The Cheapeau! Tall Club Socks provide an understated cool that will match any wardrobe. They offer style at a great pricepoint and perform well.
Sometimes, less is more. And that's exactly what Chapeau! has gone for with its Club sock. Stepping away from the trend for ultra-vibrant and blinding sock patterns, the UK brand's newest sock is simple and classy. Plain black, except for a white strip running up the heel, with a black exclamation mark (the brand logo) within it. The sock offers a nice simplicity and balance that works with any shoes, any frame, any jersey. The cuff length is great, sizing up in the now de-rigueur 'tall but not too tall' category.
The socks offer some good technical features, too. The fabric is a fast-wicking mixture of 50% Polyamide, 45% Coolmax and 5% Elastane. Coolmax is designed to wick sweat off the skin and prevent clammy feet, and on a few longer rides in the mid-June sunshine, the socks achieved this very well, keeping me cool and clean feeling. The material is also nice and thin, so, along with the technical wicking of sweat, they just feel nice and cool and light to wear.
It's a nice touch that the sole of the sock is slightly thicker than the remainder of the garment. This meant that the base of my foot felt well cushioned on the very stiff carbon soles of my shoes after a few hours of riding. One thing that would be nice to have which the sock does lack is an extra compressive band around the arch of the foot. This is by no means essential, but many socks do have this feature, and it adds a nice feel of stability to the midfoot and promotes bloodflow. Not a biggie, though, and a bit of a marginal gain, so I'm not getting my bibs in a twist about it.
I've washed the socks three times now, each time at 30 degrees. The website states that 40 degree washes are fine, but I always tend to wash my cycling kit together, and it always goes in at 30 to be safe. After washing there's no sign of fade in the black material, and no stitching has come loose, both of which suggests a quality construction.
One of the great things about the socks is the pricepoint; okay, at £9.99, they aren't cheap, but they are towards the lower end of the sock spectrum. It seems that £12-15 is the norm for cycling socks, such as £14 for these well reviewed Assos socks or the (more snazzily styled) Endura socks I reviewed recently, at £12.99. I've seen some pairs of socks coming in at over £15, so to pay £9.99 for these solidly performing Chapeau! socks almost feels like a bargain (though less so when you compare them with the £6.99 road.cc Argyle socks).
So, all in, I'd highly recommend these socks. For an OK price you're getting a nicely designed garment that performs well. The lack of compression is the only minor point that perhaps prevents the socks from entering the upper echelons of 'A Race' socks, leaving them in the drawer of your more 'everyday riding and training' kit. This really is a minor point, though, and the socks are a more than worthy addition to any wardrobe.
Top notch socks that will fit nicely in anyone's collection, though they may not quite make your Sunday best
road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau! Tall Club Socks
Size tested: 40-43
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?
The Chapeau! Tall Club Sock is designed to strike the right balance between comfort and performance, matching technical fibres and an understated cool in the design. Chapeau! has hit the brief on this, with a sock that looks good with any outfit, and feels good to ride in.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The sock is made from Polyamide, a fast-wicking material that helps regulate temperature. The actual fabric composition is 50% Polyamide, 45% Coolmax and 5% Elastane. The Coolmax fibres are designed to help sweat wicking. The sock has a padded sole for comfort.
The socks seem to have been well well made, with no signs of loose stitching or blemishes.
The socks have proved comfortable over a few rides of around three hours – the padded sole prevents any niggles from stiff carbon soles. They do not feel quite as reassuringly compressive as some socks – not loose and baggy, but just lacking that extra 'tightness' in the arch of the foot that feels good for compression. The technical fibres kept my feet cool and sweat-free through these rides, one of which was in the mid-20 degree June sunshine.
After a few wears and three washes at 30 degrees (the instructions state you can wash them at 40, but I always wash cycling kit at 30 degrees anyway), the socks are going strong and still look good.
The socks are thin and lightweight, yet wick sweat well.
The socks are comfortable, and the padded sole helps prevent any numbness from stiff shoes over longer rides. They do lack a little of the compressive features that some socks boast, but this is not a huge issue.
£9.99 is quite low on the scale for cycling socks, and they're good quality too.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The washing instructions are all pretty standard: 40 degree wash, do not bleach, do not tumble dry, do not iron and do not dry clean. I tend to wash all my cycling kit at 30 degrees to be safe, and after a few washes at this temperature, there's no sign of fade or wear.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The socks provide good comfort, and keep your feet cool and dry even on hot rides, outdoors or on the turbo. They look good and can be matched with all outfits.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The sock represents a decent value, high performing addition to your collection. I like the simple design, and the cuff length is spot on.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The only minor gripe is that they could be a little more compressive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The socks are comfortable and cool on the foot, with a nicely padded sole to prevent any numbness over long rides. There is a slight lack of compressive material, but that is only a minor issue. I'm a fan of the simple and understated design, and the cuff length is perfect. A good 7.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding