Review: Rapha Oversocks

Review: Review: Rapha Oversocks

Vibrant and relatively hard-wearing, they do exactly as required but at a cost (but you do look a little bit PRO when wearing them!) 7/10

When I was a youth I went to London on the train, I think I was about 17 years old. How do I recall my age? Well it was just after Take That had done a music video dressed in Versace Snakeskin trousers – and let me tell you they were pretty awesome! (hard to imagine but a Google image search doesn’t come up with a picture of them boys wearing them – that’s what it was like back in ’93!)

So obviously I wanted a pair, so off I pootled up to the Big Smoke for a psi – right up until the moment when I saw the price tag and found they were £4,000 a pair – Ai Carumba I said as I slinked out of the shop!

So determined was I to spend some money that I went to the DKNY store, possibly on Regent Street, and looked at a suit. Well, clearly we were not in TopMan because this suit, although very nice indeed, was still around the £2,000 mark – and to make maters worse, it wasn’t even finished.

In my country-bumpkin manner I told the assistant that it was way too long, too which she replied in her world-weary manner that all the trousers are left unheeded so they can be tailored to suit the purchaser – man did I feel stupid!

So out of DKNY I went. I did end up with less money that day, I purchased a glorious electric bus satin shirt – living the Vida Loca style for sure!

Now, how is any of this relevant to a pair of Rapha Oversocks?

Well to start with the socks come ‘unfinished’, that is to say that you cut your own hole into the soles yourself.  I’m not 100% sure why this is the case, maybe it’s the symbolism of it all, maybe its to enable you to get the cut exactly in the place you want, either way it’s slightly discomforting to cut into them I find.socks1

It’s not the feeling that you are breaking them, rather I found it slightly disconcerting that I may be making a mistake in my cut and nausing it up! Thankfully after chafing from one knife to another to scissors and then back to a freshly sharpened kitchen knife all was well – the cut was made, in the right place and to the right length.

Oversocks are worn on those days when it’s a little bit too chilly for a plain shoe and sock combo, but not cold or wet enough for a full-on neoprene bootie – conveniently enough that seems to fit a great deal of UK time.

I went for the , sorry Chartreuse, colour, figuring that in combination with the rapid movement it will aid my low-light visibility – and I am happy to report that I’ve not been knocked off whilst wearing them so I have scientifically proven them to work!socks3

They fit over the shoe nice and snuggly, the first time is definitely a little trickier than later attempts, but its not an issue on normal shoes – make sure that your shoe closure system is set correctly before putting them on because obviously you won’t be able to make any adjustments afterwards.

Being windproof they obviously keep the wind out, but this in turn means that you feat won’t be ventilated well at all, so as the day warms up you may well find the feet getting too hot.

I wear mine in the mornings and evenings predominantly, just to keep the cold at bay, perfect for spring and autumn days when its chilly, but when its foul in the winter they don’t stand up to the elements so well – for that neoprene was invented!

They keep drizzle and mild rain away from the foot pretty well, but on wet roads the spray will get through pretty easily, but with the wind proofing the foot doesn’t freeze.socks 2

They wash nicely and regain their vibrancy easily, with the loose threads that start to form I am a little nervous – so it’s sensible to perhaps wash them in a bra-bag (boys ask your mothers what that is) to stop them from getting thrashed around too much.

Ok they are expensive, and you have to cut them yourself, and lets be honest – if you walk too much on them you will wear holes in them fairly rapidly. Other retailers sell similar for 1/4 of the price, it’s hard to argue with such a saving when its that large but not all fabrics offer such resistance to wear.

I’ve walked far too far in them and they have withstood the friction well, better than my previous overstocks (£15 reduced to £5, big French company) so in that respect they have done a decent job – but still £25 is a lot.

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