The best summer cycling socks let you ride in properly hot weather without getting excessively sweaty feet — and, if you’re that way inclined, give you the opportunity to make a fashion statement with a splash of colour.
Thanks to modern wicking fabrics, a good pair of socks will keep you comfortable for hours on the bike and, if you get caught in a shower, they’ll dry out quickly too.
Socks are also the perfect gift for the cyclist in your life because every rider needs them, and fresh pairs are always appreciated.
With that in mind, we’ve tested six pairs of stylish socks that won’t break the bank.
The best summer cycling socks according to our expert testers
The following pairs of socks scored four stars or more out of five in our test:
Altura Elite: £10
Endura Pro SL II: £15
M20 Merino Crew Compression: £17 / AU$30
Sockguy SGX: £13 / $15
Altura Elite Socks
Altura Elite Socks. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The least expensive socks here (better value still in a triple pack) but there’s little to choose in feel and performance between these and their more expensive competitors, thanks to the fast-drying design and Meryl Skinlife yarn — the latter with antibacterial silver microparticles — wicking effectively.
These may not be the most exciting looking socks, but they’re good quality and great value.
Endura Pro SL II Socks
Endura Pro SL II Socks. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Endura’s new Pro SL II socks feature Meryl’s lightweight Hydrogen yarn, which is designed for both softness and its high-wicking qualities, and they come with the usual flat seams and snug-fitting cuffs for a compressive, non-slip fit.
Soft and smooth to the touch, snug around the ankles and impressively fresh after a day’s riding.
M20 Merino Crew Compression Socks
M20 Merino Crew Compression Socks. David Caudery / Immediate Media
M20’s left- and right-specific socks are about the most high-tech socks we’ve tested, complete with ‘ergonomic compression system’, an ‘anti-inflammatory band’ for your achilles and a ‘scientifically designed foot bed’.
Their wool-mix construction makes them the thickest here, which won’t be to everyone’s liking, but Merino helps them stay fresh.
SockGuy SGX Socks
SockGuy SGX Socks. David Caudery / Immediate Media
You can unleash your inner Lion of Flanders with SockGuy’s SGX compression socks, one of dozens of SGX designs.
The polypropylene, nylon and spandex material is virtually free of seams and the compression qualities of the socks are claimed to ‘increase blood flow’. Not sure what the ‘performance ribbing’ does, but these are quality warm weather socks.
Castelli Pro Mesh 15 Socks
Castelli Pro Mesh 15 Socks. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Castelli’s light and breathable mesh nylon and elastane socks have a distinctly compressive cuff, which keeps them snugly in place no matter how hard you’re cycling.
The Meryl Skinlife antibacterial yarn keeps nasty niffs to the minimum and these score points for low bulk and high breathability — just what you want in a summer sock.
DeFeet Aireator 6-inch Socks
DeFeet Aireator 6-inch Barnstormer Socks. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The ‘Barnstormer’ is just one of the Aireator’s numerous strikingly colourful designs but these Aireators also have a ‘green’ element to them because they’re made from nylon and 39 percent Coolmax ‘EcoMade’ — or recycled plastic bottles.
Toughened toes and heels should ensure DeFeet’s usual durability, while the 6-inch ‘Stay-Fast’ cuffs live up to their name.