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De Feet's Cyclismo Wool Comp 6in socks are comfortable, hard-wearing midweight hosiery, and ideal for spring and autumn.
These socks plopped through the letter box way back in January, but as midweight, mid-length items of knitwear they're ideally suited to those in-between days of spring and autumn. Nevertheless, I've worn them in a variety of conditions, in the quest for knowledge.
My toes go blue for most of the winter, and even inside proper weatherproof boots these can't really keep the freezing temperatures at bay, but warmer riders than I might do better. For me, these start working at around 8°C (DeFeet don't appear to recommend a temperature range).
While the name emphasises the wool content, the fabric is actually 70% synthetic, including the lycra. There's nylon and polyester (from recycled water bottles) in there, with the remaining 30% being merino. As you might expect, the result is much more natural-feeling than an all-synthetic sock, but it allows a more sculpted cut that fits really well all round.
It's worth turning these inside out to marvel at how the fabrics appear completely different on each side. I don't know the technicalities, but I know I like it. The DeFeet Cyclismos (Cyclismi?) look well-made, and are constructed with attention to comfort – there are no misplaced seams or restrictive places.
From ankle to calf, and at the toes, the weave is dense whilst on the soles and instep it's lighter and more aerated, making for good breathability and no clamminess.
There's a strip of extra thickness across the balls of the feet: inside, this has a flannel-like texture that's pleasant to wear. It adds a little extra padding and DeFeet claims it helps fill up excess space inside the shoe, but that may not be such a good thing if your shoes are already a snug fit. I had to adjust my laces in my summer shoes a little to compensate.
You'll need to know your EU shoe size, as these USA-made socks are otherwise only marked in US sizes. My test size Large were actually an EU half-size too small but fitted me perfectly anyway, thanks to ample stretch from the lycra. For the record, the S, M, L and XL sizes cover a range from 36 to 48.
At £22.99 there's definitely a premium on these, no doubt in part due to DeFeet's making its socks in-house in North Carolina. And you can get great socks for less. My go-to socks are all made by Smartwool – for example, its PhD Cycle Ultra Light Pattern Crew at £18.99 – while Stu tested these merino-mix lovelies from Ashmei at £18.
The DeFeets have taken at least a dozen whirls through the wash, and show no signs of bobbling, shrinking or going stiff like some synthetic socks do; nor have I managed to pull any threads, even when battling through overgrown woodland paths.
These 'gravel' grey samples have a slightly school-days look about them, though the detailing (woven, not printed) does look smart. The Cyclismo Wool Comps are also available in classic black or white.
The DeFeet Cyclismo Wool Comp socks are great. They're a little bulky and rather expensive, but if those things aren't an issue you'll love their impressive comfort, fit and construction.
Excellent midweight socks with high levels of comfort and a great fit – but a high price too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: DeFeet Cyclismo Wool Comp 6in socks
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
According DeFeet: " Cyclismo was originally made under the direction of a World and Olympic Road Race champion who wanted some cushion under the ball of the foot. The cushion serves many purposes. It takes up a little more room in the shoe, creating a tighter fit in the forefoot of cycling shoes than the Aireator. It helps dampen road vibration and eradicates any 'slipping' or movement of the foot inside the shoe."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Breathable and moisture wicking
Eco-friendly: Made from recycled water bottles in North Carolina
Content: 38% Nylon, 30% Merino Wool, 30% Recycled Polyester, 2% Lycra
Weight: 1.6 oz
Care: Machine wash cool. Tumble dry low. No bleach, softeners, or harsh detergents.
These have a quality feel to them, enhanced by the attention to detail.
Comfortable, dry, maintain a good temperature.
Still looking great after three months regular use.
You know how a good sock fits? That.
I probably should have had a size bigger, technically, but these fit well because there's plenty of stretch. Note the sizes are EU or US only.
A midweight sock, so right there in the middle.
Very nice to wear – warmth without clamminess. No misplaced seams or cutting-in areas either.
These are some of the more expensive socks we've tested, and lower-priced pairs have won equally warm praise. They are made in the USA though.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
These go fine through the machine on a sports cycle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
DeFeet emphasises the no-feel seams and the metatarsal pad, and these are certainly comfortable riding socks. They do take up a fair bit of shoe space for a midweight sock, though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, quality construction and good fit.
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?
Certainly a bit dearer than some comparable socks: The Ashmei Classic Chequered Merinos fared well in our test at £18, while the Iris Merino Socks – another wool/synthetic combo – are also a hit, again at £18.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes. I might get some white ones
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Good socks can make the difference between a good ride and a grim one. The DeFeet Cyclismo Wool Comps are very good socks. For spring and autumn (and probably a fair bit of a UK summer) they're ideal. Definitely at the pricey end of the scale, though.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,