Best Cycling Socks

When most cyclists select the gear they’ll need when they set out on their bikes, many of them often overlook purchasing the right kind of socks to help keep them comfortable on all of their cycling adventures. Socks might not sound important, but in fact, a good pair of cycling socks can be very helpful when you are on the go. Cycling socks are designed to give you the support and comfort you need while also allowing your feet to breathe so you don’t wind up overheating in your own sweat, or even worse, getting blisters from your feet rubbing against your shoes. 

While finding a good pair of cycling socks can help give you a lot of comfort and assistance, there are so many options to pick from, we’ve decided to help save you some time by putting together a list of the top ten best cycling socks you’ll come across on the market today. We’ll also cover some of the important criteria points to evaluation to help you make a better decision and to ensure that you get the right pair of socks to meet your needs.

Last Updated: July 17, 2018
By Sarah Roth:

This list has been updated with the most recent and high-quality version of each product on the market today. We have also updated the research portions of this buying guide to help you make an informed purchase decision. Check out our newest new product - the VWU 6-pack Cycling Socks!

Swiftwick Aspire
  • Swiftwick Aspire
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Great ventilation
  • Price: See Here
Yijiujiuer
  • Yijiujiuer
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Excellent quality
  • Various color choices
  • Price: See Here
Giro Merino Seasonal
  • Giro Merino Seasonal
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ventilates well
  • Keeps odor down
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Cycling Socks

Swiftwick Aspire

Swiftwick’s Aspire Four Socks give you a lot of comfort and support for all of your cycling activities. Made with olefin fibers to be very breathable, you’ll also get the support you need manufactured into this high-quality, durable sock.
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Materials:

Swiftwick’s Aspire Four Socks are made with olefin fibers, which is a high-quality, light fiber that helps to wick moisture away. Also, the olefin fibers make these socks very strong and durable, keeping them abrasion resistant.

Breathability:

The olefin fibers designed into these socks make them very breathable. So, you’ll get a lot of great ventilation. Also, the way the upper is designed in the sock helps to increase ventilation, so you’ll never have to worry about your feet overheating while you are on the go.

Comfort:

Designed with arch band support, you’ll have socks that keep their shape as well as providing a lot of support. The toe is also seamless so you won’t have to worry about chaffing, and all of this helps to make the socks feel very comfortable.

Value:

These socks aren’t cheap, and you only get one pair when you purchase them. However, they are very durable and long-lasting, so these socks are actually a bargain if you are looking for something that will last you many seasons.
Pros

Durable

Great ventilation

Cons

Expensive

Can be hard to get on

  

Yijiujiuer Cycling Socks

The name of these socks, Yijiujiuer, may be difficult to pronounce, but that shouldn't deter a serious cyclist from enjoying the benefits of these great socks. These socks are built for intense exercise and do all sorts of things like fit well, last a long time, and promote circulation.
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Any athlete knows that it's crucial to have good circulation during an activity. And these socks help you out by having targeted compression zones to support your feet, allow for good blood flow, and helps to prevent muscle fatigue.

Along with the benefits of good circulation, these socks fit very well to your feet, so that there is no slippage, extra material, or loose bits. The elastic in them makes them a snug fit, so that you don't have to worry about being distracted by discomfort.

The moisture management technology in the fabric of these socks ensures that sweat is wicked cleanly away from your feet. And not only do these socks provide great moisture control, but they are durably built. No need to worry about pilling or anything else that comes from extended use with a lesser sock.

If you are planning on doing any kind of intense cycling, you will definitely want to invest in your feet, and with these socks, it means that your feet will be well taken care of. The only word of caution with this choice is that they have been reported to run small, so you may want to order a couple of sizes to see which fits best.
Pros
  • Durable
  • Promotes circulation
  • Moisture wicking
Cons
  • Some find that these socks fit small
  

Giro Merino Seasonal

Giro’s Merino Seasonal Wool Socks are made with comfort in mind, since the merino wool blend feels great against your skin. These socks also help to cut back on odor and do a great job of providing plenty of ventilation for your feet.
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Materials:

Designed out of polyester and a merino wool blend for extra comfort, these socks also come with a nylon reinforced toe and heel. They are designed to fit well and help wick moisture away from your skin so that your feet always feel great.

Breathability:

The design of these socks ventilates well, and allows your feet to breathe while you are on the go so you don’t need to worry about your feet drowning in sweat. Also, the materials that make these socks breathable also help them to keep down the growth of odor-causing bacteria, so you won’t need to worry about your socks smelling.

Comfort:

These socks have a nylon reinforced toe and heel to provide extra support and stability while you are on your bike. Also, the use of merino wool in the material makes these socks very comfortable and soft to the touch.

Value:

These socks can vary in price range depending on size and color, so keep that in mind before you make your purchase. They are a bit more expensive than some other options, but well worth the price for the level of comfort you’ll get.
Pros
  • Comfortable

  • Keeps odor down

  • Ventilates well

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Could be more durable

  

FITS Light Hiker Quarter

FITS Light Hiker Quarter
FITS Light Hiker Quarter Socks come with a unique design that provides extra comfort and cushioning where you really need it. You’ll love how supportive and stable the socks feel, and you’ll also get good ventilation whenever you wear them.
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Materials:

FITS Light Hiker Quarter Socks are comprised out of 70% merino wool, 23% nylon, 4% polyester, and 3% lycra, these socks give you the perfect combination of comfort, flexibility, and support. These socks are designed to boost both ventilation and comfort while you are busy riding.

Breathability:

These socks are lightweight and do breathe fairly well. With the extra cushioning built into them, they aren’t quite as breathable as some other socks on our list, but they do offer some ventilation.

Comfort:

The cushioning in these socks helps provide you with the extra support and stability you’ll need. Plus, these socks are designed to prevent rubbing and chaffing so you won’t need to worry about blisters when you wear them.

Value:

You’ll only get one pair of socks with your purchase, and these socks do run on the expensive side of the market. However, they have a lot of comfortable properties that make them well worth the value, and they are quite durable.
Pros
  • Comfortable

  • Great cushioning

  • Flexible

  • Good support

Cons
  • Could ventilate better

  • Wool can feel bulky

VWU 6 Pack

VWU 6 Pack
These socks are colorful and built for the serious athlete. They offer all of the main features that you could possibly want, because they are moisture wicking, breathable, very durable, and compressive in all the right places.
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These socks are made from high quality rubber, chinlon, and gauze. And because they are made to last, you can expect that they will hold up for a long time without you having to experience pilling or other issues that arise with low quality socks.

Because these socks are compressive in the arch, you will feel the support and circulation you need to cycle long distances in comfort.

These socks are made to allow the sweat from strenuous activity to wick away easily. They are also very breathable, so that your feet stay cool and don't overheat. Nothing is worse than sweaty, hot feet during a long summer ride, and these socks will help to prevent that discomfort.

Overall, if you are in the market for a pair of socks that you can buy in bulk, are compressive in the arch, and will last for the long haul, these socks are a great choice for your next cycling adventure.
Pros

Good compression

Excellent stability and support

Comfortable

Colors don't fade with wash

Cons

All reports agree that these socks fit the bill for a great running sock

CEP Women’s Recovery

CEP Women’s Recovery
CEP Women’s Recovery Socks give you a soft, comfortable sock designed to compress your lower legs and feet to help reduce fatigue and soreness. You’ll get a lot of stability and flexibility, plus a boost in blood circulation when you wear these socks.
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Materials:

CEP’s Women’s Recovery Socks are made from 74% polyamide, 15% merino wool and 11% elastane, offering you a lot of comfort and flexibility by design. You’ll get a soft feel with the merino wool in these socks, and the freedom to move easily while you are on your bike.

Breathability:

These socks offer decent breathability with their compression design, although the merino wool in the socks does cut back on some ventilation. If you want a lot of ventilation and odor control in your socks, these might not be the socks for you.

Comfort:

These socks are designed to compress and are long by design, so they help to reduce swelling, soreness and fatigue each time you ride your bike. The support and comfort you’ll get with that will increase your blood flow and help keep you going.

Value:

These socks are very durable and designed to last quite some time, but they do run on the expensive end of things. While they are a good investment, if you are shopping on a budget, you might want to look elsewhere since these socks do cost a bit.
Pros

Comfortable

Stable

Good compression

Cons

Expensive

Could breathe better

ROCKAY Accelerate

ROCKAY Accelerate
A running/cycling/sports shoe must have a high performing best friend.

If you're looking for comfort, performance, serious support & protection then the Rockay running sock is your best bet.

Up the performance for your shoe and yourself through using the right running sock. Made from Organic Merino wool, you are in for comfort, wick-ability, chaff free running and nicely designed in compressive support.

Read on and find out why these socks should be part of the runner's/cyclists threesome, socks, shoes and running/cycling together.
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Materials:

Made from the best organic Merino wool for regulated temperature during different weather seasons and seriously good anti-foot odor control. This gives you comfort, extra padded wool material for the heels and toe areas, strategically built in zones for temperature regulation, a heel tab which contributes towards the overall material foot support

Breathability:

Breathability blended with high performing wick factor is exactly what Organic Merino wool is known for. No, build up of moisture, chaff problems brought down dramatically and blister free rides.

Comfort:

Comfort is there through the choice of materials and the dual compression capacity, overall comfortable compression, and more supportive compression targetted into the foot arch area. The Heel area has extra padding and so does the toe area, this means a cushioning comfort in the two main areas which are known for wearing out faster.

Value:

The socks are a standard price but factor in longevity they will last much longer, you won't need regular trips to the store to update your socks.
Pros

Anti-blister

Great compression arch

Padded heel & Toe

Elasticated top no dirt entry

High wick performance

Anti-Odor

Cons

Have to wait for the higher sock version

Pearl Izumi Attack

Pearl Izumi Attack
Peral Izumi’s Attack socks offer you a durable option in cycling socks that comes with a lifetime warranty, so you know these socks are built to last. They offer a lot of flexibility and also provide great ventilation, so you’ll never need to worry about your feet overheating.
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Materials:

Pearl Izumi’s Attack socks are made with a combination of 61% polyester, 35% nylon, and 4% spandex, which makes them comfortable and flexible. You’ll get decent ventilation with these socks, which are built to last.

Breathability:

These socks feature a blend of synthetic materials that helps promote moisture-wicking capabilities from the interior of the socks. That means these socks ventilate well, and you won’t need to worry about your feet overheating when you are on the go.

Comfort:

These socks are designed for comfort, but they don’t offer any added cushioning or compression characteristics. So, if those are features you feel you really need, these might not be the best choice in socks for you.

Value:

These socks are expensive when compared to some of the other products on our list, but they do come with a lifetime warranty. That means the manufacturer stands behind this product, and you’ll get a lot of durability out of them.
Pros

Durable

Great ventilation

Lifetime warranty

Cons

No cushioning

No compression

Swiftwick Pursuit

Swiftwick Pursuit
Swiftquick’s Pursuit Four Socks are designed with olefin fibers to help boost ventilation and provide a lot of comfort each time you are on the go. The socks are lightweight and designed to boost your performance on all of your cycling adventures.
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Materials:

Swiftquick’s Pursuit Four Socks are made with olefin fibers, which provide you a high-quality material that is made to feel comfortable and also wick moisture away. You’ll love how lightweight these socks feel, and the comfort that you’ll also get.

Breathability:

The olefin fibers in these socks help to ventilate your feet well, and the socks also feature a channeled upper to improve breathability even more. That means you’ll never have to worry about your feet overheating.

Comfort:

These socks are decently comfortable, and don’t have a lot of extra cushioning in them. Also, not everybody finds olefin fibers to feel that great against your skin, but that’s something you’ll have to judge for yourself if you try these socks on.

Value:

These socks are affordable compared to some of the other socks on our list, and do offer you a good value for what you get. You’ll get a good pair of socks that should help your feet stay dry whenever you get active.
Pros

Great ventilation

Good value

Lightweight

Cons

Could be more comfortable

Could be more durable

Sockguy World Bicycle Relief

Sockguy World Bicycle Relief
Sockguy’s World Bicycle Relief socks are made to compress your feet to help prevent soreness and fatigue. You’ll get a lot of support and comfort with these socks, which are made to also boost your blood flow while you work out.
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Materials:

Comprised out of a combination of polyester and spandex materials, these socks are manufactured from synthetic materials that are designed to feel comfortable and provide you with plenty of compression. You’ll get stability, support and a lot of flexibility each time you wear them on your bike rides.

Breathability:

Made with a mesh upper, you get a lot of airflow and breathability with these socks. They have a great ventilation system, so if you worry about perspiring a lot while you are active, these socks will help take care of that and keep your feet very dry.

Comfort:

These socks offer a good amount of compression, which helps with comfort while lowering the feeling of fatigue. They also offer a lot of arch support and have a friction free sole, so they feel comfortable when you wear them.

Value:

These socks are affordable, so if you are shopping on a budget, you might want to consider purchasing them. They aren’t as durable as some other options on our list, but they do offer a lot of good performance features and benefits if you are looking to save a bit of money when you shop.
Pros

Affordable

Good compression

Good support

Nice ventilation

Cons

Could be more durable

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

Purchasing cycling socks can bring you a wide variety of benefits when you are on your bike, and give you extra levels of comfort and support. Some cycling socks are made with breathability and ventilation in mind, while others provide you with cushioning, support and stability. You’ll also find socks that are developed to provide you with extra amounts of compression while you ride, which can help boost blood flow and prevent fatigue and soreness as you ride.

You might be wondering if you really do need a pair of cycling socks when you ride your bike, or if regular socks will do. The truth of the matter is that cycling socks are made to reduce chaffing, prevent blisters, ventilate out your perspiration, and also provide you with stability and support (as well as compression on occasion) to increase your performance. While socks might not seem like an important part of your gear, when you consider how often you use your feet when you are cycling, and knowing that you are powering your movements through your feet, should be enough to convince you that you’ll want to make sure your feet stay comfortable throughout your ride. The better your feet feel, the better you will ride, and the better your performance will be

The type of socks you’ll really need will be your own decision, but in our product list above we provided you with several criteria points for evaluation when we analyzed each product specifically. We’ll break down those categories in a bit more detail below to help provide you with a good idea of what you’ll need to look for and know about so you can make your decision about the type of socks that will be best for you.

Materials

What’s interesting about the materials you’ll find in these socks is how much they have changed and evolved over the last two decades. We no longer find cycling socks that have natural fibers in them, since synthetic fibers provide better performance features while people are on their bikes. Why is this a factor nowadays?

Natural Fibres

Natural fibers you’ll often find in other types of clothing and even other types of socks are usually made from things like cotton. While cotton provides a lot of comfort for daily wear, if you are performing an activity that will make you sweat a lot, then cotton won’t really be the material you want. Cotton absorbs moisture and can’t wick it away, meaning you’ll wind up with a lot of perspiration in your socks when you are very active. Also, cotton can expand its material when it has accumulated a lot of moisture, and that can create a lot of foot problems for you. Your feet can rub raw or blister when you wear cotton socks to do some kind of high-performance activity, and that includes cycling.

Synthetic Fibres

Nowadays, most socks made for sports including cycling are comprised of synthetic materials. Many of the socks on our product list have synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester manufactured into them, and this is because synthetic fibers perform far better for sports activities than natural fibers do.

Another nice thing about synthetic materials in socks is that their ability to be tightly woven also makes them a lot more durable and long lasting when compared to natural fibers. So, the sock will last longer while also repelling trail debris and ventilating the sweat out of the socks. That means you’ll stay much more comfortable and experience far less rubbing or other issues when you are on the trails.

You’ve probably also noticed that many of the socks on our list also have merino wool in them, which is a natural fiber. Merino wool is better than regular wool at creating comfort while still allowing for ventilation, so this is certainly a benefit merino wool has over natural wool.  However, even with merino wool, your socks won’t breathe as well as socks that are made with synthetic materials, so there is a bit of a balance and trade-off here. Merino wool is often used in socks that are cushioned, so the material and setup will give you some breathability, but it won’t be as effective as some other materials.

Some other brands use olefin fibers in their socks, which are great for adding durability and ventilation, but not always comfortable for everybody. So, if you aren’t sure about what materials you think will feel comfortable on your feet, it’s probably a good idea to try on the socks before you buy them. That way, you get a chance to feel them out so you can figure out what you think feels best on your skin.

Breathability

Another important thing you’ll want to consider before purchasing your socks is the level of breathability you need compared to how much ventilation you find in the socks themselves. All of the products on our list do offer some degree of ventilation, but some give you more breathability than others. That’s because breathability can sometimes be affected by the cushioning in the socks, and the materials the socks use to create this cushioning. While cushioned socks on our list are still breathable, they won’t be as breathable as socks without cushioning. So, how much breathability do you really need with your socks? In a way, that is up to your personal preference, how much you sweat, and how much of your own perspiration you can handle.

What we do know about our feet is that the bottom of your foot has a lot of sweat glands on it, more than what you’ll find anywhere else on your body. So, because of this, even if you think you don’t sweat a lot, there’s a good chance your feet sweat out more than you do, and you’ll need to factor that in when you make your decision. No matter what you think, your feet are going to sweat when you are very active, simply because that is how our bodies are designed.

Natural fibers don’t do a great job of ventilating well. As we discussed above, natural fibers like cotton tend to absorb the moisture from your sweat instead of wicking them out, allowing the perspiration to build up inside of your socks, which can cause other problems like blisters and chafing. On the other hand, synthetic fibers are better at wicking away moisture and do a great job of ventilating even when dealing with the larger amount of sweat that can be poured out by people’s feet. Some natural fibers, like merino wool, are still found in cycling socks, and merino wool still has the problem of retaining some moisture, although it doesn’t retain as much moisture as cotton does. As such, merino wool socks, typically designed for cushioning, can breathe, but won’t breathe and ventilate as well as socks with synthetic fibers in them.  In comparison, olefin fibers, which are very hydrophobic, breathe very well and do a great job of getting rid of the moisture from your perspiration, but olefin fibers do not feel as comfortable on your feet as merino wool. So, you’ll have to decide how you want to trade these features off when you select your socks.

Synthetic fibers usually already have ventilating potential, simply by their design, so that makes them more effective with ventilation. They will dry out more easily and get the water vapor from your sweat to the outside of the sock so you won’t wind up soaking your feet in your own sweat.

Comfort

The level of comfort varies widely in our product list, and much about comfort will depend on what you are looking for and what you feel will be comfortable for your feet. Some of the socks on our list provide you with extra support and stability through compression, which can help reduce fatigue and soreness while increasing blood flow. These types of socks really help people who are just getting started or have injuries, as they’ll feel a lot more comfortable with the increased blood flow.

Also, some of these socks have extra cushioning and support in them, while others don’t. Cycling socks don’t typically provide ample amounts of cushioning for shock absorption because they don’t have to, but there are certain levels of cushioning and support offered by some of these socks. Some people find they do need the extra cushioning and support, while others don’t need it. How much sweat you can handle with your socks is also going to be an important part of choosing your cycling socks, and how comfortable you feel. Since socks that ventilate better don’t have as much cushioning, and socks with cushioning don’t ventilate as well, you need to focus on finding the balance between these two concepts that is right for you.

Value

The value you are getting for the money you’ll spend on your socks is something else you’ll need to think about. If you are shopping on a budget, this becomes very important, because cycling socks do tend to be more expensive than regular socks. However, typically, when you spend more money on these types of socks, you wind up with a more durable sock. So, you do get a decent investment even if you wind up purchasing socks that cost more. However, if you are shopping on a budget, then you might need to sacrifice durability to get socks that are in the right price range for you.

Other Important Factors To Consider

Besides the criteria we used to evaluate each product on our list, there are some other things you’ll want to consider before you purchase a pair of cycling socks. We’ll discuss those concepts in a bit more detail below.

Thermal Protection

Many cycling socks also offer thermal protection if you plan on cycling when the weather is colder. These types of socks are made with special materials that are designed to boost the overall warmth you’ll feel in your feet as you move. While you still need socks that can ventilate well when you ride your bike, if you are riding in the cold, you can get something that has merino wool in it. While merino wool doesn’t ventilate as well as synthetic materials, it does ventilate well enough to still protect your feet while creating a lot of warmth. So, if you know the climate is likely to be colder where you will be cycling, it might be a good idea to consider getting socks with merino wool in them. Some manufacturers offer socks that have merino wool in them plus other materials to boost the sock’s ability to ventilate. So, if you still worry about sweating with a merino wool sock, then look for socks that have a combination of materials in them, plus merino wool.

Fit

If your socks fit right, then you shouldn’t even notice that they are there when you are out on your bike. Most of the socks on our list are made to fit closely while providing support and flexibility, and also feature seamless toes so you won’t feel rubbing or other irritation. Cycling socks are made to give you fewer pressure points so that you don’t feel them as you ride, and that can really promote overall feelings of comfort when you are on your bike. Many of the socks on our list are also designed to fit your feet more tightly because they actually help to compress your lower legs and feet and increase blood flow. That can provide extra support while cutting back on fatigue and muscle soreness, which can also help you ride for longer periods of time.

FAQs

Q: Do I really need cycling socks?

Unless you want to deal with blisters and chaffing, then yes. You do need to purchase cycling socks since they are designed to give your feet the support you’ll need while you are on your bike. Also, most of them are made to ventilate well so you don’t wind up with extra foot problems, and you can feel great while you are on your bike all day long.

Q: How do I match socks with my shoes?

Fit is as important part of comfort, and you can get cycling socks that go just below your knee, or slightly below your ankle. Really, you need to find a good pair of socks that match your cycling shoes to get the right feel, and then you’ll experience a lot of comfort. Most of these socks are also designed to be lightweight and flexible, making it easy for you to move with your bike, and they work with you so you don’t have to experience fatigue when you are on your bike.

Q: How do I buy socks that reduce bacteria?

One plus of using synthetic materials in cycling socks is how they can help cut back on bacterial and microbial problems that can create further health problems for your feet. By cutting back on these issues, you won’t have to worry about having foot problems, and you’ll be able to ride for long periods of time without any worry or concern about how your feet are feeling.

Q: What do I need to know about natural fibers in socks?

We don’t find cotton or any natural fibers commonly in clothes made for sports and other types of activities. The main reason is that cotton doesn’t do a good job of protecting or supporting your feet at all, nor can it ventilate the sweat you’ll experience while you are moving often well. Cotton provides you with great comfort for everyday wear, but not for sportswear. If you wind up using cotton socks for any type of activity, you’ll wind up increasing your chances for foot problems like blisters and other uncomfortable occurrences.

Q: What do I need to know about breathability?

How much breathability you want and need will be something you’ll need to decide on since people’s bodies and comfort levels vary. Just be aware that your feet will sweat more than the rest of your body when you are cycling, and try to assess how much ventilation and cushioning you’ll need from there. Once you can assess that, you should be able to pick a good pair of socks for yourself.

Q: Why are synthetic materials so popular?

Synthetic materials can be tightly woven, and that helps the socks compress, fit your feet’s natural shape better, and also increases the sock’s ability to wick moisture away from your feet as you sweat. Also, with dry feet, you won’t have to worry so much about dirt, sand, or trail debris building up and sticking inside of your socks and shoes. If your feet are dry and not wet, the trail debris is less likely to settle inside or outside of your socks, further decreasing your chances of experiencing painful rubbing, chaffing, or blisters.

Final Thoughts

Cycling socks can help with various things including preventing blisters, reducing chaffing, and most importantly provide you with better support and stability while cycling. Now that you have read our top ten best cycling socks review you have a better idea for which one suits your cycling needs best.  Make sure you look into the type of compression, sizes, materials, fit, and breathability for each product. The type of climate and terrain may also help you decide which cycling sock works best for you as well.  Now for your next cycling journey, you can have a fitting sock to make your ride more comfortable.

Sources

  1. Taylor Jones, The Science of Cycling Socks: Six Things to Know , Informational Cycling Website, May 17, 2017
  2. Cycling Hacks, Elevate Your Sock Game: 9 of the Best Cycling Socks, Informational Cycling Website, Oct 16, 2016
  3. Bicycling Staff, These Are the 10 Best Socks for Almost Any Ride, Informational Cycling Website, Apr 28, 2017
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