The Endura M90 Graphic socks bring you 'sock doping' at a great balance of price and performance.
Nowadays, snazzy socks are as important a part of your café-posing kit as a nicely fitting jersey and blingy shades. On Instagram, the hashtag '#sockdoping' currently has nearly 114,000 posts. Says it all.
The M90 Graphic socks are a worthy contribution to the huge array of vibrant socks currently available. The geometric grey design stands out in the bunch but isn't too garish, a bit of understated excitement, if you will. The cuff is a good length, too, with a slightly higher cut that is in favour nowadays, without being excessive.
While I'm a fan of the pattern, the pale grey does give a bit of a 'white socks in a dark wash' look. Likewise, the bright green cuff may divide opinion, and you may want to check yourself in the mirror to ensure you're not betraying any kit clashes. In all, it's a bit of a love-it/hate-it design, and every time I look at them, I change my mind as to which way I feel.
The socks aren't all 'style' (depending on your preference), though. The Meryl Skinlife yarn's antimicrobial properties are designed to minimise odours, providing a merino-like wicking and moisture control dimension. On a ride in the mid-June heatwave we were treated to, and on a steamy turbo session, I didn't suffer from clammy toes at all and the socks kept my feet very comfortable in this regard.
The material is very thin – not surprising given it's 85% nylon – but on a ride of around three hours, the thinness didn't make my feet feel uncushioned at the sole. However, I'm not sure if this would be the case on an epic five or six-hour spin given I have very stiff carbon soled shoes.
Structurally, there's a flat seam toe, and an extra elasticated strip in the middle for increased support and to boost circulation. These two features make the sock super-comfortable to wear. For the period that I was wearing the socks, my feet felt well supported and compressed – like they were being reassuringly squeezed and giving my legs courage through the ride.
In terms of value, at £12.99 they're on the pricey side compared with the similarly snazzy and well-reviewed Primal Basalt socks, which only cost £8. However, with plenty of socks on the market being upward of £10, such as these Assos numbers, it's not outrageous.
So, in short, the socks feel great to wear as a summer option, but may be a little thin for a long ride. They're not the cheapest, but provided that they suit your fancy in the looks department, they're a good buy.
Well-fitting socks with good wicking properties – but the design may divide opinion...
road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura M90 Graphic Sock
Size tested: Small
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?
The Endura M90 Graphic Sock is marketed as a 'vibrant performance sock', aimed at riders looking for both form and function. As well as a pattern and colour scheme that will ensure you stand out in the group, the sock is packed with features that optimise comfort and performance.
The socks are certainly good performers, but the design leaves me undecided.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The sock is 85% Nylon, 15% Elastane, yet there's more to it than that. The Meryl Skinlife Yarn with antibacterial finish offers permanent antimicrobial properties, which help to reduce unpleasant odours.
The sock has a flat seam toe which prevents irritation, and the material is high wicking and fast drying to help keep your feet dry and comfortable. The high-density mid-foot elastic offers improved support and stability.
The socks show no indications of wear or fade after three washes, and betray a quality production process.
The socks kept my feet cool and sweat-free thanks to the technical fabrics, they fitted well and provided a nice supportive/compressive element around the foot arch. They do feel slightly thin, though, which could compromise comfort around the sole of the foot on a super-long ride.
After several washes, there are no indications of fade or wear.
The Meryl Skinlife yarn used to make the sock is very thin and lightweight, yet wicks away sweat very effectively.
The socks felt great over several rides of between two and four hours.
At £12.99, the socks are about on par with competition and perform well, so certainly not bad value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
After several washes at 30 degrees, there are no indications of fade or wear. Given the special fabrics in the sock, it's probably best to play it safe and keep to washing at 30 degrees – which I do for all my cycling kit anyway.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good performance socks, keeping my feet dry and comfortable on a few hard training sessions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The socks are comfortable and manage sweaty feet very well, preventing any feel of claminess. They give a supportive feel to your foot.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The design will divide opinion – you'll need to match it carefully to your kit. The pale grey does give a suggestion of a dirty white sock on first impressions... And they may be a little thin to provide comfort over a very long ride if your shoes have particularly stiff carbon soles.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe, but I'm not 100% convinced on the design.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The Endura M90 Graphic socks wear nicely and feel good – a definite 7. I just can't quite decide whether I like how they look or not...
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding