I usually put on a pair of bike socks before my cycling shoes. I have done this for years. What’s astonishing when I really think about it is how little I think about it. Why do I wear them at all? Why is it that I haven’t tried out different socks for the best fit, etc?
I have more than enough bike socks, but I think I have only bought one pair – the others have been gifts or giveaways from different things. I have never been disappointed in any of them. They last for years and years – I’m not sure I have ever worn through a pair.
In other words – I don’t think about them because I don’t need to.
By contrast, running socks are another story. I wear through them. I have tried many different ones. I have some now that I like, but there are far more options on the market than bike socks and I think different ones work for different people; whereas I don’t think that’s the case with bike socks.
But why do we wear special bicycle socks anyway? What’s different about them?
Simple Google research doesn’t yield much. Even manufacturers do not appear to spend much time telling us consumers what technology is behind their socks or how they stand out from other bike socks; though I did find this source which was helpful and also let me know that “cycling socks are loaded with tech.”
Here are some features though that most bike socks seem to have:
- Tight fit that secures around your arch.
- No seams or seams on the outside.
- High thread count.
- Synthetic materials.
- Many have antibacterial or antimicrobial fibers woven into the socks (maybe that’s why mine don’t seem to smell the way my shirts do).
I also read that length is important and that those covering your ankle provide protection from crashes. I don’t really want to try that out (I haven’t crashed much as an adult and I have a pretty bad fear of it)…though, okay…I guess it’s better to have more protection than not? But what about the rest of our skin on a nice day?