on my big girl panties and took one for the team. Worried that the socks would slip in my shoe if they were too thin, I was excited to find that the forefoot and heal both have a slight bit of padding, which fit my shoes perfectly. The arch hit just right and made my foot feel snug/secure but not restricted. Not only were they comfortable for the duration of the run(s), but they were even breathable! I did a mid-length run of 10 miles and then gave them a try for a 20 miler. On previous long runs, my feet have swelled and my toenails end up feeling it by the end but when I wore Swiftwick’s Aspire Twelve socks, I had no such issue. Even in temps reaching 85°F and above, I didn’t feel smothered by them. There was almost a cooling element to them when a breeze blew through.
I also like the fact that my entire calf didn’t have indentions from the socks. I could wear them for a couple/few hours, remove them, and there was only minimal evidence around the top of my calf and nothing down my leg showing that I had been wearing a compression sock. That was a problem I had with the compression sleeve. If I knew I was going somewhere within the hour and I’d be wearing shorts, I wouldn’t wear the sleeve.
Another perk? They’re affordable. When compared to other compression socks, Swiftwick came in $15-$25 less than their competitors. Win/win
Let me add that I also tried the Aspire Zero but didn’t seem to appreciate the same therapeutic benefit from the no show sock as I did the full length compression socks. They are still a solid product–thin, yet sturdy, comfortable, and breathable.
A note about the sizing. I was sent a Small and Medium. I wear a 6.5 in cutsie button shoes and size up to an 8 for a running shoe. The Small ended up working great, so BelieveInTheRun has a pair of Full length Aspire Twelve socks and two pairs of the Aspire Zero socks to give away! Tell us who you would like to “Sock it to” and we will pick a winner from the comments. The one that makes us laugh the most will win.
I have been on a thin sock kick lately. When I received the Swiftwick socks, I dug the weight of the sock. These socks are thin. If you like a bulky cusioning sock the Aspire collection from Swiftwick is not for you. My coach Caleb Masland and my good friend Juda (a Newton running rep for the Mid-Atlantic) both raved about the Swiftwick compression socks. These are two people that I listen to when they make a recommendation. The biggest issue I have had with compression socks in the past has been that they haven’t been able to put together a great sock with a great sleeve. Two pairs from different manufaturers have has a great sleeve and a lousy ill fitting thick sock attached. Two other pairs have decent socks with sleeves that don’t stay up during the run. The latter have become recovery socks and don’t get much wear. I pretty much resigned myself to just wear sleeves.
The Swiftwick 12″ compression socks surprised me with a great fitting sock and a thin (not too hot for summer) sleeve that give great support and a perfect amount of squeeze to your calves. I wore these socks in 80+ degree weather and did not feel like they were adding to the overall stress from the temps. The bottom line is the socks feel great, and fit well. The price is one of the better values out there for compression socks. They retail on the Swiftwick site for $34.99. Did I mention they are made in the U.S.A.?
The Aspire Zero socks are sweet too. If you don’t want a compression sleeve. They wrap around you foot and you hardly notice you have a sock on. Both socks seem to be holding up well after several wash cycles. I highly recommend giving Swiftwick’s a try. Swiftwick socks can also be customized for teams or events too.