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BUYER'S GUIDE

Best cycling socks 2024 — treat your feet and turn up the style on your bike rides

Want to add a splash of colour to your bike rides while keeping your feet comfortable? Here are some of the best cycling socks for the job

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Cycling-specific socks might seem like an unnecessary investment, but once you get into longer miles and more days in the saddle in various weather conditions, it's really worth it to invest in some decent cycling socks. Not to mention, socks can bring your cycling outfit together when paired with a great cycling jersey and comfy bib shorts. Not to mention, you can even match them with your road bike


The best cycling socks are made of both natural and synthetic materials depending on their target usage, and come in many different styles. Merino wool socks are great for touring and cold weather, as the wool repels water and they're naturally odour-free.

> How to keep your feet warm cycling

There are fully waterproof cycling socks available, as well, keeping your feet dry (apart from sweat) even if you walk through a stream or cycle through a puddle. Not to mention high-visibility, reflective socks that are great for keeping your moving feet visible to other road users while cycling at night

Then, there are very lightweight summer socks that offer excellent breathability for those scorching summer days when you really don't want anything bulky on your already toasty feet. 

Cycling socks also come in different lengths to suit different leg lengths and preferences. You don't usually see ankle socks for cycling nowadays (or sockless riding, which is more of a triathlon thing) - but even if it has become an unwritten cycling sock rule that longer is better, there are still plenty of cyclists who prefer shorter like the old days, so wear whatever you like! On gravel, you might prefer something a little longer, though. 

Listed here are the best cycling socks we've tested in recent years. Each and every pair has scored at least four out of five stars in our reviews and impressed us with superior performance, comfort and style...

The best cycling socks you can buy

Orro Sportive Sock

Orro Sportive Sock

9
Best cycling socks overall
Buy now for £9.99 from Orro
Good looks
Excellent fit and comfort
Made in Italy
Great value
The flannel-like pad at the ball of the foot has gone a bit bobbly

These Italian-made Orro Sportive socks fit as well as they look and are very reasonably priced, making them the top choice as far as general cycling socks go. They come in three colours and a wide size range that should fit most.

Orro is a brand more known for its bikes, but over the years it's added a steadily-expanding range of clothing under its own label. Orro doesn't reveal who makes the Sportives but they are made in Italy from all-synthetic fabric: polyamide (which is nylon, essentially) mixed with 15% elastane. There's a stretchy waffle-knit down the shins and a plain-knit at the calf. They have a one-piece construction with the only additions being the dark grey heel and toe pieces and a rectangle of faux-flannel stitched under the ball of the foot.

The stitching at the toe is flat-locked so there are no unpleasant lumps or bumps. Overall, these are a very nice pair of cycling socks and the Orro branding is discreet enough that it won't feel weird wearing them if you don't ride an Orro bike. 

Muc-Off Waterproof Socks

Muc-Off Waterproof Socks

8
Best waterproof socks
Buy now for £40 from Muc-Off
Super comfy
Good looks
Good length
This is the only colour

Muc-Off might be best known for bike cleaning products and lubes, but these high-end waterproof socks ain't half bad either. They're a lot thinner than many other waterproof socks (great for a typical British summer then), fit comfortably and don't require larger shoes. No, they are not cheap, but when it comes to waterproof cycling socks, the ones that work really don't come cheap. 

These socks have three layers, with the outer layer being a robust polyamide and elastane mix, the inner being soft recycled polyester, and the middle layer being a waterproof polyurethane (PU) membrane. There are mesh panels on the top of the foot to help breathability, there's a compressive section around the arch and the construction is seamless for comfort.

As with all waterproof socks, water can still steep in from the top (eventually) but these socks still managed to keep the toes nice and toasty. 

DeFeet Evo Mont Ventoux 6in socks

DeFeet Evo Mont Ventoux 6in socks

8
Best summer cycling socks
Buy now for £15.99 from Wiggle
Breathable
Supportive
Comfortable
Price
Cold weather performance

Despite looking like fairly innocuous white socks, these DeFeet Evo Mont Ventoux 6in have some hidden tech and provide very competent performance, even in warmer temperatures. They're not cheap, but as dedicated three-season cycling socks, they're quite impressive.

This pair is filled with interesting features. Perhaps most fascinating is the fabric, which seems softly bumpy initially, but upon closer inspection you'll see it's a series of little woven diamonds. DeFeet calls this a 'Mont Ventoux' grid pattern and it is used 'to create thinner windows that allow sweat vapour to exit more quickly'.

In practice, it works. The downside is that these aren't socks you'll want to keep your tootsies warm come winter - but we have listed good winter socks in this guide so you simply need to look for those. 

In our testing, we were also impressed by the overall support that the Mont Ventoux supplies – far more than that relatively thin construction would suggest. The special grid pattern isn't used entirely throughout and around the mid-foot point there's a more tightly-woven band that offers a spot of compression and feels reassuringly snug around the arches.

The overall feel is snug but certainly not tight, which is no doubt helped by the material's accommodating 50% nylon, 39% polyester and 11% Lycra composition. These are definitely not the cheapest socks out there, but if you like discreet style, these do make a great summer pair. 

Monton Pro Suutu Merino Socks

Monton Pro Suutu Merino Socks

9
Best merino cycling socks
Buy now for £9.99 from Sport Pursuit
Extremely warm and comfy across a wide temperature range
Shaped to fit very closely to your feet
Merino prevents pong
Relatively bulky

The Monton Pro Suutu Merino Socks are soft, warm and cosy, and at their often discounted price, they might just be the best-value winter socks we've ever tried. 

The attention to detail on these socks is impressive; they come as a right and left pair and are shaped so they hug the contours of each foot closely. That seems to really help with warmth because there aren't any gaps or voids for cold air to get at your foot.

Being merino socks, these are somewhat bulkier than summer cycling socks, as you'd expect. This means you need a little bit more space in your cycling shoes - but if you have that, you're golden with these. The merino wool construction means these are very breathable and warm, but won't pong even if you use them for multiple days in a row. 

Sox Scribble Premium Print Sock

Sox Scribble Premium Print Sock

9
Best socks for bold style
Buy now for £11.99 from Sox
Seamless and very comfortable
Feel light and airy
Bold design
98 other looks to choose from...
Expensive

Sox Scribble Premium Print Socks are available in many different styles; and although at the time our review was published there were hundreds (and it still says so on its website) at the time of writing there are more like 30 funky designs, but still a wide selection. If you like your cycling socks a little different then Sox socks a great option, and they're not lacking in comfort either. 

The seamless build feels nice on the feet and the fabric is easy stretch, which means they absolutely stay put and the 16cm cuff is great length. 

The Scribble socks are made from medium-weight PolyLon36 fabric, which appears to be a kind of polyester exclusive to Sox. Whatever it is, we found to be of a great thickness for mild to warm days and very breathable, partly thanks to mesh panels on the top. 

Endura Bandwidth Sock

Endura Bandwidth Sock

8
Best cycling sock with bright colours
Buy now for £13.29 from Tredz
Comfortable
Well made
Wash up bright and clean

Cycling socks don't have to be boringly monochromatic, and if you agree, the Endura Bandwith Socks tick that box. They are cool, comfortable and well made, and available in six bright colour combos.

Endura says these are made from 'soft touch, high wicking yarn', and that about covers it. While they're synthetic (elastane, polyester and nylon) and not quite the last word in feathery softness, they're certainly soft enough to stay comfortable for hours of riding. They feel pleasingly thin and cool in mild to hot conditions and the soft pad under the ball of your foot is a nice touch for a bit of vibe-damping comfort enhancement, too.

All that combined with a reasonable price, these socks made a great choice for adding some 'pop' to your cycling outfit. 

This Is Cambridge Fluro Wave Merino Socks

This Is Cambridge Fluro Wave Merino Socks

8
Best non-bulky merino sock with style
Buy now for £11.7 from This Is Cambridge
Warmth without bulk
No need to buy bigger shoes
Super-comfy footbed
Good for on and off the bike
Responsibly made
Not warm enough for deep winter

The Fluro Wave Merino Socks from This is Cambridge are high wool content socks for chillier days - but because they're not as bulky as many other wool socks, you can fit them in your normal cycling shoes. This does mean though, that they are not meant for deep winter temperatures. 

They have a thick footbed that helps to keep your feet warm and also makes the socks comfortable to wear all day both on and off the bike. Then there is the style. Most merino cycling socks come in rather uninspiring, dark colours, so these This is Cambridge Fluro Wave Merino Socks are something a little different with their bright white and orange colourway, which makes them look cool even off the bike. 

Attaquer Vertical Logo Socks

Attaquer Vertical Logo Socks

9
A great high-end cycling sock
Buy now for £19.95 from Attaquer Cycling
Great fit
Nice length
Expensive

A mainstay of our cycling socks buyer's guides, Attaquer's Vertical Logo socks have gone up in price since we first reviewed them, but we'd still highly recommend them for best days... they also match nicely with the road.cc x Stolen Goat navy bib shorts

Our reviewer said the length was just right, and they offered a perfect amount of support without ever slipping out of place. The white branding makes them stand out, and these being high-end technical cycling socks, there is a silver yarn in the footbed which is antimicrobial and assists in wicking away sweat. 

All in all, a great pair of socks for best days. 

Read our review:
ReflecToes Highly Reflective Night Safety Socks

ReflecToes Highly Reflective Night Safety Socks

8
Best reflective cycling socks
Buy now for £13.27 from ReflecToes
Impressive levels of reflectivity
Soft material
No irritating seams
Yellow colour gets grubby quickly

The ReflecToes reflective socks may look like a bit of a gimmick with their reflective detailing, but they are a great idea if you find yourself cycling after dark. Not only are these highly visible, but they also offer great comfort even on long days in the saddle. 

We found there are no irritating seams near the toes and the cuff stays in place with mild compression, creating no pressure points. The yarn used is super soft and feels great against your skin.

ReflecToes uses differing knitting patterns over various areas of the socks, like around the arch of the foot where it says the pattern gives stability, plus there are mesh sections for breathability, which help keep your feet dry on warmer days. Alongside black, these socks are available in this bright yellow or pink, both to aid visibility on the dark roads. 

Castelli Sfida 13 Women's Socks

Castelli Sfida 13 Women's Socks

8
Best women-specific winter cycling socks
Buy now for £13 from Tredz
Comfy
Warm
Good length
Heel prone to bobbling

The Castelli Sfida 13 Women's Socks offer exceptional comfort and insulation for colder rides. We found these socks to be "like having a pair of cosy slippers on" - that is how comfy they were. They don't offer any kind of compression but are quite thick, though.

But it is that thick, terry footbed that really sets the Sfidas apart. It does a super job of keeping your feet warm on even the coldest of days, and you really sense the cushioning under the foot. They're a good length, and the ankle area gets an extra layer of protection, and there is some merino added to the materials which keeps them easily odour-free. 

The fit is women-specific, which means smaller sizes are readily available. 

DexShell Wading Socks

DexShell Wading Socks

8
Best over-the-calf cycling socks
Buy now for £24.46 from Amazon UK
Keep your lower legs warm and dry
No merino
Bulky

If you're after some longer cycling socks, these DexShell Wading Socks might be just the thing. The idea is a 'waterproof' knee high – and the result is a perfect way to enjoy more wet, wintry riding, on or off road, in or out of quite deep rivers and bogs. 

DexShell markets the socks as good for 'canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hunting and those activities where there is a need to wade in deep water' and in our testing, we found that well, they are certainly good for outdoor activities. They keep the spray from the front wheel effectively at bay and remain comfortable even on longer riders. The key to keeping moisture out from the socks is the seal at the very top of them, effectively blocking away any spray trickling down your leg. 

 Bear in mind though, that these are quite bulky socks so they might be only good if your shoes can fit them. 

road.cc Argyle Cycling Socks

road.cc Argyle Cycling Socks

10
The greatest cycling socks of all time
Buy now for £6.99 from road.cc
Proper cycling socks at a sensible price
Classic looks
Show your love for road.cc
Nothing, obviously!

Obviously, we've saved the best until last.. it's our own road.cc Argyle Cycling Socks!

Designed by us and produced by cycling apparel specialists Primal, the road.cc socks are tall-cuff and medium weight, just the ticket for adding a dash of style to any bike ride. They're the easiest way to get some classic road.cc argyle in your life, help support the site and are available in black or white to match almost any kit ensemble. 

Unfortunately at the time of writing we've only got S/M sizes left (UK shoe size 4-8-ish) but we will be restocking again soon. 

How to choose from the best cycling socks and what you need to know

faq-icon
Do I need cycling socks?

If you cycle anything more than an occasional few miles then yes, it's a no-brainer to invest in some cycling-specific socks. As you might have guessed, cycling socks are specifically made for cycling and the shape has been designed to support your foot, but remain breathable inside cycling shoes. There are also dedicated waterproof and winter cycling socks that are made for specific riding conditions. 

Cycling socks have natural moisture-wicking properties and the fit is close-fitting to avoid any kind of rubbing and blisters.

All this said, you can get away with using other sports socks, such as running or hiking socks. Some of the sock choices are down to style, so if you really like your regular cotton socks, no one is saying you should not wear them. They will likely just be less comfortable compared to a well-fitting, breathable pair of cycling socks. 

faq-icon
Should cycling socks be short or long?

Somehow this is a subject that actually generates some quite serious debate among cyclists... but despite what strong opinions you may encounter about sock length, there are no official rules for us amateur cyclists! For professional cyclists it's a different story, because cycling's governing body - the UCI - actually dictates what the maximum sock height should be for riders in pro races. This is to stop supposed unfair advantages that could be gained from wearing very high-length aerodynamic socks; but unless you're on the start line of an elite bike race, then you can wear whatever length of socks you like. We just wouldn't count on these fancy aero socks making you faster by huge amounts, even if the UCI appears to believe that might be the case.. .  

Generally, you don't see cyclists with over-the-calf socks unless it's winter, and white socks are preferred by road cyclists, especially in the summer. Another practical reason for wearing higher socks is to stop your lower legs getting dirty when riding on dusty or muddy gravel, or towpaths. Otherwise, it's really a stylistic issue rather than to do with performance, so ride in whatever sock length you wish. 

faq-icon
What colour should cycling socks be?

There is no rule for what colour cycling socks you should wear, but you can definitely look to match them with your riding kit and possibly even your bike. White and black pairs are a safe option for multiple occasions. 

faq-icon
Do I need winter cycling socks?

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, then winter socks are essential unless you have some seriously heavy-duty overshoes or winter cycling boots. They don't have to be very heavy and bulky; a simple Merino wool sock paired with toe or shoe covers can really elevate your ride by keeping your toes warm. 

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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3 comments

Avatar
check12 | 8 months ago
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best aero sock - silca 

Avatar
OnYerBike | 8 months ago
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Hi it's me, your friendly neighbourhood pedant. Regarding the Sox socks, you've written they are "made from [...] PolyLon36 fabric [...] Blended with that you get PolyLon36" which doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me. Sox also describe it as a blend of nylon and polyester, rather than a "type of polyester". Their website also currently appears to only have 30 designs, rather fewer than the 99 you mention (and also fewer than the "over 200 designs" that their website still claims!)

Avatar
Jack Sexty replied to OnYerBike | 8 months ago
1 like

Thanks neighbour, it's greatly appreciated and has been changed! I think the likelihood is that there were hundreds of designs when the review was published (and it actually still says so on the Sox site) so we missed this, and apologies for the wording mix-ups too. It's a lot of work to put these guides together and our writers and editors have various other responsibilities, so sometimes things slip through the net. Thanks again.