Despite looking like fairly innocuous white socks, these DeFeet Evo Mont Ventoux 6in have some hidden tech and provide suitably competent performance. They're not cheap, but as dedicated three-season cycling socks, they're quite impressive.
How much can you say about a pair of socks? That's the terrifying question that goes through my head when faced with a test like this. Thankfully, DeFeet has made things a little easier for me by filling its Evo Mont Ventoux with some interesting features.
Perhaps most fascinating is the fabric, which seems softly bumpy initially, but look closer and you'll see it's a series of little woven diamonds. DeFeet calls this its 'Mont Ventoux' grid pattern and it is used 'to create thinner windows that allow sweat vapour to exit more quickly'.
In practice, it definitely works. While other parts of my anatomy have been growing decidedly moist on recent rides – I apologise for the mental image – the old plates have been kept wonderfully dry and free from heat build-up.
The downside is that these aren't socks you'll want to keep your tootsies warm come winter. I've been wearing them during autumn: on warmer days they're fine; on colder days they're getting a little chilly.
However, I have been impressed by the overall support that the Mont Ventoux supplies – far more than that relatively thin construction would suggest. The special grid pattern isn't used entirely throughout and around the mid-foot point there's a more tightly-woven band that offers a spot of compression and feels reassuringly snug around the arches.
In fact, the whole sock feels snug but certainly not tight, which is no doubt helped by the material's accommodating 50% nylon, 39% polyester and 11% Lycra composition. And with a 'no feel toe seam', there's one less area for unwanted rubbing. In short, they are very comfortable.
For somebody who buys his socks at Primark or the bargain bin at Sports Direct, a price in excess of £15, let alone £20, for a single pair seems a bit rich. But proper cycling socks aren't cheap.
That said, other high performance three-season socks aren't necessarily quite this much. For example, nologo's orange cycling socks are just £10.87 and the Iris Found socks are £14.60. While the DeFeets outperform the nologos, the Iris Founds offer much closer competition and even feature similar mid-foot compression.
However, there is one possibly significant difference: the Founds come in just one colourway – purple and pink – while the DeFeets can be had in six different hues.
So DeFeet's Mont Ventoux socks aren't cheap, but you won't find your feet complaining about them in mild and warm weather. Add in the option to colour-code them with your kit and the price seems a little easier to swallow.
Not the cheapest pair of socks but breathability, comfort and support are hard to fault – perfect for mild and warm rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: DeFeet Evo Mont Ventoux 6in socks
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
High-performance sports cycling socks. DeFeet says: "The DeFeet Evo Mont Ventoux socks are thin throughout for a lightweight feel and feature the breathable and wicking 'Ventoux' grid pattern. The Ventoux extensive texture removes some material in strategic patterns to create thinner windows that allow sweat vapor to exit more quickly."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Extruded filament polyester thread
Breathable and moisture-wicking
Thin, lightweight, and compressive
No feel toe seam
Machine wash cold, tumble dry low - no bleach, softeners or harsh detergents.
50% Nylon, 39% Polyester, 11% Lycra
A close look to examine the detail of the 'Mont Ventoux' diamond construction pattern reveals these are very nicely made.
Excellent in mild or warm weather – breathability is superb.
So far so good. (But, let's face it, you can never tell with socks!)
Really good. Supportive rather than tight – they feel great on.
Pretty much perfect. They seemed a little small when first putting on, but that was actually just the effect of their compressive qualities.
Par for the course with dedicated lightweight sports socks.
Soft and the compressive element helps give your feet extra support.
Expensive, although performance and build quality is first-rate. In comparison, nologo's orange cycling socks are just £10.87 and the Iris Found socks are £14.60. While the DeFeets outperform the nologos, the Iris Founds offer much closer competition and even feature similar mid-foot compression.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple – wing it in the machine at a cold temperature then tumble dry at low or – probably safer – hang them up to dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
If you habitually finish a ride drenched in sweat, these socks will mean at least one part of you stays dry. As high-performance sports socks they're fab.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Breathability is superb but I think the compression band at the mid-foot adds significant comfort.
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?
Nologo's orange cycling socks are just £10.87, while the Iris Found socks are £14.60.
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're in the market for some specialist high-performance cycling socks, you're probably prepared to pay a decent price. In that case, the DeFeet Evo Mont Ventoux socks will provide all the breathability and sweat-wicking performance you will want, with high levels of comfort, support and build quality.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Leisure