there is a point in a chap's life when he has the opportunity to sit back, relax and reflect on the fact that the worst is well behind him. an opportunity to rest on one's laurels and take a sensible overview of all that has been successfully achieved. things like shoe size for instance. for there comes that inevitable moment of dawning realisation that one's feet have stopped growing. no more dithering over whether the available footwear in any given shoe shop is available in an appropriate size, when one can confidently order online, safe in the knowledge that when the package arrives, both feet will be satisfactorily catered for.
well, sort of.
i have a number of pairs of cycling shoes in the cycling cupboard, all with the same number stamped upon the outside edge of the box. size 44, as it happens. some of these have fixings for crank brothers cleats, some for the now defunct mavic engendered pedals, and a couple of pairs to fit the latest mavic/time collaboration. i even have a sole pair (see what i did there?) that are for ordinary pedals. most are leather, but one or two feature man made uppers married to carbon or resin soles. the fitting of each varies slightly by make; some have a narrow fit, others the opposite and it will surprise you not to learn that despite all stamped with 44, they're not all the same foot length. but in general, they all fit pretty well.
knowledge of my feet in this manner has vastly simplified the auditioning process when being sent review samples.
however, the fly in the ointment raised its head just prior to christmas 2013 when mrs twmp thought it an excellent idea to purchase a pair of burgundy coloured brogues for everyday wear. wishing to maintain the suprise that is christmas morning in the sitting room, she diligently checked those numbers at the gable end of my cycling shoe boxes and ordered accordingly, then sat back to wait for christmas day.
unfortunately, it appears that the makers of brogues clearly have never worn cycling shoes, preferring to think that mavic is simply the lettering applied to the bonnet of a yellow skoda during the tour de france. the size 44 burgundy coloured brogues were/are just a smidgeon too big. in fact, were it not for the fact that i remembered owning a pair of cushioned insoles, i would resemble one of those circus clowns with large, floppy clown shoes. i am advised that is not a good look.
and if that is truly the case, any pair of socks that i might choose to match with said brogues has need of maintaining comfort, style and, with a bit of luck, a smidgeon of temperature regulation. for on the days when i leave the carbon fibre behind and opt for a more urban approach to both velocipede and attire, i would prefer not to lose the benefits conferred by the more racy pelotonic apparel.
having recently reviewed vulpine's excellent new lightweight thermal jacket, it seemed a highly appropriate move to to top and tail by wearing their also new dogtooth pattern merino and silk socks. in the grand scheme of things, socks are often a less than considered aspect of cycle clothing. it's more usually a case of grabbing whatever happens to be sitting at the front of the drawer, rather than a conscious effort to dig out a specific pair. however, i have no need of being convinced as to the merits of merino, whether constituting a baselayer or footwear. marry that with silk, even in a modest 10% quantity, and the picking of socks may become less of a lottery.
of course, apart from catering to the comfort desires of those tootsies, there is more than just rhyme and reason as to why merino and silk have been brought together in these admittedly fabulous looking socks (is it wrong of me to be so enthused?) for both are ideal for maintaining a comfortable tenperature even in the face of weather inclemency. and in substantial off-the-bike testing, they have also proved to be more than capable, proffering an impressive demeanour when the trouser leg heads north of a finely honed ankle.
vulpine advise matching with one of their storm caps, but mr hussey never was possessed of much in the way of sartorial nous. for who in this day and age matches hats with socks?
wednesday 1 october 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................