Hailing from Pemberton, B.C. Dissent Labs is a small brand that has some big names (like Brandon Semenuk, Mike Hopkins, Remi Gauvin, and Bas and Tom Van Steenbergen) backing their products. Dissent Labs was formed when company owner Josh Hall decided to create a line of high quality socks that would keep serious athletes as comfortable as possible.
Dissent manufactures socks for both skiing and mountain biking, and the brand was officially launched during Crankworx 2012. Hall teamed up with PerformX athletes Remy Metailler, Casey Brown and Kyle Sangers, and word spread quickly that they were loving their new socks. By the end of the week Dissent had signed on a dozen or so riders, many of whom are still core team members.
Based on the growing popularity of the brand, it seems Dissent’s technical aspects and comfortable fit are striking a chord with many riders. Below we’ll check out the specs and ride reviews of their Supercrew and Semenuk GFX Compression socks…
Despite the fact that Dissent’s socks are all medical grade compression garments, Hall (who holds a degree in Kinesiology) doesn’t make any grandiose claims about enhancing performance. Instead, Hall is primarily concerned about offering quality construction and a comfortable fit and feel.
“The compression construction, being a high-quality, excellent fitting product is a good baseline to start your manufacturing. We’re not hanging our hat on being a compression-focused brand,” explains Hall.
8” Supercrew Compression
The 8” Supercrew Compression model is a thin but durable cross-country/all-mountain sock which boasts some high-tech touches to ensure you stay comfortable, cool and dry. One of those is Nanoglide, which as Hall explains is a very durable yarn which gives the socks a slippery, low-friction feel.
“We use Nanoglide as a buffer. It keeps your skin from chafing and blistering,” says Hall. “It’s got Teflon in the yarn itself, it’s not a coating.”
The Supercrew socks also employ CuTec, a copper-infused synthetic fabric that helps control odors by killing bacteria and fighting the gradual buildup of funk. The Supercrew is sold in sizes small-XL.
The Nanoglide yarn definitely makes these socks feel slippery inside your shoes, and their ‘second-skin’ fit prevents any friction between your foot and the sock. Despite the snug fit they do vent heat quite well, I’ve never found them any warmer than my non-compression cycling socks.
I’ve had a pair of Dissent’s 6” Supercrew socks for a few seasons now, and just got a new pair of 8” cuffs this fall. My older socks are still kicking but one recently developed a small tear at the seam between the leg and foot- after over two full seasons I’m not surprised or disappointed, socks simply don’t last forever. Dissent Labs’ socks do resist odors quite well, for the first little while. My new 8” socks survived the first several uses without getting funky, but after a few washes they started taking on a bit of flavour after each ride.
If you like thin, tight fitting socks, Dissent Lab’s Supercrews feel great on your feet, effectively eliminate friction related discomfort and vent heat effectively. Two big toes up!
Semenuk GFX Compression
A few years ago Hall approached Brandon Semenuk with some of his Genuflex socks to try out. Like many slopestyle riders Semenuk wears ankle braces, so Hall agreed to develop a thicker, softer sock to provide him some extra comfort.
“I said we can probably come up with a design where the yarn cuts and the patterning would be close enough together that they would help fluff the sock up for him… It was a nicer way for him to get a little more padding for his ankle braces,” says Hall.
Aside from the additional padding, the Semenuk GFX sock features a 6” cuff and Polygiene treatment to resist odors and bacteria. They are available in small, medium and large sizes.
These socks are about three times as thick as Dissent’s other offerings and their extra padding is noticeable in your shoes, yet their tight fit prevents them from creasing or bunching up. I don’t wear an ankle brace, but I’d definitely expect anyone who does would find the socks’ thickness quite cozy underneath.
The Semenuk socks fit really tight (even compared to other Dissent socks) but proved comfortable throughout full days in the bike park. While thrashing DH laps, my feet felt properly coddled- these cushy socks did an impressive job of reducing trail chatter that normally rattles your bones. The one downside is you do pay a thermal price for the added cushioning- This pair is certainly not as cool as Dissent’s thinner offerings.
I really liked the additional comfort the Semenuk socks provided for high-impact downhill riding. They are a bit warm, but they don’t feel bulky or bunchy so I’d recommend them to any DH or park rider looking for a little cushion under their soles.
Check out Dissent Labs’ website to find a dealer near you.