If you’ve got feet you’ll be wanting a good pair of socks to go with them. But which to choose? Pressing remorselessly upon the pedals, cycling is an onerous task to impose on your toes.
At the same time, the wrong socks can undermine the best put-together outfit, leaving you a figure of scorn among your peers. Guaranteed to avoid stylistic missteps while catering to the weather’s every vagary, here are eight of the very best cycling socks out there.
Ashmei Polka Merino Sock
£18 | Shop ashmei
Pink, covered in polka dots, and made of soft Merino, Ashmei’s wool-based socks tick a lot of boxes. Six inches in length, they’re not too long and not too short, while being made of a Merino and silica-based fabric means they’re highly breathable and disinclined to getting either stale or sweaty.
Also available in more sober plain or chequered designs for those who prefer to live a more sartorially-restrained existence, each features hand-linked toe seams for greater comfort.
Fingerscrossed Block Socks
Fingerscrossed makes socks covered with all kinds of slogans, from the cheery ‘ciao for now’ to the only somewhat true ‘boys don’t cry’. However, these tri-colour socks don’t directly communicate anything other than that their wearer is in possession of an understated sense of style.
Described as coming in asphalt, white, and mittelscharf, the last of which means mustard in German, they’re made of lightweight and durable Prolen and feature a natty rivet on the left sock.
Rapha Reflective Brevet Socks
£20 | Shop Rapha
Two things the well-dressed rider enjoys; not having logos disfigure their socks and not being run over. These socks from Rapha guarantee the first while going some way to ensuring the second. With twin bands running around the top, the upper of these is composed of reflective material.
From Rapha’s touring-focused Brevet range, their medium weight means they’re likely to suit any task you put them too, while a blend of merino wool and PrimaLoft helps them stay fresh when the next checkpoint is a while off.
Le Col Cycling Socks
£15 | Shop Le Col
Not too thick, not too loud, and just the right height. Le Col’s mid-priced cycling socks do most of the things you could conceivably ask of them. Modern in look and available in two monochrome colourways, their breezy honeycomb structure suits them to warm days. All synthetic, this also means you can throw them in with a conventional wash without the risk of shrinkage.
Chpt3 Merino Winter Socks
£25 | Shop CHPT3
Did the public christen David Millar ‘Le Dandy’ or did he engineer the nickname for himself? Did New Labour’s Peter Mandelson mistake mushy peas for Guacamole or was it an elaborate ruse to further cultivate his urbane reputation? We may never know for sure.
What’s certain is you’ll never see either anything other than well turned-out. Designed by Millar and created by Castelli, Chpt3 makes a range of lovely logo-free socks, of which we think these winter-weight Merino numbers are among the nicest.
Rouleur Collection Merino Seasonal Socks
£17 | Shop Rouleur
The entirety of cycling culture condensed into a pair of mid-weight socks. Faster, more attractive, and infinitely classier than those produced to celebrate other publications, our Rouleur Collection Merino socks will keep your toes warm and fresh. A crucial first step on the way to cycling success, they’ll ensure you have the battle for aesthetic supremacy sewn up before the race even rolls off.
Pongo London Winter Cycling Socks
£20 | Shop Pongo London
Nice socks composed of 100% Merino wool. Designed in London and made in Italy, apparently, Pongo stands for Passion ON the GO. However, phonetically Pongo is quite a close relative of pong, which being a trait universally reviled in socks, makes it a bold choice for a sock-making business.
Happily being made of naturally odour-resistant wool makes this fact largely irrelevant when applied to its winter socks. Not too expensive and very soft, these might do just as well for padding about the office as racing at the weekend.
Café du Cycliste Striped Cycling Socks
£19 | Shop Café du Cycliste
The stripes on Café Du Cycliste’s socks are intended as a nod to the French tricolour and its ideals of liberté, égalité, and fraternité. However, to us, these banded numbers look more like the kind of ribbed tube sock beloved of American varsity athletes and pornographic actors.
Either way, it's an aesthetic we’re happy to buy into. Made of material that promises to be breathable, moisture-wicking, and fast-drying, their medium weight makes them a good bet for most occasions.