Freshen up your wardrobe with a pair of new cycling socks — here's our pick of the best

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The warmer weather is coming, and what better way to freshen up your cycling wardrobe and keep your feet cool than some new socks.

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 sports socks.

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 getting sweaty.

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 bike.

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 14 pairs that should do just that.

road.cc Argyle Coolmax socks — £6.99

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.

Teko Adrenalin Socks — £17.99/2 pairs

teko Adrenalin Running Socks

Teko's Adrenalin socks are soft and comfortable technical socks for cycling in warm weather. Teko actually calls these running socks, but they're perfectly suited to cycling and, well, most other situations involving exercise too. At their core is a technical 'Evapor8' yarn that's breathable and very soft against the skin, with what Teko calls an 'Arch Wrap' system that provides support around the circumference of your foot arch. The heels and toes also benefit from additional padding, while the underside is cushioned too.

Read our review of the Teko Adrenalin Socks

Kalf High Socks — £11.99

Kalf Tall Sock.jpg

Kalf's High Socks are going to get you noticed. Bright orange, with effective reflectors on the back, they are as eye-catching as they are comfortable. They are available in several other colours if bright orange isn't your thing. A cycling sock needs to cling to your foot so that it doesn't bunch up and rub while you pedal. The Kalf socks stay put while riding, but are stretchy enough that they slip off without resistance afterwards. A real pleasure.

Read our review of the Kalf High Socks (previously known as Tall Socks)

Madison RoadRace Premio Extra Long Socks — £6.49

Madison RoadRace Premio Extra Long Sock.jpg

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 weave.

Find a Madison dealer

Q36.5 Plus You Socks — £19.99

Q36.5 Plus You Sock.jpg

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 minimum.

Read our review of the Q36.5 Plus You Socks
Find a Q36.5 dealer

DeFeet Wooleator — £15.39

DeFeet Wooleater.jpg

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 a multibuy discount on them too, so you can get three pairs for just £37!

Find a DeFeet dealer

Altura Dry Elite Socks — £8.60

Altura Dry Elite Sock - side.jpg

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.

Read our review of the Altura Dry Elite Socks
Find an Altura dealer

Assos EquipeSock_evo7 — £7.99-£14

Assos Equipesocks_evo7.jpg

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.

Read our review of the Assos EquipeSock_evo7
Find an Assos dealer

Defeet Aireator High Top D-Logo socks — £9.09

DeFeet Aireator 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 polka dots.

Read our review of the Defeet Aireator Socks
Find a DeFeet dealer

Condor Race Socks — £9.99/2 pairs

Condor Race Sock 2

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.

Castelli Free 9 socks — £10.50

Castelli Free 9 Socks

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.

Read our review of the Castelli Free 9 socks here
Find a Castelli stockist

Rapha Pro Team socks — £15

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 and patterns, with up to 20% off if you buy three pairs.

SockGuy Socks — from £9.75

Sock Guy Crash Test Dummy.jpg

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.

Find a SockGuy dealer

Rapha Women's Souplesse Socks — £15

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.

Read our review of the Rapha Women's Souplesse Socks

Not enough options? Check out all our sock reviews.

About road.cc Buyer's Guides

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.

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You can also find further guides on our sister sites off.road.cc and ebiketips.

Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

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.


Rapha Nadal [1147 posts] 1 year ago

Nothing from Pongo.cc?

fukawitribe [2888 posts] 1 year ago

pongo.cc appears to be pretty firmly down (for a while now) - pongolondon.cc fine though.

flat4 [23 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Every article on socks needs to include these: https://www.morvelo.com/fuck-cancer-socks.html

Almost 1:2 will be diagnosed with cancer in their lives. So make a difference.

Karbon Kev [733 posts] 1 year ago

Whats so good about pongo socks anyway?

Cycling beast [1 post] 11 months ago

I used to wear socks from Planet x, castelli and few diffrent brands. They usualy costed me about 8-12 quid about 2 months ago I bougt few pairs from ebay for 6 quid i tought that it will be fair price for ebay socks. Few days latter I've got parcel. I putted them on my feets and they are my best socks ever!!! Light weight and keep feets dry all the time. Socks name is New Champ. I'm not sure are they still on ebay but worth to try.

jaysa [157 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

Multipack of Reebok ankle socks from TKMaxx, comfy, fluo highlights - about £1.50 / pair.

Why pay more??

Cyclingerl [1 post] 7 months ago

I see that someone mention that already but the best socks are New Champ Socks. Best price for high quality socks and nice designs. Can't wait for more socks from this guys.

jeru [8 posts] 5 months ago


might be overly cynical, but two posts plugging 'new champ' socks from users with 1 post ?


Chris Hayes [459 posts] 2 months ago

I have a few pairs of Falke cycling socks: difficult to come by, but by far the best I have:  comfortable, high quality,natural materials - and combining various textures to ventilate where you need it (toes) and hard wearing (heels). 

I thnk the reason for this is that they just make socks (okay, and tights but I don't wear those).  Moreover, they  make them themselves, in their own factory where they can control processes, quality and pay fair wages to their workers.

But, like i said difficult to find and I rather suspect that they won't pay to place their product in magazines and websites either....there are just not many reviews. 

JohnnyEnglish [35 posts] 2 months ago

Decathlon - cheap, variety of colours, long-lasting and comfortable.

IanEdward [338 posts] 2 months ago

PlanetX 365 socks, 5 pairs for £10.

I like nice things but couldn't bring myself to pay big money for summer cycling socks. Winter socks is different, quite happy to pay for good quality merino. Likewise for hiking socks.

PlanetX come in a massive range of designs and colours including some offensive Argyle patterns for CX duties. Happy days!