Good quality socks make a big difference to foot comfort when cycling, sweaty feet tend to put a real downer on your ride. Few cycling socks come with the level of performance offered by the Castelli Rosso Corsa 13 Socks. They're far from what I'd describe as affordable however, but they're impressively breathable and look smart to boot.
These help to justify their high price with a Meryl Skinlife fabric that is soft on the skin and has bacteria beating silver ions in there to inhibit odour causing bacteria. They're very breathable too, with the main part of the sock featuring Air Mesh to further enhance their cooling effects.
As well as keeping feet cool, the material is also good at keeping feet dry. Aside from getting drenched in a downpour, these socks will stop your feet from getting saturated with sweat, leaving you feeling happier for the duration of your ride.
Extra mid-foot support is provided by an area of high-density elastic. How that performs is harder to quantify than the Rosso Corsa's breathability performance, but they do feel very comfortable especially on longer rides and during bouts of hard pedalling. There's a flat seam at the toe to keep comfort high.
Castelli's Rosso Corsa 13 Socks are available in several lengths, these are the tallest at 13cm high. There's been a trend towards longer socks in the past couple of years, all the young riders are reaching for ever longer socks. However long your socks, it's important they sit a comfortable distance beneath your calve muscle. The top of the socks have a doubled over band that keeps the socks in place, without overdue pressure on your leg.
The Italians wrote the book on style and how you look on a bike shouldn't be underestimated. A socks, though a small detail, are critically important to your overall presence. And there's nothing quite like pulling on a pair of smart socks to make you feel really good on the bike. It's all in the details, and a good pair of socks is as important as those new carbon handlebars.
They're available in six sizes and black or white. As far as I'm concerned there's no place for black socks in cycling (although there are plenty of people on the roadcc team who take the opposite view) so choose the white socks and you'll be good to go.
Stylish, comfortable and breathable high performance summer socks... not cheap though
road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Rosso Corsa 13 Socks
Size tested: n/a
Coming into its 7th year in the Castelli line, the Rosso Corsa continues to be our best-selling sock because it's that good. The Meryl Skinlife® yarns feature bacterio- static silver ions to keep your feet and shoes fresh, the cuff cradles your ankle just right, and the diaphanous web construction keeps your feet cool. Try a pair and you'll un- derstand why we obsess about a sock. Available in 6cm, 9cm and über cool 13cm pro-style versions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Meryl® Skinlife antibacterial fibers
Diaphanous web on top of foot
High-density elastic mid-foot support band
13 cm ankle cuff
Solid construction helps justify the high price tag
Great for riding in hot weather, very breathable
So far, so good, they've been through many washes without problem
Very soft on the skin, and keep feet dry from sweat
£14 is a lot of money for a single pair of socks, but if you want the best, they don't come much better
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Ticked all the boxes
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They look good, and the length is very on trend
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That high price
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: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.