WIN­TER SOCKS

£7.95-£19.99 › The joy of socks? Socks ma­chine? In­sert poor sock-re­lated pun here...

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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.

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