It's sometimes hard to get excited about socks. Sure, you need them to wick moisture away from your tootsies and keep everything a comfortable stable temperature, but that's about it really. Compression socks though are a different ball-game. Designed to compress muscles and reduce vibration, their goal is to enhance power delivery and help muscles recover more quickly from exertion.
These from Craft are a fairly average price for compression socks, but a good price for cycling orientated ones. Made from 94% Polyamide/6% Lycra these are fully synthetic and super super stretchy, allowing them to give full support to the muscles from foot to knee. There's a comfortable cuff that fits around the top, and a supportive arch band to keep them in place. Available in a variety of sizes (XS-XL) they cater to feet between an EU34 and EU48, which should cover most cyclists.
In wear, the fabric doesn't feel especially nice, with a distinctly plasticky feel to it. But, the fit is excellent, with no feeling of pinching or binding in any way, even with the knee length. The ribbed nature of the fabric is intended to assist in airflow, helping to keep legs and feet cool and dry, however, there is a definite heat penalty to be paid in wearing these. They would very soon be over warm and sweaty in summer. As far as muscle compression goes, it's hard to quantify such an effect, but there was definitely a feeling of sprightliness in the legs at odds with a few preceding days of hard effort. The best way to describe it would be to say the leg muscles felt supported. The foot area is comfortable, with no intrusion from seams whatsoever. Craft intend their socks to be worn during cycling, but also for pre/post-race travel and recovery. In spring and autumn I'd be happy to wear these for a protracted period (although feet do get a little sticky) but I'd probably reserve them for pre or post-event use in summer or winter.
Good value for money, effective muscle support.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Craft Compression sock
Size tested: 4-6UK
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
94% Polyamide/6% Lycra
Tight compression fit over calves
Channel stitched structure to assist airflow
Wide lycra cuffs at the knee
Ribbed lycra arch support
Sizes XS-XL (EU34-EU48)
Black or white
Well made with virtually undetectable seams.
Hard to quantify compression effect but supportive and comfortable, and legs felt more capable.
The compression effect of these is going to relax slowly as time passes and the lycra content ages. Also, the fully synthetic fabric means they may well start to smell on a long-term basis.
Excellent light weight.
Very comfortable, even around the trouble spot of below the knees. Stay put at the foot too.
In comparison with other cycling specific compression products, these are a pretty good price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The socks were comfortable and supportive. They did help legs feel perkier, but not sure about enhanced power delivery.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Overly warm, slightly platicky feeling fabric
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably, if they were looking for compression socks.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Well made and comfortable, giving good support to the calf muscles.
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.