Haftners Custom Design Aero Shield Socks – Quick Review
By Sheri Rosenbaum
Price: $24.99 (custom print); $19.99 white
Sizing: M (40-43 EU) or L (44-47 EU)
Availablity: On line
Obtained by: Business example
RBR announcer: Nope
Customizing your socks just got easier
Do you have a favorite kit and there are no matching socks to complete the look? Or a club kit, but they didn’t sell socks with it? From now on, Haftners offers made-to-measure cycling socks, even for one-time orders. The company has developed a printing process that takes their white Shield Aero sock and turns them into a custom design.
Joseph Haftner, owner and CEO of Haftners, reached out to me, looking for RBR to review his custom Shield socks. Intrigued by the company’s ability to print any design, I accepted. I sent her the logo and text for International Women’s Day – Together We Ride, an event I volunteer for.
Joseph’s team quickly transformed some models and even sent some ideas. The staff was super easy to deal with and prompt. Once I selected the design, my custom socks landed on my doorstep in no time.
The picture above shows the foot part has no custom print, only the cuff. Haftners uses a double-sided printing technique that only prints on the armband. There were a few imperfections in the print, and I’m not sure if this is due to the dark purple I selected. Also, I was initially concerned that the white part of the sock would be visible when wearing cycling shoes, but for the most part it doesn’t show. (See photo at top of page). However, it seems a bit funny walking around without shoes or wearing recovery slides. Another thing to note, the large black company logo detracted from my particular design, and I wish the logo had been smaller or removed altogether.
The socks are very comfortable, with padding in all the right places and no toe seams. There is a slight compression but not too tight. The company says the vertical stripe pattern around the calf improves aerodynamics. Plus, the same striped pattern on the top of the foot is designed to push warm air up and out. They also claim to have tested the aerodynamic qualities of the sock in a wind tunnel, and since I don’t have access to a wind tunnel, I’ll have to take their word for it.
In my personal experience, I found the socks to be quite warm when tested on an 80+ degree summer day. I would wear these socks in temps of 70 and below. But it’s all personal preference.
I have worn and washed the socks several times. There was no print fading or shrinkage. However, I washed in cold water and air dried.
Haftners, a family business located in Austin, TX, offers an option for riders looking for a unique pair of custom socks or even a small quantity that the big manufacturers won’t print.
Sheri Rosenbaum Regularly contributes articles and product reviews to RBR. She is an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a huge advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s Full Biography or visit his website sunflowersandpedals.com.