by Lars Hundley
- Stops water from getting to your feet on wet rides
- Breathes and lets sweat out
- Keeps feet warmer than wool socks alone
- You’ll need room inside your shoes, because they are a little bigger than a traditional sock.
- They feel a little bit crinkly, and not soft like socks
Cost: $69.99 for newest 2018 version
How obtained: Purchased from Competitive Cyclist.
Available: online, retail
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 15+ hours
Finally, a Solution for Cold Feet That Works for Me
Ten years ago, my feet and hands would stay warm even when the temperatures dropped, and I only required thin gloves and thin toe covers or shoe covers to stay nice and toasty on rides even down into the mid 30s. But over the last five years, I’ve found that although my hands generally still stay pretty warm with thinner gloves, my feet do not.
Not wanting to spend the money on an expensive, dedicated pair of winter cycling shoes or boots, I tried a lot of different solutions to see if any of them would work for me. More than one pair of socks. Different types and thicknesses of wool cycling socks. Plastic bags over my feet inside the shoes, and even aluminum foil wrapped over my feet inside my shoes. Some of these attempts helped a little bit, but they were often a pain to use and still not effective enough to keep my feet warm enough to feel comfortable for the entire ride.
So when I saw at the end of last winter that Competitive Cyclist had put some Gore Bike Wear socks on sale, I picked up a pair to try out. They instantly solved my painfully cold feet problems better than any other solution I had attempted. My feet still aren’t perfectly warm, but they are no longer uncomfortably cold even during very cold road rides at below freezing temperatures. The waterproof membrane of the socks makes for a terrific wind barrier during cold rides.
As an example, I used them this week on a ride at 27 degrees with just a thin pair of merino cycling socks underneath, and traditional shoe covers over the top my standard cycling shoes. My feet were slightly cool, but not uncomfortable on a ride that lasted an hour and 45 minutes.
I also tested these socks the same morning in the extremely cold unheated pool in our back yard. They kept my feet dry, and were significantly warmer than putting bare feet into the pool. I kept them in the pool for more than two minutes, and my interior wool cycling socks were still dry when I pulled them back out, except for a little dampness from sweating during my earlier bike ride. The gripper at the top of these socks successfully kept water from pouring in from the top, even though they were completely submerged.
Since these socks are made from a waterproof Gore-Tex material, they don’t feel like socks when you put them on as much as they feel like a thin bootie. They are sewn with a flat bottom, and they don’t really stretch like socks. You have to buy them in the right size so that they fit your foot correctly. I wear a 45 cycling shoe, so I wear the socks in XL.
Mine fit inside both my road and mountain biking cycling shoes. It’s a little bit cramped with a thin pair of socks underneath, and they feel a little crinkly in there around the toe area. But these Gore socks are much more comfortable than the plastic bag or aluminum foil solutions I tried before these.
It appears that Gore has slightly updated the design for the 2018 season from what I purchased, but it looks to me that they are probably just cosmetic changes that should not affect how well the socks perform. If you are looking for solutions related to wet feet or cold feet on your bicycle rides, I recommend that you give these Gore socks a try.