£7.95-£19.99 › The joy of socks? Socks machine? Insert poor sock-related pun here...
PRENDAS THERMOCOOL-CARBON £7.95
The Italian-made Prendas socks are lighter and thinner than most of the socks here, and these are really at their best in autumn or milder winter days when their Thermolite, Coolmax and Resistex material blend balances reasonable warmth and breathability. But they struggle on the coldest days.
GIRO MERINO WINTER WOOL £16.99
Thicker than Primaloft socks but thinner than the DeFeets, the Italianmade Giro socks show why wool is still very popular. The 70 per cent merino, polyester, Lycra and elastic mix is warm and keeps smells at bay all day, and these are fine for autumn and mild winter days, but nothing beats thick wool for those bitterly cold rides.
DEFEET WOOLIE BOOLIE 2 £14.99
Woolie Boolies have been our tester’s go-to winter socks for longer than he cares to remember. The wool, nylon and Lycra mix is comfortable, keeps whiffs at bay and they last for years and repeated washes. They’re a fine choice for most of the year, and are available in different designs and lengths. The emperor of cycling socks!
SANTINI PRIMALOFT 2.0 £17.50
These Santinis are much lighter and thinner than the DeFeet and Pearl Izumi socks, though their combination of Primaloft insulating fibre, wool, nylon and Lycra is meant to cope with temperatures as low as –8°C. We wore them on sub-zero days but they can’t compete with the DeFeets and Pearls for out-and-out winter warmth.
ALÉ PRIMALOFT THERMAL £15
The first of our socks to feature the polyester-based Primaloft material, which is designed to both insulate and wick moisture away. The resulting polyester/wool/nylon/spandex sock is much lighter and thinner than the DeFeets, but though warm these can’t quite match the thicker, bulkier woolbased socks on very cold days.
PEARL IZUMI ELITE THERMAL £19.99
Made with 7o per cent merino wool with nylon and elastane, these are designed for days down to minus five. You can’t feel any seams, your toes stay toasty well below zero, and the material mix means they should prove very durable too. Pearl’s excellent Elite socks give the DeFeets a run for their money, though they are a fiver dearer.