Best Cycling Socks
When most cyclists select the gear they’ll need when they set out on their bikes, many of them often overlook purchasing the right kind of socks to help keep them comfortable on all of their cycling adventures. Socks might not sound important, but in fact, a good pair of cycling socks can be beneficial when you are on the go.
Designed to give you the support and comfort you need while also allowing your feet to breathe so you don’t wind up overheating in your own sweat, or even worse, getting blisters from your feet rubbing against your shoes (for more info see the best blister treatments).
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10.5 hrs of research
Finished with Polygiene technology
Mid-rise for warmth and protection
Multiple mesh zones for breathability
10 Best Cycling Socks
1. Razer Trail
Finished with Polygiene technology
Mid-rise for warmth and protection
Multiple mesh zones for breathability
Only one color option
The Razer Trail has earned its way to the #1 spot. This highly praised addition is comfortable, durable, and versatile. The over-the-ankle rise provides great protection from debris, wind, and cold weather. One of our favorite features of the Razer is the fact that it is made from 100% recycled materials and each pair ordered lends a hand to cleaning our oceans.Read more
Investing in the Razer is not only great for you, as a cyclist, but it also lends a favor to the environment. This garment is made from 100% recycled materials, including Econyl regenerated nylon. This material is made from plastic that is collected from the ocean and repurposed into this impressive nylon material, which makes up 61% of this sock. Other materials that make up this item include polyamide and elastane. The height of the Razer sits just a few inches above the ankle, providing warmth and protection.
Whether you are taking a break, enjoying the view, or viciously cycling, your feet will stay cool and dry in the Razer. The specially placed mesh zones will ensure that you have no build-up of moisture, helping to prevent chafing and blisters. The mesh is not only on the foot area of the sock, but it is also present on the back of the heel. The mesh, along with the nylon, also makes this an incredibly quick-drying garment.
You’ll find shock-absorbing cushioning under the toe and heel of this item. The mid-rise offers great protection and adds warmth when you’re out for a cool ride. The elastane is concentrated in the arch of the sock, providing great support for running, cycling, walking, or any other sport. In terms of comfort, you can’t go wrong with the Razer.
While the Razer is priced slightly higher than one would typically pay for a pair of socks, it has plenty of redeeming features. One way to look at it is that this garment can be worn multiple times in a row before washing, turning this one pair into enough for an entire week. Additionally, they are soft, comfortable, versatile, and durable. If that’s not enough for you, they are also produced from recycled materials, helping to keep our oceans clean.
2. Quarter Flare
Visible reflective logo on the back of the garment
Heel and toe cushioning
Moisture-wicking abilities could be improved
Cycle stronger and longer with this impressive addition. The Quarter Flare features a comfortable mid-rise and a soft high-density knit. While it really stands out as a cycling garment, it is a great item for everyday use, other sports, or travel. The Polygiene finish helps to prevent bacteria and odor build-up, meaning that you can wear this pair multiple times before you need to wash them.Read more
Saving the planet one garment at a time, this pair from Rockay is made from 100% recycled materials. You’ll find an impressive blend of 50% Econyl Regenerated Nylon, 46% Polyamide, and 4% Elastane. Having nylon as the primary material is great because it is soft to the touch, durable, and has great elasticity. This material also dries very quickly, making this a great product for everyday wear, sports, or travel.
With strategically placed mesh zones around the foot and heel of this garment, you’ll feel comfortable for hours on end. The breathability prevents you from having that wet feeling inside your shoes that can lead to odor, blisters, and general discomfort. Speaking of odor, this garment is also finished with a Polygiene treatment that aids in preventing odor build-up and bacteria. This technology paired with the breathability creates an impressively comfortable sock that can be worn multiple times before needing to be washed.
With compressional arch support and a cushioned heel and toe, you’ll feel like you’re biking in the clouds. The seamless toe drastically reduces the risk of blisters and the high density knit is comfortable and soft to the touch. The over the ankle design provides a great fit, protection, and warmth for cooler rides.
This affordable option is made from durable materials and also comes with a lifetime guarantee. What is even better is the fact that these can be worn multiple times without washing, thanks to the Polygiene finish. Not only does this lengthen the durability of the garment, but it also saves water and energy in your home.
3. ROCKAY Accelerate
Great compression arch
Padded Heel & Toe
Have to wait for the higher sock version
A running/cycling/sports shoe must have a high performing best friend. If you're looking for comfort, performance, serious support & protection then the Rockay running sock is your best bet. Made from Organic Merino wool, you are in for comfort, wick-ability, chaff-free cycling and nicely designed in compressive support. Read on and find out why these socks should be part of the runner's/cyclists threesome, socks, shoes and running/cycling together.Read more
Made from the best organic Merino wool for regulated temperature during different weather seasons and seriously good anti-foot odor control. This gives you comfort, extra padded wool material for the heels and toe areas, strategically built in zones for temperature regulation, a heel tab which contributes towards the overall material foot support
Breathability blended with high performing wick factor is precisely what Organic Merino wool is known for. No, a build-up of moisture, chaff problems brought down dramatically and blister-free rides.
Comfort is there through the choice of materials and the dual compression capacity, overall comfortable compression, and more supportive compression targetted into the foot arch area. The Heel area has extra padding, and so does the toe area; this means a cushioning comfort in the two main areas which are known for wearing out faster.
The socks are a standard price but factor in longevity they will last much longer, you won't need regular trips to the store to update your socks.
4. FITS Light Hiker Quarter
Could have better breathability
FITS Light Hiker Quarter Socks come with a unique design that provides extra comfort and cushioning where you really need it. You’ll love how supportive and stable the socks feel, and you’ll also get good ventilation whenever you wear them.Read more
FITS Light Hiker Quarter Socks are comprised out of 70% merino wool, 23% nylon, 4% polyester, and 3% lycra, these socks give you the perfect combination of comfort, flexibility, and support. These socks are designed to boost both ventilation and comfort while you are busy riding.
These socks are lightweight and do breathe reasonably well. With the extra cushioning built into them, they aren’t quite as breathable as some other socks on our list, but they do offer some ventilation.
The cushioning in these socks helps provide you with the extra support and stability you’ll need. Plus, these socks are designed to prevent rubbing and chaffing so you won’t need to worry about blisters when you wear them.
You’ll only get one pair of socks with your purchase, and these socks do run on the expensive side of the market. However, they have a lot of comfortable properties that make them well worth the value, and they are quite durable.
5. Swiftwick Aspire Four
Variety of colors
Swiftwick’s Aspire Four Socks give you a lot of comfort and support for all of your cycling activities. Made with olefin fibers to be very breathable, you’ll also get the support you need to be manufactured into this high-quality, durable sock.Read more
Swiftwick’s Aspire Four Socks are made with olefin fibers, which is a high-quality, light fiber that helps to wick moisture away. Also, the olefin fibers make these socks very strong and durable, keeping them abrasion-resistant.
The olefin fibers designed into these socks make them very breathable. So, you’ll get a lot of great ventilation. Also, the way the upper is designed in the sock helps to increase ventilation, so you’ll never have to worry about your feet overheating while you are on the go.
Designed with arch band support, you’ll have socks that keep their shape as well as providing a lot of support. The toe is also seamless so you won’t have to worry about chaffing, and all of this helps to make the socks feel very comfortable.
These socks aren’t cheap, and you only get one pair when you purchase them. However, they are very durable and long-lasting, so these socks are actually a bargain if you are looking for something that will last you many seasons.
6. DeFeet Woolie Boolie
Great customer service
Socks may run small
Durability could be improved
DeFeet has been producing quality socks since 1992. The Woolie Boolie is actually one of their first and, still, most popular styles. It has been updated over the years without losing its uniqueness. The Merino Wool in these socks makes them comfortable, breathable, and moderately durable.Read more
These versatile socks are made from 70% Merino Wool, 27% Nylon, and 3% Lycra. They measure six-inches in height. They are advertised as a winter option but are great in any weather. If you plan to use them in summer, or aren’t a fan of high socks, there is also a four-inch height version available. While these are the holy grail for many, their durability isn’t exceptional. Of course, it depends on how often you wear them and how, but you can expect them to last about one year on average.
The wool fibers integrated into these socks provide great breathability. They quickly wick away moisture, leaving your feet feeling dry and comfortable. The great blend of materials traps in warmth in the winter and is cool and breezy in the summer.
There is no doubt about the comfort of these socks. They are unisex and available in sizes Small to Extra Large. For the most part, the Woolie Boolies fit true to size, but if you are in-between sizes, it is recommended to size up. They have a small amount of built-in arch support and a decent thickness.
With a reasonable price and a lifespan of one to two years, depending on use, we think these socks an excellent investment. They can also be used for running, but are slightly thick. While it doesn’t seem as though there is any warranty offered, it has been mentioned in multiple reviews that the DeFeet customer service is outstanding.
7. Pearl Izumi Attack
Pearl Izumi’s Attack socks offer you a durable option that comes with a lifetime warranty, so you know these socks are built to last. They offer a lot of flexibility and also provide great ventilation, so you’ll never need to worry about your feet overheating.Read more
Pearl Izumi’s Attack socks are made with a combination of 61% polyester, 35% nylon, and 4% spandex, which makes them comfortable and flexible. You’ll get decent ventilation with these socks, which are built to last.
These socks feature a blend of synthetic materials that helps promote moisture-wicking capabilities from the interior of the socks. That means these socks ventilate well, and you won’t need to worry about your feet overheating when you are on the go.
These socks are designed for comfort, but they don’t offer any added cushioning or compression characteristics. So, if those are features you feel you really need, these might not be the best choice in socks for you.
These socks are expensive when compared to some of the other products on our list, but they do come with a lifetime warranty. That means the manufacturer stands behind this product, and you’ll get a lot of durability out of them.
8. Castelli Rosso Corsa 9
One year warranty
Not ideal for winter
The Corsa 9 is a great lightweight and breathable summer sock. With a height of 3.5", it falls right in the middle of a low and high sock. Perhaps one of our favorite features is the bacteriostatic silver ions that are weaved into the yarn, which fight off bacteria and odors.Read more
These summer socks are made from Meryl Skinlife yarns (polyester). This same fabric is used in many of Castelli Rosso’s socks, and with great reason. Intertwined into the fabric are bacteriostatic silver ions that allow you to wear the socks multiple times before washing them. These fibers fight off bacteria and odors.
As you would expect from a lightweight summer cycling sock, these have excellent breathability. The yarn easily wicks away moisture and keeps your feet comfortable. Unlike some other socks, the ventilation extends up to the cuff of the sock.
Even though there is no added cushioning, these socks provide exceptional comfort. There is an elastic midfoot band that hugs your arches and keeps the sock in place. The flat-seam toe lessens your chances of chafing or blisters. They tend to run true to size and are available in sizes Small/Medium, Large/Extra Large or XXL. They have a comfortable height of 3.5-inches.
These socks are fairly and averagely priced. However, one thing that makes them stand out is the fact that they come with a one-year warranty. If only these socks were wearable year-round, they could have taken the number one spot.
9. CEP Recovery
CEP Women’s Recovery Socks give you a soft, comfortable sock designed to compress your lower legs and feet to help reduce fatigue and soreness. You’ll get a lot of stability and flexibility, plus a boost in blood circulation when you wear these socks.Read more
CEP’s Women’s Recovery Socks are made from 74% polyamide, 15% merino wool and 11% elastane, offering you a lot of comfort and flexibility by design. You’ll get a soft feel with the merino wool in these socks, and the freedom to move quickly while you are on your bike.
These socks offer decent breathability with their compression design, although the merino wool in the socks does cut back on some ventilation. If you want a lot of ventilation and odor control in your socks, these might not be the socks for you.
These socks are designed to compress and are long by design, so they help to reduce swelling, soreness, and fatigue each time you ride your bike. The support and comfort you’ll get with that will increase your blood flow and help keep you going.
These socks are very durable and designed to last quite some time, but they do run on the expensive end of things. While they are a good investment, if you are shopping on a budget, you might want to look elsewhere since these socks do cost a bit.
10. Swiftwick Pursuit Seven
Could be more comfortable
Swiftquick’s Pursuit Seven Socks are designed with olefin fibers to help boost ventilation and provide a lot of comfort each time you are on the go. The socks are lightweight and designed to boost your performance on all of your cycling adventures.Read more
Swiftquick’s Pursuit Seven Socks are made with olefin fibers, which provide you a high-quality material that is made to feel comfortable and also wick moisture away. You’ll love how lightweight these socks feel, and the comfort that you’ll also get.
The olefin fibers in these socks help to ventilate your feet well, and the socks also feature a channeled upper to improve breathability even more. That means you’ll never have to worry about your feet overheating.
These socks are decently comfortable and don’t have a lot of extra cushioning in them. Also, not everybody finds olefin fibers to feel that great against your skin, but that’s something you’ll have to judge for yourself if you try these socks on.
These socks are affordable compared to some of the other socks on our list and do offer you a good value for what you get. You’ll get a good pair of socks that should help your feet stay dry whenever you get active.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
What’s interesting about the materials you’ll find in these socks is how much they have changed and evolved over the last two decades. We no longer find ones that have natural fibers in them, since synthetic fibers provide better performance features while people are on their bikes. Why is this a factor nowadays?
Natural fibers you’ll often find in other types of clothing, and even other types of socks are usually made from things like cotton. While cotton provides a lot of comfort for daily wear, if you are performing an activity that will make you sweat a lot, then cotton won’t be the material you want. Cotton absorbs moisture and can’t wick it away, meaning you’ll wind up with a lot of perspiration in your socks when you are very active. Also, cotton can expand its material when it has accumulated a lot of moisture, and that can create a lot of foot problems for you. Your feet can rub raw or blister when you wear cotton socks to do some high-performance activity, and that includes cycling.
Nowadays, most socks made for sports including cycling are comprised of synthetic materials. Many of the socks on our product list have synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester manufactured into them, and this is because synthetic fibers perform far better for sports activities than natural fibers do. Another nice thing about synthetic materials in socks is that their ability to be tightly woven also makes them a lot more durable and long-lasting when compared to natural fibers. So, the sock will last longer while also repelling trail debris and ventilating the sweat out of the socks. That means you’ll stay much more comfortable and experience far less rubbing or other issues when you are on the trails.
You’ve probably also noticed that many of the socks on our list also have merino wool in them, which is a natural fiber. Merino wool is better than regular wool at creating comfort while still allowing for ventilation, so this is undoubtedly a benefit merino wool has over natural wool. However, even with merino wool, your socks won’t breathe as well as socks that are made with synthetic materials, so there is a bit of a balance and trade-off here. Merino wool is often used in socks that are cushioned, so the material and setup will give you some breathability, but it won’t be as useful as some other materials.
Some other brands use olefin fibers in their socks, which are great for adding durability and ventilation, but not always comfortable for everybody. So, if you aren’t sure about what materials you think will feel comfortable on your feet, it’s probably a good idea to try on the socks before you buy them. That way, you get a chance to feel them out so you can figure out what you think feels best on your skin.
Another important thing you’ll want to consider before purchasing your socks is the level of breathability you need compared to how much ventilation you find in the socks themselves. All of the products on our list do offer some degree of ventilation, but some give you more breathability than others.
That’s because breathability can sometimes be affected by the cushioning in the socks, and the materials the socks use to create this cushioning. While cushioned socks on our list are still breathable, they won’t be as breathable as socks without cushioning. So, how much breathability do you need with your socks?
In a way, that is up to your personal preference, how much you sweat, and how much of your perspiration you can handle. What we do know about our feet is that the bottom of your foot has a lot of sweat glands on it, more than what you’ll find anywhere else on your body.
So, because of this, even if you think you don’t sweat a lot, there’s a good chance your feet sweat out more than you do, and you’ll need to factor that in when you make your decision.
No matter what you think, your feet are going to sweat when you are very active, simply because that is how our bodies are designed.
Natural fibers don’t do a great job of ventilating well. As we discussed above, natural fibers like cotton tend to absorb the moisture from your sweat instead of wicking them out, allowing the perspiration to build up inside of your socks, which can cause other problems like blisters and chafing.
On the other hand, synthetic fibers are better at wicking away moisture and do a great job of ventilating even when dealing with the larger amount of sweat that can be poured out by people’s feet.
Some natural fibers, like merino wool, are still found in cycling socks, and merino wool still has the problem of retaining some moisture, although it doesn’t retain as much moisture as cotton does. As such, merino wool socks, typically designed for cushioning, can breathe, but won’t breathe and ventilate as well as socks with synthetic fibers in them.
In comparison, very hydrophobic olefin fibers breathe very well and do a great job of getting rid of the moisture from your perspiration, but olefin fibers do not feel as comfortable on your feet as merino wool. So, you’ll have to decide how you want to trade these features off when you select your socks.
Synthetic fibers usually already have ventilating potential, only by their design, so that makes them more effective with ventilation. They will dry out more quickly and get the water vapor from your sweat to the outside of the sock, so you won’t wind up soaking your feet in your sweat.
The level of comfort varies widely in our product list, and much about comfort will depend on what you are looking for and what you feel will be comfortable for your feet. Some of the socks on our list provide you with extra support and stability through compression, which can help reduce fatigue and soreness while increasing blood flow. An example of compression sleeve is Rockay Blaze. These types of socks help people who are just getting started or have injuries, as they’ll feel a lot more comfortable with the increased blood flow.
Also, some of these socks have extra cushioning and support in them, while others don’t. Cycling socks don’t typically provide ample amounts of cushioning for shock absorption because they don’t have to, but there are certain levels of cushioning and support offered by some of these socks. Some people find they do need the extra cushioning and support, while others don’t need it.
How much sweat you can handle with your socks is also going to be an essential part of choosing yours, and how comfortable you feel. Since socks that ventilate better don’t have as much cushioning, and socks with cushioning don’t ventilate as well, you need to focus on finding the balance between these two concepts that are right for you.
The value you are getting for the money you’ll spend on your socks is something else you’ll need to think about. If you are shopping on a budget, this becomes very important, because cycling socks do tend to be more expensive than regular socks.
However, typically, when you spend more money on these types of socks, you wind up with a more durable sock. So, you do get a decent investment even if you wind up purchasing socks that cost more. However, if you are shopping on a budget, then you might need to sacrifice durability to get socks that are in the right price range for you.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Purchasing cycling socks can bring you a wide variety of benefits when you are on your bike, and give you extra levels of comfort and support. Some are made with breathability and ventilation in mind, while others provide you with cushioning, support, and stability. You’ll also find socks that are developed to provide you with extra amounts of compression while you ride, which can help boost blood flow and prevent fatigue and soreness as you ride.
There is quite a debate about the ideal height of these socks. Some prefer short socks that can hardly be seen under their shoes, while others prefer tall socks that almost reach their knees. Honestly, we can't tell you which is better because it is a matter of personal opinion. However, tall socks do provide extra warmth a thin layer of protection from falls or loose gravel flying around.
If you like to cycle in the early morning or evening, the color of your socks should (literally) reflect that. A brighter or reflective sock is a great addition to help attract attention to yourself in the evening, night, or early morning.
Other Factors to Consider
Many also offer thermal protection if you plan on cycling when the weather is colder. These types of socks are made with special materials that are designed to boost the overall warmth you’ll feel in your feet as you move. While you still need socks that can ventilate well when you ride your bike, if you are riding in the cold, you can get something that has merino wool in it.
While merino wool doesn’t ventilate as well as synthetic materials, it does ventilate well enough to protect your feet still while creating a lot of warmth. So, if you know the climate is likely to be colder where you will be cycling, it might be a good idea to consider getting socks with merino wool in them.
Some manufacturers offer socks that have merino wool in them plus other materials to boost the sock’s ability to ventilate. So, if you still worry about sweating with a merino wool sock, then look for socks that have a combination of materials in them, plus merino wool.
If your socks fit right, then you shouldn’t even notice that they are there when you are out on your bike. Most of the socks on our list are made to fit closely while providing support and flexibility, and also feature seamless toes so you won’t feel rubbing or other irritation. Cycling socks are made to give you fewer pressure points so that you don’t feel them as you ride, and that can really promote overall feelings of comfort when you are on your bike.
Many of the socks on our list are also designed to fit your feet more tightly because they actually help to compress your lower legs and feet and increase blood flow. That can provide extra support while cutting back on fatigue and muscle soreness, which can also help you ride for longer periods of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do I really need cycling socks?
Unless you want to deal with blisters and chaffing, then yes. You do need to purchase these socks since they are designed to give your feet the support you’ll need while you are on your bike. Also, most of them are made to ventilate well so you don’t wind up with extra foot problems, and you can feel great while you are on your bike all day long.
q: How do I match socks with my shoes?
Fit is an important part of comfort, and you can get socks that go just below your knee, or slightly below your ankle. Really, you need to find a good pair of socks that match your cycling shoes to get the right feel, and then you’ll experience a lot of comfort. Most of these socks are also designed to be lightweight and flexible, making it easy for you to move with your bike, and they work with you so you don’t have to experience fatigue when you are on your bike.
q: How do I buy socks that reduce bacteria?
One plus of using synthetic materials is how they can help cut back on bacterial and microbial problems that can create further health problems for your feet. By cutting back on these issues, you won’t have to worry about having foot problems (and we can help you out with the best foot massagers) and you’ll be able to ride for long periods of time without any worry or concern about how your feet are feeling.
q: What do I need to know about natural fibres in socks?
We don’t find cotton or any natural fibers commonly in clothes made for sports and other types of activities. The main reason is that cotton doesn’t do a good job of protecting or supporting your feet at all, nor can it ventilate the sweat you’ll experience while you are moving often well. Cotton provides you with great comfort for everyday wear, but not for sportswear. If you wind up using cotton socks for any type of activity, you’ll wind up increasing your chances for foot problems like blisters and other uncomfortable occurrences.
q: What do I need to know about breathability?
How much breathability you want and need will be something you’ll need to decide on since people’s bodies and comfort levels vary. Just be aware that your feet will sweat more than the rest of your body when you are cycling, and try to assess how much ventilation and cushioning you’ll need from there. Once you can assess that, you should be able to pick a good pair of socks for yourself.
- The Science of Cycling Socks: Six Things to Know , Informational Cycling Website ,
- Elevate Your Sock Game: 9 of the Best Cycling Socks, Informational Cycling Website ,
- These Are the 10 Best Socks for Almost Any Ride, Informational Cycling Website ,
- The Best Types of Cycling Socks, Cycling Blog ,
- 11 Best Cycling Socks, NE Biking Site ,