Socks are important for every type of rider, whether you’re racing or commuting, going for a cruise or hitting the trails, but cycling socks are specific to riding a bike because of the length and added compression. All other regular socks worn for walking or running are too padded to be of any use while riding, and may bunch up and cause discomfort if worn while riding.
Aside from all the obvious benefits of wearing socks (blisters, anyone?), cycling socks can actually provide an aerodynamic benefit to riding, surprisingly enough. A few sock companies use one preferred texture over another for high performance and moisture-wicking capabilities.
Among being stylish, overly colorful, or just plain wacky, they really add a pop of color to your cycling kit. And if you’re commuting, cycling socks still have a great benefit because they focus on the movement of your foot making the pedal stroke as opposed to walking or running, which makes them a bit uncomfortable to wear with normal shoes. If you don’t need any more convincing on why cycling socks are a must-have for your athletic wardrobe, put your (sockless) feet up and check out our favorite options below.
1. DeFeet Aireator Double Cuff Socks
DeFeet might be one of our favorite cycling sock brands because of the fit. It’s always tight, comfortable, and never too hot. sure, everyone’s feet swell in the summer and you want to take your socks off ASAP, but the DeFeet Aireators stand apart in comfort and being true to size. These socks go about four inches up your calf, as per UCI regulation, and maintain your status as a stylish aero rider. Check out their different color combinations and prints, some of the designs will make you sad you can’t wear them to the office.
2. Swiftwick Aspire Seven Cycling Socks
BEST FOR NIGHT RIDES
Swiftwick comes in as a close second to being the end-all cycling sock and their wide array of color choices is dizzying, as well as the excellent snug fit. Keep your feet comfortable and dry while out on a long ride with these moisture-wicking socks. While you might be so comfortable in them that you’ll forget you’re wearing them, the bright colors will keep everyone at bay. Great for being seen in traffic or late at night, the neon yellow and green are good options for night rides. Keep your ride going as smooth as possible and add some flair to your cycling kit.
3. GORE WEAR Wool Cycling Socks
BEST FOR SHOULDER SEASON
GORE WEAR’s cycling socks are supreme at quick-drying and are extremely breathable as well as stylish with their funky colors and designs. With reinforcement on the toes and heels with firm material to prevent bunching and padding on the Achille’s heel for relief, these socks are a force to be reckoned with. These fast drying socks are made from wool so they are also a good pair to wear in the winter and cooler off-season months.
4. Giro HRc Cycling Socks
BEST FOR DRY FEET
Giro is another treasured brand in the cycling industry and their cycling socks measure up to our high standards. Made in Italy, these socks are tight enough for a comfortable fit to erase the possibility of blisters or bunching of the material around the toes or heel. With Meryl Skinlife construction, these socks are the ultimate pair for being as dry as possible. Keep your feet happy while you focus on your ride with Giro’s HRc cycling socks.
5. Castelli Rosso Corsa 9 Socks
These socks are an excellent fit for every cyclist and the material will leave your feet dry at the end of a long day in the saddle. With four colors to choose from, the Castelli Rosso Corsa socks are not meant to be missed. Having a few pairs on hand will leave you pleased on cooler days. These socks are an excellent choice for spring and autumn rides.
6. Castelli Fast Feet Socks
BEST FOR TIME TRIALS
These cycling socks are a good choice for cyclists looking for speed or if they’re doing a time trial. With a longer than average length, these socks will make you as aero as possible. These lightweight socks are made from Lycra on the leg and Meryl Skinlife around the foot for ultimate breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities. Try these socks if you’re aiming for your best time or looking for a speedy ride with your friends.
7. Assos Ultraz Winter Socks
BEST FOR WINTER
The Assos sock collection is one to check out often as the brand is always coming out with something new or specific to a certain season, just like the Ultraz winter sock. For the warmest ride of your life, try these winter socks with a pair of shoe covers and you’ll be good to go for a long, cold ride. With properly insulated wool, these socks do their job at keeping your feet toasty.
8. Giro Comp Racer High Rise Socks
These cycling socks have it all: style, performance, and length to add a little extra special something to your wardrobe. If you’re bored of all your socks, check out the Giro Comp Racer High Rise because they’ll pump up you desire to race as well as add some flair to your ride. By being a bit higher than the average cycling sock, the Giro’s give you an edge in terms of speed and performance and the high quality material is hard to beat. With a slight compression to the sock, this pair won’t fall down halfway through your ride as the Lycra adds enough stretch but the elastane makes sure it stays in place. Try the Giro’s if you’re looking to spice up your ride.
9. Le Col Cycling Socks
BEST COMPRESSON SOCKS
Le Col makes an excellent cycling kit and their cycling socks are just as good performance- and fashion-wise. A great addition to any monochrome kit, their socks are excellent at letting your feet breathe during a lot ride as well as wicking away moisture. their unique honeycomb structure gives just the right amount of compression for an average ride, encasing your calf and toes in a snug weave of pressure for optimal performance. Let your feet relax while your legs do the work with Le Col’s socks.
10. Rapha Team Socks
BEST FOR BUYING IN BULK
Rapha’s signature pink isn’t on every pair of their cycling socks, so rest easy when choosing a few pairs to balance out your cycling wardrobe. With great wicking capabilities to ease the moisture from your feet during a long ride, these socks are a tight fit and an excellent choice for a longer than average ride. With multiple colors to choose from, you’ll be able to match most of your jerseys easily. Take it easy and buy in bulk because you’ll love the tight feel and the quick drying of these socks.