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If you like your socks stylish but subtle, La Passione's Duo socks are some of the best we've ever seen, and not only do they have the performance and quality to match their looks, they are reasonably priced too.
I'm not a big fan of garish, logo-loco socks. If anything, I like my socks to look like they could be worn off the bike at the office or at a posh bar. So, La Passione has really nailed it, for me, with the style of its Duo line of socks (and that goes for the rest of the range too – there are loads of different styles and colours to choose from).
This particular colour combination (one of five available combinations in the Duo style) is perhaps a little more grey and minty green than our photos suggest (blame white balance, I guess). I would have loved the colour even more if I hadn't just built up a new road bike that is a total colour clash, but there you go (disclaimer – I've already ordered some more pairs from La Passione to suit).
The Duo socks – as with the entire La Passione sock range – are 15cm in height, which is basically my ideal sock length, having longer legs than your average human.
Trying them on, the first thing you notice is how thin yet soft the Meryl Skinlife material feels against your skin – they're probably the softest cycling socks I've ever worn. The second thing is that these are tighter than your average cycling socks. They're also quite narrow, which is good for my sparrow-like feet. There does seem to be a lot of stretch to them, but I suspect those with non Italian-spec wide soles might struggle a little.
The Duo socks come in three sizes – XS/S (3.5-5.5), M/L (6-8.5) and XL/XXL (9-11). I am a narrow 11 and they were perfect.
Part of the reason for the extra tightness is down to the slight compression that they offer, which La Passione says is meant to increase blood flow and muscle support. I can't say that I noticed that much difference between these and any other socks I usually wear.
One of the things I did notice after a long ride on a hot day was that my feet were totally free of sweat (not that they sweat loads, admittedly) and that the socks smelt brand new. Even after five hard rides over the course of a couple of weeks they didn't pong at all. I have washed them several times, but I reckon you could go for long periods in between rides without bothering to wash them – even if you have particularly tangy feet.
The 80% polyamide/20% elastane boasts anti-bacterial/odour-resistant properties, which most cycling socks tend to anyway, but in the case of the Duo socks it really does seem to work.
Since I've been wearing them they've held up nicely, though there's a fleecy area on the underside, near the balls of the feet, which has started to bobble quite quickly. Thankfully, you can't see it.
In terms of pricing, I think £12 is bang on the mark. Considering the quality, looks and feel, it's not bad value for money, Most other socks on the site seem to be somewhere between £10-20. In my opinion these are better looking and just as capable as the more expensive Cafe Du Cycliste Block Colour socks, though not quite as cheap as the very good Chapeau Tall socks.
My only complaint about La Passione stuff is the cost of shipping – if you want a pair of these lovely socks, you'll have to buy an extra £78 worth of stuff as the cost of shipping under £90 is £9. The reason being is that they come direct from Italy. At least it gives you an excuse to buy a few more goodies!
Some of the best looking socks around, they're also cool, comfy and feel wonderful, if a bit narrow for some
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road.cc test report
Make and model: La Passione Duo Socks
Size tested: XL/XXL
Tell us what the product is for
La Passione says, "Duo Socks are designed to keep your feet cool when temperatures rise. They are created using the Meryl® Skinlife™, an Italian extra light yarn embossed in a texture which provides a comfy, slightly compressive wearability, improving blood flow and muscles support. This innovative polyamide yarn is enriched with silver ions which guarantee anti-bacterial and odour-resistant features keeping your feet well-ventilated and fresh in warmest and humid months. Featuring extra ankle length, our Duo Socks give the final touch to your outfit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
La Passione lists:
Made in Italy
Meryl® Skinlife™ fiber
Ergonomical shaped fit
6"/15 cm cuff
80% Polyamide / 20% Elastane
Antibacterial and wicking treatment
The material feels thin but luxurious and they look really good.
They keep your feet cool in hot weather and don't smell even after many rides.
Early days, but everything seems good after many miles, apart from some slight bobbling on the underside of the toe box.
Nice and tight, with some compression. Even though they are very stretchy, they might not suit wider feet. The long length is great for added coverage.
XL/XXL (9-11) was spot on for my size 11 feet. As I mentioned, they are a fairly narrow fit, though.
Some socks are much more expensive, but unless you're buying lots of stuff from La Passione then the shipping costs are very high...
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
La Passione recommends 30 degree wash, non synthetic, and to wash dark and light colours separately. I wash them in my usual 30 degree cycle with other clothes, and they seem to be coping fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Duo socks tick pretty much every box – they keep my feet cool, they're nicely supportive and they don't smell one bit – even after hundreds of miles of riding over the course of several weeks.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They look great and are super-soft to wear.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's some slight bobbling of the fleecy material on the underside toe box area, but you can't see this when you're wearing them.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're not the out and out cheapest cycling socks around, but given their looks and performance I think they're good value. I think they are better looking and just as capable as the more expensive Cafe Du Cycliste Block Colour socks, though not quite as cheap as the very good Chapeau Tall socks.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes – and I've bought more since!
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Probably the best cycling socks I've worn. They keep your feet cool, comfortable, supported and they look fantastic.
About the tester
I usually ride: Steel audax bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,