Several months ago I won some free Icebreaker gear from the TravellingTwo bike blog. I have been wearing them as much as possible over the last few months and I have really enjoyed them.

They sent me three pairs of socks. The ones that were bike specific were the Icebreaker Ultralite Micro bike socks. They are $17 a pair from Icebreaker. That certainly is not cheap for a pair of socks, but the reputation these socks have should make them worth the cost.

Icebreaker Bike SocksI have not done weeks’ worth of bike touring in them; however, I have done several long distance runs using these socks. They are comfortable and fit well. Because they are left/right specific, they do not slide around on my feet like lower quality socks sometimes do.

One of the greatest features is the moisture wicking ability of the merino wool. I have finished runs where the socks have been so wet that I could wring water out of them, yet my feet did not feel the least bit wet. I did not get any blisters from wrinkled up skin or hot spots when wearing these socks.

Another much-touted feature of these socks is that they don’t hold odors. I typically don’t have odor problems with my socks or shoes, but occasionally there is a thick cloud around my pile of running shoes. These socks don’t retain odors nor do they seem to cause my feet to create odors. I wore a pair of the thicker socks they sent me for a couple of weeks without having any odor problems. They got dirty in other ways and I could not stand the thought of putting them on again without washing them. The Icebreaker socks passed the odor test as far as I am concerned.

These socks are very thin. The Ultralite Micro socks are not for cold-weather use. However, there are plenty of other socks to choose from at the Icebreaker website. Their bike socks are thin socks, but you can get thicker socks as needed. For touring and commuting you can easily get by with a thicker sock, though road racers will probably want the thinnest sock they can find.

It is hard to comment on the longevity and build quality of the socks since they have not started to show any signs of wear yet. I can only assume that they will last a long time based on what I have experienced so far.

Are they worth $17? That is a hard question to answer. Certainly if you were going on a long bike trip and only wanted to take 1 or 2 pair of socks, then they are worth it. If you are interested in having a variety of socks in your sock drawer that you can wear on a whim, then these may not be the socks for you. To get the value out of these socks you would want to know that you will be wearing them often.

If these ever wear out I will probably buy another pair, but until then, I have trouble justifying the price just to have another pair of nice socks in my drawer.

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