Best Cycling Socks: Buying Guide For Optimum Comfort
While socks are one item of clothing that most people will likely have an abundance of, it’s worth investing in some cycle- or running-specific ones.
Why do I need cycling socks?
Cycling specific socks will utilize materials, designs and features that take into account the demands of the exercise, and may also offer additional protection against wind and rain, helping to keep your feet dry and comfortable in cold conditions.
Meanwhile they will also be made of materials that offer much better technical performance than standard cotton socks.
Check Out Our Cycling Gloves Buying Guide 2021
It’s important to have a good pair of socks on your feet but what about your hands?
Gloves are essential for optimum comfort as well as protection from the elements, read the full buying guide by clicking on the link below.
What cycling socks are best for me?
As with all cycling- or sports-specific clothing, there are different types of socks designed for optimum performance under various conditions, and they type you choose will largely be determined by when you want to use them and what performance priorities you value. A thick, waterproof and thermally insulated pair of socks, for example, will help to keep your feet dry and warm in the winter, but will be overkill in the summer months when you need short, lightweight socks that help to keep your feet from overheating. You may well find that a selection of season-appropriate socks is the best option.
Some of the main things to consider when purchasing a pair of socks are:
• Materials: Socks can be made of either natural materials such as wool or cotton, or man-made textiles including Lycra, nylon or a blend of multiple fibres. For sporting and technical wear, synthetic fibres are generally preferred as they are engineered to offer excellent breathability, insulation and wicking.
• Length: Sport socks are generally offered in long (extending up the shin), mid (extending above the ankle) or low/trainer cuts. Longer socks will offer more protection against cold during the winter but will be too hot in the summer, when shorter socks will help keep you cool.
• Waterproofing: Few things are more irritating on a long winter ride than cold, wet feet, so a pair of waterproof socks is a valuable addition to the cyclist’s wardrobe. Worn in conjunction with a pair of waterproof overshoes they should keep your feet dry and comfortable.
• Thermal qualities: Socks with thermal insulation properties – the ability to trap a layer of air next to your skin, where it can warm up – are also a winter staple. You should be aware, however, that insulation comes at the expense of breathability.
• Moisture management: As above, all synthetic and some natural fibres (Merino wool in particular, cotton not so much) are valued for their wicking properties, some socks designed specifically for cycling may also have additional features such as extra padding in the heel area, stretch panels under the arch of the foot and silicon gripper bands above the ankle.