The 7 Best Cycling Socks for Winter: Merino, Synthetic + Waterproof [2024 Models]

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Last Updated on 7 May 2024 by Cycloscope

best cycling socks for winter

The best cycling socks for winter. Waterproof, insulated, merino wool, compression. The 7 warmest cycling socks for Road, MTB and Bikepacking.

The ideal cycling socks for cold temperatures should prioritize warmth, moisture-wicking properties, and comfort to keep your feet cozy during cold rides. Wearing the best cycling socks for winter can mean a lot, not just for the competitive cyclists, but also for those of us hardcore bike commuters, cycle tourers, bikepackers, and amateurs mountain bikers.

Socks are an often underrated cycling item, even we didn’t really mind them at the beginning of our cycling career. After having tried some of the best cycling socks from this list we’ll never go back to poor-quality socks (or regular socks!).

Winter cycling socks are usually manufactured using a blend of different fabrics, which are actually the same kind as those used in winter cycling jackets, gloves, winter cycling pants and base layers.

They are:

  • Merino Wool: nature’s technical fiber, providing optimal temperature control for all seasons. The fabric has innate perspiration properties, it keeps moisture away letting sweat evaporate from your skin. With the right percentage of merino wool in your sock fabric, you will stay cool in warm weather, warm in cool weather, and dry and comfortable all year long.
  • Polyeste: a synthetic polymer fabric, derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum. It is very resilient and able to withstand a good deal of wearing and tearing. Polyester is nowadays one of the world’s most popular textiles in sportswear, resistant, lightweight, and quick to dry.
  • Elastene (Lycra/Spandex): a highly stretchable and moisture-wicking fabric that most cyclists should be very familiar with. It’s used in a lot of sports for its tight-fitting.

Cycling socks come in different lengths: short (below the ankle), medium (cuff 9/10 cm) and long (cuff 13/15 cm). The choice is entirely up to the rider, according to the weather conditions and how are your feet behaving in cold temperatures.

Some say the ideal length is 7.5 cm but there’s no clear reason for that if not that is the most common size used in pro cycling. Winter socks can feature longer cuffs for improved warmth and protection.

In this article, we selected the 7 best cycling socks for winter and cold weather.


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> The 8 Best MTB Winter Jackets -Waterproof, Softshell, Windbreakers
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> 5 Best Cycling Socks for Summer
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How we compile our gear guides: during the almost 10 years of cycloscope.net our team personally tested dozens of similar pieces of gear. For what we can't test personally, we involve other people in the cycling community to give their feedback and opinion about gear they have used. Our decade-long experience in bicycle touring enables us to find the key cons and pros of every product we mention.


The Best Cycling Socks in a Nutshell



5 Best Winter Cycling Socks


1. Castelli Quindici Winter Cycling Sock

Best cycling socks for freezing winters

Best Winter Cycling Socks

SPECS

  • Material: Soft merino wool blend fabric + Nylon reinforced heel + toes.
  • Machine Wash: Yes.
  • Waterproof: No.
  • Season: Cold Winters.
  • Closure: Pull on.
  • Cuff Length: 15mm.


The Castelli Quindici are among the warmest winter cycling socks on this list, they will keep your feet comfortable even when you ride your bike in subfreezing temperatures.

Materials are PrimaLoft and merino wool, a thorough mix of breathability and insulation. Terry-cloth pads had been added along the whole sole, to ensure maximum durability, the compression is adequate and the color choice plenty.

Overall the Castelli Quindici are our pick for the best cycling socks for very cold weather (down to 40F)


2. SEALSKINZ Waterproof Ankle Length Sock With Hydrostop

Best waterproof winter cycling socks

Best Cycling Socks for winter

SPECS

  • Material: Outer Layer – 90% Nylon, 10% Elastane, Middle Layer – 100% Hydrophilic Membrane, Inner Layer – 36% Merino Wool, 36% Acrylic, 18% Polyester, 5% Elastane, 4% Nylon, 1% TPU.
  • Machine Wash: Yes.
  • Waterproof: Yes.
  • Season: Fall + Mild Winters.
  • Closure: Pull on.
  • Length: Ankle Length.


If you’re looking for some warm cycling socks for temperate winters but would also like an added layer of rain protection, the Sealskinz might be the right biking socks for you.

The three-layer construction resembles that of a hardshell jacket, an outer hydrophilic membrane, a wind-stopping layer in between (90% nylon, 10% Spandex), and a warm inner layer with a peculiar recipe, 36% Merino wool, 36% acrylic, 18% polyester, 5% elastane, 4% nylon, 1% TPU.

These rain socks cannot claim to be 100% waterproof, you’ll get soaked under a downpour but will stay reasonably dry under average precipitation. Being winter socks, they don’t perform well in warm weather, when the breathability of the Sealskinz waterproof might not be enough to keep you dry from the inside.


3. Giro Winter Merino Wool Cycling Socks

Best Merino Cycling Socks on a Budget

Best Winter Cycling Socks

SPECS

  • Material: 70% Merino wool; 15% polyester; 10% Lycra; 5% elastic.
  • Machine Wash: Yes.
  • Waterproof: No.
  • Season:Cold and mild winters.
  • Closure: Pull on.
  • Length: 6″ cuff length.


Legendary cycling brand Giro manufactures plenty of great cycling socks and the Giro Winter Merino is definitely among our favorites. The modern 6″ cuff length, makes these socks particularly suited for MTB, thanks also to the solid and durable mix of materials.

A 70% of merino wool guarantees comfort and warmth in a wide range of temperatures, while the 15% polyester, 10% Lycra, and 5% elastane check the box for optimal compression and tight fit.

These Made in Italy Giro Winter cycling socks are our pick for the best cycling socks for mild winters.


4. Swiftwick PURSUIT SEVEN Cycling Socks

Best mountain bike socks

merino wool Cycling Socks

SPECS

  • Material: Merino Wool, Wool.
  • Machine Wash: Yes.
  • Waterproof: Moisture wicking, fast drying.
  • Season: Comfortable up to 45F.
  • Closure: Pull on.
  • Length:  7-inch cuff. Tall crew sock cuff extends to mid-calf for extra support.


Swiftwick has all hit the right buttons with the 2020 version of the Pursuit-Seven cycling socks. The materials are 63% merino wool, 35% nylon, and 2% spandex, a very warm mix suitable for biking in really cold weather.

A moderate compression throughout the foot arch band envelopes your feet to support muscles and keep your socks in place, while mid-level cushioning gives a little foot support and adds extra durability.

The reinforcements on the calf and toes are a welcomed feature, improving both comfort and sturdiness in abrasion-prone areas. The toe seams are invisible and not felt at all, eliminating friction and blisters.

The Swiftwick Pursuit Seven are really great socks, breathable, warm, and heavy-duty. That’s why we recommend them to MTB lovers.



5. Endura BaaBaa Merino Stripe

Editor’s Choice

Best Cycling Socks for winter

SPECS

  • Material: 35% Merino Wool / 35% Recycled Polyester / 27% Nylon / 3% Lycra
  • Machine Wash: Yes.
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant.
  • Season: From 75°F (24°C) to 40°F (4°C)
  • Closure: Pull on.
  • Length: Long.


The exceptional BaaBaa cycling socks are crafted from a blend of Merino wool and synthetic fibers. These innovative socks possess a multitude of features that elevate your cycling experience.

First and foremost, these socks are designed to tackle two common cycling predicaments: perspiration and odor. By incorporating a blend of Merino wool and synthetic fibers, BaaBaa socks perform the dual function of wicking away perspiration and combating the dreaded foot odor. Now, you can bid farewell to discomfort caused by sweaty feet during those intense rides.

Merino wool ensures your feet stay warm when the temperature dips as low as 40°F (4°C). At the same time, the synthetic fibers contribute to excellent moisture management, guaranteeing a dry and comfortable ride even when the mercury climbs to 75°F (24°C).


2 Best shoulder seasons cycling socks

waterproof cycling socks

Gore Wear C3 Mid Socks

Best for Autumn/Spring Road and mountain cycling

warmest cycling socks

SPECS

  • Material: 95% nylon, 5% elastane.
  • Machine Wash: Yes.
  • Waterproof: Moisture-wicking fabric.
  • Season: Fall, Spring.
  • Closure: Pull on.
  • Length: Medium.


The Gore Wear C3 Partial Windstopper cycling socks are exactly what you need for conditions that aren’t too cold, but definitely require some extra insulation. Spring and autumn are tricky seasons, and choosing the right gear for those variable weather conditions is not easy

These socks use a Gore Windstopper membrane, the same used in their famous softshell jackets. This fabric blocks the air from chilling your toes while allowing enough perspiration to blick moisture wicking. and keep your feet comfy.

Their snug fit is totally friction-free, with no seams at all in the heel and toes, compression is just right, tight enough for professional needs, but still comfortable for everyday use.


Castelli Gregge 15 Cycling Socks

Great early-winter socks

best cycling sock for cold weather

SPECS

  • Material: 70% merino wool, 15% nylon, 15% elastane.
  • Machine Wash: Yes.
  • Waterproof: N/A.
  • Season: All weather conditions.
  • Closure: Pull on.
  • Length: Crew height.


The beautifully colored Castelli Gregge 15 are great cycling socks suitable for most seasons. Their blend of merino wool and synthetic materials offers great insulation in above-freezing weather and high-temperature control in the warmer range.

With these socks by Castelli, you don’t need to worry about starting to sweat once the sun peeks out, the airflow is really excellent. The fabric recipe is: 65% Wool, 30% Elastolefin, (Olefin), 5% Polyamide (Nylon).

Castelli added 3 cm of length onto the cuff (now 15 cm long), ensuring even greater warmth and comfort, and a tighter fit.

The foot-sole has also been thickened along its full length, for comfortable cushioning and improved thermal insulation.

The Gregge by Castelli are also visually striking, with brand new colours and cool geometric patterns, because one should never forget about style, after all the Castelli people are Italian.


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Frequently Asked Questions About Biking Socks

Do cycling socks make a difference?

Yes, they do. Regular socks will not be breathable enough, trapping the sweat inside. They will also slide under the foot very easily.

Are merino socks good for winter?

Yes, Merino wool socks are excellent for winter, and they are often considered one of the best choices for cold weather conditions. It creates a layer of warmth around your feet, helping to trap heat and keep your feet comfortably warm in cold temperatures. It’s particularly effective at retaining warmth even when damp, which is essential for keeping your feet cozy in winter.

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