When MOTO-D Racing asked me to check out their Performance Riding Motorcycle Socks and tell them what I thought, I had no idea how many different makers and types of biker footwear there were! A search on a popular motorcycle store Web site produced 23 different brands selling 141 different models of motorcycle socks. Wow, who knew? And that’s not even counting any regular manufacturer of socks trying to get into the moto action. Each of the companies I found were bona fide motorcycle brands. So I wondered what could be so special about the MOTO-D Racing socks to make them stand out.
First of all, it is not my intent to contrast and compare the MOTO-D socks against all of their competition. I’m sure that would be an interesting article for all you sock buffs out there, but I’m going to make this a quicker read so you can get back to riding. My only points of comparison are with a few pair of thin and thick moto socks I own from a national moto-store retail chain.
I have two pair of the MOTO-D summer socks and I’ve been wearing them for the past month. I did two different types of tests with them: 1) wearing on weekend rides with regular washing in-between, and 2) wearing while riding everyday for a week straight before washing. Okay, okay…unscrunch your nose already! Amazingly, the pair I wore for a week riding to and from work and all day afterwards never got stinky or gross. I attribute this to their moisture wicking attributes and the unique combination of synthetic fibers.
The MOTO-D Socks are made from the fibers shown above. I haven’t been following the state-of-the-art in sock construction lately, but I do know a lot about fiber and fabric technology from the 10 years I spent in the scuba diving equipment manufacturing business. It’s great to see MOTO-D Racing specify high performance synthetic fibers like Tactel® that is twice as soft and 20% lighter than most other fibers.
These socks seem to have just the right amount of stretch and rebound to stay snug and comfortable. They don’t bunch up above the instep and they don’t get loose above the heel or in the arch. The Lycra does its job of providing just the right amount of stretch. In the month that I have been wearing and washing these they have not lost any of their elasticity. Oh, and the metallic-looking Lurex gold thread add a bit of swag when you take off your jeans or leathers after a long ride.
Another nice feature is the vented weave on the instep and the moisture-wicking attributes of the fibers. When riding all day in hot weather wearing my SIDI Doha boots, my feet were never swimming in sweat. And they accomplished that feat without the bulk of thicker socks.
What really is different and interesting about the MOTO-D socks are the hundreds of dots on the sole that provide a huge amount of traction. You won’t be doing any Tom Cruise slides in your undies while singing Old Time Rock ’N Roll with these socks on! I wondered why MOTO-D would design these with traction grip soles in the first place, and whether they be comfortable riding and walking. Since I was testing these socks while street and freeway riding, I never used them on or around a track. However, I can only imagine that parts of a paddock might be like my garage and have a slippery painted cement floor. The MOTO-D traction grip soles did an excellent job at providing grip when I was padding around my garage and on my home’s hardwood floors. I was happy to find out that although you can definitely feel the dots on your feet, they didn’t bother me at all when stepping on my pegs while riding.
In looking through the 141 socks I found online, I didn’t see any others that had a traction grip sole. I don’t know if this is a MOTO-D Racing exclusive, but it certainly seems unique. I really like how they help keep me from slipping and my impression is that they will also be much more resistant to getting a hole in the bottom of your socks when not wearing your boots.
These socks are sold as one-size fits all, and are listed as fitting from size 8 to 14 shoe size (U.S. male). I have size 13 feet with very large calves and they fit me just fine although at the edge of their stretch in the calf area. It is amazing to me just how elastic these are while still being comfortable and not stretching out of shape. It’s the miracle of modern fiber technology combined with an excellent design.
As of the writing of this post, I found these Performance Riding Motorcycle Socks on the MOTO-D Racing Web site for $14.99 a pair or $29.99 for a three-pack. Compared to the other 141 that I found online, that makes these well-designed performance riding socks a super deal! Hey, but I would be glad to pay a few extra bucks anyway just to have socks I can wear on an extended motorcycle journey that treat my feet well and don’t stink up my other gear.
MOTO-D also has a “Fall/Cold” version featuring hollow-core Thermolite fibers. I’ll be picking up three pair of those come October this year. ::