You’re probably familiar with the benefits of merino wool for cold weather riding — excellent insulation, breathability and natural anti-microbial qualities are all reasons to choose wool over synthetic socks.
But what about the benefits of possum fur? Yes, those ill-tempered nocturnal marsupials that dart across the trail during night rides.
Like merino wool, possum fur is a great natural insulator, while also being much softer to the touch. Combine possum with merino and you have Pearly’s Possum Socks.
Though named after possums, these socks are actually constructed from 40 percent possum and 45 percent merino. The remaining 15 percent is nylon, which is used to provide compression and reinforcement.
While sheep are sheared, these possums meet a less benign fate.
Now for a brief history lesson…
Early settlers introduced the Brushtail Possum to New Zealand from Australia.
Then as now, it was prized for its fur. Unfortunately, with no natural predators to keep the population in check, this bushy little critter reproduced at a staggering rate and wreaked havoc on New Zealand’s fragile ecosystem.
Pearly’s Possum Socks are made from possums that have been harvested to keep their population in check.
They come in a knee-high version as well as the shorter over-the-ankle length, which I’ve tested.
Pearly’s socks have a lot of loft, which is great for providing insulation. The downside is that they require extra room in your cycling shoes.
Depending on what shoes you pair them with this may or may not be a concern, as most winter cycling shoes take into account that the wearer will use thicker socks.
While bulk comes with the territory, the fit of Pearly’s socks could be more refined.
All in all, Pearly’s Possum Socks provide abundant warmth in a soft, non-itchy package.
Last but not least, you're intrigued by this possum/sheep mash-up but are looking for a sock for everyday riding, consider Pearly's new Road Sock, which has less volume and a taller cuff.