Can better socks make you a better person? That sounds like a strange question, but I’m pretty sure that good socks have made me neater, more conscientious, and possibly even easier to live with.
For years I was a plain-white-cotton-sock kind of guy. I thought about socks the same way I thought about vodka: you have to have ’em, but since they all seemed pretty much the same it was a shame to spend any money on them. I begrudged the $8 I spent on a dozen pairs of white cotton crew socks, but I couldn’t find anything cheaper so I bit the bullet.
Many years later, a long and winding trail of shin splints, wretched excess, high cholesterol, and intimations of mortality brought me to a running store. When I kicked off my generic “athletic shoes” and reached for the shiny high-tech Brooks that I would develop a love/hate relationship with over the next year, my fitter gasped at my socks. “You run in those?” he asked, eyeing me suspiciously. “It’s no wonder your feet hurt.”
So I left the store that day with a pair of Brooks Addiction running shoes, and three pairs of running socks that set me back what seemed at the time to be an exorbitant amount of money for something as simple as socks. But over the ensuing weeks I started to change my tune. My feet stopped hurting. My shoes fit better. It was like angels massaging my feet while I ran.
I was never much of a laundry guy. I figured that if some things needed hot and some needed cold, and some needed heavy duty and some needed delicate, then “Normal” and “Warm” should work for everything, right? Not for my new socks. If I was going to spend actual money for socks I decided I had better take care of them. I actually Googled “How to wash socks.” (I’m sure my mother is proud to read that.) The answer: turn them inside-out and wash them in cold, delicate cycle, tumble dry low.
If the socks needed the delicate cycle, I thought, I might as well make a load of it. If I’m going to have a load of delicates, I might as well get a hamper to separate them from the other stuff. If I’m going to have a hamper, I might as well go ahead and put the dirty stuff in it when I take it off instead of making a pile of dirty clothes and dumping them in the hamper when they get in the way. And if you give a mouse a cookie…
Fast forward to today, where I am a veritable laundry czar. The delicates hamper is overflowing with my active family’s performance gear, I wash/dry/fold with the best of them, and socks have stopped turning up in random and inexplicable places in our house.
I’m not saying that Stance Performance Golf socks will change your life, but if that idea sounds impossible to you then I’m confident you’re not wearing Stance Performance Golf socks.
The golf swing is powered by your leverage against the ground. This has led to lots of advances in golf shoes – new and better sole designs, lightweight materials, and running-shoe technology let you grip the turf and exert maximum leverage to power your swing. So what happens to all that leverage if your socks make your feet slide around in your shoes?
Walking an average round of golf means walking anywhere from 5-8 miles. Put in that context who wants to walk 8 miles in dress socks?
But golf is a gentleman’s game – neon lycra is fine for the track but golf demands a certain amount of style, and who doesn’t want to look sharp they’re teeing it up?
Solution you ask? How about Stance Golf Performance socks. With features like Quik Wick fabric and ventilation zones to keep your dogs cool and Stance’s Advanced Cushion Support System to keep them cushioned and deliver outstanding support, I wouldn’t bat an eye at running a half marathon in any of the three pairs that Stance sent for this review, except for one thing: These bad boys look good. These aren’t just high-tech socks for serious athletes, these are good-looking fashion items that add a touch of class to any outfit from the golf course to the office to Sunday brunch.
But I’m not a fashion reporter and this is not a fashion blog. I will say that these socks are every bit as good-looking in person as they are on the web. Fit and finish is very good, and durability has been excellent. After wearing each pair several times I decided that I wasn’t happy with my original set of photos, so I shot them again. The socks you see in these pictures have been worn and washed several times each and still look great.
If looking good was all that mattered you could golf in the same nylon socks you wear with your tassel loafers while you toil away in mergers and acquisitions. What makes Stance Golf Performance footwear a double threat is that Stance has woven in serious athletic pedigree. Since they’re socks let’s start from the bottom, where Stance’s Advanced Cushion Support System translates into a very substantial cushion layer from toe to heel. Besides the obvious benefit of easing the impact on my feet, I found this layer actually helped make my shoes fit better – the loft allowed the socks to compress where my shoes were a bit tight and stay expanded where they were a bit loose, avoiding hot spots on my oddly-shaped feet.
Above this cushion layer is a tightly woven elastic zone that draws the cushion snugly across your foot, particularly in the arch where the additional support helped ease fatigue and keep a spring in my step for a full 18 holes. I won’t go so far as to say that they helped me play better, but after several long, hot tournament rounds my feet were in much better shape than the rest of me.
At the top is a thin, breathable layer that lets you lace your shoes tightly without additional pressure on your instep. This is a huge advantage for folks with tall insteps, since a high instep can make a shoe look clunky, so manufacturers are prone to keep them as low as possible.
Out front is a toe cap that gives your tootsies room to spread out, which is a natural reaction to the need to grip the ground as you transfer weight and turn through the ball. Note that just behind the toe the Stance Performance Golf socks have embroidered “R” for Right and “L” for Left. This is NOT a suggestion. In order for all of this cushiony, stretchy, supportive magic to happen, you absolutely have to wear these socks on the correct feet. That’s the level of engineering we’re talking about here. Just once I put the socks on without paying attention, and I could immediately tell that something was wrong. Trust Stance, they put some thought into this, they’ll take care of you.
Out back is an accommodating heel cup that fits will with no wrinkles or bags. This is always a challenge for me, my duck feet are wide at the front and pointy at the back, and the heel of the Stance Performance Golf socks fits me well, with plenty of elasticity for those with bear paws.
And finally at the very top is what seems to be the hardest part for sock makers to get right – the elastic. The elastic has to walk a delicate line: Too tight and it will drive you nuts, and possibly interfere with circulation, making your feet swell and undoing all the good that Advanced Cushion Support System and Quik Wick fabric have done. Too loose and your socks will fall down. I’m happy to report that Stance got it exactly right – the Sable and (my personal favorite) Lahaina low versions are unobtrusive, but snug enough to keep grass clippings, sand, and random detritus from ending up in my socks. The crew cut Samson is supportive enough that I initially had concerns about being able to wear it all day, but after repeated all-day wearings I’ve found that while it stays quite snug, it never crosses the line and becomes stifling.
In addition to the beauties shown here, Stance Performance Golf socks come in a variety of eye-catching colors and patterns, and with prices ranging from
$10-$22, they deliver a lot of style and tech without breaking the bank.
I won’t promise that Stance Performance Golf socks will make you a better person, but with happy feet anything is possible.
Check out Stance Performance Golf socks, and a whole lot of other cool Stance socks at Stance Website