Cyclists love the best cycling socks, and the bolder/brighter/brasher they are, the better. Your socks are a real opportunity to make a statement on the weekend group ride, and with so many designs out there, there’s no shortage of options. As a bonus, some cycling socks can keep your feet warm and prevent chafing.
Good quality socks can go a long way to improving the comfort of your ride, and there is more art and science to their construction than you might think. Thick socks are no good and impact the fit of your shoes, potentially restricting the blood flow in the process so the best socks will be made from a high-wicking, breathable fabric. With that in mind, we’ve selected the best cycling socks. They combine eye-catching style with quality design.
Best cycling socks to buy right now
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Cycling socks don't get much better than the Chrome Merino Night Socks (retailer link). These amazing cycling socks are made mostly of merino wool, a natural material that's often used for base layers as it regulates temperature and wicks moisture exceptionally well. And indeed, we wore the Merino Night Socks for cycling, running, and everything else for three days straight (for testing purposes, not because we're gross), and we can safely say these are the best cycling socks money can buy.
Although Chrome Industries caters for urban riders the most, the Merino Night Socks will delight all manners of cyclists. They run up higher than your standard socks and stay up, too. We tested the socks in the middle of February, and our feet did not feel cold. For the same reason, we can expect the socks to be a bit too warm for summer rides. However, merino will probably do a good job of wicking sweat away in warmer temperatures.
Le Col's Lightweight Socks are exactly how you'd imagine them: light, sweat-wicking and super stylish. These cycling socks are the perfect companion for your feet when the temperatures are soaring. The lightweight mesh weave construction allows the foot to breathe, while the polyamide material ensures any moisture gets wicked away almost instantly. The socks feature a ribbed cuff for grip and reinforced toe and heel seams to help the socks last longer than just a few rides.
If you're a cyclist who also has a keen sense of style, Rapha is the brand for you. Take, for example, the Rapha Coast Road Pro Team Socks. These eye-catching socks will go well with your Peloton shoes and make others in your cycling group green with envy. As well as looking good, the Coast Road Pro Team Socks are also highly functional. They are made with an "improved" nylon fabric that wicks sweat away while remaining soft next to the skin. With a breathable mesh upper, these socks are designed for high-intensity riding or racing.
If DeFeet knows how to do one thing properly, it’s socks. In fact, the company specialises in socks. The Aireator was DeFeet’s original sock in 1992 and continues to set the standard. The Aireator has an open mesh construction, ensuring excellent breathability and quick-drying performance, ideal for those sweaty summer rides. The socks are available in a range of cuff heights, with a single or double-layer cuff, and more designs than you could possibly wish for, including the rather jazzy ‘Barnstormer’ and ‘Sugarskull’ socks we’ve pictured here.
Budget needn’t mean low quality, and that’s certainly the case with the dhb Classic Thermal Socks. These striking socks are less snazzy than dhb’s summer socks, but then winter riding in chilly conditions is a serious business. The socks are made of hollow-cored Thermolite fibres, which trap air against the body, ‘creating a warm barrier against the cold outer air’. Moisture is wicked away to keep your feet dry, and dHB promises an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, should you fear your Strava segment times are being compromised by ‘heavy socks’.
How to choose the best cycling socks for you
First of all, you might want to consider what weather you will ride in your new cycling socks. Thankfully, there are many different cycling sock variations in this day and age, and you can pick one for any and every weather. Some are better for summer rides, while others are better suited for winter cycling adventures.
There is also the question of fabrics and materials used in the socks. Most cycling socks are made of composite blend nowadays and contain a little bit of everything: a few yarns of wool, some spandex and nylon. The winter ones tend to be more wool than spandex, while the summer ones are the other way around.
Let's not forget about style either: you can go subtle with white or black socks or stand out in your cycling group by wearing mega colourful cycling socks.
Are merino wool socks good for summer cycling?
Winter cycling socks are often made of merino wool, but certain merino socks can be used for summer riding. Merino has great swift-wicking and odour-preventing properties, making it perfect for warm weather rides. As long as your merino cycling socks aren't too thick, feel free to wear them all year around.