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Colorful socks with designs on them are all the rage now, and ShockSocks claims to make the world’s best sublimated socks.  They sent me a few pairs to try out, and here’s my uncut and unbiased opinion:

QUICK REVIEW:

Aesthetics: A

Quality: B

Comfort: B

Price/Value: B-

Overall: B

While ShockSocks come in 3 styles: ShockSocks Original, A-Game, and Nike Elite, I only tested out the ShockSocks Originals.  The first thing I noticed out of the gate was how vibrant the designs and colors were on these socks.  The detail is really incredible, and they definitely stand out.

The second thing I noticed was how thin these socks were.  You’re not going to want ShockSocks Original on during the cold Chicago winter.  These bad boys are for spring and summertime only.  I hope the A-Game socks are thicker, and I know the Nike Elite socks are- but those will run you about $18.50/pair.

What I liked most about the feel of ShockSocks Original was how they didn’t choke my feet.  Some socks from other brands are so thin that you feel like your lower shin down to your toes are being constricted.  That’s not the case with ShockSocks.  It seems they’ve actually taken the time to look at normal people’s feet and provided a product that will actually feel nice.  How innovative.

If you’re looking to make a statement, you can check out ShockSocks.com and place an order.  Their website isn’t very intuitive, and it takes some poking around to figure out how to customize your socks to your liking.  They also don’t explain the difference between the 3 types of socks you can order, so I’m very curious what the A-Game socks would be like.  Most socks run between $9.50-18.00, depending on what you pick out.

FULL REVIEW:

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From the ShockSocks website:

ShockSocks! Focused on bringing the best socks with great designs to shock the world!
We have great custom, hand-made socks starting with our ShockSocks brand and also great designs on Nike Elite socks as well.

Our everyday LIFESTYLE crew sock is our most popular sock for everyday activities. Great with a suit and tie, khakis and vans, or working out at the gym. All around goodness comes with this super comfortable, one-of-a-kind, ShockSocks original. Colors stay bright due to our unique mesh design. Wear them ALL DAY and still be comfortable from work straight to the gym.

This athletic compression crew sock has been designed specifically with the athlete in mind. Extra padding, compression fit, double thick band, and bright colors combine to give you the look and feel you want on the court. Our mesh design keeps the colors bright even after several washings.

So I put a pair of the ShockSocks Original on my feet.  Like I mentioned in the quick review, they were easy to get on, and fit well.  Peep for yourself:

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I’m a sneakerhead at heart, but my sock game is equally strong.  Stance, the company that partnered with the NBA this season, is killing it right now when it comes to socks with designs on them.  Their socks range from $10-50 a pair (yes, they make $50 socks), but their comparable products to ShockSocks are in the $12-14 range.  If you’re keeping score from earlier, ShockSocks Original and A-Game are $2.50 cheaper a pair, while their Nike Elite versions are $4 more expensive than Stance.  So if you want a thin sock, ShockSocks are a deal, but if you want thick socks, they’re going to cost you more than Stance.

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A few years ago, the higher end sock companies started coming out with socks specifically cut for right and left feet.  Socks like those eliminated the little corners near the big and pinky toes from poking out, which I find annoying most of the time.  I wasn’t particularly bothered by this while wearing the ShockSocks, but I would have been more impressed if they were left and right specific in each pack.

I felt like the ShockSocks logo at the toe was a little overstated.  I know most of the time you’re going to be wearing shoes and no one will see it, but a little subtlety goes a long way in my opinion.  I’d like the look better if the SS with the lightning bolt was about 10% the size.

If you notice from the pictures I’ve posted so far, the pattern holds true while wearing ShockSocks Originals.  I thought for sure I’d pull them on and the look would be distorted.  I figure this goes hand-in-hand with the fact that they’re cut to a comfortable size (as opposed to the tight dress socks you’ll find elsewhere), and I thought this was really cool.  Points ShockSocks Original.

I ran a few pairs of ShockSocks through the wash 4 times.  They look the same as when I first put them on.  Knowing that the colors don’t run and/or fade right away is a huge plus.  I was afraid anything I’d put in the wash with them would be ruined, but that didn’t happen either.  More points, ShockSocks.

If I could give ShockSocks.com some pointers, I’d recommend they explain the difference between clicking on the “Boss Your Socks” and “Shock Socks” links on the front page.  When you click on the “Boss Your Socks” link, you’re brought to a page with 10 different styles on it, with a header that says “Customizable”.  Maybe instead of “Boss Your Socks”, the link should just say “Customize Your Socks”.  Once you’re on the Customizable page, it looks like there’s 3 icons to click on when you hover over each sock style- but it doesn’t matter what you click on, it brings you to the same customization page.  I just thought that was a little odd.  And then the customization interface isn’t very intuitive, either.  It’s clear that you can customize the colors on the socks, but it takes some clicking around to figure out that you have to click color 1, 2, etc. and then choose the color for that part of the pattern.  At first I thought you could only choose the color directly under the color bar, but you can choose any color for any part of the pattern.  If you haven’t checked out the site yet, this is what it looks like:

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So… is Color 1 just black, grey, or light grey? Color 2 red, maroon, tan, or white? etc. How do I do this?

They should also explain what the difference in fit is between ShockSocks Original, A-Game, and Nike Elite.  It isn’t clear, and I haven’t found the information anywhere.  If I’m buying ShockSocks for the first time, I want to know this information before I drop some coin on a pair of socks.  While $9.50-18 for a pair of socks is affordable to me, it’s still expensive, and the buyer should be confident in knowing what they’re getting.

The ShockSocks link on the main page brings you to their non-customizable designs, which is funny because some of the styles there are very similar to the socks available on the Boss Your Socks page.  Whatever.  If you have time to click around on everything, you’ll figure it out, but the average person has a short attention span and might give up easily when using a new merchant’s website.  They also use some very generic fonts on the site that give it an unpolished feel, which to me doesn’t reflect the product at all because the socks are decent.

In closing, personally I prefer thicker socks and would only rock the ShockSocks originals when I need dress socks.  As a dress sock, they’re excellent.  As an everyday or athletic sock, I feel like they’d get destroyed real quick.  Their reps are really nice people though and very responsive, so if you’re in the market for some socks, head on over to ShockSocks.com and give them a look.

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