View Full Version : Feet - Part 2: The wonderful world of socks.

11-08-2010, 01:55 PM
I'll keep this brief.

Socks can be a little difficult when trying to keep warm. Layers are good, but they may not fit nicely in your summer riding shoes. Fewer layers and better circulation is better than thick socks and way-too-tight shoes.

Ideally socks work just like other layers. Have an inner layer that pulls moisture from the skin, a middle layer that adds warmth (loft) and then some kind of outer layer (shoe) that keeps wind/water off while allowing moisture to escape.

Due to shoe fit restrictions, the layers don't always work out like that. Sometimes the thermal and water-repellent layers go on the outside in the form of shoe covers.

The basic principles still apply though. Avoid cotton at all costs because it absorbs water/sweat that then freezes. Wool is your friend. Marino wool is super soft and comfy.



11-08-2010, 07:44 PM
My favourite socks are the ones from SmartWool. I don't know exactly which exact model they are, but they sure are comfy.

I also get anything cheap from Bonktown. Have a set from Castelli. Haha.

11-08-2010, 07:58 PM
Totally agree ERandall with your comment on the Smartwool socks.

I made a discovery this year, however. At the SnotCycle race in January, the swag gift for racers was a set of DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks. They were amazing. When the race was over, I bought up as many of the left-overs as possible. They're merino wool, nice and thick on the bottom, a little thinner on the top. They remind me very much of the Smart Wool socks that I've used for years.

Another idea that I was reminded of when I got home... I use SuperFeet insoles in my cycling shoes. They make a winter insole that has a heat reflective material in them.

If you own Shimano road shoes, most have vent holes in the bottom of the sole to keep your feet cool in the summer. Definitely put a bit of duct tape over those to keep the air from breezing through. I put it on the inside... under the insole so that it doesn't get the outside all gooey.

11-09-2010, 11:32 AM
Wool is your friend. Marino wool is super soft and comfy.

+1 for merino wool socks. Their jerseys are super nice too!

11-09-2010, 11:54 AM
DeFeet Wooley Booley socks are also 11 kinds of amazing. Same idea as the Smartwool. Super soft. Super comfy. Great warmth. Wide temperature range.

Mark Blacknell
11-09-2010, 07:15 PM
A friend of mine just posted a short - but helpfully illustrated - sock review (http://www.cyclelicio.us/2010/winter-cycling-socks/). I'll definitely be trying the Bridgedales.

12-07-2010, 01:15 PM
Sweet! Nice link. Even with my wool socks, my toes still freeze on winter rides, so I'm looking for other options. Might have to try those Bridgedales.

12-08-2010, 09:58 AM
I use mostly SmartWool, but also have the woolie booley and Bridgedales. So far this cold season, I've had warmer feet using a Smartwool tight with their light PhD cycling socks as an over layer. This gives me more room in my PI shoes so that the toes don't get as cramped as when I use my thicker socks alone with about the same level of warm (two layers of wool).

sierratradingpost.com has a number of meriono wool Bridgedale socks on sale now. REI just had a sale on Smartwool.

12-08-2010, 10:54 AM
I tried them for the 1st time this winter and my feet were toasty and laughing at the 20o.

I can't get the link to work but if you go tot he specialized site and look up neoprene shoe cover, you'll get there. They're are spendy but oh so worth it. Of course I paid 5$ for mine but then mine are pretty ratty and the zippers don;t work.

But me feet were still roasty toasty but not too warm.


12-14-2010, 09:14 PM
I wear my fleece-lined winter snow boots when I ride my commuter bike, which has platform pedals. I can wear any old socks, and my toes never get cold.

12-15-2010, 07:59 AM
Neoprene shoe covers work nicely. That's what I'm using right now too. When the temps drop more, I'll switch over to MTB pedals and use the Lake Boots. For now I'm good though.

I love the idea of using normal winter boots and platform pedals. I often times get wrapped around the axle about using bikey gear, but forget about normal winter gear. Boots are one of the only places that I can do that 'cause they don't interfere with my weird cycling posture.

Thanks for the contributions. It is super cool to hear what works for people and what gets you out of the house and on your bike these cold, but lovely mornings.

Joe Chapline
12-16-2010, 01:23 PM
I often times get wrapped around the axle about using bikey gear, but forget about normal winter gear.

I hear complaints sometimes about having to buy a lot of stuff to be able to cycle in less-than-perfect weather. But really, if you ever walk, go to a football game, or do anything outside, you need to own some warm clothes. Even people that drive everywhere should carry the things they will need if their car breaks down.

Joe Chapline
01-12-2011, 04:40 PM
I just discovered that some posts to this thread were automatically flagged by filters in the forum software and were not visible to everyone. I'm confident that we can keep this from happening again now that we know about it. All posts should be visible now. My apologies for the delay. Luckily it's still cold.

01-13-2011, 08:47 AM
All true, I switch out a lot of my snowboarding clothing to ride in the winter. But in addition, as a small woman I can find children's sizes of socks, gloves, etc that cost less and are just as effective. Kids are bigger than they used to be.

07-21-2011, 12:43 PM
Wanted to revive this for warm weather since we're in the 100s for the next few days. Does anyone have favorite warm weather socks that aren't lightweight versions of the Bridgedale or Smartwool socks? Or does everyone just sweat in their cotton athletic socks?

07-21-2011, 12:44 PM
DeFeet Aerators and Sock Guy's normal weight socks work best for me.

Justin Antos
07-21-2011, 02:26 PM
For hot-weather riding, I actually forego socks altogether and ride in sandals with a heel strap. I know, I know, not close-toed and everything, but when it's hot like this, the ventilation is much appreciated.

Stay cool out there.

07-21-2011, 04:49 PM
you have the SPD Keen sandals? ;)

07-21-2011, 05:13 PM
Smartwool ultra light weight and Defeet Aerator work for me. Honestly, on a day like today nothing's going to help you.

07-21-2011, 05:17 PM
I've been amazed at my Pearl Izumi Attack socks. I got a bunch for running, but once I saw 'em I knew they'd be good for this hot spell - so sheer on top, so comfy on the bottom.

I loved the Shimano SPD sandals before the design revision of a couple of years ago. I used up two pairs, and did most of my hot weather riding on them even when I was otherwise dressed up as a roadie. The new design added a mid-foot velcro strap and/or a liner, so they're far less open. I tried on the original Keen SPD sandals and they were too narrow for me, but the later models are a bit wider though still very narrow.

When I must wear shoes I'm pretty happy with my Bontrager Race MTB shoes. They have a very light mesh top and they're totally unsuitable for colder weather, but these days they're just fine.