Classic witte socks

Lock, Sock, and Two Smoking Barrels

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It used to be that you could choose any color shoes you wanted, so long as they were black and any color socks, so long as they were white. Easy times, those. Then Gianni gave me his White Ladies and all of a sudden my life was complicated.

First of all, the shoes were so beautifully white in their gleaming patent leather that only the whitest of white socks looked white enough. Wear them twice and into the “rain sock” pile they went. The real “rain socks” were even worse, because they were actually dingy and I simply couldn’t deal with the contrast. So then I started wearing black socks in bad weather. Fortunately, white shoes with black socks looks much better than you’d think, although it looks worse than white on white or black on white.

So then I was changing sock color depending on the weather.

The great thing about a pair of White Ladies with white socks is it turns the foot/ankle into a single visual unit, almost like a perpetual pair of overshoes, and everyone knows overshoes always look rad. Very good for motivation when the V-Bank is running a little low on funds.

Then I got my custom orange Bonts, and things really became a mess. Somehow, the extra orange means I have to match my socks to my jersey, otherwise it all looks out of balance; white socks with the Witte jersey, and black socks with the Zwarte jersey. Which is practical because I always wear black in the rain.

But what about that perpetual overshoe look for which I’ve declared my undying love? Orange socks and orange shoes, is it too much? Apparently the answer to that question depends on my mood and how tan my guns are, because I really dug it yesterday but some days I can’t take it because it might be a tad too fluoro. Except I’m kind of liking fluoro again.

So now I’m matching my socks to my jersey unless I match them to my shoes. To make matters worse, my socks are a bit long, I’m afraid. But with my tan line in full swing, I’m committed to the length for the remainder of the season at least. At which point I’ll probably like the sock length.

Somebody call a doctor.

 

// Etiquette // Kit // La Vie Velominatus // Look Pro // Tradition

  1. @1860

    Oh, dear

    Bundy was obsessed with clean, white socks. Yes, really. He notes in the book, “Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer,” that “Socks are such a serious part of my life. They’re so very important to me.” Bundy loved the fact that he “possessed” so many clean white socks that he was proud when his possessions were read out in court & his socks were mentioned during the proceedings.

  2. @frank Whilst indulging in a bit of gun envy, I couldn’t help noticing that your magnificent tan doesn’t make it past the knee. Is this article a prelude to a confession about your stripper boots?

  3. @chris

    @frank Whilst indulging in a bit of gun envy, I couldn’t help noticing that your magnificent tan doesn’t make it past the knee. Is this article a prelude to a confession about your stripper boots?

    Unless you cycle a recumbent (Merckx forbid!), the tan will always be stronger above the knee…

  4. Great timing! Just got the VMH her first pair of cycling shoes, some white Gaernes. (wow, is it hard to find mtn. shoes for women that aren’t horrendous!) Now I’m working on talking her into taller socks; she prefers ankle socks, I’m trying to get her into some higher ones.

    Heading to a friend’s cabin in Ontario tomorrow for a solid week of lake time. As it turns out, we’ll be 45 minutes from a stretch of the Trans-Canadian trailway. Can’t wait to do some gravel riding there.

  5. Oh, and I’ve always been a fan of tall socks. Went mid-calf during my lacrosse days when the style was ankle. And now during pick-up soccer I still can’t handle not wearing pulled-up soccer socks, even though I don’t wear shin guards.

  6. @steelhead

    White Shoes , De Feet 5inch Cyclismo Socks in any of their given colors as long as the sock color coordinates with the kit . End of story .

    The Cyclismos are indeed the beezkneez. And the whole obsession with V-inch cuffs is what got me down this path of too-long socks.

  7. @mouse

    @Mikael Liddy

    I second that.

    Velotoze are simply awesome. They are the only over bootie that I’ve ever used that I can guarantee that I’ll have dry feet after 2 hours in torrential rain. (You might have a bit of sweat build up as they don’t breathe, but you’ll have clean shoes and warm feet!) I’ve worn them in 4 degrees and pouring rain and they were warm (enough). Everything else was fucked though.

    They are fragile. I’ve had a few tears in the bottom where I’ve accidentally stepped my instep over a stair tread. In spite of that, they’re holding together brilliantly. I expect that I’ll get a full winter season out of them, so long as I’m careful. Given their price, even if I do need another pair, I’ll consider it worth it.

    Suffice it to say that I have no less than 5 pairs of other neoprene booties sitting in my drawer. They are staying there unused because it’s nice to know that I can go ride knowing that I’ll have dry feet.

    Interesting. I may have to consider this! I don’t mind the wet shoes normally, but I’m not a huge fan of the sopping wet shoe going on after sitting in the locker all day…

  8. Ahem, for fans of orange…

  9. @frank

    Stuff your wet shoes with newspaper. Soaks all the water out. Wrap them in it too for the outer leather.

  10. @Ron

    Ahem, for fans of orange…

    Spong! That is geet lush!

  11. @tessar

    @chris

    @frank Whilst indulging in a bit of gun envy, I couldn’t help noticing that your magnificent tan doesn’t make it past the knee. Is this article a prelude to a confession about your stripper boots?

    Unless you cycle a recumbent (Merckx forbid!), the tan will always be stronger above the knee…

    A-merckx to that. Occasionally the rear calves get tanned more too, given I live in the east and ride east to west most mornings.

  12. @VeloJello

    @frank

    Stuff your wet shoes with newspaper. Soaks all the water out. Wrap them in it too for the outer leather.

    I actually use these, which also de-stink them:

    http://www.evo.com/boot-dryers/dryguy-drystix.aspx

  13. @VeloJello

    Yep, my rear calves are also quite dark, thanks to some pretty strong morning sun here in the Middle East.

    For a while I used to ride a north-south route quite often, and ended up with my left side significantly more tan than the right. Early morning out, mid-noon back.

  14. @tessar

    You would appear to have proven that an all over tan van be achieved by other methods than resorting to a recumbent. Well done.

  15. Mix and match. Old school bike and jersey. New school socks. Stripes and plaid.

  16. @Ron

    Ahem, for fans of orange…

    Frank will be hyperventilating

  17. Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

  18. @Teocalli @Ron @VeloJello

    Even the crankarm is tumescent!

  19. @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    In the winter months, my VMH walked in on me mid-undress after taking off the bibs and jersey, prior to removing my leg warmers. Quite the sight I’m sure. I suspect stronger language was said inside her head (based upon the expression on her face).

  20. @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    My wife tells people that I look like I’m wearing an old timey bathing suit when I get out of the shower. She also doesn’t think that’s sexy, but I can’t win ’em all.

  21. @Owen

    @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    My wife tells people that I look like I’m wearing an old timey bathing suit when I get out of the shower. She also doesn’t think that’s sexy, but I can’t win ’em all.

    Mine is creeped out by men with hairy legs and thinks the sexiest look is a scrawny holocaust-survivor’s upper body.

    I hit the jackpot, yo.

    Except she has serious – SERIOUS – questions about the length of my socks. As in, relationship-challenging questions.

  22. @Ccos

    @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    In the winter months, my VMH walked in on me mid-undress after taking off the bibs and jersey, prior to removing my leg warmers. Quite the sight I’m sure. I suspect stronger language was said inside her head (based upon the expression on her face).

    Funny, I always roll up my shorts and take off the leg warmers first. Just to avoid that awkwardness. Same thing with the arm warmers.

    That’s how I dress, too.

  23. @frank Good man. Thanks for toeing the line, as always. Complicated times indeed. My current (toe?) jam is a pair of near-schoolgirl length lovelies festooned with roses and flamenco dancers. May God have mercy on my soul.

  24. @frank

    @Owen

    @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    My wife tells people that I look like I’m wearing an old timey bathing suit when I get out of the shower. She also doesn’t think that’s sexy, but I can’t win ’em all.

    Mine is creeped out by men with hairy legs and thinks the sexiest look is a scrawny holocaust-survivor’s upper body.

    I hit the jackpot, yo.

    Except she has serious – SERIOUS – questions about the length of my socks. As in, relationship-challenging questions.

    She wears low cut socks. Maybe I should start asking questions too, but she has excellent taste in kit otherwise.

  25. @frank

    @Ccos

    @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    In the winter months, my VMH walked in on me mid-undress after taking off the bibs and jersey, prior to removing my leg warmers. Quite the sight I’m sure. I suspect stronger language was said inside her head (based upon the expression on her face).

    Funny, I always roll up my shorts and take off the leg warmers first. Just to avoid that awkwardness. Same thing with the arm warmers.

    That’s how I dress, too.

    Well, yeah, otherwise she might think you’re trying on her unmentionables. And that leads down roads you might not wish to go down. Maybe you would, I don’t know you and wouldn’t judge even if I did.

  26. @Cyclechick

    @frank Good man. Thanks for toeing the line, as always. Complicated times indeed. My current (toe?) jam is a pair of near-schoolgirl length lovelies festooned with roses and flamenco dancers. May God have mercy on my soul.

    So long as you use them during CX Season, you can just blame the PNW CX Scene.

  27. @Haldy

    Ahh..the varied choices of sock length…at this time of year..I pull the old school trackie card and go with the ultra low socks…

    You look so magnificent otherwise.

  28. @frank

    @Haldy

    Ahh..the varied choices of sock length…at this time of year..I pull the old school trackie card and go with the ultra low socks…

    You look so magnificent otherwise.

    Why thank you my good sir…I have been waiting for someone to notice the inverted order of sock length…Dave on the bottom of the track has the tallest socks, Ted has the mid( I’d call it classic) length, while as stated I am sporting the trackie ultra short style. Mind you..I don’t always, but on the hot days I opt for the shortest length.

  29. It has been an act of wilful disobedience but when Mr Claus delivered anklet length “running” socks from a yoga outfitter I have not been able to proffer an excuse to the VMH as to why they’ve not be worn.
    She hasn’t accepted that what may be suitable for some is not The Way.

    I do admire @frank for the restraint in not going for a title of “Lock, Sock and Two Smoking Guns”, though perhaps this was a recovery ride photo.

    A tangent from “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” takes us to Vinnie Jones, from there to his role in Snatch and his line “Avi, pull your socks up!”

    I can now see a new phrase for the lexicon. When you and a team mate are about to accelerate away from the pack, a quick “pull your socks up” warning indicates that he should get his head down, hands in the drops and all hell is about to break loose.

    A variation would be to tell your opponent to pull their socks up, at which point he/she pauses & looks down at their well matched sock/shoe combo (hopefully they will have spent as much time agonising over the combination as frank and would be shocked to think they’re not at the right height), at which point you are off down the road.

  30. @Owen

    @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    My wife tells people that I look like I’m wearing an old timey bathing suit when I get out of the shower. She also doesn’t think that’s sexy, but I can’t win ’em all.

    I may have told this story before but a couple of years ago my wife and family had come out to visit me in Abu Dhabi, and of course here I have pretty strong year-round tan lines. I think at this point they were particularly well developed.

    Bear in mind I only get conjugal visits every 4-6 weeks so you have to make the most of every opportunity.

    I was in the walk-in shower of my en suite bathroom when I noticed my wife in the bedroom looking in at me.

    A few seconds later I glanced back and she was still looking quite intently. What else could she be doing but admiring my lean physique and toned muscles?

    Then she started to walk towards the bathroom. “Hello !” I thought, this could be interesting. “She can’t even wait.”

    At which point she delivered the outcome of what had clearly been a very different train of thought to the one I had imagined. “Your tan lines look utterly ridiculous.”

    Instant deflation, both mental and physical.

  31. @ChrisO

    @Owen

    @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    My wife tells people that I look like I’m wearing an old timey bathing suit when I get out of the shower. She also doesn’t think that’s sexy, but I can’t win ’em all.

    I may have told this story before but a couple of years ago my wife and family had come out to visit me in Abu Dhabi, and of course here I have pretty strong year-round tan lines. I think at this point they were particularly well developed.

    Bear in mind I only get conjugal visits every 4-6 weeks so you have to make the most of every opportunity.

    I was in the walk-in shower of my en suite bathroom when I noticed my wife in the bedroom looking in at me.

    A few seconds later I glanced back and she was still looking quite intently. What else could she be doing but admiring my lean physique and toned muscles?

    Then she started to walk towards the bathroom. “Hello !” I thought, this could be interesting. “She can’t even wait.”

    At which point she delivered the outcome of what had clearly been a very different train of thought to the one I had imagined. “Your tan lines look utterly ridiculous.”

    Instant deflation, both mental and physical.

    Mine came out of the shower after Saturday’s ride with a look of horror on her face.

    “Look at my tan-lines!”

    “Yeah, well, we can get knee-covers or better sunblock if you’re concerned about that…”

    “No, for heaven’s sake, LOOK at them! They’re double now!”

    Turns out what worried her was that those wide grippers on her fancy new bibs are not exactly light-blocking, which resulted in her razor-sharp lines becoming two separate lines.

  32. A shipment arrived from Down Under…

  33. @tessar

    Some of this is getting indistinguishable from every day socks. Not sure whether that is good or bad. I’m tending towards bad.

  34. @Teocalli

    @tessar

    Some of this is getting indistinguishable from every day socks. Not sure whether that is good or bad. I’m tending towards bad.

    My everyday socks are plain black. In my defence, though, the left half of the shipment isn’t mine. Plain kit needs some contrast, and socks are a great way to achieve that. Same with team kit (until we get team-issue socks, that is).

  35. @tessar

    @Teocalli

    @tessar

    Some of this is getting indistinguishable from every day socks. Not sure whether that is good or bad. I’m tending towards bad.

    My everyday socks are plain black. In my defence, though, the left half of the shipment isn’t mine. Plain kit needs some contrast, and socks are a great way to achieve that. Same with team kit (until we get team-issue socks, that is).

    In the winter cycling socks = everyday socks. DeFeet’s merino socks are awesome.

    Too awesome in fact. Mrs Chris has taken to to borrowing them on cold nights. At least they’re warm when I go to work the next morning.

  36. @chris

    In the winter cycling socks = everyday socks. DeFeet’s merino socks are awesome.

    It’s the other direction that has me concerned.

  37. @Owen

    @frank

    @Ccos

    @DeKerr

    Tan lines – In the shower after yesterday’s ride I noticed the longer sleeve of the new jersey has resulted in a two-tone tan on the upper arm. Excitedly showed it off to the wife – she thinks I’m a dork.

    In the winter months, my VMH walked in on me mid-undress after taking off the bibs and jersey, prior to removing my leg warmers. Quite the sight I’m sure. I suspect stronger language was said inside her head (based upon the expression on her face).

    Funny, I always roll up my shorts and take off the leg warmers first. Just to avoid that awkwardness. Same thing with the arm warmers.

    That’s how I dress, too.

    Well, yeah, otherwise she might think you’re trying on her unmentionables. And that leads down roads you might not wish to go down. Maybe you would, I don’t know you and wouldn’t judge even if I did.

    More simple than that: I don’t like hearing the elastic crack when I roll the bibs up over my thighs (smiling emoticon).

  38. @tessar

    That is some heavily ingrained Rules compliance in that woman.

  39. @Teocalli

    @chris

    In the winter cycling socks = everyday socks. DeFeet’s merino socks are awesome.

    It’s the other direction that has me concerned.

    Can we make an exception for argyle? Because that’s just fun.

  40. @Owen

  41. @chris

    @tessar

    @Teocalli

    @tessar

    Some of this is getting indistinguishable from every day socks. Not sure whether that is good or bad. I’m tending towards bad.

    My everyday socks are plain black. In my defence, though, the left half of the shipment isn’t mine. Plain kit needs some contrast, and socks are a great way to achieve that. Same with team kit (until we get team-issue socks, that is).

    In the winter cycling socks = everyday socks. DeFeet’s merino socks are awesome.

    Too awesome in fact. Mrs Chris has taken to to borrowing them on cold nights. At least they’re warm when I go to work the next morning.

    There is so much wrong in this post, I don’t know where to start.

  42. @frank

    @chris

    @tessar

    @Teocalli

    @tessar

    Some of this is getting indistinguishable from every day socks. Not sure whether that is good or bad. I’m tending towards bad.

    My everyday socks are plain black. In my defence, though, the left half of the shipment isn’t mine. Plain kit needs some contrast, and socks are a great way to achieve that. Same with team kit (until we get team-issue socks, that is).

    In the winter cycling socks = everyday socks. DeFeet’s merino socks are awesome.

    Too awesome in fact. Mrs Chris has taken to to borrowing them on cold nights. At least they’re warm when I go to work the next morning.

    There is so much wrong in this post, I don’t know where to start.

    I’m struggling to see what’s wrong with the first line? Nice pair of dark grey socks, black brogue boots worn with a suit. Perfect winter kit.

    The second line might be a little bit iffy but it’s fairly tame compared with the descriptions of folk being interrupted whilst clad only in leg warmers or Mrs ChrisO’s deflation of his long awaited conjugal.

  43. @frank

    Too late. Already wore them to work.

  44. @Owen

    @chris

    @frank

    @chris

    @tessar

    @Teocalli

    @tessar

    Some of this is getting indistinguishable from every day socks. Not sure whether that is good or bad. I’m tending towards bad.

    My everyday socks are plain black. In my defence, though, the left half of the shipment isn’t mine. Plain kit needs some contrast, and socks are a great way to achieve that. Same with team kit (until we get team-issue socks, that is).

    In the winter cycling socks = everyday socks. DeFeet’s merino socks are awesome.

    Too awesome in fact. Mrs Chris has taken to to borrowing them on cold nights. At least they’re warm when I go to work the next morning.

    There is so much wrong in this post, I don’t know where to start.

    I’m struggling to see what’s wrong with the first line? Nice pair of dark grey socks, black brogue boots worn with a suit. Perfect winter kit.

    The second line might be a little bit iffy but it’s fairly tame compared with the descriptions of folk being interrupted whilst clad only in leg warmers or Mrs ChrisO’s deflation of his long awaited conjugal.

    You’re making it worse. Brogue boots? If you must go brogue (oxfords, not brogues) then at least keep it low. And wear fucking dress socks; DeFeet wool socks with a suit? FFS.

    And conjugal visits notwithstanding, socks to bed for any gender is just inexcusable.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqZcYPEszN8

  45. @Owen

    @frank

    Too late. Already wore them to work.

    Considering you’re wearing what appears to be shorts and sneakers to work, I think you’re OK wearing whatever fucking socks you want.

    I thought you meant argyle on the bike.

  46. @frank

    This is admittedly unusual for me. Sneakers, sure, shorts almost never. But since riding to work regularly happens socks like this are a normal part of my mornings and afternoons. After all, socks can be any damn color I want.

  47. @frank

    When my train company starts heating the trains on a regular basis, boots and woolly socks it is for the winter.

    I’ll mention your disapproval to Mrs Chris.

  48. @frank

    Having just seen a picture of you failing to understand the relationship between collars and ties, I’m not going to pay too much attention to your advice on off the bike sartorial matters.

  49. @frank

    That saddle to bar drop is impressive.

    Having just bought a pair of pure white shoes this season, I quite like the black on white look. White on black makes me feel like I’m making the horrible mistake of wearing white socks with dress shoes.

  50. Thought this was a reasonably appropriate article to resurrect, given that it’s partly about orange shoes. I have a nagging desire to stray from my usual choice of white shoes and give orange a try. Sidi do some road shoes in that colour, but another company that also makes them is Gaerne, a brand about which I know next to nothing. Anybody got any experience with their shoes and care to offer an opinion re quality?

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