Rapha’s Oversocks are just one of the options in the off-season battle for warm feet. Others include waterproof socks inside your normal riding shoes (like Sealskinz), windproof and water resistant overshoes, and standalone winter boots. These options all work, and it’s really a question of personal preference and finances as to which you go for. But to a greater or lesser degree, the non-oversock options add bulk and weight, and so better suit training rides or the very coldest conditions. The oversock option works for any chilly weather, year round, and is also suitable for racing.
The first thing I’ll say about Rapha’s Oversocks is that unless you want to look like you’ve been involved in some horrific foot-mangling incident, avoid the bandage-like white version. Even those telltale pink and blank bands don’t banish the ‘hospital dressings’ vibe. And, of course, there’s no way they’re staying white for any length of time. Go for black.
The oversocks are made from stretchy, windproof yarn, and are genuinely effective at keeping the worst of the cold out, whilst still being breathable enough to keep foot perspiration to a minimum. They also dry quickly. Even as someone who really suffers from cold feet, I found these to be warm and comfortable. The high ankle cuff was stretchy and snug, and kept the worst of the road grot out too.
Fitting the socks is a slightly traumatic experience, due to the design. You have to cut along the line scored at the sole of the foot, to customise the oversocks to your cleats. The result is a snug fit, however, with little in the way of gaps. Machine washing is possible on a cold cycle, but you’d not want to do that too often as the socks will probably start to fray where they’ve been cut (although these haven’t done so yet). As with any oversocks, they’ll also suffer wear and tear from any waking. With careful use they should nevertheless last at least a season, and possibly a year. They are available in two sizes – medium and large – covering UK sizes 4 ½-12.
Although around twice the price of similar oversocks, such as those by Prendas Ciclismo, the Rapha ones are well made and should last reasonably well. But it would be hard to claim that they were over twice as good.
A pricy but well made and effective option for keeping out the chill and protecting your shoes
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Oversocks
Size tested: M
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 made from a durable, windproof yarn to keep out chills on cooler days.'
And- 'oversocks are a stylish addition to any rider's winter and early season wardrobe.'
They work well at keeping chills out and are good for all but the coldest conditions.
They are not what would widely be considered to be stylish. Especially in white.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, but only in black.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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, general fitness riding, mtb,
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.