Joy of Sox, day 5 – Lin

Started by Ken Wong and Hillary Lin in 1991, Lin is today one of the largest hosiery manufacturers on the planet. A truly global company, Lin has factories all over the world, and they produce their own machinery, allowing them a very high level of control over design, quality, and distribution. They produce not just hiking and cycling socks, but also medical socks, compression socks, and custom socks. The breadth of their selections are almost overwhelming – I noted 82 designs in their Wild Habitat line alone.

Their Performance socks with CoolMax® are ones I’ve been wearing for years, literally. I nearly choked on paying AU$25 a pair in Australia, but five+ years later, they’re still holding up just fine. And pricing in the US is far more reasonable, with the CoolMax® offered at $6 on their site. The selection of socks I received for this review included the Wooleez™line, which is a mid weight sock, reinforced at the heel and toe, with a cushioned sole. It’s constructed of merino wool and alpaca, with a little nylon and Lycra® thrown in. Like the other brands reviewed here, Lin socks run true to size.

I’d hazard to guess that anyone who’s been cycling for a while either owns, or has owned, at least one pair of Lin socks. My own vast collection of them includes branded ones like Kona and Rock Shox, as well as a few pairs from various cycling retailers and charity events (Lin does custom orders at very reasonable prices). And there’s a reason they are so popular – for a modest retail price, you get a very lightweight sock with a Lycra® core and CoolMax® shell, reinforced heel and toe, their Air-Out mesh top, and FlexGrip cuff. And a staggering choice of colors and designs. As I was writing this, I had a brand new pair on my desk, right next to my six year old Kona ones. Although they have some fading on the cuff, the Konas are just about as soft as the new ones, with no wear at either end.

The Wooleez™are a newer blend, with my test pair utilizing 80% merino wool by content, rather than the usual 50% or so CoolMax® found in their other socks. To avoid any bias (it’s obvious that I like Lin socks) I had my wife test a pair and offer feedback.  She found the fit excellent, and noted that they were pleasantly warm for a thinner sock, but her feet never got too hot, even during a good workout. More often than not, I noticed she’d be wearing them around the house instead of her thick fleece socks when it was cold. But with the wicking properties of merino, they’re not just a cold weather sock. These will perform well all year round.

For more information, and to view the largest variety of performance socks available, please visit

I’m not going to link to any store locater, as Lin is available pretty much anywhere on the planet that you can ride a bike.

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