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Riding Socks
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EmptySea Offline
Been There

Chicagoland, USA
Posts: 4,368
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #1
Riding Socks
It may seem trivial, but what you choose to put between your foot and your motorcycle boot may be as important as the boot itself. Not much thought about socks is needed for a trip around town -- something that goes with your pants and doesn't slide down into your boot is fine, but a long day trip or a multi-day tour is another matter. You want your feet to be dry and as comfortable as possible relative to the riding temperature.

I recently was introduced to the marvels of alpaca fibers (some in the alpaca biz want to avoid using the word "wool"). Alpaca fiber is not itchy, hypoallergenic, and is warmer and more durable than (sheep) wool. Last summer, my wife arranged for our family to spend a weekend on an alpaca ranch in Wisconsin. The ranch is also a B&B and would be an excellent motorcycle destination for a motorcycling couple. We had a great time and I bought three pairs of socks there; one for golfing and the other two for hiking, snowshoeing and/or motorcycling (mostly motorcycling, of course).

There are many styles of alpaca socks from which to choose even from this one supplier. I opted for a lighter weight one for summer/warmer days and the thickest one I could find for cold riding, hiking, or snowshoeing days.

Lighter Weight Sock - Click Here

I used this sock all summer and on my trip to West Virginia in the fall. I think that I may have opted for the thicker sock a particularly cold morning on the WV trip, but aside from that these socks kept my feet comfortable in both the heat of the summer and the cool of the fall. They naturally wick away moisture which is why they kept my feet so comfy.

Winter Sock - Click Here

I wore these on my 24 degree ride this past Saturday. I will confess that my feet did get cold, but not cold enough to cut my ride short. In fact it was my fingers, even with heated grips that lead to my decision to head home. They are very warm and, like the others, wick moisture away from your feet which keeps you comfortable. I have used them snowshoeing on a couple of occasions in very cold temps.

The great thing about both of these socks is that they don't get smelly and rarely need to be washed. Sally explained why this was, something about structure of alpaca fiber and the percentage of that fiber in these socks, but I was skeptical. However, both my wife and I can attest that the socks have remained odor-free and that we have only washed them when they got dirty (as in actual dirt in the fibers). I wore the lighter weight socks for 9 out of 10 days in a row on our West Virginia trip. I just wore different socks in the evening so that my riding socks could air out. Yeah, it may sound less than hygienic, but I am hear to tell you that they definitely lived up to Sally's hype.

The only downside is that you should wash them by hand and with a mild shampoo and then air-dry them. This doesn't take very long, but it's not as easy as just tossing them in the washing machine.

[Incidentally, the ankle-socks I bought for golfing work great, too, but they do not have as high a percentage of alpaca fiber and therefore need to be machine-washed after each use, just like regular sock. It's still better to air-dry these, though. ]

So, if you're in the market for some durable and comfortable socks, try alpaca socks. if you're going to try them, I recommend contacting http://www.sabambaalpaca.com/ and maybe even calling Sally.

MTC


2013 CB1100 non-abs
2013 CB1100 abs
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2016 10:58 AM by EmptySea.)
12-12-2016 10:54 AM
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Cormanus Offline
Moderator

Queensland, Australia
Posts: 10,695
Joined: Dec 2013
Post: #2
RE: Riding Socks
Nothing like a good pair of socks, and it's good to hear about alpaca as an alternative to my beloved merino wool which have similar useful qualities—that is, they wick away moisture and remain wonderfully odour free, which is such a handy attribute for touring. On cold rides I wear an under layer of merino thermals which are amazingly good at helping me stay warm.
12-12-2016 02:22 PM
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4 Paws Offline
High Mileage

MM 199 on BRP (Fancy Gap VA)
Posts: 1,001
Joined: Jun 2015
Post: #3
RE: Riding Socks
Several farms are near me in the VA mountains that raise Alpaca and sell products made from their fibers - vests, sweaters, and socks. One by the name of Peaceful Heart Alpacas is selling out and currently has all their products reduced. Will finish my Christmas shopping there.

I was first introduced to this amazingly warm and durable fiber in Ecuador where it was plentiful and favorably priced. Swear by the socks but you can't go wrong with any of the products.

Also check out 'farm to feet' socks, good quality wool without the bulk. Can't beat good quality wools for durability and warmth.

Best thing I learned from my dog"Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride". - Dan D.
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2016 02:51 PM by 4 Paws.)
12-12-2016 02:47 PM
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EarsOnWheels Offline
Running Like a Top

DC
Posts: 305
Joined: Jul 2015
Post: #4
RE: Riding Socks
I just bought Yak socks in Dillsburg, PA.
12-12-2016 03:32 PM
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4 Paws Offline
High Mileage

MM 199 on BRP (Fancy Gap VA)
Posts: 1,001
Joined: Jun 2015
Post: #5
RE: Riding Socks
(12-12-2016 03:32 PM)EarsOnWheels Wrote:  I just bought Yak socks in Dillsburg, PA.

Say what!
That's a new one on me.

Best thing I learned from my dog"Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride". - Dan D.
12-12-2016 05:45 PM
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Rolls Offline
High Mileage

Belmont, CA
Posts: 943
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #6
RE: Riding Socks
(12-12-2016 03:32 PM)EarsOnWheels Wrote:  I just bought Yak socks in Dillsburg, PA.

Wait, isn't that a Dr. Seuss book?
12-12-2016 05:55 PM
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EmptySea Offline
Been There

Chicagoland, USA
Posts: 4,368
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #7
RE: Riding Socks
ROFL Yes, "Yak Socks in Dillsburg" is a Dr. Seuss book

MTC


2013 CB1100 non-abs
2013 CB1100 abs
12-12-2016 06:00 PM
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The ferret Online
Forum Moderator

Ohio
Posts: 18,758
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #8
RE: Riding Socks
Since most of my long distance riding is under moderate temperature conditions and my riding gear must fit into the confined spaces of my soft luggage, I use socks that are motel sink washable and dryable overnight by hanging over a shower curtain rod. Same goes for my shirts and shorts. Quick dry athletic stuff gets the nod from me. 3 tops, 3 shorts 3 pairs of socks (one of each which is worn and 2 of which go in the luggage) are good for 3 days or 3 weeks.

Around home I don't worry about it and just wear regular cotton crew socks that go in the laundry basket every night.

.
2014 DLX and 2006 ST 1300
"a good chunk of life's problems can be solved by going for a ride"...Guth ..... "daily" ...Ferret
12-12-2016 06:07 PM
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EmptySea Offline
Been There

Chicagoland, USA
Posts: 4,368
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #9
RE: Riding Socks
(12-12-2016 06:07 PM)The ferret Wrote:  Since most of my long distance riding is under moderate temperature conditions and my riding gear must fit into the confined spaces of my soft luggage, I use socks that are motel sink washable and dryable overnight by hanging over a shower curtain rod. Same goes for my shirts and shorts. Quick dry athletic stuff gets the nod from me. 3 tops, 3 shorts 3 pairs of socks (one of each which is worn and 2 of which go in the luggage) are good for 3 days or 3 weeks.

Around home I don't worry about it and just wear regular cotton crew socks that go in the laundry basket every night.

Alpaca socks would not need to be washed at all for the duration of your trip. You could easily get by with 2 pair of socks for a 2 week trip. You'd really only need the second pair in case you stepped in something wearing the first pair. But, I'm with you on the shorts and tshirts. I still pack too much, but since moving to performance t-shirts, shorts, etc. I've significantly pared down my traveling wardrobe.

MTC


2013 CB1100 non-abs
2013 CB1100 abs
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2016 06:21 PM by EmptySea.)
12-12-2016 06:16 PM
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4 Paws Offline
High Mileage

MM 199 on BRP (Fancy Gap VA)
Posts: 1,001
Joined: Jun 2015
Post: #10
RE: Riding Socks
Dang.
I did a google search on yak socks, found them too.
Guess I need to read more.

Best thing I learned from my dog"Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride". - Dan D.
12-12-2016 06:48 PM
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