Bikerumor Review: Teko Cycling Socks from Recycled Bottles

teko cycling socks made from recycled plastic water bottles for an environmentally responsible athletic clothing choice thats good for running triathlon and adventure racing gear

Bikerumor.com Review: Teko’s TekoPOLY cycling socks are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, making them just about the greenest choice when it comes to athletic footwear.  We passed out four pair to our reviewers, which included mountain bikers and triathletes, and put them through their paces…literally.

Teko takes a lot of pains to get solid green cred, making minimal impact on the planet with such manufacturing and sourcing practices as:

  • 100% wind powered
  • U.S. knitting (in North Carolina!  Hooray!)
  • Recycled materials for packaging
  • TekoPOLY polyester is 100% recycled (65% post-industrial waste / 35% post-consumer…ie. bottles)

Their recycling and manufacturing process yields polyester yarn that they claim is equivalent to virgin polyester produced from petroleum, but doesn’t use a single drop of new oil to make.  They say it wicks well, is super supple and prevents chafing.  Based on our tests, we agree completely.  They performed exceptionally well, are very comfortable, and we highly recommend them.  In fact, there’s only one tiny thing we can say bad about them, but it’s minor.

Read ‘more’ for the full review…

Tester comments and rating at the bottom, but first…

TECHNICAL INFO, FIT AND CONSTRUCTION:

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Shown here is the TekoPOLY Unisex UltraLight Minicrew (we also tested the Men’s Low and Women’s Low).  This is the XL on my size 13 foot.

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The toe section is slightly reinforced, but the real technical feature worth mentioning is the “seamless” construction.  The bits of thread that define the transition from foot to toe are on the outside.  It does make the sock look a little rough around the edges, but it means there’s nothing on the inside to rub you the wrong way.  None of the stitching is bulky in any way that would cause discomfort or lumps, bumps or ridges.

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The center band wraps underneath the foot.  I can’t say it offered noticeable compression, but the sock certainly stayed in place and never bunched up.

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Sometimes, when you get an XL size sock, there are parts that are a little loose, as if they’re made for too-big feet.  The Teko socks are very form fitting without being too tight.

TESTER COMMENTS:

Rob – Size L
I really liked them, they were very comfortable and it’s good to know they are made from recycled stuff.  They’re just slightly bulkier than some of the cycling socks I’m used to, but that’s nothing that would keep me from wearing them.  Comfort-wise, I like them about the same, but they get the edge because they’re “greener” than the rest.
Marisa - Size L (womens)
…Like a glove. Lookout Gucci, Armani, Prada, Dior, and Smart Wool…my sock drawer and money will be spent on Teko Socks. Anything labeled recycled, environmentally-friendly, and machine wash and dry friendly, I am sold.
I was not expecting profound performance and wear-ability when I first slipped these socks on my feet. So, in a sense they exceeded my expectations and then some. I wear these socks on training runs, road racing, and cycling rides and I have yet to complain of sweaty, smelly feet or blisters. Ya know how some socks get “eaten” by your shoes, crinkle under you feet, and seemingly increase your foot size making your shoes all of a sudden two sizes too small? Not these suckers. They are lightweight, breathable, soft, blister-resistant, and quick-drying. I would trade a case of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for a pair.  (That is saying a lot.) Cons: Somewhat expensive $11-$12 per pair. Unless you visit their website, you’ll have trouble finding a pair.
Mick – Size M
Overall, I’d give them about 7 of 10. The M/L socks were a bit big on my size 7 foot but not to the point of being unwearable.  They did not create wrinkles or other discomfort and no blisters. They held up well in the wash (washed 7 times at this point) with no fading or shrinkage. They breathe well, very comfortable and good wicking, feet did not feel sweaty at all.  I did a 4 hour ride in them and no issues problems at all with moisture, wrinkling or blisters. OK for running too – several bike/run bricks in them and no issues.  I like the “no seam” construction and the ankle height was good – some socks are too tall.
Tyler – Size XL
These socks are as comfortable as anything else, they fit really well and they have a “dry” feeling to them. They’re very light, I didn’t notice the “slightly thicker”-ness that Rob described, and they felt smooth in both trainers and cycling shoes. I’ve washed and worn them many times and they aren’t showing any signs of wear, other than the one thing all cycling socks seem to suffer from: Big toe toenail damage. Yes, like any cycling socks, if you don’t keep your big toe toenail well trimmed, it’ll wear a hole through. At the end of the testing period, one of my socks had a small hole started. Of course, *cough* my toenail was long purely in the interest of science and testing these socks…Overall, I really like them, and the next time I buy socks, these are at the top of my list.

BIKERUMOR RATING:

Overall, everyone was very pleased with the socks’ comfort, performance and fit. They’re about $1 or $2 more per pair than similar socks from other brands, but they’re the only ones we’ve seen that have such green cred. Other than better reinforcement of the toe area, there’s not much we’d say could be improved. As such, we’re giving them 4.5 thumbs up…make them toe-nail proof and they’re a solid Five!

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OTHER SOCKS FROM TEKO AND SUSTAINABILITY NOTES:

Teko makes a lot of other socks, too, for hiking, running, skiing and just about any other outdoor activity you can think of.  Besides the TekoPOLY recycled polyester, they have TekoMERINO and TekoCOTTON.  The Merino is sourced from sustainably farmed organic, uh, sheep from certified organic farms in Argentina.  The cotton is organic Supima cotton, the same cotton used in top shelf men’s dress shirts, that’s grown in Switzerland, where the electricity used to spin the cotton comes from renewable water power.  There’s a lot more to the story of each of the three fibers used by Teko, all of which is explained on their website.  Given everything that goes into the sustainability, it’s a wonder the socks only cost $1 or $2 more than other brands.

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