Slightly warmer than the competition and a good halfway house between a basic cover sock and an over-shoe, likely to wear just as quickly as more basic variety though
Cover socks offer a great medium during Spring/Autumn, when you want something to insulate those aerated shoes but overshoes a step too far. Craft's offering employs a varied stitching density - similar to performance socks. Does it create the cover sock of cover socks?
One of the oddities of cycling, cover socks look at bit like you are taking a leaf from Superman's book and choosing to wear your underwear on the outside. They do a useful job however and provide a surprising amount of warmth, these Craft ones being no exception. Whilst you can make your own over socks by simply cutting holes in the bottom of some socka a size larger than your normal size, Craft's offer a bit more than that.
As on their performance socks, fabric density varies: the main body of the foot is a standard sock density so your foot can breathe, the ankle cuff and toes have a thicker, fleece stitching, blocking the air holes at the front of your shoes and keeping the extremities warm. It leaves you with an over sock which actually feels like your money has gone somewhere, all £15 of it. £15 is a lot for what is essentially a pair of sock with some holes in them but then it is what performance socks go for these days. Plus, at around £10 less than most overshoes, it sits in the right price bracket.
Starting at the very beginning - putting the sock on - I wasn't immediately impressed. Craft suggest an 'easy on, easy off feature' but the 'easy on' part was lost on me. The holes for the cleats are relatively small, making it difficult to get the socks up and over them, and positioned correctly. Partnered with a short ankle section which I found difficult to get around the heel, would often lead to the socks snagging at various points, with 'ladders' and small holes starting to develop over time. Holes are an issue with over socks, as you inevitably walk off the bike with them on, and Craft's also fall prey to this. They remained reasonably tidy throughout the test however and did wash up well (white on test) but I can't see them lasting much more than one Spring/Autumn. Once I did get them on, they accomplish their task well. The extra fleece sections are more than I've experienced on other over socks, providing a noticeable extra amount of wind protection and warmth.
Craft's Cover Sock takes from their performance socks and base layer knowledge to create an over sock which is more designed than most; an over sock which provides a slightly better warming effect than the competition but for it you pay almost double. Still, at £15 you are getting closer to a sound medium between overshoes and nothing, just don't expect them to last any longer than the basic offerings.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Craft Cover Sock
Size tested: White - 43-48
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?
'Perfect for when it–s too cold for toe covers, but too warm for full booties. The Sock Cover features body mapping (various fabric densities) for precision temperature regulation. Easy on, easy off feature with a secure, smooth fit. Front cleat opening.'
Not sure about the easy on but the rest of it is pretty true.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Like a performance sock, fabric density varies: ventilation at the top section, fleece on the toes and heel.
Like most oversocks, these will get holes in them.
Kept my feet toasty on 10deg rides.
The small cleat hole does cause these to snag more than others with you're putting them on, which will create holes over time.
The fleece section at the ankle is a nice touch.
More expensive than other oversocks but they do strike a better line between nothing and overshoes
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well, my feet were kept nice and warm on Spring/Autumn rides >10deg.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The varied stitching density.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The small cleat holes.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,