Lock, Sock, and Two Smoking Barrels

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.

 

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106 Replies to “Lock, Sock, and Two Smoking Barrels”

  1. 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…

  2. With my bike being black/white/gray, it is important to consider that blood can also be introduced at random points during the ride and should compliment and not besmirch the overall aesthetic of the rider and machine. Hence, red highlights on the socks and kit just in case you have a week like I did this week.

  3. I’ve found the secret to achieving a ‘single unit’ shoe sock combo with socks that aren’t the same color as the shoe to be to match the base sock color to the color of the shoe’s sockliner.  In Frank’s photo above that would mean a predominantly black sock.  I have bright red Bont’s similar to Frank’s above and had a hard time for a while because of the contrast with white or any other color sock.  Now I rock them with different pairs of patterned socks that are black at the sock/shoe interface and love the look.

  4. I keep waiting for people to come to senses and make this high sock aborant trend come to an end!

  5. Fuck me Frank, with the turmoil you  clearly put yourself through in dressing correct it’s a wonder you get out the door. I’m a black sock/ black & white shoe guy with white socks only guesting when I’m sufficiently tanned.

  6. @gilly

    Fuck me Frank, with the turmoil you  clearly put yourself through in dressing correct it’s a wonder you get out the door. I’m a black sock/ black & white shoe guy with white socks only guesting when I’m sufficiently tanned.

    I think he has to prepare the day before for each ride.  So there could be an explanation when he comes up with something nuts when the day before prep gets confused with the following day’s prep on the day or the ride and he goes out wearing a split preparation.  If you catch my drift.

  7. @bob

    I keep waiting for people to come to senses and make this high sock aborant trend come to an end!

    A-Merckx.  I’m with you on that, bob.

  8. I don’t get it. Black and/or VVhite shoes with VVhite* socks. 4 inch cuff. End of fucking story for me. Black shorts. Only thing that absolutely must match are the cap and jersey.

    I could make an argument, however, that socks with matching color accents look the business, as long as the base color is white.

    *For extra cold rides I will deploy my Defeet Woolie Boolies, which are dark grey and warm and awesome.

  9. @@BacklashJack

    With my bike being black/white/gray, it is important to consider that blood can also be introduced at random points during the ride and should compliment and not besmirch the overall aesthetic of the rider and machine. Hence, red highlights on the socks and kit just in case you have a week like I did this week.

    Was your crash caused by your mismatched bidon cages?

  10. It’s been emotional.

    Sorry, combine Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Cycling together and I just about misplace my mind.

    Socks; Black, maybe a off colored pair if they fit the rest of the kit. Cant match my shoes or I would be stuck in a endless circle of socks/shoes- shoes/socks inside my head argument.

    Backlash, heal up quick.

    Take care the rest of you

  11. I believe these were made especially for you, Frank: Defeet Aireators to match black and orange Bonts.

  12. I love my Mavics. I love white shoes with just enough bits of black and yellow to make any white sock work, but without clashing every other colour.

    I love socks, and I love them long. 6-inch or death!

  13. As taught in art school…. Black, white and grey are not colors… They are shades.

    Hahahah!

  14. @M Ramos

    As taught in art school…. Black, white and grey are not colors… They are shades.

    Hahahah!

    yea, yea, yea… and Pluto’s not a planet. Whatev… I think maybe I’ll snap a photo of my new white shoes today. Speshy has a new shoe called Audax and they’re white as white can be except for dark grey around the sock collar. Five years from now I might regret the shoes are not patent leather as they couldn’t possibly age as well but instead are some kind of synthetic mat’l. Of course, they didn’t cost Italian patent leather prices. And they’re still pretty darn comfortable. It took me a long time to find white that I liked and these are ALL white: exactly what I wanted. And yep, only work for now with NEW white socks as they are that white. And they go great with BLACK shorts.

  15. @tessar

    We have a local CX race associated with Halloween. It’s good fun. Nothing too serious and costumes add to to scene. Could maybe get away with wearing those socks then! Cheers

  16. @wilburrox

    Have a look at SAKO7 socks then. Takes some nerve to rock those on the local group ride but they look stunning. Life’s too short for boring socks – I either rock the clean whites for racing or wear some colour, either to match the kit or to contrast with it.

    How do you like the Audax? My shoes are nearing retirement age and these look snazzy. Oddly enough there hasn’t been a proper “launch” for these – I just noticed them appear in a few webshops – unlike the recent Venge ViAS and the new S-Works shoes which were all over the web. Though Bont, Giro Empires and the new Spesh Sub-6 lace-ups look intriguing too.

  17. @Mikael Liddy

    Got any experience with these? Full latex construction sounds like it might be the only overshoe in the world that’s actually any good at keeping water out.

  18. I’ve just walked into a girl’s loo by mistake! Quick glance Frank (that’s all it was), I’d say: black and make ’em shorter!

  19. @tessar

    @Mikael Liddy

    Got any experience with these? Full latex construction sounds like it might be the only overshoe in the world that’s actually any good at keeping water out.

    Quick look and they are not expensive so ordered a pair (in a more subdued colour) so will report back.

  20. @tessar

    @wilburrox

    Have a look at SAKO7 socks then. Takes some nerve to rock those on the local group ride but they look stunning. Life’s too short for boring socks – I either rock the clean whites for racing or wear some colour, either to match the kit or to contrast with it.

    How do you like the Audax? My shoes are nearing retirement age and these look snazzy. Oddly enough there hasn’t been a proper “launch” for these – I just noticed them appear in a few webshops – unlike the recent Venge ViAS and the new S-Works shoes which were all over the web. Though Bont, Giro Empires and the new Spesh Sub-6 lace-ups look intriguing too.

    Speshy shoes and Mavics are two brands I can order a certain size and just know they’ll fit. I have more than a few pair of both. The Audax shoes vs s-works are two different shoes as Audax simply has more volume for same size. The s-works fit like exam gloves. I love ’em and can wear ’em all day long but I’m not gonna shove a thick wool socked foot in to them. The Audax? No problem. Plenty of volume. Also, if you’re a fan of custom footbeds, you might be better off with the larger volume Audax. I’ve left strd bed in s-works (its fine) as no room for a fizik bed I’ve also used. The boa enclosures are cool and easy enough though I get along just fine with ratchet straps too. I’ve yet to try the modern lace up shoes.

  21. Holy hell things are complicated. My setup? Black/silver shoes, frame is black w/silver outlines, black shorts (duh), and either a mostly white jersey or my full on Sufferfest “dark side” kit. Why?  It’s fvcking classy. Ride on, gents (and ladies)!

  22. @gilly

    Fuck me Frank, with the turmoil you  clearly put yourself through in dressing correct it’s a wonder you get out the door. I’m a black sock/ black & white shoe guy with white socks only guesting when I’m sufficiently tanned.

    TURMOIL?

    Surely you mean lifestyle. FFS, this is what we do, isn’t it?

  23. @VeloJello

    Not bad; is that helmet custom painted?

    @tessar

    I love my Mavics. I love white shoes with just enough bits of black and yellow to make any white sock work, but without clashing every other colour.

    I love socks, and I love them long. 6-inch or death!

    Now you’re getting ahead of yourself!

    Via our friend the hilarious Winnepeg CycleChick.

  24. All this orange stuff, talk of matching socks, shoes, jerseys, helmet, glasses, gloves, jersey, shorts/bibs, and those boots or booties or whatever, remind me of a time that most agreed this was a bad day for Nairo Quintana.

  25. @Minnesota Expat

    Hear hear.

    Matching colours doesn’t mean the same as going together.

    If you’re wearing an outfit you should be on your way to a Cosplay convention, not a bike ride.

  26. @frank

    @tessar

    I love my Mavics. I love white shoes with just enough bits of black and yellow to make any white sock work, but without clashing every other colour.

    I love socks, and I love them long. 6-inch or death!

    Now you’re getting ahead of yourself!

    That chart only confirms I was right! I’ve got ~20cm between the top of my ankle and the base of the calf muscle. That means a 6-inch cuff even leaves me a few cm short of Looking Pro.

    That being said, while the pros have been rocking some awesome shoes this Tour, the sock choices are beyond awful. Tinkoff’s kit-matching grey socks look like they’ve been ridden in the rain. Too many short cuffs, too many loose fits. Where’s Juul-Jensen when you need him?

  27. @wilburrox

    Speshy shoes and Mavics are two brands I can order a certain size and just know they’ll fit. I have more than a few pair of both. The Audax shoes vs s-works are two different shoes as Audax simply has more volume for same size. The s-works fit like exam gloves. I love ’em and can wear ’em all day long but I’m not gonna shove a thick wool socked foot in to them. The Audax? No problem. Plenty of volume. Also, if you’re a fan of custom footbeds, you might be better off with the larger volume Audax. I’ve left strd bed in s-works (its fine) as no room for a fi’zi:k bed I’ve also used. The boa enclosures are cool and easy enough though I get along just fine with ratchet straps too. I’ve yet to try the modern lace up shoes.

    So Audax are the same length (with more volume) as equivalent S-Works? Amazing. Tried a friend’s S-Works 5 shoes and they were far too narrow – even compared to my Mavics, which everyone says are stupid-narrow but I’ve been happy with they. According to Spesh, the gen-6 shoes (S-Works boa and Sub-6 laces) are wider in the toe-box and narrower in the heel compared to outgoing models – which sounds like a “Mavic-ized” shoe. Can’t wait.

    I admire companies that are meticulous about consistency. I’ve tried four pairs of road Mavics and two MTB models and all had exactly the same fit. I can ride my Zxellium on one foot and my Helium on the other and not even know the difference. That said, they’re definitely on the racier side of things so there’s no space for winter socks…

  28. @tessar

    Mavics I wear are labeled 47 1/3 (yea, 1/3) and Spesh’s are 46.5 w. Yes, agree the Spesh’s are narrow and note I wear the wide versions.

  29. @frank

    @gilly

    Fuck me Frank, with the turmoil you  clearly put yourself through in dressing correct it’s a wonder you get out the door. I’m a black sock/ black & white shoe guy with white socks only guesting when I’m sufficiently tanned.

    TURMOIL?

    Surely you mean lifestyle. FFS, this is what we do, isn’t it?

    Sure is Frank, you’re just doing it better than me right now!

  30. @ChrisO

    @Minnesota Expat

    Hear hear.

    Matching colours doesn’t mean the same as going together.

    If you’re wearing an outfit you should be on your way to a Cosplay convention, not a bike ride.

    Don’t get confused between matching to coordinate and just wearing one color head to toe.

    Speaking of which, lots of Stripper Boots out there today.

  31. @VeloJello

    @ChrisO

    @Minnesota Expat

    Hear hear.

    Matching colours doesn’t mean the same as going together.

    If you’re wearing an outfit you should be on your way to a Cosplay convention, not a bike ride.

    I was…

    How long have you been waiting to post that? +1 badge to you, my friend!

  32. @frank

    @VeloJello

    @ChrisO

    @Minnesota Expat

    Hear hear.

    Matching colours doesn’t mean the same as going together.

    If you’re wearing an outfit you should be on your way to a Cosplay convention, not a bike ride.

    I was…

    How long have you been waiting to post that? +1 badge to you, my friend!

    Now if a kid on a tricycle in a Snow Speeder outfit came by and tangled you up with a rope around your “legs”, that would be a sight.

    Awesome work on the articulation.

  33. @piwakawaka

    @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…

    the answer is here @Haldy, NO no no no.

    Seriously. We aren’t triathletes or cross fit weirdos.

  34. I have the answer @frank, these have a suitably subtle orange highlight to show that you are a true Velominatus but don’t limit you to the relatively unimaginative spectrum of cycling shoe colours. You can know ride in any socks you want.

  35. @frank

    @ChrisO

    @Minnesota Expat

    Hear hear.

    Matching colours doesn’t mean the same as going together.

    If you’re wearing an outfit you should be on your way to a Cosplay convention, not a bike ride.

    Don’t get confused between matching to coordinate and just wearing one color head to toe.

    Speaking of which, lots of Stripper Boots out there today.

    truckload of awesome right there…

  36. 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 .

  37. @tessar @Teocalli @VeloJello in extremely cold or wet conditions (or a combo of both), they are amazing. Completely waterproof & tight enough at the top to not let water seep down in to your feet.

    The only downside to them is once the temps get in to double digits (C) you’re going to see the other effect of putting completely windproof coverings over your feet, which is that there’s no air movement that will help evaporate the sweat your feet will produce. In those temps, you want a pair of Belgian Booties like the pair @frank posted.

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