The dhb Aeron Lightweight Merino Sock is the thinnest in dhb's three-option range, but it's still pretty warm, relatively thick and extremely comfortable. Sizing and fit are great, and those muted colours look good if matched with other dhb kit, though the super-messy stitching inside isn't impressive.
Testing these in cool, wet, autumnal conditions puts them a little out of their comfort zone, but inside shoes with toe covers they did well in temperatures between 6 and 10°C (the Mid or Winter weights might be better options as things get colder).
The sizing is spot on, the fabric has just the right amount of stretch for security without any restriction, and the padded footbed stays comfy for hours. They're pretty warm for a short and skinny sock, too.
That stretch comes from the 35 per cent that isn't merino, but is instead a mix of – according to dhb – elastane, Lycra and nylon.
The nylon part reinforces the heel and toe, while the toebox is seamless and there's a mesh panel over your instep. None of it's particularly thin – you can certainly find lighter-weight options for high summer – but it breathes well in mild and humid conditions.
For the sake of science (science, I tell you!) I wore these repeatedly without washing them, and they took it without developing so much as a whiff. Useful if you're riding multiple days, and it fits with the claims of a naturally anti-microbial nature for merino wool.
Actual washing they seem less happy with, rapidly developing bobbles along the footbed seams and tiny pulls in the fabric under the ball of the foot. These may settle down with further use, but it leaves a question mark over durability that the huge mess of exposed threads inside don't do anything to assuage.
These threads don't affect comfort and, again, the sock may shed a bit initially and be fine for ever after. To be clear, the seams remain absolutely intact after around 150 miles.
Although the colours and designs will be a little muted for some tastes, they come alive when paired with matching dhb kit. It's a shame there aren't a few wilder options for non-brand loyalists, though.
Price-wise, at RRP they sit alongside plenty of others, such as Lusso's SoftAirs, the Teko Adrenalins or Saikel Chevrons. However, if you must have merino then the Aerons are still a great bet, especially as they're rarely if ever sold at RRP – Wiggle was punting these out at £6 at the time of writing.
While there's a question mark over exactly how well the dhb Aeron Lightweight Merino Sock will last, in all other respects it's a good, warm, comfortable item that performs well and comes at a good price.
Warm, comfortable and low-key socks that wick well and resist smells, but inner stitching is a bit messy
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Light Weight Merino Sock
Size tested: 9.5-12
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says: "The Aeron Lightweight Merino Socks are built to keep you warm when it's cool, and cool when it's warm.
"The natural Merino Wool maintains natural breathability with added anti-microbial properties, keeping your feet feeling fresh at all times. The reinforced nylon heel and toe boxes add durability, and the pedal contact area also gets extra padding to protect your feet."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight merino wool sock
Padded footbed at the pedal contact area
Durable Nylon reinforced heel and toe
Seamless toe box
Breathable mesh knit panels on the top of the foot
Mid foot support band
Made in Italy
Sock Length: Short
65% Merino Wool, 15% Elastane(Spandex), 15% Lycra, 5% Polyamide(Nylon)
Look great from the outside, but a mess of loose threads on the inside.
Comfy, warm, resist smelliness.
Feel strong and haven't pulled apart anywhere yet, but some fabric bobbling.
Secure and comfy without being tight or restrictive.
20g per foot; you can't feel it.
A tenner isn't cheap for a pair of socks, and these are starting to show signs of wear already, but they're always likely to be discounted – currently to £6. You can also pay a lot more (dhb's own Aeron Lab Winter socks are £18).
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Go bobbly rapidly with washing, but can go multiple rides without getting smelly.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Warmth and comfort without fuss.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very comfy, whiff-resistant, good value, match other dhb kit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slightly dull standalone looks, not pure merino, messy stitching inside.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The scruffy stitching and early fabric bobbling doesn't bode well, but then it might settle down and cause no real issues. Either way, the solid performance justifies a 7 – without the stitching issue they'd be an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking