The best summer cycling socks

Freshen up your wardrobe with a pair of new cycling socks, plus we pick 12 of the best looking socks

by David Arthur @davearthur   May 4, 2014  

road.cc socks guide

The warmer weather is here, and wat better way to freshen up your cycling wardrobe and keep your feet cool than some new sock.

You can wear any socks you want for cycling, but cycling-specific summer socks are made from lightweight and breathable fabrics that keep your feet cool and dry in hot weather, and will be far more comfortable than regular sports socks.

Most summer cycling socks are made from polyester because it’s breathable, can be woven into thin fabrics and wicks sweat away from the skin. Polyester fabrics also dry quickly, which helps stop your feet getting sweaty.

Socks are also made from Merino wool, which has the advantage of not holding odours like man-made fabrics.

Many cycling socks will have mesh panels strategically placed to further help keep your feet cool. For durability, some will have a harder-wearing material in the sole, heel and toe area.

Cycling socks will also have a cuff which prevents them from sliding down your ankle. The height of that cuff is a subject of great debate among style-conscious riders and that debate is in turn a source of mystification among the rest of us. 

Some say socks should be no higher than 5in, but there has been a trend in recent years for much higher socks. As far as we're concerned, you can wear whatever you like, but there’s even a UCI rule about sock length. We kid you not. Some might say if you’re worried about sock length you should spend more time riding your bike. 

Lastly, there is colour. For traditionalists it’s white socks all the way, but there are many more colourful options and designs available if you want to make a statement. And for all the Wiggo fans there are black socks. Some say white socks for racing, black socks for training. Wear whatever makes you happy.

To that end, here are eleven pairs that should do just that.

Prendas Coolmax socks — £6.95

Available in a range of colours, these Prendas Coolmax socks offer good performance, are reasonably priced, and are finished with the simple addition of the company’s logo. You can get two pairs of the price of some of the other socks here, or three pairs for £18.

Read our review of the Prendas Coolmax Socks

road.cc Argyle Coolmax socks — £6.98

Of course, we simply must including the coolest socks of them all, our very own road.cc socks. You can buy them, in white or classic black, in the shop here.


Defeet Aireator High Top D-Logo White socks — £7.99

DeFeet are well known for their high quality socks and a common choice with discerning cyclists who care about the socks they wear. They do a big old range these days with loads of colour options, even a hi-vis pair, but these white High Top’s are simple.

Read our review of the Defeet Aireator High Top D-Logo White Socks
Find a DeFeet dealer


Condor Race Socks — £8.99

London’s Condor produce these Race socks, made from a soft micro-fibre yarn with a light mesh upper section to avoid overheating. The cuff is double thickness and they’re 7cm tall, and they’re neatly finished with a red stripe and Condor logo on the back.


Mavic Pro socks — £8.49

Mavic's own-brand socks are made with two grades of material, more meshy around the sole, top of the foot and ankle to prevent overheating feet, and they have antimicrobial properties. They're also available in black, and Mavic's signature yellow.

Find a Mavic dealer


Giro High-Rise socks — £11.28

 

White socks aren’t so practical when the weatherturns damp, which, sadly, can happen at any time in a British summer. With that in mind these grey and white Giro High-Rise socks are a good choice. Other colours, including white are also available. They’re made from Coolmax, polyester, Lycra and elastic fabric mix, with a 6in cuff.

Find a Giro dealer

 


Castelli Free 9 socks — £9.80

A good choice for socks are these from Castelli, which are available in a choice of lengths to suit leg length and tastes. These are made from Superlight Meryl Skinlife fabric so they're very thin and very breathable, making them ideal for hot summer days.

Read our review of the Castelli Free 9 socks here
Find a Castelli stockist


Rapha Pro Team socks — £15

Rapha's Pro Team socks are good for performance minded cyclists who want lightweight socks that are highly breathable. They’re made with a more durable material in the heel and toe, so they don’t wear out too easily, and the cuff is also made from more hard-wearing material. They’re available in two lengths, and you can choose from a wide range of colurs and patterns. 


Vulpine Merino Mid Socks — £12

Less sporty, more city and urban riding, these Merino Mid Zero socks from London-based Vulpine have a striped pattern available in grey/navy or grey/green so you can colour match your cycling kit, if you’re that way inclined. They’re made from 70% merino wool with the rest polyester to provide stretch and durability.


SockGuy I'm With Awesome Socks — £7.99

 

 

California's SockGuy is one of the most well known cycling sock makers, with a vast range of patterns and styles. These I'm With Awesome socks will surely make you stand out on the club run or in a sportive. They’re fashionably long with an 8in cuff, and they’re made from 75% acrylic, 15% nylon, and 10% Lycra.

Find a SockGuy dealer


Rapha Women's Souplesse Socks — £15.00

Rapha's Souplesse socks have a sleek and nicely-contoured fit with no bunching up or intrusive seams. The fabric wicks moisture away quickly, and the smoothness of the fabric means nothing interferes with how well your shoes fit.

Read our review of the Rapha Women's Souplesse Socks

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

What about the tan line?
And, isn't it typically british to wear long assorted socks? Smile

posted by marche [47 posts]
5th May 2014 - 9:32

1 Like

Quote:

ideal for the hot summer days we’re soon to encounter

I'm sorry, what? Thinking

Got milk? Doesn't fit in your bottle cage? Get a Carton Cage.

Video: we put a GoPro on a sparrow.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [444 posts]
5th May 2014 - 19:45

155 Likes

I hate to see black or dark socks with bare legs. It makes the feet look heavy.

I recall a long time ago when the Tour of Britain was still being run as the Milk Race, there was just one rider wearing black socks. Russian I think.
At the post race banquet he was ceremonially presented with a pair of white socks!

Binky

posted by davebinks [136 posts]
7th May 2014 - 18:13

1 Like

I recently purchased a pair of nice Keens with a lovely salmon colored accent. Unfortunately, the color in the insole part bleeds and colored most of my white socks pink.

Black socks ftw.

Also, if you buy in larger quantities, it is possible to get cheap black dress socks that are much less bulky than typical white bulk socks - and dress socks tend to last longer too. Not uber-high tech, but great for training.

I go through around 80 pairs of socks per year. Not at $15 USD per pair though!

posted by eschelar [43 posts]
7th May 2014 - 18:23

128 Likes

I've got a pair of Campag socks, which make me much faster. One has the letter R printed on it, presumably indicating it is for the right foot. The other is marked with the letter L, for the left foot.
I was amazed and asked myself since when have socks been specifically tailored to fit each foot?
Just to be awkward one day I put the right one on the left foot and the left one of the right foot. It was very confusing and I won't be doing that again. Because when I made to turn left the bike turned right and when I made to turn right, I went left.
These sock manufacturers are pretty smart.

posted by Condor flyer [34 posts]
8th May 2014 - 9:59

2 Likes

I have that problem when I wear my Aldi £2.99 cycling socks but bearing German I have to be careful not to go on the wrong side of the road!! Wave Laughing

posted by papermaaker [4 posts]
8th May 2014 - 10:12

2 Likes

eschelar wrote:
I go through around 80 pairs of socks per year. Not at $15 USD per pair though!

Surprise

80 pairs.... they are washable generally, you know that right ?

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [1123 posts]
8th May 2014 - 12:09

9 Likes

Condor flyer wrote:
I've got a pair of Campag socks, which make me much faster. One has the letter R printed on it, presumably indicating it is for the right foot. The other is marked with the letter L, for the left foot.

Are they the "Giacomo Grillo" socks?

posted by farrell [1859 posts]
8th May 2014 - 12:43

120 Likes

farrell wrote:
Condor flyer wrote:
I've got a pair of Campag socks, which make me much faster. One has the letter R printed on it, presumably indicating it is for the right foot. The other is marked with the letter L, for the left foot.

Are they the "Giacomo Grillo" socks?


Chapeau.

Or should that be 'chaussette', in the circs?

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [1152 posts]
21st May 2014 - 13:19

7 Likes

Socks keep your feet warm.

posted by Flying Heron [52 posts]
27th May 2014 - 21:48

10 Likes

I have room for more socks......

posted by merckxman [37 posts]
2nd June 2014 - 20:29

8 Likes

eschelar wrote:
I recently purchased a pair of nice Keens with a lovely salmon colored accent. Unfortunately, the color in the insole part bleeds and colored most of my white socks pink.

Black socks ftw.

Also, if you buy in larger quantities, it is possible to get cheap black dress socks that are much less bulky than typical white bulk socks - and dress socks tend to last longer too. Not uber-high tech, but great for training.

I go through around 80 pairs of socks per year. Not at $15 USD per pair though!

Seriously???? What are those "cheap black dress socks" made of, paper?

posted by imaca [57 posts]
18th September 2014 - 8:58

1 Like

Are the prices per pair or per sock? Just curious Wink
IMHO the only requirement of socks is that they are the right size, and the rest is BS

posted by nortonpdj [80 posts]
22nd April 2015 - 9:54

0 Likes