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Verdict: 
Sleek and sexy special stripey socks
Weight: 
27g
Contact: 
Rapha Women's Souplesse Socks
9 10

I'll admit to being oddly obsessed by socks - specifically cycling socks - and this Rapha Souplesse pair fully deserve the attention. It's probably the fact that a good (or bad) pair can make almost as much difference to long-ride comfort as the shoes you wear around them. Get the wrong socks and even the most spangly and high performance shoes are going to feel wrong.

For those who feel that Rapha's prices are just too high, it's worth bearing in mind that most performance technical socks are a similar price to the Souplesses. Yes, you can buy a half dozen pairs of cotton socks from M&S for that, but once you venture into technical yarns and seam-locked toes and the like, this is a fairly standard price.

Buy these online here

The Souplesse socks look the business too. I'm fond of stripes or spots in a sock (Velominati be damned) and these are just the ticket in my book. They're also a a pleasingly obvious long ankle length; from a tan lines perspective sub-ankle socklets are great, but I find they can and do sometimes creep down into the shoe making it uncomfortable. If you're going to wear visible socks, celebrate them! It would be nice if there were a Souplesse mini, though, to fulfil this role and give a choice of lengths for those committed to their tan.

The fit is sleek and contoured nicely around my foot with no bunching up or intrusive seams. The fabric wicks moisture away from the foot quickly, leaving it comfortable and a good temperature, and the smoothness of the fabric means nothing interferes with how well your shoes fit. It's quite a lightweight sock, so best suited to warmer conditions unless worn with oversocks in spring and autumn, and the length of the ankle means this is a perfectly acceptable option.

Nice socks, I'd like a pair in every colour please.

Verdict

Sleek and sexy special stripey socks

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha Women's Souplesse Socks

Size tested: Small

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?

Designed for women for hot weather riding.

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

50% Tactel

47% Nylon

3% Lycra

Open mesh for breathability

High wicking yarn

Handlocked toe seams to prevent chafing

Machine wash at 40

Available in sizes XS-L (UK3-8 )

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Beautifully made from high quality yarns, with nicely finished seams.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Superbly comfortable for long, warm conditions rides.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Keep them away from Velcro, but otherwise these are well made and should last a long time.

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

Nice and light.

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

Super comfortable, both in terms of their interaction with cycling shoes and the way the fabric feels and behaves. Tops grip well and stay put without feeling constrictive.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

About the going rate for higher end performance-led socks so not outrageous.

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Stripes, fabric, fit, comfort, moisture wicking.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Inevitably one will go missing...

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Great high performance summer riding socks, as long as you don't mind visible tan lines

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking

 

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

10 comments

Avatar
fast as fupp [27 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

£15.00?

for a pair of socks?

a pair?

£15.00?

ODFO

Avatar
wwfcb [83 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
fast as fupp wrote:

£15.00?

for a pair of socks?

a pair?

£15.00?

ODFO

ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz

buy or dont't buy, but don't whinge about the price as it does get very boring.

ODFO

Avatar
wwfcb [83 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

...

Avatar
crikey [1251 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Never mind the price, since when did socks of that colour qualify as sleek, sexy or special?

Jesus wept, even Helen Keller would laugh at them.

Avatar
Leviathan [2600 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Get thinks in proportion, these are a snip and Might Might be worth the money if you like them.

How about 70 quid for mitts:
http://www.rapha.cc/gb/en/shop/classic-mitts/product/CLM03?googlemerchfe...
rapha might be a mark up, but give the price debate a rest for once here.

Avatar
riotgibbon [228 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
fast as fupp wrote:

£15.00?

for a pair of socks?

a pair?

£15.00?

ODFO

give it a bit and you can get them in the sales. That's how I got mine, half-price and they're great

Avatar
Northernbike [229 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

the socks themselves are good value, it's buying the bianchi to go with them where things start to get expensive.

Avatar
bikebot [2120 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
fast as fupp wrote:

£15.00?

for a pair of socks?

a pair?

£15.00?

ODFO

Are you sure that's for a pair? They are Rapha.

Avatar
Al__S [1212 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

comparable to Vulpine's sock prices... and I happily buy Vulpine socks.

Avatar
BeatPoet [79 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

"Get the wrong socks and even the most spangly and high performance shoes are going to feel wrong."

Eh?! I've never had an issue with any socks while cycling. What is there to go wrong? They just sit in the shoe practically motionless...