By September 11, 2009

Put ’em up! Men’s sock garters review

Part of safe motorcycling is comfortable motorcycling. Any time spent thinking about discomfort detracts from your ability to pay attention. It might be the weird stitching inside your glove, or how hot your feet are, but that sort of stuff adds up.

I wear tall, wool blend socks (Bridgedale knee high ski socks and SmartWool knee high snowboarder socks) as a way to control sweat and temperature. They work great for keeping my foot temperature as regulated as possible, even if they happen to get wet. Unfortunately, as all socks do, they tend to sag over time. When mid-calf socks turn to “quitters” it’s annoying. When knee high socks slouch inside of an 8″ boot and underneath leather riding pants, it’s a constant source of discomfort. You can’t really reach down and pull them up at a stop light.

I started looking at ways to keep my socks up. And that, my friends, is why you are about to read a review on men’s garters.

So, let’s be clear. These look pretty damn dorky. You may be slightly embarrassed to tell your pals that you’re wearing something only fronted by guys in their 80s.

However, they work, and were a lot more comfortable than I anticipated.

I bought the double clasp garters. I didn’t know what I was doing, and figured that if one clasp was good, two would be better. They work like “real” garters women wear — or so I have been told. There is an oddly-shaped wire part of the clasp, and then a soft rubberized plastic tab with a bulb on it. You put the bulb through the wider part of the oddly-shaped wire and then push it through into a more narrow section, which keeps the clasp attached to your sock. It doesn’t take much getting used to, and I have no problem attaching or detaching the clasps. Each clasp is connected to a leather piece that has a very slight amount of padding.

There is a metal clasp around the garter’s elastic band. This is what keeps the garter around your knee. There’s a metal slide used for tightening the garter. It sucks if you have thinner calves and shins like mine. There is a companion metal piece with teeth on it (OMG TEETH) that keeps the metal slide from moving while you walk. Unfortunately if you have smaller legs the metal keeper doesn’t stay down, which allows the garter to loosen a little over time. Despite this annoyance, the garters have never loosened up to the point that the garter failed.

Here’s a shot of the leather tab that attaches the clasps to the elastic band. You have to be picky about where you put the tabs. If I put them too close to the side of my knee the garter rubs uncomfortably on my baby soft skin. I have worn the garters for six days at work, so that’s about fifty-four hours of use if you count my commute. I am ready to take the garters off by the end of the day, but they have never been too uncomfortable to wear.

They work very well. I’ve noticed that my socks slouch just a bit at the ankle. I have no idea how to fix that, so I try not to think about it. The garters keep my socks up and I’ve never even had to adjust them once.

I have no idea where to get men’s garters in meatspace. Maybe a department store that sells tie tacks, kiltie loafers, and other old guy shit. I bought mine from Amazon, but I am sure you can find them elsewhere. I don’t even know if paying $8 is a good price or not. What I do know is that no one saw me buy them and look at me like I was J. Edgar Hoover. And that’s definitely worth $8 plus shipping.

Strongly recommended, especially if you ride.

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