The ASPIREs are not just another pair of socks. We’d class them as a true performance offering.
They are put together using a 200-needle construction resulting in a super tight knit. The idea behind this is that you won’t get any foreign material working its way into your socks, reducing the chance of discomfort.
Swift Sports tells us that the super tight weave also acts almost like a second skin, again further reducing the possibility of discomfort. Other features that we like include the “linked toe technology.” This basically means that there are no seams in the toe area whatsoever. A channeled upper combined with a Olefin fibre is also designed to result in a sock that breathes, does not retain moisture and is super lightweight.
Add to this the benefits of compression that works to stabilize the massive number of muscles, ligaments and bones in your foot and you’ve got a sock that promises performance.
Out of the box the ASPIRE socks feel the business. The 200-needle construction becomes apparent and you realize that it’s more than marketing hype. The weave is super tight and feels high quality.
Getting the socks on- they are immediately comfortable. The compression also feels good, firm but not restrictive. The “no seam” construction around the toe area is immediately apparent… it’s one of those things where you don’t realize how much extra comfort is provided until you go back to a sock full of seams.
Riding with the ASPIREs is great; you basically don’t notice that they are there, and that’s exactly what you want from a pair of socks. We tried them across Shimano, Rapha, Specialized and Bont shoes all with the same results.
Wicking is excellent, and even after longer rides in warmer weather, the socks don’t feel wet when you take them off. When riding in cool to cold conditions, I found that the socks also provided a reasonable level of protection against the cold. They are not thermal, but the dense construction does keep the cold out a little better than some other socks.
We’d like to see the ASPIREs in a 5 or 6 inch variant. The gap between 4 and 7 is just a bit wide and is right out at the edge of the spectrum for lengths that most riders go for. I guess this is a personal thing though.
Colour wise the ASPIREs come in 11 colours. There’s no artwork or designs on the socks apart for the Swiftwick logo. We like the designs that other sock manufactures are coming out with, but it’s nice to have some socks that are plain, resulting in a clean look and match with most of your kits.
At $31.50 AUS ($17.99 USD) for the SEVEN inch and $29.95 AUS ($16.99 USD) for the FOUR inch, the ASPIREs are getting toward to the top end of the cycling socks price range. For your money, you’ll get a quality sock with top-end construction that should last well and look good with most of your kits.
We were really impressed with the quality of the ASPIRE socks. Comfort levels are clearly top end. Some will be let down by the plain design and the lack of a longer sock length option in the coloured options. We really liked the black and white offering that perform, are longer and look clean and crisp with most shoes and kit.