The first step to becoming faster is looking good…right? This may be why cyclists have a bit of a sock obsession. Most riders wear the same cycling kit, or with little variety, every day, so changing up the sock game is a fun way to add a little bit of your own personal style. Not only that, but they are a highly functional piece of cycling gear that can make or break a ride. Here are some of the best types of cycling socks to get you looking and feeling good for your next ride.
The Big Players
With so many brands of cycling socks out there, it can difficult to choose the ones that will work best for you. Hopefully these brief descriptions of a few of the larger brands will make the decision easier.
- Swiftwick socks are made in the USA and focus on comfort and quality. Their socks feature managed compression, chemical-free wicking, and anti-blister and anti-odor technology. These are the four pillars they build each pair of socks to.
- Defeet International socks are also made in the USA and prioritize operating at a higher level to produce one of the best cycling socks on the market.
- Pearl Izumi yields not only great cycling socks, but also other clothing to keep you matching from head to toe!
- Sock Guy is the go to sock company when looking for custom socks, they have a 4-5 week turn around and are manufactured in the USA.
Racing cycling socks are designed with performance in mind, so they offer breathable material and an attention to performance over style. The Swiftwick Aspire socks have a thin cushion bed, and offer compression to different anchor points in the foot. The Louis Garneau Men’s Coni Cycling Socks are made from Coolmax fiber, and are supposed to wick moisture and increase the speed they dry out. Pearl Izumi’s Elite Socks feature the ELITE Transfer material to also dry out quickly, and have “compression for a performance fit.” All of these racing style cycling socks have two things in common. One, they are super good at drying out quickly to keep your feet cool while competing. Secondly, most of these socks come up one-quarter of your calf to give you that pro look.
Wool Cycling Socks
Wool socks can be a real lifesaver in the winter months, keeping your feet warm and dry. DeFeet makes some of the most popular wool cycling socks on the market. They are called the Woolie Boolie sock. They are durable and provide a great deal of warmth as they are made out of almost 50% American Merino Wool. These socks come up six inches to provide you with a great deal of warmth. The Sockguy wool cycling sock is twelve inches high and features a mesh upper panel above your foot to allow for ventilation. Giro also makes a six-inch sock out of merino material in a ton of patterns and colors.
Compression Cycling Socks
Compression socks are nothing new in the world of endurance sports, but finding the right pair may not be so easy. They are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), the larger the number the more compressed the socks will feel. The Swiftwick Twelve is 15-20mmHg and features their anti-odor technology and will help to reduce swelling during recovery. The Louis Garneau R-Compression cycling socks decrease recovery time between workouts and have “stretch zones at the heel and toe.” The Mojo Coolmax recovery cycling socks offer 20-30mmHg, a bit more compression than competitors, although more is not always better with compression.