Merino wool makes up 42% of the sock, and is known for its warmth and ability to retain heat when wet. It's used in combination with acrylic in the base and surrounding the toes, which is where you want the warmth retained, while the upper part of the sock is a slightly thinner acrylic mix.
The socks are quite tall at 17cm and cover a good part of my shin, making a noticeable difference on chilly rides. I would prefer a slightly tighter cuff to hold them on the leg a little more securely, though for some it might be fine.
I have to say, I don't trend to suffer too badly with cold feet, and in these Galibiers I was comfortable without shoecovers or a winter-specific shoe down to higher single figure temperatures, and to around 2°C with a warm winter overshoe.
The lowest temperature I used the socks was -5°C according to my computer head unit, and my feet did feel cold, but I think that could be expected and is good for a fairly thin sock.
They are quite thin compared with lots of winter socks, with the benefit that they will fit far better into your normal cycling shoes than thick winter socks. The toe box is perhaps the only area where they are much thicker, but flat seams help, providing a comfortable fit without any pinch points.
Galibier says these socks are for cycling only, not running, and the wool does seem to fray on the sole more than other socks I have, including other merino wool pairs. This is despite Galibier saying they have an 'abrasion resistant' sole.
Even taking this into account, their price of under £10 still looks good compared with other merino wool socks. DeFeet's Woolie Boolies provide similar levels of warmth and are excellent but they cost £23, and Steve liked the Giro HRC+ Merino socks but they're £22. Both of those are made with 70% merino, though.
As warm autumn/winter socks, the Fire Feet 2s are a real hit, with the extra warmth being welcome without being overly thick, so they should fit in your normal shoes without your toes being squished.
Make and model: Galibier Fire Feet 2 socks
Tell us what the product is for
Warm, Merino Socks to keep your feet warm when cycling in Cold weather.
The toes and entire footboard are constructed of a Wool/acrylic mix. The cocktail designed to use the best of each material's properties of thermal retention and improved durability. The sock has a double thickness in this area, trapping air and providing warmth for all day comfort.
As the foot move little in the cycling shoe, we have designed the foot bed from Merino wool, for ultimate warmth. Please keep these for cycling- Don't run in these or dig the garden as it will eat them – save them for protecting your toes.
As these are wool if machine was please only on cool setting wash to keep them looking smooth. 3 SIZES S, M AND L/XL
Just ask someone who owns a pair.
With a breathable mesh upper, these socks are designed for all day cool weather riding. The fabric has added Lycra to provide more stretch and hidden beneath overshoes and winter boots, only come in warm orange and charcoal finish. Tall socks with a 17cm cuff.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
42% Merino wool
Socks are an essential part of every rider's wardrobe and these are among the best.
As they are wool- please – if machine wash only on cool setting
Small : 38- 42
Medium : 42-45
Large to XL : 44-48
17 cm ankle cuff
Abrasion resistant sole.
Natural wool and Lycra®
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Well made, with good seams.
Rate the product for performance:
Warm and comfortable down to very low temperatures, but also not too bulky, meaning I was able to keep using my usual cycling shoes without discomfort or feeling like my toes were cramped.
Rate the product for durability:
Early days, but I do have concerns about the wool on the sole fraying, which isn't something I have noticed with merino wool socks previously.
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:
Perhaps a little on the large side if you are near the bottom of the recommended size. I found them just OK in length but would have preferred a tighter cuff to help hold the socks up when riding.
Rate the product for comfort:
Warm, easy to put on and take off. No itching, no discomfort at all.
Rate the product for value:
Excellent for a merino wool sock, with many brands offering similar at double the price (albeit with a higher percentage of merino).
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine, although you need to adhere to temperature guidelines as merino wool has a tendency to shrink. Washed at 30 degrees with no problems.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They were warm down to very low temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The low volume, meaning I could use my preferred cycling shoes without having squashed toes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The wool fabric on the sole is fraying a bit.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Cheaper than many merino wool socks, including the Giro HRC+ and DeFeet Woolie Boolie, both of which are twice the price (but 70% merino).
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
Warm, comfortable and really well priced. One slight reservation about the wool on the sole area fraying, and I would have preferred a slightly tighter cuff, but overall they're very good.
Age: 35 Height: 168 Weight: 62
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
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: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding
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