I'm a big fan of Keen shoes, and I love stuff made from Merino. I was expecting quite a lot from these Keen Springwater socks. They don't disappoint.
They are made from a clever mix of 50% merino wool and 50% synthetic stuff. In my experience, it's pretty important to get this mix right. Too much synthetic stuff and the smell-stopping merino can't work its magic. Too much wool and holes start appearing too quickly. So far, the evidence suggests Keen have got it right.
These are right and left specific, which makes them fit like the proverbial. The size I tested is marked as a (European) 37-42. I take a 43 or 44 in cycling shoes. Best to err on the small side, as with most socks.
The socks are bike specific in that they have a different material under the forefoot to provide a bit of cushioning. There's a bit more material around the ankle too to relieve pressure from the lip and cup of the shoe. The top is made from a mesh to give a bit of ventilation and the toe is seamless to stop them bunching up. That is what it says on the tin and I can confirm that it all works rather well.
The wool comes from Australia and the socks are made in the USA. That, combined with the clever features and the left and right specific cut, will explain the price then.
I love wearing these all day long, before during and after rides. And again the next day and the day after. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for.
Ultra-comfy left and right specific cycling socks that (almost) never go smelly.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Keen Springwater Socks
Size tested: 5-9
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
This is what Keen says:
To match the comfort, performance and casual style of our best-selling Springwater Bike Shoe, the Springwater Bike Sock puts soft breathable merino fibers where bikers need them. The instep features a mesh weave for extreme breath ability, while strategically placed cushioning under the forefoot and on the ankle provide impact cushion and Achilles comfort.
- Bike Specific Impact cushioning on forefoot and pressure point cushion on ankle
- Left and right design for optimal fit
- Mesh vent on top of foot for extreme breathability
- Seamless toe in flex zone to avoid bunching and chafing
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
They are made from 50% Australian merino wool, 44% Nylon, 3% spandex and 3% polyester
They seem very well made and haven't fallen apart yet.
Great to wear on and off the bike and you have to wear them a REALLY long time to get them smelly. Gotta love merino.
So far, so good. In my experience merino socks last less long than synthetic ones, but I'm hoping the clever mix of nylon and merino will mean these last longer. Certainly no signs of wear after a month's intensive use.
Very comfy. Did I mention I love merino? The right materials have been used in the right places.
They are a bit expensive for a pair of socks, they're even more expensive than DeFeet merino socks (though not by much), but you do get quite a lot of different materials put together in a clever way, and they are right and left specific. I reckon it's a price worth paying.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great, I wore them all day, and then again the next day. And the next day.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They are comfy and they (almost) never get smelly.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They would be better if they were cheaper.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cervelo Dual
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, Audax