Recently, Chad O'Neal of Diabetic Sock Club
offered to let me try a couple different styles of non-binding sock. I was hesitant at first, given I am not 60+ or diabetic like their core customer base, but Chad assured me that many of their customers just buy them for the comfort. I can also safely assume at least some part of my readership fall into either of those two categories and would find this review beneficial.
The first package I was sent contained several pairs of the Men's Cotton Diabetic Crew Socks
and Men's Ultra-Soft Upper Calf Diabetic Socks
, both in black. The shipping was super quick, only a couple days after ordering. They come in sticker-wrap packages that proudly declare them to be made in the USA, though oddly without any indication of the fabric content which can only be seen on the product page. The fabric content of the Crew Socks is 80% cotton, 15% polyester, and 5% Lycra. For the Ultra-Soft, it is 95% acrylic, 5% Lycra. I do wish that the packaging wasn't a sticker, since removing it from the shaft of the socks was difficult and had me worried that I'd damage them. I found both styles perfect for wearing with my white Vans sneakers or black Florsheim Imperial chukka boots. The first range has six colour options, beyond just black and white: Grey, navy, beige, and brown. As most stylish people know, limiting yourself to just white and black socks restrict your choices in what they can be worn with. These other colour options are nice for wearing with jeans, desert boots, chinos and other such casual attire. The Ultra-Soft only comes in black and white, but to be fair I found them best for lounging around and with actual athletic sneakers, like the Reebok I exercise in. The fit is slightly looser, so keep that in mind before purchasing. The only downside was that the high acrylic content makes them prone to pilling. Overall, I prefer the Crew Socks but the Ultra-Soft have their place.
|Note the open knit.|
Both styles have held up nicely, even after many washes. I found the non-binding top very comfortable and it barely slipped down during the day. These perform well in warmer weather, thanks to the open knit of the shaft, and keep their shape. I might recommend the Ultra-Soft for mild or colder weather though, considering they are almost all acrylic and wear a bit warmer. The only frame of reference I have for non-binding socks is the three pairs of Wigwam 625
I got literally over a decade ago. (To their credit, they are still in my wardrobe albeit worn infrequently now.) Unlike the 625, these do not have any issues with wearing out in the heel after only a few wears, sagging, or losing their shape immediately after putting on. I am considering replacing them in my wardrobe with the Cotton Diabetic Crew Socks in beige, which actually looks like more of a cream if the website is accurate. If and when I purchase them, I'll update this review or make a new post so readers can better see the colour in person.
|A perfect fit for these casual sneakers.|
We discussed things further and found that the Men's Over The Calf Compression Socks would be another good product to review, given that they fit the bill appearance-wise for socks that one can wear with dress shoes and suits, sports coats, or odd trousers. Like the Crew Socks, they are available in six colours: White, black, navy, brown, grey, and tan. I chose the least amount of compression since I don't actually require it and was sent two pairs in navy and brown. My second package arrived just as fast. The compression socks are a bit difficult to put on, but because of that they will never slip down during the entire day you have them on.
|These definitely look the part of over-the-calf dress socks.|
I am slightly concerned about the longevity of these ones since both pairs are already straining near the heel, but so far nothing has actually broken. Reviews on the website have noted the unfortunate tendency to snag on things. The heel seams on mine have worn a bit after just a few wears and now look fuzzy. Additionally, both pairs already have small, horizontal runs in the knitted fabric. These things need to be looked at to make some quality of life improvements. These are 84% nylon and 16% Spandex. The fabric content is not listed on the website or the packaging and it definitely should be. My legs were slightly clammier wearing these than if I had been wearing Merino wool over-the-calf socks, owing to the high nylon content. I think offering this style in cotton or wool blends like other compression sock manufacturers could help solve this problem. The all-synthetic content may be partially to blame for the premature wear issues as well, much like the pilling with the
|The premature wear is problematic.|
However, the great thing about any socks bought from Diabetic Sock Club is that they are guaranteed to last a year. If they do not, they will replace them right away. The only thing they ask is that you include a picture of the problem. Their name comes from the fact that you can subscribe, set the interval for new deliveries, and save on the full price (which is already pretty good for American-made). Or you can just make a one-time purchase if you are unsure about making a commitment or won't be wearing your socks often enough to need a fresh pair very often. I also haven't mentioned that every style of sock is available whether you were born male or female, so you'll definitely find some to fit your feet.
|The heel seams are already quite strained, even from first putting them on.|
I would recommend everyone give the diabetic socks a try at least once, even if you don't have medical conditions that require the use of non-binding hosiery. They are great quality, good for many purposes, light and airy in warmer weather, support American manufacturing, and guaranteed to last. I'm hesitant to recommend the compression socks just yet until there are some quality control issues addressed, but I hope Diabetic Sock Club will be receptive to constructive criticism.
These products were furnished to Nouveau Vintage, free of charge, for the purposes of a review. I have attempted to provide the most objective evaluation I can based on price point, pros, and cons. Thanks again to Chad O'Neal of Diabetic Sock Club.
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