At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can say about a sock – it either fits or it doesn’t, and it either kept you warm or, again, it didn’t. Unless you’re using it as part of an overall fashion statement, a sock is there to serve a purpose.
When offered the CEP Compression Ultralight Sock for testing this past season, it was immediately noticeable the differences between it and other socks I have frequently used in the past given the length and design. Quite frankly, I was intrigued to put the pair to use.
Marketed as a “ski” sock, the key characteristic that sets it apart from others that are likely already in your drawer is in the compression fitting that allows circulation to stay stable throughout the leg, foot and toes despite prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.
For those who don’t already know, when a body extremity is exposed to cold temperatures for an extensive period of time blood circulation begins to slow, allowing frostbite to set in (essentially freezing the underlying tissues irreparable). For snowmobilers spending long days outside in the winter, cold feet can cause frostbite or frozen toes, or merely be a distraction from the joys of riding. The Snow Goer team had no previous plans for sock testing, but after discovering CEP by happenstance on Twitter we reached out to try a set.
According to specs, each sock is incorporated with smart infrared textile technology that’s imbedded with bioactive minerals to absorb body heat, then radiate it back to the outer layer of skin for additional warmth. The result is warm, dry feet from a sock that’s athletically light and easily fits into any type of boot or shoe.
In regard to overall comfort, the nylon/ spandex blend composition ensures cushioning and support to the heel and ankle while seamless toe construction offers compartmentalized insulation. Scaled compression also supports muscles and increases circulation, which reduces muscle soreness and cramping.
After multiple rides for testing, I quickly found the CEP socks to be my favorite pair of the season. As a part of my layering process I liked how the sock extended well past both calves, and ended slightly below my kneecaps. With a light cotton sock underneath the compression socks, the layers not only provided a surprising amount of warmth (which withstood negative degree temperatures for hours at a time), but also kept my feet dry and allowed zero exposed skin from toe to knee due to its length.
Such warmth and skin cover has never been so light, either. My feet felt as if I was wearing little at all while the socks provided the necessary protection.
I haven’t often had issues with cramping or poor circulation, so it’s hard to judge the compression benefits in comparison to other socks. However, the socks felt snug and compressed my ankle muscles, which allowed for a tight, athletic feel – If you feel good, you ride good.
Reviews are often anecdotal, and socks are only socks – but the CEP Ultralight Socks are a product I look forward to using again in their second season.
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