Pablo Neruda, the wondrous Chilean poet, included as one of his Odas a tribute to socks, Oda a los calcetines. Unlike the Nobelian, most golfers don’t consider the value of the apparel in which they cloak their peds, even though the southernmost appendages are solely responsible for contact with the ground. Runners understand this and take the necessary steps to ensure proper feet coverage. This is the first of three pieces detailing advances within the realm of socks, and begins with the line of wear from Pro Compression.One of my favorite stretches of the Neruda Oda a los calcetines runs like this:

They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.

Why Neruda takes a shot a firemen, I’ll never know. Perhaps he had a concern with them, as in Fahrenheit 451 or A Series Of Unfortunate Events, perhaps not. I stare at my feet and wonder if they are worthy. When some pairs of Pro Compression socks arrived, I decided they were. Pro Compression offers three golf-specific lines: low, mid and high. At first glance, I chuckled at the knee-high height of the latter, but then considered the notion that perhaps, appearances might be deceiving; that I shouldn’t fall in love at first sight, or with my first draft.

The first wearing was a casual one. For four consecutive days, I marched around work and home in low and high Pro Compression socks. I log a lot of miles just carrying my 170 pounds around and figured, if these foot mittens can’t keep my feet comfortable in daily wear, what good will they be with another 20 pounds of iron on my back? The good news is, they passed the test.

My feet felt alive for the time I had the Pro Compression socks on. They did feel compressed, but not in an uncomfortable, squeezed, choked way. I’ve long been a fan of compression wear for legs and torso, especially when sneaking in winter rounds of golf. I’ll be interested to see how the Pro Compression socks hold up to test two (the washing) and test three (the golf course.)

As an aside, I’m always skeptical of anticipated performance of light-weight material in cold temperatures. I was raised in an era of thicker-means-warmer and it goes against my logic that thin could also mean warm (although wicking materials have proven me wrong.) I suspect that we’ll get more winter golf in around these parts in February and March. Expect an updated report on the value of Pro Compression for die-hard, winter golfers.

Pro Compression counts a number of professional golfers among its wearers, including Pat Perez and John Rollins. I suspect that if compression were detrimental to their performance, they’d find another sheath.

Neruda finishes his Oda with this comfortable notion:

The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.

ProCompression might consider a different angle, especially since it doesn’t use wool in its manufacturing process. It certainly wouldn’t argue that its sock lines are doubly good and certainly beautiful.