A Review of Swiftwick VIBE, PURSUIT & ASPIRE socks
You can call it love at first sight. My first experience with Swiftwick Socks was about a year ago. I went to the PGA Superstore to buy a pair of shoes. I wasn’t wearing socks and saw a rack of Swiftwick’s VIBE Zero socks. Long story short, after trying on about a dozen pairs of shoes, I left the store without any shoes, but I bought three pairs of the VIBE Zeros.
I like that all of Swiftwick’s socks have a compression fit. Compression socks are said to improve blood flow and circulation, which in turn leads to greater endurance and performance. I’ve been wearing compression socks on the course over the last year and my feet and legs feel less fatigued after 18 holes. The only negative is that I can no longer tell my wife that I’m too tired to do chores after a round of golf.
I know just hearing the words “compression socks” freaks some people out. They conjure up visions of knee-high socks that squeeze your feet and calves like a boa constrictor at feeding time. Swiftwick’s compression socks, though, are available in a variety of lengths, colors and compression levels to fit your style and comfort. The fit is snug, but not tight. This allows the sock to sit flat and smooth on the foot, thus eliminating excess fabric that can result in blisters.
The VIBE has a unique profile. Most socks are either classified as thin or thick, but the VIBE is essentially two socks in one. The foot bed is plusher than other Swiftwick models. This provides more cushioning and delivers more protection to the toes, heels and achilles. The upper is thin and sleek and is connected to the foot bed with what Swiftwick calls its Linked-Toe technology, which is a seamless way of joining the two parts of the sock. No seams mean less rubbing and irritation, and the end result is a more comfortable sock.
One reason I was drawn to the VIBE Zero is that I prefer a low-cut sock on the course during warmer months. That being said, I’ve always struggled with low-cut socks that slip down to my heel by the third hole. Few things are more annoying on the course than having to dig your sock out of your shoe every few steps. Thanks to the compression fit and the spandex cuff on the VIBE Zero, I don’t have this issue any longer.
The VIBE sock is also constructed from an olefin blend. Olefin is a high performance fabric that not only has superb wicking abilities, but is also as strong as Phil Mickelson’s short game. It is often used in wallpaper and ropes. It resists staining and mildew. You’ll wear out the spikes on your shoes long before you wear out Swiftwick’s VIBE socks.
Since picking up the VIBE, I’ve added Swiftwick’s PURSUIT and ASPIRE socks to my drawer.
If you prefer a thicker sock fabricated from wool, then the PURSUIT is a must try. It is the first 200-needle compression sock made from all-natural merino wool. I’ve sung the praises of merino wool in the past. The natural breathability and wicking properties help to regulate your body temperature throughout the round. Think of it as nature’s high tech fabric.
The PURSUIT possesses a thicker foot bed than the VIBE, while employing the same Linked-Toe technology to eliminate bunching in the toe-box. It also offers a tighter compression that supports the three distinct arches in your foot. Who even knew there were three arches in the foot?
The PURSUIT has become my ‘do anything, go anywhere’ sock. Just this past weekend I wore them on the course with my Foot Joy Icons, then washed them and wore them on Monday to my Crossfit workout.
Swiftwick claims that the ASPIRE is “the most technically advanced sock on the market”. While superlatives can always be debated, one thing is for sure — the ASPIRE is built for speed and performance. Checking in at just 22 grams, the ASPIRE’s weight and ultra thin profile makes it a versatile option that can easily transition from the course to the trail or to the bike.
The ASPIRE possesses a similar compression strength to the PURSUIT, features the same high performance olefin fabric as the VIBE and incorporates Swiftwick’s Linked-Toe technology. If you prefer a thin, lightweight synthetic sock, then the ASPIRE is for you.
Thanks to the overabundance of logos, it is fairly easy to tell which shirts, pants, shoes, gloves and belts Tour players are wearing. Socks for the most part are hidden. Also, due to contract restrictions, brands like Swiftwick can’t always mention which players are wearing its socks…but I can. Here are a few of the best-dressed players on Tour that are known to slip on Swiftwick socks before walking to the first tee.