Our Favorite Cycling Socks of 2010
We had the chance to test out several different sock brands over the last few months and here are our favorite socks of 2010. We wore them for road cycling, mountain biking, running in warm and cold weather conditions. We gave some pairs to various athletic testers who put them through their own tests. The socks below are ones that came out on top. Truthfully, we had one brand that we had several testers try that was supposedly meant for cycling or running, but they received bad reviews (they snagged and wore out easily, and had mixed reviews for their performance, etc.) Thus, that brand of socks did not make our “good” list. The following brands are the socks we liked for cycling and running.
Darn Tough Vermont Socks: Run Bike Series of Socks: We expect a lot from a sock that calls itself “Darn Tough.” We rate this sock high for comfort and for durability. They look just as nice after several months of wear as they did on the first day. I had feared that these merino wool socks would be too thick for my cycling shoes, but that is not the case. They have been wonderful for running as well–and kept my feet warm even when the temperatures were in the 20′s. The cushioning on the bottom of this sock is what makes it stand out comfort-wise. Another comfort note: there are also no seams that rub. The heel and toe are reinforced so it will last a good long time. Another note, we loved how the socks are marked so there is a left sock and a right sock and they fit nicely. Best Feature: Comfort and fit (aah!).
Teko Merino Ultra-light Minicrew Socks have a great fit. The one thing that stands out is their line of women’s socks were designed to fit a woman’s foot like mine with a narrower heel and a nicely tapered toe area. Techinically, they breathe well thanks to the merino wool content. These socks feature a lycra arch band that adds to the comfort . Durability-wise, these socks have held up well with cycling, running and the washer and dryer. The toe and heel are reinforced so they should last a good long time. For those who don’t like ultra-thin socks or socks that tend to be thicker, check out the ultra-light Teko socks which fall neatly between the two extremes. Goldilock’s Choice: not too thick or too thin, attractive, and comfortable. This company is also doing what it can to be kind to the planet and uses recycled or organic materials in their products.
Sock Guy socks rate high for their fun and whimsical designs and creative messages. I have worn many pair over the years and usually buy them for the looks. I have had a few friends test some crew socks and found that some love them for cycling during the summer because they are thin and comfortable in the heat. A third tester did not like them and preferred a thicker sock for her comfort. The durability of these socks is about average, but on the other hand, they are fairly inexpensive, so you will get your money’s worth before they wear out. The Sock Guy socks in these photos were modeled and worn by pre-teen cyclists who rate them high for their “cool” factor. Best Feature: Fun & unique designs, inexpensive pricing.
Swiftwick Olefin Four Socks have a comfortably snug fit because they are compression socks made for athletes. These particular socks are made for cycling or trail running.
They aren’t the prettiest socks in the bunch. They come in three basic colors: black, white and gray. Don’t judge these socks by their looks though. I loved the fit and soft feel so much that I went out and bought a pair in black. Durability-wise, the socks in our photo have had constant use for 6 months: running, road cycling and mountain biking and laundering. They live up to Swiftwick‘s promise of durability. Technically, these socks have all the attributes athletes expect: they don’t retain moisture, are fast drying and breathable. Swiftwick says these compression socks are intended to help athletes maximize their performance. I am not certain of the science behind that promise. But as an endurance athlete, any little thing that can help us keep going when the race is getting tough, would be great! Best Feature: I’d choose these as my race-day socks!
Another pair of socks we liked were Icebreaker’s Ultralight Merino Wool Socks for cycling. Our tester, Katie Young loved them. See the review here.