The Albion Winter Socks are great. They work across a wide range of temperatures, making them ideal from autumn to spring; the synthetic material is soft and stretchy, offering a sublime fit; the cushioned footbed cossets your soles; and the generous height is great for keeping ankles happy on longer legs.
If you're looking for a pair of socks to keep your feet toasty this winter – or, despite the name, much of the year – these Albions should be at the top of your list, especially if, like me, you don't like the feel of merino, as these are totally synthetic: 45% polyester, 35% nylon, 20% elastane.
In a size XXL (EU 44-47/UK 10-13), they fit perfectly on my relatively narrow size 11 feet. They're snug but not tight, the generous amount of elastane offering plenty of stretch. The socks are also available in S/M and L/XL, overall covering sizes from 3 up to 13, which is pretty wide.
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The material feels soft, and in the majority doesn't feel bulky, with an almost summer weight to them. Conversely, the padded toe and footbed is very thick and luxurious, and feels like having pillows under your feet. Truly, these are the best winter socks I've ever tried for feel (and I've tested a lot).
There's plenty of height to the Albion socks too, measuring about 15cm from the point at which the cushioned footbed ends on the heel, or about 20cm from the centre point of the heel (Albion doesn't actually state a length). Suffice to say, they are plenty long – some of the longest I've ever tested. If you like more coverage on your ankles/calves, or you've got very long legs, these will suit you very well. They might be a touch too long for shorter legs, mind.
Tested across a range of temperatures, from hovering above the freezing mark, all the way up to the unusually mild weather in the mid teens we've been experiencing in the UK this winter, the socks performed admirably. At the low end, I only needed a pair of thick neoprene overshoes to keep my feet toasty. At the warmer end, my feet were warm but always stayed cool thanks to the excellent breathability of the material. They weren't stinking in the slightest after a long and very wet and muddy ride around the back lanes south of Bristol, either. Top result.
Though people rave about the qualities of merino socks for retaining warmth while allowing your feet to breathe, Albion's animal-free material performs just as well, if not better. And there's very little bulk, too.
Aesthetically, Albion has gone subtle but stylish, with a dual Albion logo on the footbed, and the signature logo line on the upper section. Colours are pretty limited, with black, olive/orange and this bright orange option; a couple of extra colours would be appreciated.
Given the excellent performance these socks offer, the £20 price tag isn't bad, especially when you consider their ability to work across a wide range of temperatures. They would also work well for all kinds of riding, including road, gravel and mountain biking, despite not being advertised as such.
> Suffering cold feet? Find out how to keep your feet warm cycling through the winter
The MAAP Alt_Road Merino Socks perform similarly to the Albion Winter Socks yet cost £5 more (and contain merino wool, which some won't like). Similarly, the Monton Pro Suutu Merino Socks are a decent option at the same price, but they're a bit bulkier.
Overall, the Albions are a great option if you dislike the feel that merino socks offer and you prefer to steer clear of products that use anything animal in them. Even without merino, their performance is brilliant – warm, comfortable, and a great fit.
Brilliant socks for keeping your feet warm and comfortable throughout winter, and in cooler months
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Make and model: Albion Winter Socks
Tell us what the product is for
Albion says, "Winter cycling sock constructed using a technical nylon yarn for effective warmth and moisture wicking on your longest winter rides."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Padded toe and footbed for additional warmth
Albion logo line
Fabric: 45% polyester, 35% nylon, 20% elastane
Made in Italy
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Material feels thick and well put together.
Rate the product for performance:
Warm, comfortable and good coverage.
Rate the product for durability:
So far, so good – only washed a couple of times. One of those was after a very muddy winter ride, where the socks were caked in mud, and they came up looking like new. Slight bobbling on the footbed, but I've seen similar on other socks I've tested, which I believe is simply down to my feet moving around inside the shoes.
Rate the product for fit:
Perfect fit. Snug on both the foot and calf, but not too tight. Plenty of height for longer legs, or for just more coverage.
Rate the product for sizing:
Perfect for a size 11, in XXL.
Rate the product for weight:
Pretty light for warm winter socks.
Rate the product for comfort:
Thick and luxurious footbed is almost spongey, making it feel very comfortable underfoot.
Rate the product for value:
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
After a couple of washes at 30 degrees, the socks still look great. The orange colour hasn't lost any of its zing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great fit, very comfortable under the foot and a good length to keep ankles cosy. Surprisingly warm considering they're not the thickest option, and they work well whether the temperatures are near freezing or in the mid teens. Breathability is also very good, and they don't smell after long rides, either.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cushioning on the sole.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're cheaper than the recently reviewed MAAP Alt_Road Merino Sock, being £5 less, and on a par with the Monton Pro Suutu Merino Socks.
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
If you dislike the feel that merino socks offer, or you prefer to steer clear of products that use anything animal in them, these are a great option. Even without merino, their performance is brilliant – warm, comfortable, and a great fit. Aesthetically, they're pretty subtle, though the orange definitely gets you noticed.
Age: 39 Height: 6'4 Weight: 175lbs
I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build 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: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,
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