If my feet aren't happy, it doesn't take long before the rest of me turns the same way. These Merino City Riding Socks from Rapha literally bathe your feet in luxury.
Okay, I maybe exaggerating a little but they are plush and feel great and they do make my feet happy. The merino does a good job at keeping your plates of meat fresh which is a good job as they are pretty warm when they are the meat filling sandwiched between your shoes and your feet.
That is the wonderful thing about merino wool, it regulates temperature so well, as long as you like your thermostat set quite high. Merino also has a natural springiness or elasticity that helps it retain shape, a good property to have when covering something that has a fair amount of movement and a funny shape.
These socks can be pulled up to the calf and stay up there without constricting your blood flow and that little bit of extra length is good to keep the bottom of your legs warm when cycling.
The best quality that merino wool has in this application is how it is slow to collect a nasty odour. If your tootsies are a bit pongy then these socks may help stop them from making people think that that someone has just come in the room with a ripe Camembert whenever you slip your shoes off.
The soft wool is high wicking keeping your feet fresher and allowing your feet to breath a bit better which is a definite plus to anyone who is prone to getting blisters or even athlete's foot.
Hand locked seams and a reinforced heel and toe add to the durability of these sock and at £7.50 per foot, you'd want these luxury covers to provide quality comfort to those little piggies for at least a few seasons. A decent pair of socks does outlast a budget pair, maybe not to the same ratio as the price difference but these are a pair of socks that would be worth exercising the old tradition of darning to squeeze a bit more life out of them.
Luxury merino socks for feet that like to be pampered.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Merino City Riding Socks
Size tested: Large, Tapenade/dark fig/papyrus
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Rapha say they are to keep your "feet cool and dry and is also naturally anti-bacterial and odour-resistant." - I say that they are warmer than say a coolmax road.cc sock and they seem to battle foot pong.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Soft and breathable
Hand locked seams
Reinforced heel and toe
available in four subtle seasonal colourways
They stay up and they stay sock shaped.
There are more sporty socks out there but these work better than a normal luxury merino sock.
Doesn't look like I will be darning them any time soon.
These are fairly lightweight for wool socks, they aren't thick like Woolie Boolies.
They are splendidly comfortable.
This is about right for a merino sock.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Cosy socks that kept my feet happy.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Their non-stink magic.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
At this price the luxury is only for the days you know are going to be great.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much so.
Would you consider buying the product? When is the next sale?
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
These should be sold in packs of three pairs.
About the tester
I usually ride: Condor pista My best bike is: Condor Pista fixed. Look KG241, Jean Thomann vintage
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back