The new Prendas High Summer Dryarn-Resistex Carbon socks – that's a bit of a mouthful, isn't it? – are a lightweight and cool choice for summer riding.
The section on top of your foot is a synthetic mesh (the socks are a mix of nylon, polypropylene, Lycra and carbon fibre). If you have mesh sections on your shoe uppers too you can feel the air coming right in to keep your feet cool.
The soles, the toes and the heel sections are thicker and there's a band around your midfoot that's more tightly elasticated to hold the socks in place – although I can't say that I ever have any trouble with socks moving about when I cycle anyway. The top section, above the ankle, is a double-thickness cuff.
The carbon fibre comes in the Resistex yarn – there's just a small amount in there. The idea is that the Resistex speeds up the evaporation of sweat and protects the skin from bacteria (it's bacteriostatic, meaning that it stops bacteria from reproducing).
I couldn't tell you for sure what the bacteria are up to on these socks – my eyesight isn't that good – but I can do a quick sniff test because I'm just back from an hour's ride in these – 21mph and 21°C, so a bit sweaty. Wish me luck...
Okay, they don't smell too bad at all, actually. I mean, I wouldn't put them back in the drawer, obviously, but they're far from minging. Perfectly acceptable, I'd say. I'm not sure that proves a great deal other than that I do some strange things for Road.cc, but there it is.
Probably more significant is that these do feel really cool in use. Prendas Ciclismo's Coolmax socks are cool but these are considerably cooler. They wick perspiration away from your feet very well too and dry quickly.
Like I said, I'm just back from a ride and they got a little damp with sweat but they dried out very fast. They're intended for 20°C plus and that's about right for me although, of course, you can wear them when it's not so hot if you tend to overheat more easily.
Lightweight socks for keeping your feet cool and comfortable on hot rides.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Prendas Ciclismo High Summer Dryarn-Resistex Carbon Socks
Size tested: XL, White/Grey
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?
Prendas say, "We are delighted to announce the availability of the latest addition to our comprehensive and now complete cycling sock range.
"These lightweight socks have been specifically designed for use in hotter temperatures thanks to their construction (mesh front being the most important elements) and the combination of different yarns in the weave to give you the best possible comfort and performance.
"The "Carbon" element is supplied by Resistex which gives the sock many extra properties including additional durability and optimum anti-bacterial protection.
"The nominal temperature range for these socks is over 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), but of course some people run hot and some cold. So it's up to you!
* Made in Italy
* Excellent wicking Fabric
* Reinforced toe and heel area
* Anatomical Cut
* Subtle Prendas Logo
* Great on hot summer days!"
That all sounds pretty reasonable.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
One of the benefits listed by the Resistex manufacturers is that 'Resistex is high performing because during physical activity it lowers the concentration of lactic acid, improving the circulation of the blood and oxygenates the cells."
Right, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that wearing these socks will not improve the oxygenation of your cells to any significant degree. They're good socks... but not for that reason.
There are a couple of sticky-out threads where the different sections join but they're fine.
They're designed to keep your feet cool in hot conditions and they do just that. They're noticeably cooler than most other socks.
For keeping your feet cool and comfy in hot weather, they're great.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They keep your feet cool, no doubt about that.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They're cool and breathable.
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
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.