Defeet's Aireator socks have become a classic over the past few years, offering coolness, good wicking and decent durability at a reasonable price.
The socks are 60% nylon, 39% Coolmax and 1% Lycra with different weaves in different areas. Essentially, the sole, heel and toe are standard weave, the cuff – everything above your shoe line – is double thickness, and the top of the foot is more of an open weave, verging on mesh.
I can't say that I suffer with particularly sweaty feet in any socks but they always stay notably cool in Aerators. If you have any mesh panels in your shoe uppers, fresh air can blow right in. The fabric moves any moisture quickly and it dries out very fast. The only seam you could possibly feel is along the top of the toes but I wasn't bothered by it at all.
I find that Aireators last well too. I've never had any problems with holes or with areas wearing thin. I've owned loads of pairs in the past and I tend to bin them because they've turned grey and dirty – as all white socks do sooner or later – rather than because they've worn out. I've read a few comments on forums saying Aireators aren't as good as they used to be. I have to disagree. These are lasting as well as any I've used in the past.
They come in a whole load of different designs. You'd better be confident of your climbing ability if you go for this Polka Dot version.
Cool summer socks that wick sweat well and offer good durability.
road.cc test report
Make and model: DeFeet Polka Dot Aireator Socks
Size tested: Large
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?
Defeet say, "As the original air-flow design sock the Aerator is the sock that kicked off the air-flow rage years ago. Today the Aerator still leads in durability, wicking, drying and air permeability. Aerator stays cooler and more comfortable on your feet and lasts longer than anything else out there. That is why the Aerator remains the top pick of athletes competing at the highest level of sport."
They're cool summer socks designed to wick sweat away from your feet and last a while.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
They're 39% Coolmax EcoMade fibre which is made from recycled plastic bottles.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Aireator socks do exactly what they promise, keeping your feet cool and dry - or, at least, cooler and drier than they might otherwise be.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They're cool and tend to last.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
If you do snag that mesh top section it might be terminal.
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 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight 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 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.