Socks are arguably the most important part of a cycling kit. Yes, nice bibs are great, and a good helmet will make your ride more comfortable, but riding in ankle socks is a big no-no.
First and foremost when (not if) you crash, they offer a layer of protection for your ankle bone. Second, while it seems silly, you’ll probably be more comfortable in cycling-specific socks.
Running and ankle socks are designed with footsteps in mind and have extra padding in certain areas that can become wrinkled and uncomfortable on a long ride. Also, such short socks don't provide any space to show a little style and personality.
Affordable and universal, socks are the perfect gift for any cyclist. Here are our top choices.
As far as plain socks go, Swiftwick are definitely our number one. The socks come in a range of lengths and colours, and are some of the most comfortable socks we’ve worn.
DeFeet’s Aireator sock changed cycling forever. The open mesh on the top of the foot breathes and wicks extremely well, yet remains durable. Like Swiftwick, DeFeet makes socks in pretty much every length and hue, and the keen observer will notice that some of the other brands in this gift guide are actually custom versions of the Aireator.
Sockguy makes A TON of socks, some cool, some not so cool. With a bit of searching through the catalogue though there are a few standouts like these limited edition Ugly Sweater socks.
Melbourne outfit Maap has a massive range of bright, crazy Australian-made socks.
For being a smaller brand, Attaquer has some seriously technical socks. Available in both tame and bright options, its socks are lined with silver thread to keep your foot funk at bay.
Bursting onto the market with its quirky airport carpet-themed socks, Portland based The Athletic has some crazy (and purposely mismatched) socks that have been a hit among the BikeRadar staff.
Hailing from the People’s Republic of Boulder in Colorado, Handlebar Moustache loves all that is loud and lairy. Complementing its full range of kits and T-shirts, Handlebar Mustache socks are sure to elevate your sock game.
One of our original Wild Style brands, 4Shaw does all things cycling accessories; but it’s the socks that are the real game changer. Mr. 4Shaw himself, Dion Shaw, said it best: “Tall socks just make your legs look more attractive, that’s a fact.”
Sako 7 Socks
Sako 7 Socks are the brainchild of Sean Sakinofsky, a South African roadie who loves tall bright socks and kit. Based around DeFeet’s Aireator Hi Top socks, Sako 7 Socks will add some flare to even the most boring of kits.
According to a study conducted by the Queensland University of Technology, reflective strips are much more effective when located near moving joints. ICNY has used 3M reflective dots to bring reflectivity to your feet.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but if Capo was a dog it would be one that can open doors or go and grab you a beer from the fridge. If you wanted cool socks, there was a time when Capo was your only option. Now with all the socks brands out there, the American outfit has managed to stay current and desirable.
Melbourne outfit the Pedla has just released its 6in Coolmax Spinners in a range of new shades and designs. While there's not much left to say, they have remained in our regular rotation of socks for some time.