The difference between good socks and good cycling-specific socks is quite marked, and dhb's new Aeron Lab socks are very good indeed. They're very soft, offer plenty of comfort and a little bit of compressive support, but they are a bit pricey.
Lab is dhb's new top-end range focusing on technical fabrics for performance, lightness and comfort, with these socks using Meryl Hydrogen yarns. According to Nylstar, the manufacturer, it is, 'A premium microfiber that possesses superb volume and irresistible peach touch while hydrating your skin.'
It does feel great against the skin, really plush, and creates an excellent layer between your foot and the stiff carbon soles of race shoes. The fabric itself is thicker than quite a few summer socks I've worn, but it doesn't feel it when the socks are on.
The main part of the sock exposed to the elements uses a diagonal mesh knit which allows plenty of breathability as the wind blows past. You get the same knit on the top of the foot, beneath where the tongue of your shoe will sit and above the toes to allow airflow here too.
The top of the 13cm cuff uses a more supportive, compressive knit which keeps them in place without any slippage. You get the same around the mid foot for a bit of support.
To reduce wear and tear, the area under the toes and the heel are reinforced.
Quality-wise the Labs aren't too bad, although there are some thread ends poking out here and there which looks a little bit untidy.
Sizing covers UK 2.5 through to 12, and there are seven different colourways including black and various hues with a couple of fluoro options in there for a bit of brightness.
If you aren't entitled to any of Wiggle's gold or platinum discounts then they will set you back £15, which isn't the most expensive we've tested on road.cc, but there is a lot of cheaper competition. Primal's Apparel Basalt socks are just £8 and they scored pretty well too.
The Saikel Chevrons scored even better and they'll set you back a tenner.
Even Assos manage to undercut these with its EquipeSock_evo7 at £14, who'd have thought it?
On the whole I really liked wearing the Labs as they are impressively comfortable, which is the most important thing, after all.
Are they worth the money? Well, just, I reckon; if you can get them with a discount, which is probably most of the time, then they are worth the investment, especially if you have other Lab kit to match.
Very comfortable socks but they're at the upper end of the price spectrum
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Lab Sock
Size tested: 9.5
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "The superlight mesh knit construction on the cuff and foot of the Lab socks provide cooling and airflow, and a support band at the mid foot and top of cuff provide excellent support and comfort.
"The Aeron Lab sock uses a revolutionary new high performance microfiber yarn from Meryl called Hydrogen (step-up from meryl Skinlife in terms of comfort/performance). Meryl Hydrogen is extremely light, soft, comfortable, breathable, and offers very high levels of moisture management. It also inhibits the build-up of static. "
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Long high performance summer sock
Meryl Hydrogen yarns for extreme comfort and performance
Highly breathable mesh cuff and top foot panels
Support band at mid foot and top of cuff
13cm cuff length
Reinforced heel and toe
75% Polyamide(Nylon), 25% Elastane(Spandex)
Fleece Lined: Yes
The 9.5-12 sized socks here fit my size 10 feet no problems.
Many are cheaper, but for the quality and comfort of the material these are, arguably, worth the money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Cool machine washing has caused no issues with keeping them clean or shrinkage.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a pair of warm weather socks they are very good thanks to their breathable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft, compressive material.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Stray thread ends.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The last six pairs of socks we've tested on road.cc are cheaper, with many closer to £10. Others are around the same price, and a few are more expensive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, though I'd wait for a discount.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The material feels great against the skin and they are definitely a lovely pair of socks, but they are quite pricey, and more attention to the finish would be nice.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!