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Best winter cycling socks: Keep your feet warm while riding

Our pick of the best cycling socks for winter with prices starting from £5.90

Joseph Delves
22 Nov 2021

A sock is just a sock, right? Not when it comes to choosing the best cycling socks for winter. If you want to stave off the feeling of frostbite this winter, you’ll need to factor in breathability, wear and tear and, of course, just how pretty a pair look on your feet.

As the temperature plummets, up go the importance of finding a sock that also works to insulate your foot against the cold – in particular, your toes.

Like your fingers, your toes live at your extremities and so are more prone to problems relating to the loss of circulation when the mercury crashes downwards. Nothing can ruin a ride quite like cold toes, am I right?

But you don’t want your feet to boil, though, so breathability is still important to ensure you don’t end up with a case of trench foot.

Want to know more about the science of cold feet? Read our in-depth featuring exploring why your hands and feet get cold when you're cycling and don't miss our guide to winter cycling kit essentials.

Read on for our round-up of some of the best winter cycling socks starting from as little as £6. 

Eight of the best winter cycling socks

1. Le Col Tech Wool socks

 

Among the most stylish socks here, these appear pretty simple on first inspection but have hidden depths. Terry towelling pads on the heel and toes provide extra comfort and insulation, while flat stitching ensures there are no seams to rub against your skin.

An elasticated band around the middle helps to support your foot’s arch, while there are further insulating/supporting panels beneath the ball of the foot, the back of the foot and around the Achilles tendon, plus a reinforced heel and toe.

Made from a mix of 60% merino wool and 40% nylon, these offer first-rate breathability, insulation and comfort.

Available in sizes S/M or L/XL and in a wide variety of colourways.

2. Assos Ultraz Winter Cycling Socks  


With Assos hailing from the snowy mountains of Switzerland, it is to be expected that its winter wear can stand up to the harshest of conditions.

Ignore the strange name, these are far from gimmicks, relying on a polyester, nylon, wool mix to keep the foot warm while also ensuring enough sweat and moisture is allowed to escape to prevent overheating.

We also tip our hats to the use of ‘photoluminescent pigment’ on the ankle of the sock that helps reflect artificial light in darker conditions.

3. GripGrab Merino Winter Socks

Famous for keeping your extremities warm in extreme conditions, these affordable winter socks come from the Danish firm GripGrab. Likely knowing a thing or two about bad weather, these cold-weather socks are its most insulated and use a combination of nylon and Merino wool for warmth and durability.

With stretchy arches support for a close fit, extra padding on the soles adds cushioning underfoot. Just the length you want when out riding in the cold, they’re equally suitable for other outdoor pursuits like hiking, skiing, or just padding around the house.

Letting you match your socks to your overshoes, warmers, or gloves, they’re available in red, black, or navy.

4. Uniqlo Heattech fleece thermal socks


This one comes courtesy of digital writer Joe Robinson. A few years back, he noticed a friend on a winter club run in a pair on ‘non-cycling socks’. Turns out his mate swore by Uniqlo’s Heattech range for keeping warm in the winter despite not being specifically made for riding.

We can confirm he is absolutely correct. Uniqlo’s Heattech concoction of materials does all of the technical things actually cycling socks do – sweat-wicking, heat-trapping – but while remaining notably softer and more comfortable regardless of how many times they are washed.

And they are only cost six quid.

5. Dhb Aeron Winter Weight merino sock

While there are other fibres involved in the construction of these socks (most notably Spandex), 65% of the material used is merino wool. One of nature’s true wonders, there is no other natural fibre on earth that can match it for breathability and moisture management.

It’s also exceptional at thermoregulation making these superb socks from Dhb perfect for cold-weather commutes – not least because merino wool is also odour resistant, meaning you won’t cop any flak for having whiffy feet at work.

What Dhb calls an ‘innovative ceramic yarn’ has been used to reinforce as well as insulate the toe area, both of which it does highly effectively, while a Terry padded footbed and heel further help to keep things snug.

Available in black/red, black/blue, black/yellow, or black/white in sizes S-L.

6. Defeet Woolie Boolie 6in Sock

Made of 70% merino wool, 27% Nylon and 3% Lycra, the Woolie Boolies are tough, yet have almost all the benefits of an undiluted merino product.

These include excellent thermal properties, along with the ability to be worn multiple times before stinking; perfect if you’re heading off on tour. Ideal in the cold, they’re also serviceable in warmer weather.

Available in multiple designs and lengths, there’s likely something to match your existing kit. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to wash them on a cool setting, meaning they might not go in with your normal laundry.

Available in sizes S to XL.

7. Rapha Pro Team Winter Socks

Rather than being thick and woolly, Rapha has utilised some extra-smart Nanoglide material that provides the utmost insulating properties while remaining suitably thin and also great at drying away any moisture.

Being Rapha, these come in four stylish colour options and all are cut with a high cuff that sits comfortably above the ankle.

Available in sizes S to XL.

8. Sealskinz All Weather with Hydrostop

How about a pair of socks that keeps out water? Sealskinz makes a range of socks with a waterproof membrane sandwiched between their inner and outer fabric layers. A bit bulkier than regular socks, assuming they fit inside your shoes, they could be a good wet weather option.

Effectively sealing out water, their impermeable design also means they’ll stop the breeze from getting through too.

These more expensive Hydrostop models also feature a cuff design to prevent water from creeping in at the top. Available in cycling-specific varieties like this one, they’re popular with hikers and runners too.

At first seeming to be the ultimate socks, their sealed nature does mean your feet will be more prone to sweating. They're also a bit of a fiddle to wash and dry. We think they're still well worth considering, though.

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