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The ashmei Classic Chequered Merino Socks offer loads of comfort and are very breathable when the temperatures start to soar. They are at the upper end in terms of price, but the quality and detailing justify it.
Merino is well known for being soft against the skin and these ashmei socks certainly follow that theme. They are very comfortable, and even on long, hot rides my feet still felt fresh and cool throughout.
Alongside the blended merino and carbon fabric, ashmei has also used a material called 37.5 Technology, which is designed to keep the microclimate next to your skin at the ideal relative humidity of 37.5%. How well it works is hard to judge away from the lab, but even with the recent warm spell seeing the temperatures hitting the mid-20s my feet remained dry throughout.
Adding to the comfort levels of the fabric, ashmei has used a hand-linked toe seam, where every single stitch is matched top and bottom to close the toe of the sock. This leaves a much smaller seam rather than that found from a machined toe closure. It makes a big difference on long rides as there is nothing to rub when wearing close-fitting cycling shoes.
This attention to detail continues throughout the socks. They really are very well made, with no stray threads. Wear levels are slowed by the addition of carbon strands in the heel, toe box and foot bed areas.
The Classic socks are available in three sizes, ranging from a UK4 through to UK11+. I was wearing the medium, which is for UK7 to UK10.5 and they fit my size 10 feet absolutely fine.
It would be great to see the Chequered socks in a range of colours so you could colour code them with your kit. There is a plain option and a few others, though, like the Polka Dot designs.
Priced at £18 they are more expensive than a lot of other socks I've tested, even the Le Cols that are among my favourites and cost £14. The ashmei socks take the edge on comfort, though.
If you are after merino socks specifically then Steve tested the dhb Aeron Light Weight Merinos which cost just £10, but he did comment on the messy stitching inside, which is something the ashmeis don't suffer with at all.
Overall, I really like these socks. They are pricier than most but not by much, and with the impressive quality and comfort they'll give your feet a little bit of a treat. What's more, at the time of writing, for every pair of socks you buy, ashmei will send one to an NHS worker.
Excellent quality socks that deliver comfort and breathability in even the hottest temperatures
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road.cc test report
Make and model: ashmei Classic Chequered Merino Socks
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Cycling socks that are designed to be comfortable and offer fast wicking properties in temperatures from 12-40°C.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hand-linked toe seam for greater comfort
Reinforced Carbon strands in heel, toe box and foot bed areas
Light-weight, high performance: 48g (pair)
Blended MERINO + CARBON with 37.5® Technology fabric
Sizing was absolutely fine, so stick with ashmei's size guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
ashmei recommends a 30 degree wash and I had no issues with them after being washed countless times over the test period.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They keep your feet cool and dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very good quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
More colour options would be a bonus.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are more expensive than pretty much every pair of socks that I have tested but they do warrant it over the likes of the very good Le Col socks I mentioned in the review. If you look at our sock reviews you'll see that most come in around the £10 to £15 mark.
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
A little bit pricier than most but you really can't fault the performance or the quality.
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,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!