One of the most underappreciated and overlooked pieces of mountain biking apparel is the socks.
For many, they’re basically an embellishment and, at worst, something they just grab out of the drawer. This is bad because a good pair of mountain biking socks can make all the difference in how comfortable your adventures can be.
A good pair of socks can prevent things like blisters, foot pain, and even hot feet.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best mountain bike socks on the market.
Mountain Bike Socks Explained
As we’ve said, a good pair of socks makes a difference in the comfort of your ride by keeping your feet comfortable and healthy. The primary difference between biking socks and normal socks is the fabric.
They are much thicker than normal socks and usually have some padding to protect your feet and keep them warm. Some have spandex to keep the sock in place when riding.
Some are multi-use and can be worn for a variety of athletic activities such as running and aerobics. On the other hand, some are specifically for mountain biking.
Mountain bike socks protect your feet from things you might encounter on the trail, such as sharp rocks. Additionally, they help with the prevention of sores, blisters, and getting too hot.
However, they do keep your feet warm on those winter rides. A really good pair of mountain bike socks can really improve your riding.
Best Mountain Bike Socks
Now that you have an idea of what you should consider when purchasing mountain bike socks, let’s take a look at some of the best of them on the market today.
Best Summer Mountain Bike Socks
Here we have our list of the best MTB socks for warm weather.
1. Giro Comp Racer High Rise Socks
The Giro Comp Racer High Rise sock is made from premium polyester designed to wick away moisture. That means your feet will stay fresh and comfortable on those hot summer days.
The 6″ cuff provides plenty of support and protection for your ankles so you don’t have to worry about any debris that is flicked up and the extra protection may save you in a crash.
The Giro Comp Racer comes in a wide variety of styles so you’re bound to find one that’ll match your kit.
All-round a great sock from a renowned brand.
2. Danish Endurance Cycling Socks
The Danish Endurance Cycling socks are unisex, which means they can be worn by both men and women.
These are ideal for bike riders due to their anatomic fit and are snug but not tight. They are crew-style ankle socks and are made with materials that wick moisture away from your feet, which keeps you dry and comfortable on your ride.
These socks feature padding in the blister zones to protect them from the rubbing and irritation that can develop due to pedaling. They are made from breathable materials, which keep your foot from getting sweaty.
They provide many benefits for mountain bikers. Additionally, they can be used for spin class, triathlon cycling, road racing, and even everyday cycling.
3. Fox Ranger 6″ MTB Socks
The Fox Ranger socks are made of a blend of nylon, cotton, and polyester to provide a very supportive and comfortable sock. They have added mesh zones for added breathability to keep your feet cool on a hot day.
Featuring a rib-knit upper the 6″ cuff won’t slide down meaning you’ll get that extra protection and support even when the trail gets rough.
A great sock from Fox that will hug your feet nicely and provide a very snug and supportive fit.
Best Winter Mountain Bike Socks
Here are our picks of the top winter socks that will both keep your feet warm and dry. After all, there is no reason not to brave the elements in winter to get out and ride your bike.
1. Giro Winter Merino Wool MTB Socks
The best thing about the Giro Winter Merino Wool Cycling socks is the 6” cuff length, which can help with coverage. They are best for winter riding because they keep you warm on chilly days.
They’re made with a combination of merino wool, polyester, lycra, and elastic. Featuring a huge 70% Merino wool blend they are a premium sock designed to keep your feet toasty in winter.
These socks are calf-height and made with mountain biking in mind. Though they are wool and ideal for winter rides, they can be worn any time of year. They are thin, so you won’t get too hot in the summer. Additionally, the materials used are odor resistant.
These socks are durable and made to last for several riding seasons. They come in several different sizes.
2. Showers Pass Multisport Unisex Crosspoint Crew Wool Socks
A great winter sock for those that live in wet areas as they feature a waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry!
The Showers Pass Multisport Unisex Crosspoint Crew Wool socks are unisex and can be worn for a variety of athletic activities. They are all-weather and have a water-repellent membrane that keeps your feet from getting wet in the rain.
They also wick moisture away from your feet when you start sweating.
Made with Merino wool, along with other materials. This provides a stretchy, comfortable fit, keeping them from slipping and bunching. They are seamless and have padding in key areas to prevent blisters from forming.
The Merino wool has anti-bacterial properties to keep your feet from getting smelly.
3. Endura Baabaa Merino Winter Mountain Bike Socks
The Endura Baabaa are made from a blend of Merino wool and synthetic fibres. This means the sock has great insulative properties and odor stopping from the Merino. While having excellent moisture-wicking properties from the synthetic fibers.
The Endura Baabaa also has stretch arch support to prevent the sock from bunching up when out on the trails.
Overall a snug, warm and cozy sock for those cold winter rides.
4. Giro Seasonal Merino Wool Socks
There’s not much that can beat the feeling that you get when you slip on a good pair of Merino wool socks. The Giro Seasonal Merino Wool socks have just enough polyester and nylon blended in to make them durable and stretchy. But also enough Merino to keep your feet warm. A great all-year sock.
The unique design, with reinforcements at the heel and toe, makes them ideal for a variety of biking styles. Additionally, they are thin; they fit inside your biking shoes.
These socks feature a 6” high-rise cuff, which makes them stylish. The height also works well with tights/leg warmers to keep them in place. They work well in a variety of weather conditions.
When it’s hot, they wick moisture away from your feet to keep you from developing hot spots and sweating. The materials prevent bacteria development, which helps with the prevention of foot odor.
Check out our essential winter MTB gear for tips on improving your winter riding!
How to Choose Mountain Bike Socks
Choosing socks for mountain biking really isn’t all that complicated. There are really just 3 things that you need to keep in mind:
Mountain bike socks are not made from one particular material but a combination of fabrics that provide various benefits, depending on your personal performance goals.
According to the materials used and the weave density of those fabrics, mountain bike socks fall under 4 weight categories:
Of course, regardless of the type of materials you choose, you should always wash your new socks before wearing them. This will help to get rid of the chemicals and other stuff acquired during the process of manufacturing and shipping.
This will also help to soften them and make them easier on your skin.
Don’t forget that some fabrics are known to shrink in the first wash, which could have an effect on the fit.
Most mountain bike socks come in four heights:
- Long (reaches shin)
- Mid (reaches just above the ankle)
- No-Show (below ankle)
- Knee (reaches knee)
If you are not participating in events that regulate the length of socks you wear, it’s pretty much a matter of personal choice. The height of your socks really doesn’t have much of an effect on your performance.
That being said, longer socks do have some advantages, including providing protection for your legs in case of a crash and trapping heat in to keep you warm on your winter adventures.
Of course, they could cause you to get too hot on your summer rides.
When shopping for mountain bike accessories, there’s one thing to keep in mind – you get what you pay for. That is, the cost is related to the quality. However, that’s not necessarily true when it comes to mountain bike socks.
Most mountain bike socks range between $10 to $30 per pair, but just because you pay more doesn’t mean you’re getting a better experience. You just have to decide what you’re willing to spend and what you need for your socks to do.
Choosing mountain bike socks is a trial-and-error process.
Therefore, you may want to consider purchasing from a retailer/manufacturer that offers a customer satisfaction guarantee and will allow you to return them even if they’re worn.
When it comes to choosing socks for your mountain bike adventures, it all comes down to your personal preferences based on materials, height, and how much you’re willing to spend.
Keep in mind that just because someone else loves a particular pair doesn’t mean they will do what you need. Therefore, try a few different pairs to find what works for you.