Why do you need special socks for cycling?
Socks might seem like a minor accessory to your cycling kit but cycling socks are actually a vital part of your outfit as they affect performance and even energy output.
Cycling socks also come with more than one point of major controversy in the cycling world. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right pair.

Can you wear normal socks for cycling?

Cycling Socks

Trust us, never wear regular cotton socks to go out on rides. Not only is cotton thicker and therefore more likely to slip, wrinkle and cause friction inside your shoes, cotton is a natural fabric that holds water and sweat and lets in dirt. 
Wet socks are bad news all year round. In winter, your feet will be wet and, therefore, cold. Even if it’s warmer, wet socks will cause rubbing and discomfort. Cycling socks are either made from moisture-wicking synthetics, or natural merino wool, which means shoes get less smelly and don’t soak up rain and puddle water. Also, cycling socks are made from tighter woven threads so they don’t let in abrasive particles like dust and sand. 
Beware of non-cycling specific sports socks because those are usually designed for impact, for example, for running. But as your feet never leave the pedals, there’s no need for shock absorbing and the extra padding will mean correctly-fitting shoes become too tight. If your feet are cold in winter, add cycling overshoes, not thicker socks!

How do cycling socks aid performance?

Cycling socks work in tandem with cycling shoes which are stiff and tight so you transfer the maximum energy from your feet and legs to the pedal. Cycling socks are designed to be thin, lightweight and aerodynamic, so much so that a good pair of cycling socks can save you 8 watts of energy.

cycling socks

Avoid sock controversy!
Cycling socks attract debate on height, position and colour. It's a minefield.

How high should cycling socks be?

If you’re not racing you won’t need to worry how high your socks come up your leg. But, if you are, you need to know the official UCI regulation height is halfway up the calf (they measure it in races). Falling foul of the rule will get you disqualified because cycling socks are more aero than skin, lending an unfair advantage to the rider. 

Should you wear cycling socks under or over tights?

However, in the regular cycling world, the “rules” are less clear-cut. Whether you wear them over or under cycling tights will be wrong according to someone. Younger cyclists tend to be more OK with showing socks off, especially colourful ones. More traditional riders hide cycling socks under their tights. 

Should your socks contrast or match your shoes? 

cycling socks

Black shoes with white socks, or vice versa, will be derided by some and welcomed to the bosom of others. You might as well take advantage of our discounted top of the range cycling socks and buy a few colours to ensure you at least annoy different sock factions on different rides. 

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