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It may not seem the most important piece of bicycle attire, but don’t underestimate the importance of a good pair of cycling socks.
Not so much from a fashion sense (although, that’s not to say there are no good-looking designs at all…), but more in just how warm they’ll keep your feet on a bitter winter’s day, or in how breathable you’ll find them as cycling summer socks
If you’re struggling for cycling socks inspiration – fear not. We’re here to run you through six of our top picks in this regard, as well as explaining to you the benefits of them and the best materials used to make them.
What Socks to Wear When Cycling?
First of all, you can wear ‘normal’ socks for cycling, just like you don’t have to wear socks specifically for jogging to reap the benefits of a good run.
But all sorts of bike socks, including cycling ankle socks, ultra-thin cycling socks, hi-viz socks and more, you should find to be more comfortable and breathable, better at wicking sweat away, and less likely to get blisters.
What is the Point of Cycling Socks?
Several reasons – chiefly, the cosier fit they offer your feet, their smooth, lightweight feel, their excellent temperature regulation, and the way they keep moisture to a minimum inside the socks.
Best Cycling Sock Materials
You may find a lot of cycling socks merge together a number of different fabrics so they can tick more boxes (e.g. breathability, comfort, moisture-wicking, etc.) Here are four of the most prominent materials:
- Merino wool is a popular choice given it offers a comfortable fit and superb moisture control, has a high warmth-to-weight ratio, and by nature is antibacterial, too.
- Nylon originally comes from petroleum, and is a common feature in cycling socks given how soft, stretchy and durable it is.
- Polyester is also produced from petroleum; after petroleum is heated, hardened and spun into threads, the end result is this incredibly soft material which is excellent at moisture-wicking, too.
- Elastane, which you may know as ‘Lycra’ or ‘Spandex’ is what makes cycling socks so stretchable. This helps them keep their shape even after being washed repeatedly, and also helps make the socks greatly breathable and moisture-wicking.
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Top 6: Best Cycling Socks for Men + Women
Most Comfortable + Breathable Cycling Socks
Stylish socks with a snug fit
- Sizes: UK 3 – 5, UK 6 – 8, UK 9 – 12
- Colours: Black, Blue, Multicoloured stripes
- Perfect for any sort of bike ride
If you’re looking for supreme levels of comfort and breathability, as well as perfect fit, these Danish Endurance socks are bound to fit the bill.
Made of 56 per cent Prolen, 39 per cent Nylon and five per cent Elastane, the socks will stay dry and comfortable to wear thanks to these light, moisture-wicking fabrics. And that’s only enhanced even further by their padded anti-blaster zones.
What’s more, they’re not gender-specific – meaning they’re both among the best men’s cycling socks and the best women’s cycling socks – nor are they designated for a certain type of cyclist. Whether you’re a city commuter, a mountain biker, a gym trainer or a road racer, these socks will suit your every need.
Funky Cycling Socks for Men
Bright, colourful socks built to last
- Sizes: UK 6 – 11
- Colours: Black, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Orange, White, Red, Green
- High wear-resistance and breathability
Available in a variety colours and patterns, these funky cycling socks aren’t to be missed.
They consist of a cushion terry foot for extra impact of protection (no blisters, no whirling and slipping, reinforced heel and toe for durability in high-wear areas), and targeted compression zones to help relieve pain and discomfort related to plantar fasciitis, reduce fatigue, soreness, cramping and prevent injuries at the same time.
More than that, though, they’ll keep your feet warm in the winter and fresh and cool in the summer, can prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus effectively, and thanks to their high resistance, they don’t suffer damage easily.
Reflective Cycling Socks
Smooth, quick to dry merino cycling socks
- Sizes: UK S, M, L, XL
- Colours: Black, Brown/White, Purple/Pink, Dark Navy, Dark Yellow, Dark Olive
- Merino wool provides great moisture-wicking qualities and breathability
Rapha have always been especially reliable when it comes to cycling attire, and their smart array of socks is no exception.
Featuring that much-coveted merino wool, it’s a thick design for warmth and comfort, while still offering great services in terms of breathability and moisture-wicking. The PrimaLoft materials offer a soft, smooth texture and help the socks dry quicker, too.
Not only that, but they also boast a reflective stripe to make sure you’ll still be seen even if riding in the dark of night. What more could you ask for?
Fun Cycling Socks
A great left-field socks idea, perfect for mixing and matching
- Sizes: UK 6 – 11, EUR 39 – 46, US 7 – 12
- Multicoloured socks with stylish cycling designs on each
- Great comfort and long-lasting
If you’re looking for some funky fun cycling socks for men, look no further than this ‘On Your Bike’ selection from United Oddsocks..
This pack contains six odd socks, so even if you lose a sock or one gets a whole in, don’t worry – there’s plenty more to “pair” it with! With the On Your Bike socks, you can mix and match your cycling socks however you like.
They’re also excellent quality; made from 80 per cent cotton, 19 per cent polyamide and one per cent elastane.
Also a perfect as a light-hearted present for any frequent cyclist.
Novelty Cycling Socks
A cycling and gaming enthusiast’s dream
- Sizes: UK 6 – 11, EUR 39 – 46, US 7 – 12
- Multicoloured socks with eye-catching retro gaming designs on each
- Made of 80 per cent cotton
And again, for those more concerned about standing out and letting imaginations run wild, United Oddsocks have also created this fetching brand of retro gaming cyclist socks.
Also made of 80 per cent cotton, 19 per cent polyamide and one per cent elastane, you can mix and match with these cool cycling socks depending on what colours you’re in the mood for today.
For anyone looking to combine passions for cycling and gaming, these are an absolute must.
Hi-Viz Socks for Cyclists
Top-level visibility and breathability with this pair
- Sizes: UK 3 – 6, UK 7 – 11
- Colours: Green, Orange, Pink, Yellow
- Hi-viz cycling socks with great breathability
Looking to illuminate your streets and cycle paths from your feet upwards? You can do just that with these striking hi-viz unisex cycling socks from Optimum.
Made from 100 per cent polyester, these socks are tailored towards providing ideal levels of comfort, breathability and foot support, making them perfect for wearing even during cycles in the depths of winter.
They also boast antibacterial properties, so won’t rot away or start to smell after wearing them, and of course, these are such bright cycling socks that wearing them can only boost your visibility while you ride.