The warmer weather is coming, and what better way to
freshen up your cycling wardrobe and keep your feet cool than some new
You can wear any socks you want for cycling, but cycling-specific summer
socks are made from lightweight and breathable fabrics that keep your feet
cool and dry in hot weather, and will be far more comfortable than regular
Most summer cycling socks are made from polyester because it’s
breathable, can be woven into thin fabrics and wicks sweat away from the
skin. Polyester fabrics also dry quickly, which helps stop your feet
Socks are also made from Merino wool, which has the advantage of not
holding odours like man-made fabrics.
Many cycling socks will have mesh panels strategically placed to further
help keep your feet cool. For durability, some will have a harder-wearing
material in the sole, heel and toe area.
Cycling socks will also have a cuff which prevents them from sliding down
your ankle. The height of that cuff is a subject of great debate among
style-conscious riders and that debate is in turn a source of
mystification among the rest of us.
Some say socks should be no higher than 5in, but there has been a trend
in recent years for much higher socks. As far as we're concerned, you can
wear whatever you like, but there’s even
a UCI rule about sock length. We kid you not. Some might say if
you’re worried about sock length you should spend more time riding your
Lastly, there is colour. For traditionalists it’s white socks all the
way, but there are many more colourful options and designs available if
you want to make a statement. And for all the Wiggo fans there are black
socks. Some say white socks for racing, black socks for training. Wear
whatever makes you happy.
To that end, here are 12 pairs that should do just that.
Of course, we simply must include the coolest socks of them all, our very
own road.cc socks. You can buy them, in white or classic black, in
the shop here.
The Madison Roadrace Premios are a very good pair of socks: they're
really well made, with a compressive foot-hugging fit and a hard-wearing
Q36.5 Plus You Socks are supposed to be luxury winter shoe-liners, but
they're very comfortable in warm weather too and if you need to wear the
same socks for several days at a time, they resist getting whiffy.
The Q36.5 Plus You Socks are described as an 'avant-garde winter sock
constructed with superior natural thermic merino wool and silk threads'.
Apparently, these materials also ensure weight is kept to an absolute
If your feet run cold (sorry), DeFeet's wool blend Wooleators are great
year-round socks that don't overheat even in warm weather.
There's little to fault with the Altura Dry Elite Socks, other than their
£10.99 RRP. You can find them cheaper, though, and they're very
comfortable. The fit is excellent with the contrasting heel and sections
sitting exactly where I'd want them. The same can be said for the cut
around the calf; the medium-weight fabric has plenty of elasticity and
there's no specific place in which it's focused, meaning that they grip
across a large area rather than being held up by one ring of elastic sewn
into the hem, so almost no pinching of your calf muscles.
These Assos équipeSock_evo7s are made from a fabric that is thin and very
breathable and manages sweat really well, resulting in cooler and drier
feet compared with wearing standard cotton socks. Put simply, they're more
comfortable than plain old socks.
DeFeet are well known for their high quality socks and a common choice
with discerning cyclists who care about the socks they wear. They do a big
old range these days with loads of colour options, even a
hi-vis pair, or these, with Tour de France King of the Mountain
London’s Condor produce these Race socks, made from a soft micro-fibre
yarn with a light mesh upper section to avoid overheating. The cuff is
double thickness and they’re 7cm tall, and they’re neatly finished with a
red stripe and Condor logo on the back.
A good choice for socks are these from Castelli, which are available in a
choice of lengths to suit leg length and tastes. These are made from
Superlight Meryl Skinlife fabric so they're very thin and very breathable,
making them ideal for hot summer days.
Rapha's Pro Team socks are good for performance minded cyclists who want
lightweight socks that are highly breathable. They’re made with a more
durable material in the heel and toe, so they don’t wear out too easily,
and the cuff is also made from more hard-wearing material. They’re
available in two lengths, and you can choose from a wide range of colurs
California's SockGuy is one of the most well known cycling sock makers,
with a vast range of patterns and styles. These Crash Test Dummy socks
will surely make you stand out on the club run or in a sportive. They’re
made from 75% acrylic, 15% nylon, and 10% Lycra.
Rapha's Souplesse socks have a sleek and nicely-contoured fit with no
bunching up or intrusive seams. The fabric wicks moisture away quickly,
and the smoothness of the fabric means nothing interferes with how well
your shoes fit.
The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.
Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product in a if we think it's one of the best of its kind.
As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.
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.