What's Cool In Road Cycling

Cool Gear: New From DeFEET

As leaders in the technical sock “revolution”, it didn’t take long for the smart guys at DeFeet to realize their bright ideas in creating advanced base layers for your feet could be (and should be) applied to other body parts like arms, legs hands and …body. We check out their new D-Tour jersey, Levitator socks, Kneekers knee warmers, Armskins and Dura-gloves.

D•TOUR Jersey
The custom jersey market has grown like crazy the last couple of years, especially as design, sublimation, and production are more accessible to the masses. Problem is, in many cases you can’t get the topline fabrics, minimums order sizes make it pretty costly, and what about the folks who don’t ride with a club or (god forbid!) want to look different from everyone else?

DeFeet provides at least one good answer with the introduction of their own line of jerseys. The D•Tour Jersey is Defeet’s ideal design, cut, and construction – taking their years of work with base layers and bringing it outside the body. DeFeet takes a ‘real-world” approach to their designs, realizing that most of us aren’t riding for pro teams, and although we do want hi-end performance, we don’t want clothes that fit like a sausage skin.

The D•Tour jersey sports a cut that fits snug where it should and still allows comfortable movement. The material feels great – smooth and soft – and the designs are understated cool – no EuroTrash technicolor yawn palette here.

We tested the D•Tour jersey in the late summer Arizona heat, and can report that we were as cool as any other jersey we’ve seen. No small thanks to DeFeet’s own interpretation of using different fabric weaves for different parts of the jersey, to increase airflow and cooling.

MSRetail: $80.00
Sizes: Small, medium, large, xlarge

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the sock drawer… DeFeet launches their next generation of technical sock – the Levi-T-ator. I never knew you could put so much brain power into a sock, but DeFeet has the features that prove just how far keeping our feet cool has come. Let us count the ways…

For starters, there’s the Ambi-Fit footbed – anatomically shaped and sewn to provide more stability and comfort under your foot. Moving forward we find the Levi-Pad under the toe and ball of the foot to add more stability and breathability. Go to the front and you’ll see the seam has been moved from the top of the sock to under the toes to make the fit smoother.

Along the top of the foot they still use the fine Aer-E-Ator mesh weave, now sculpted around more of the foot top for better cooling. Finally, the cuff has been modified – the new Sex-E-Hedron design makes for better airflow and heat transfer. That’s what you want.

MSRetail: $13.00
Sizes: Small, medium, large, xlarge
Colors: A bunch!

On the outside their Armskins, Kneekers and DuraGloves appear to be armwarmers, knee warmers, and gloves in the classic sense. On the inside though, they are chock-a-block full of innovation – and we’re talkin’ the good kind that you don’t even think about when you’re riding.


These things are the toasty comfy sleeves just like mom used to make – only these are technically far superior. Topping the list of cool features here is DeFeet’s use of their patented circular knit technology (that’s patent No. 6,053,014 for you stats-weenies) to create an arm warmer that has no vertical seams. That means no weird bunches or bulges when in actual use. It also means a secure snug fit over the whole length of your arm. Nice.

They’re made from a blend of Merino wool (that’s the good stuff – warm but not itchy), nylon and lycra – for a nice blend of warmth, comfort, stretchiness, and minimal bulk so you can roll ‘em up for jersey pocket stowage.

You gotta love this item – the famous Stayfast Cuff on the wrist holds the Armskins firmly in place – no budge no scudge. And yep – that’s the same cuff you’ll find on DeFeet socks – the one that basically made those old-fashioned sock-braces obsolete and so many others have since copied.

Up top, DeFeet’s Securl roll top cuff allows you to adjust length and snug-ness above your biceps, and seriously holds the Armskins in place – no slippage here.

MSRetail: $25.00
Sizes: S/M, M/L
Colors: black, red, blue


Wear ‘em inside or outside of your shorts – but be ready for the “Flashdance” jokes if you choose the latter.

Maybe the “best of both worlds” – old and new – is a good way to describe the DeFeet Kneekers. They combine a wool-like warmth and feel with the comfort and wicking properties of modern fabrics like CoolMax Alta Polyester and Lycra.

And in typical DeFeet fashion, you can tell someone engaged their brain before shifting into drive when designing the Kneekers, as lots of smart features abound. The cuffs – top and bottom, are the same Stayfast flat-knit weave DeFeet pioneered on their Aer-e-ator socks a few years back, so you get minimal slippage once you’ve pulled ‘em on.

The back side of the Kneekers is loose weave mesh – they call it Vapor Zone – that helps vent heat out the back, and reduces bunching and chaffing behind your knees.

Unlike a lot of other leg warmers, these have no vertical seems, thanks to DeFeet’s ability to weave the complete “tube” as one piece. The thicker material is not ideal for stuffing into jersey pockets, but then if cold enough to put ‘em on, why take ‘em off?

MSRetail: $25.00
Sizes: One for All


The big idea here is a lightweight glove designed for cool days, that has a tough abrasion resistant exterior and a smooth comfy interior, woven together to breath right and reduce sweaty palms.

They’re good gloves – suitable for more than just riding, and the rubber “treads” on the palms (actually shaped like tiny feet) will keep your hands in place on the bars in a variety of slippy conditions. I wore these things on a rainy mtb ride recently, and through the roots, shoots, mud and muck they kept me glued to the bars. A damp road rode will be no problem.

People’s hands are shaped far more differently than their arms or legs, so just like all gloves, you’ll want to try these on first to get the right size. I noticed a little bunching in my palm at first, but this disappeared as the gloves got worn in.

MSRetail: $15.00
Sizes: Small, medium, large, xlarge
Colors: black, red, blue, white

Get More Info
You can get a lot of the gear online at DeFeet’s website or at your local bike shop. Take a look at www.DeFeet.com

Read our previous review on DeFeet’s Wool Socks, Un-D-Shirt, Un-D-Flector and Slipstream shoe covers: DeFeet Cool Weather Gear
Note: If you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

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