Kelsey Unger is a fellow Manitoban and he just so happens to be my roommate. He’s been riding for a few years and actually moved to Victoria to get a little faster, however, an accident last year took him off the bike for a bit. During his recovery, he decided to start a little sock business.

Oli: Tell me a bit about the socks. Why did you start the company?

Unger: After getting in a serious car crash while training last May (and getting over the ensuing sadness), I wanted to find a way to give back to the cycling community that had given so much to me, but that’s difficult when you’re effectively bedridden. Eventually I chose to start a sock company. I love fun colourful socks and figured other people would like them too. Not only can I give back to the community, but you also get a sick pair of socks, it’s a win win!

In what way (beyond fashion statements) do your socks give back to the cycling community?

For every pair of socks sold in a given month, $1 is donated to youth cycling. The specific group changes every month so I can give back to the clubs and organizations that have helped me, and I can give to smaller clubs people suggest that otherwise may not get much funding.

Why?

A whole host of reasons, the biggest of which being when I started cycling the Manitoba team helped me more than words can describe. I am also a strong believer that getting kids involved in any sport is good for them in all facets of life, I just have a small bias towards cycling. I have an opportunity to help kids I’ve never even met live a better life and hopefully they’ll do the same for someone else one day.

How can we buy them?

If you’re in Victoria, you can swing by Fort Street Cycle to pick up a pair. If not, you can visit kgocycling.com to pick up a pair and get them shipped anywhere in Canada or the U.S. for free.

How does subscribing for sock of the month work?

If (like me) you appreciate cool looking socks designed for cycling, you can sign up to get socks shipped to your doorstep. You get billed the day you sign up and that months socks get shipped out. From then on, you’ll get billed on the first of every month, and you’ll have our newest design shipped out as soon as possible.

Are they UCI legal?

As a tall sock aficionado I struggled a bit with this one. I ended up going for a 6 inch sock. It’s still a tall sock, but it shouldn’t be breaking any rules. If you want to be 100 per cent sure, measure from your ankle to your knee. If that’s more than 12 inches, you’re good to go.

*Side note from Oli: According to the UCI, socks must be no higher than the mid-point between the ankle and the knee.

What advice do you have for someone buying socks?

Same as any piece of clothing: fit, fabric, and function. Fit should be snug but comfortable. Fabric will tie into that a bit too; a small amount of stretchy material (I use lycra) will help the sock form to your body. In the summer I prefer socks made out of lightweight technical materials such as polyester and nylon for their light weight and breathability. Come the winter months I lean more towards merino wool to keep me warm and dry. Functionally, socks should breathe well, keep your feet at a good temperature, and last as long as possible. You don’t want holes opening up half way through a big ride. If you can get socks that check all those boxes and look good, you’ve got a recipe for success.

It’s awesome to see such a creative way to support oneself and others in cycling. How cool is it to have a monthly sock subscription? Plus, I’m pretty convinced that these ones are UCI legal!

Kelsey continues his recovery from the car accident and is riding again, but it may be a while yet before he’s fully recovered. Until then, he’ll keep pumping out high performing socks.

Oliver Evans 20-year-old cyclist from Winnipeg, currently living in Victoria. In 2019, he will race with Trek Red Truck Racing.

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