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Verdict: 
Comfortable socks for Spring & Autumn but not enough insulation for very cold rides
Weight: 
40g
GripGrab Thin Merino Wool Socks
6 10

Specialists in winter extremities protection GripGrab make four winter socks, including these Thin Merino Wool socks. They are stretchy and comfy but they struggle to retain the heat on really cold rides. They're best, therefore as more of a spring/autumn option.

As the name suggests the main ingredient is Merino, forming 52% of the socks. The remaining materials used are 25% nylon, 20% polyester and 3% elastane.

These socks have a stretch arch support and breathable open mesh zones to prevent a build up of heat. The soles of the sock are smooth and the cuff is secure without being too tight. The socks aren't heavy, thanks to lightweight materials. They are priced at the cheaper end of the scale, especially for winter socks which is borne out by their performance.

Across the toes you find 'love' on one foot and 'foot' on the other. It doesn't add to the performance but shows the company's philosophy.

The socks are light and comfortable, the mix of materials used give them a smooth, unobtrusive feel that encourages you to wear them. The feel on the sole offers a little more support and comfort and although there is a thick seam in the toe area it doesn't cause a problem.

They're not warm enough for the very cold days we've had recently though. The breathable sections prevent over heating but in the deep winter you need a bit more protection. GripGrab also makes Winter Socks in a Merino/acrylic/nylon blend fabric, ad those sound like they'd be more suitable, while the Thin Merino Wool socks are more appropriate for the Spring or Autumn where the mercury hasn't fallen as far.

Verdict

Comfortable socks for Spring & Autumn but not enough insulation for very cold rides

road.cc test report

Make and model: GripGrab Thin Merino Wool Socks

Size tested: Medium

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?

GripGrab says:

"The Thin Merino Wool sock is made from 50% merino wool and designed for active use. A featherweight construction combined with a high degree of insulation makes it ideal for a variety of different conditions and activities.

"The Thin Merino Wool sock offers a perfect fit, and is designed for optimal comfort and durability"

As part of the GripGrab Winter line-up it was something of a surprise to find the Thin Merino Wool socks didn't quite manage to keep my feet warm on particularly cold rides. They are thin and light so perhaps it isn't so much of a surprise despite the merino content. They would be suitable for more of a Spring/Autumn rides when the temperatures are more on the mild side.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

As the name suggests the main ingredient is Merino, forming 52% of the socks. The remaining materials used are 25% nylon, 20% polyester and 3% elastane.

GripGrab have used the materials in the socks to create a stretch arch support and breathable open mesh zones to prevent a build up of heat. The soles of the sock are smooth to avoid any rough or unevenness on the bottom of the sock. The cuff on the ankle is secure without being too tight. The socks aren't heavy, the lightweight materials ensure this. They are priced at the cheaper end of the scale, especially for winter socks which is borne out by their performance.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

The GripGrab Thin Merino Wool socks are certainly well made, with flat seams that do not press on the foot or dig in. The thin merino provides a smooth feel which is soft on the foot.

Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10

As part of the GripGrab Winter line-up the Thin Merino Wool socks don't really deliver. Even with overshoes, the socks struggle to keep enough heat in to avoid that dreaded feeling when your toes start to complain. Despite the merino content the socks don't provide enough insulation to feel warm enough and if they get wet they struggle further to retain the heat. The sock is breathable but this does mean the cold is able to get in too.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

There is no doubt the socks are well made as you'd expect from a company that has been in the business for 15 years. There is quality without a doubt but the sock doesn't seem appropriate as a winter sock. GribGrab already have a fall sock in their line-up and this appears to offer the same qualities.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

The socks are light as the name states, they are thin merino wool socks so you won't suffer through wearing them.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

There is no doubting the comfort of the GripGrab socks. They fit well with the ankle cuff holding the sock in place but there is no pressure on the ankle or the foot, just a re-assuring firm fit.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

At just under a tenner the socks are certainly not expensive but there is a lot of competition in the humble sock category. There are others that provide more warmth than the Thin Merino Wool socks.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Designed to keep your feet comfortable in a variety of wintry conditions but not quite man enough for the job when it counts. More of a spring/autumn feel about them.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfort and fit are very good but it doesn't provide the warmth.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

As above, if you were to buy these as a winter sock you'd have cold feet.

Did you enjoy using the product? To a point but not in the very cold weather.

Would you consider buying the product? Not with my experience of using them or if I was looking for a sock to use in the spring or autumn.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Again as above.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Well made and comfortable merino socks that are nice on the feet but they get unpleasant when the temperatures drop which takes plenty away from an otherwise decent pair of socks.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 178cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three  My best bike is: As above

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT

 

6 comments

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Are they thin enough to use as a liner/base layer for the yours? What I'm needing at present. Finding even my best winter socks struggling at the moment. Think it's wind chill factor as ridden in cooler still conditions and felt less nipping in the toes. Or perhaps I'm just getting old and nesh. (Probably the later, really feeling cold around the neck this winter).

Avatar
PaulBox [656 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Can somebody reply to Andy please? I really struggle with cold feet and have been thinking about combining a pair of these with my usual Woolie Boolie's.

Cheers.

Avatar
PaulBox [656 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Can somebody reply to Andy please? I really struggle with cold feet and have been thinking about combining a pair of these with my usual Woolie Boolie's.

Cheers.

Avatar
carytb [101 posts] 2 years ago
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I suffer from really cold feet and have just found that wearing 2 pairs of thin merino socks (Rapha merino & their city merino ones) worked better than 1 pair of thick ones. it must be something to do with more air being trapped. I think it's also really important that you have plenty of wiggle room in your shoes. Again it's about the air around your feet.

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Anthony.C [230 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

You should try Defeet thermeators with toe covers and overshoes, toasty.

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fukawitribe [1928 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'm struggling to work out why these are given a 6/10 - all the comments about the fit and feel of the socks were highly positive. The only negative comment was that they aren't suitable for very cold weather but then again, who would expect thin Merino socks to be used for that on their own, and the reviewer goes on the mention that they produce a thicker Winter sock anyway...

At the risk of being critical, it rather sounds to me like they are being marked down due to a lack of understanding of what they are intended for, rather than any inherent weakness.