One of the most commonly asked questions is,
Do I really need a pair of socks specifically for cycling?
After all, aren’t all of them the same?
You can wear any socks for cycling, but there is indeed a difference. In general, cycling socks are designed for the weather conditions you’re riding in. There are different types of socks for summer, autumn/spring, and winter.
Finding a pair is easy, but finding the right pair can be a challenge.
On this page, I’ll discuss what to look for and share some of my favorites with you.
A Quick Glance : Our Cycling Socks Recommendations
Picks for Summer
Swiftwick Performance 7
Made from synthetic olefin fiber, the Swiftwick Performance 7 always dried up at a quick rate, is very effective at moisture wicking to prevent odor build-up.
To keep your toes safe and prevent blisters from forming, the seams have been hidden and placed strategically.
When you stretch out the socks fully, they will cover the lower part of your foot to the mid-calf. Durability in the toe box and heel areas is brought about by reinforced nylon.
This pair of socks is environment-friendly, the material it’s made of was recognized as a polymer, which can be recycled quite easily.
- Pros : Excellent value for money in terms of functionalities vs price.
- Cons : Available in only black or white.
Castelli Free 9
Wearing these will give you a stylish look and keep you cool at the same time.
They’re made from Meryl skin life, which is as soft as a feather and thin to reduce strenuous weight.
During warm weather, temperature regulation is brought about by the mesh-like material that starts at the cuff and extends to the heel. You can still wear these even during hot days and still feel comfortable.
- Pros : Very breathable and comfortable.
- Cons : Be prepared to pay more.
Just as the name suggests, the DeFeet Aireator have a double cuff, which keeps them firmly held on your ankle without slipping down.
It’s made up of 1% lycra, 33% Coolmax EcoMade and 66% nylon. Such materials will give you a cooling effect during hot weather conditions.
This pair is 5″, after wearing them they will sit just above your calf muscles. Style is also another important feature that these socks possess, they’re available in different colors giving you a wide variety to choose from.
- Pros : Many colors and design combinations to choose from.
- Cons : Thin fabrics don’t last very long.
Picks for Autumn and Spring
Castelli Primaloft 15
The Castelli Primaloft 15 are made from both polypropylene and Primaloft. Those two materials will keep your feet warm and toasty during chilly weather conditions.
That’s not all, your feet will also remain dry because due to sweat-wicking properties possessed by this pair of socks.
Standing at a height of 6″, these socks boost the overall warmth that’s provided. Comfort is another important feature provided by these socks, the materials they’re made of are soft.
- Pros : Made from high-quality materials and very comfortable.
- Cons : Expensive.
Giro HRc Team
Giro is a well-renowned company that produces top-notch cycling equipment.
The Giro HRc Team is a perfect choice for autumn, they’re made from merino wool, Meryl Skinlife Construction, and nylon. Those materials are good insulators, and they trap a layer of warm air to keep your feet warm as you’re riding.
The heel and toe box areas have been reinforced completely by nylon to enhance durability. To add to that, these socks are 2″ high and 4″ wide, so if you don’t like lengthy socks, these will be a good pick for you.
- Pros : Many colors to choose from.
- Cons : Material tends to get stretched and loose overtime.
Gore Wear C3
The Gore Wear C3 socks are perfect for chilly weather conditions and season, but not too cold for overshoes. Dressing for such weather conditions can be a hard task because you still have to keep your feet warm.
To keep the wind off your feet, they have been equipped with a Gore Windstopper membrane. Moisture is absorbed by the synthetic polyester material that it’s made of.
The seams are in a flatlock manner to maximize your comfort. For easier movement, they have been designed to be stretchy.
- Pros : Gore Windstopper material is windproof yet very breathable.
- Cons : Be prepared to pay more.
Picks for Winter
DeFeet Men's Woolie Boolie 6"
Just as the name suggests, these winter socks are made from merino wool, which has high insulation properties and keeps your feet comfortable.
The DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks are thick, so you should ensure that your cycling shoes are wide enough to accommodate them.
These socks guarantee breathability. The material’s made from wicks sweat and keeps your feet dry.
- Pros : Thicker materials are ideal for cold winter mornings.
- Cons : Cuffs can get loose especially for those with larger calf muscles.
Now, the Castelli Quindici is the perfect definition of winter socks, they’re made of 100 % merino wool.
Breathability, comfort, and warmth are the main properties of Merino Wool. You can wear these in the coldest winter because you’re assured of constant warmth.
Not to mention, the heel and toes are made from towel terry, which takes comfort to the next level.
This pair is 15cm long. After wearing, they will cover your ankles fully and sit at your calf muscles. The word Quindici means 15 in Italian.
- Pros : Made from very comfortable merino wool.
- Cons : Costs more than the average merino wool socks.
Giordana Merino Wool 5"
Giordana is an Italian company that’s been here since the ‘70s. They manufacture some top-notch cycling gear.
Made from 57% merino, 3% spandex, and 40% nylon, these are perfect for riding in cold weather.
The different combinations of materials give these socks the ability to wick off sweat without getting sloppy. On the top part of these socks, there is a thin weave, which boosts breathability.
- Pros : Made from very breathable, yet warm materials.
- Cons : Limited color choices.
Compression Sock Picks
If you like riding for long hours, you might be familiar with the muscle fatigue that comes after that. These socks will save you from muscle soreness and fatigue because it brings about the continuous circulation of blood to your legs.
Plus, these can be worn up to your knees for good circulation. To improve your performance, these socks have a soft cushioning material on the heels, and they’re also lightweight.
Riding is made more comfortable by the breathability properties that these socks possess. They’re made of polyester, a good sweat-wicking material.
- Pros : One of the best compression socks around.
- Cons : Expensive.
Olefin, a material that is constructed using 200 needles is what these Capo compression socks are made of.
You will get maximum compression from your toes to your calf muscles when you wear these. The cuff height is about 15cm and it sits firmly on your leg.
They also have an odor-resistant feature, even after using them for long rides they won’t have a funky smell.
They also wick off sweat easily to keep your feet dry, and they’re environment-friendly because they don’t produce a lot of waste as compared to other synthetic materials.
- Pros : Provides compression from the toe to the calf.
- Cons : Limited color choices.
This pair of Velotoze socks are made from a merino wool blend material.
Compression offered is light but adequate enough to ensure blood circulation to your feet.
It’s 6″ tall and covers your feet to a substantial height when fully stretched out. In those cold and wet conditions where you have to use these socks, wear them with veloToze overshoes, which have been designed side-by-side with them.
These 2 cycling gears will give you maximum comfort during bad weather conditions.
- Pros : Value for money.
- Cons : Design is average with a louder branding.
Cycling Socks Buying Guide
When considering the height of a pair of socks, it’s worthwhile to note that there is a rule that has been set by UCI that states; the maximum height should be between the knee and the ankle.
But worry not. The rule is only applicable to you if you’re competing.
On the other hand, if you’re wearing socks to go out on a fun ride with your friends, you can go for the longest socks, there is no regulation holding you back.
Geek Tip : Cycling sock length ranges from 2.5″ (ankle height) to 3-4″ (mid) and 5-6″ (tall).
If you take a look at a legendary cyclist like Fausto Coppi who pioneered fashion in cycling, you’ll notice that he wore socks to a certain length.
This fashion statement has been upheld because most cycling socks are about 3″, which are the same length as Coppi’s. Other lengths are 5″ and 6″, which are considered to be on the taller size.
2. Fabric Materials
Merino wool and polyester are the most common materials that are used in making socks. This is because they possess some unique qualities.
Due to its thickness, merino wool is a perfect material for winter cycling socks. They’ll keep your feet warm because of their high insulation properties. It’s also odor-resistant. The flip side of merino wool is the non-breathability properties that it possesses.
Polyester is the best material to be used for summer cycling socks because it’s highly breathable and can be made into thinner mesh-like fabrics.
Additionally, polyester socks wick off sweat from your feet as you’re riding and keep your feet dry.