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DeFeet scores back-to-back Tour stage victories with new aero sock

Published July 9, 2019

HILDEBRAN, N.C. (BRAIN) — Many race fans take note of the frames and helmet brands used by the pros in the Tour de France, but Shane Cooper looks a bit lower. Cooper's company, DeFeet, has scored back-to-back stage victories this week, with two Deceuninick — Quick-Step team riders each shod in the U.S. brand's new Evo Dispruptor aerodynamic socks. Julian Alaphilippe won in a solo breakaway on Monday and Elia Viviani won a field sprint on Tuesday.

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DeFeet developed and tested the socks at the A2 wind tunnel in Mooresville, North Carolina, with guidance from Heath Dotson, the co-founder of AeroCamp. 

"Our designs were winning the big races, but riders kept asking for a special aerodynamic mode," said Cooper. "We decided to not just jump in with a similar product. We spent over a year in development and took a scientific approach. We designed multiple silhouettes of a sock that introduces new features proven in the wind tunnel."

The socks are not slick-looking, as you might expect. Instead they are textured with vertical lines. "The pattern on all these aero socks is to break up the trailing wind, which produces less drag," Cooper told BRAIN. "So the straight lines accomplish this as the foot goes in a circle with a 30 mph headwind. I think today’s sprint was 45 mph," he said Tuesday.

DeFeet has worked with Quick-Step for years. "They have been wonderful to work with since 1995. Very helpful. The riders give fantastic input. The management have always made us feel part of the success," he said. 

Cooper said Dotson tested the DeFeet sock against other aero socks on the market and found the DeFeet model the fastest. The company said most aero socks save about 4 watts over bare legs at race speeds, while the DeFeet socks save 8 watts.

DeFeet plans to begin selling the socks at retail on Oct. 1. It will retail for around $30-$35, Cooper said. 

Alaphilippe's win Monday. Photos courtesy of DeFeet.
Topics associated with this article: Racing & Sponsorship

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