Home
Freshen up your wardrobe with a pair of new cycling socks — here's our pick of the best

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

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 ten pairs that should do just that.

road.cc Argyle Coolmax socks — £6.98

Of course, we simply must include 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.

Q36.5 Plus You Socks — £18.99

Q36.5 Plus You Sock.jpg

Q36.5 Plus You Sock.jpg

Q36.5 Plus You Socks are supposed to be luxury winter shoe-liners, but they're very comfortable in warm weather too and if you need to wear the same socks for several days at a time, they resist getting whiffy.

The Q36.5 Plus You Socks are described as an 'avant-garde winter sock constructed with superior natural thermic merino wool and silk threads'. Apparently, these materials also ensure weight is kept to an absolute minimum.

Read our review of the Q36.5 Plus You Socks
Find a Q36.5 dealer

Altura Dry Elite Socks — £8.99

Altura Dry Elite Sock - side.jpg

Altura Dry Elite Sock - side.jpg

There's little to fault with the Altura Dry Elite Socks, other than their £10.99 RRP. You can find them cheaper, though, and they're very comfortable. The fit is excellent with the contrasting heel and sections sitting exactly where I'd want them. The same can be said for the cut around the calf; the medium-weight fabric has plenty of elasticity and there's no specific place in which it's focused, meaning that they grip across a large area rather than being held up by one ring of elastic sewn into the hem, so almost no pinching of your calf muscles.

Read our review of the Altura Dry Elite Socks
Find an Altura dealer

Assos EquipeSock_evo7 — £12

Assos Equipesocks_evo7.jpg

Assos Equipesocks_evo7.jpg

These Assos équipeSock_evo7s are made from a fabric that is thin and very breathable and manages sweat really well, resulting in cooler and drier feet compared with wearing standard cotton socks. Put simply, they're more comfortable than plain old socks.

Read our review of the Assos EquipeSock_evo7
Find an Assos dealer

Galibier Pro Lite Socks — £7 or £12 for 2 pairs

Galibier Pro Lite Socks.jpg

Galibier Pro Lite Socks.jpg

A good pair of socks can make a huge difference to your ride. The Galibier Pro Lite Socks are one of those pairs, giving your feet a little cuddle on every pedal stroke. As soon as you put them on, the Pro Lites just feel good, so soft and also really minimalistic in terms of weight.

Read our review of the Galibier Pro Lite Socks

Defeet Aireator High Top D-Logo White socks — £8.39

DeFeet Aireator Socks

DeFeet Aireator Socks

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, or these, with Tour de France King of the Mountain polka dots.

Read our review of the Defeet Aireator Socks
Find a DeFeet dealer

Condor Race Socks — £14.99/2 pairs

Condor Race Sock 2

Condor Race Sock 2

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 — £6.29

Mavic Pro socks  2.jpg

Mavic Pro socks 2.jpg

 

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

Castelli Free 9 socks — £10.40

Castelli Free 9 Socks

Castelli Free 9 Socks

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 Summer Merino Dash Socks — £5.00

socks_0023_dash_socks_estate_blue.jpg

socks_0023_dash_socks_estate_blue.jpg

Less sporty, more city and urban riding, these Summer Merino Dash socks from London-based Vulpine come in a range of colours so you can match your outfit, if you’re that way inclined. They’re made in Italy  merino wool and Lycra for stretch and shape retention.

SockGuy Socks — from £8.59

Sock Guy Crash Test Dummy.jpg

Sock Guy Crash Test Dummy.jpg

California's SockGuy is one of the most well known cycling sock makers, with a vast range of patterns and styles. These Crash Test Dummy socks will surely make you stand out on the club run or in a sportive. 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

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.