A Review of Smartwool PhD Cycle Socks

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Smartwool PhD Cycle Socks A Review of Smartwool PhD Cycle Socks www.runnerclick.com

I recently had the chance to try out a pair of Smartwool PhD Cycle socks. I wore them for a weekday short run on the treadmill. It was pouring rain outside and my once beloved waterproof running shell has seen better days. I decided I wanted to keep dry and stay indoors. Despite being a pair of socks geared towards cyclists, I enjoyed my run in the PhD Cycle sock. I’m a big fan of Merino Wool as a material, so I was game to see if these would work for running.


The socks are narrower and specifically made to fit a woman’s foot. I found the small fit fairly well on my foot, but I would have preferred a slightly snugger fit for running. The sock also features a 4 Degree Elite Fit System which ensures that there’s no movement of the sock and it stays put when you’re doing activity. The sock also contains mesh venting to help with breathability. The version of the PhD Cycle that I tried was the Light Elite Cushion which offers very slight padding for the ball of the foot and the heel. I generally don’t enjoy excess padding in my running socks because I find it adds too much bulk, but with the PhD Cycle it was just enough to add comfort and avoid a poofy feeling underfoot.


The sock is made of a material Smartwool called Indestructawool which sounds totally badass. The material is meant to provide comfort and ensure the socks last a long time. The PhD Cycle really feels like it’s made of a tough material. The sock feels lightweight but not thin and flimsy. The Indestructawool material feels like it can hold up even with aggressive use. It also has the extra benefit of banishing stink. The wool doesn’t hold onto odors like other materials do. For someone like me, who has eternally sweaty feet, this is a welcomed feature. At the end of my run, the socks felt pretty wet. Seriously, I sweat a lot. It’s gross. When I took off the socks, my feet felt pretty dry which was a nice surprise. The wool material does a really great job at wicking away sweat.


The socks come in a cute pink and purple color combo with a grey patterned design or a grey and black color option. The back of the heel of the PhD Cycle features the little Smartwool logo which happens to be a cute little stick figure. The version of the sock that I tried was a low-cut version. I’m not usually a fan of low-cut socks because I find they peek out too much from my shoe. I’m more of a no-show sock kind of gal. Still, I didn’t mind the higher cut of the PhD Cycle because they’re so cute.


Favorite Features

  • Color combo
  • Indestructawool fabric
  • Thin forefoot and heel padding

Areas For Improvement

I didn’t find too much to complain about with the Smartwool PhD Cycle sock. I found the low cut heel a bit too loose for my ankle. The top elastic didn’t feel snug enough to keep the sock in place. The sock was very comfortable, but I did find that after my short run my foot felt a little too warm. I definitely see myself wearing these again for runs, but I’ll be saving them for cooler weather. I also see myself wearing these for cycling (their intended use) and hiking. The exceptional ability of the sock to pull moisture away from the foot would make these great for rainy day hikes or runs in slushy snow.