It might seem a trivial matter but having the right type of motorcycle socks can make all the difference to your tour or track day.
As comfortable as modern motorcycle gear is these days, long socks make the difference as they help smooth out any of the lumps and bumps you get from your boots, under leathers, waterproof cuffs on your trousers or built-in armour.
Let’s not forget, a decent pair of socks will keep your feet warm too. No sock can keep your feet warm if they end up slipping down into your boots – making for an uncomfortable ride until you can sort them out.
I find that having a proper pair of motorcycle socks rather than ski socks in winter or hiking socks in warmer weather means they last longer, they don’t roll down and you remain comfortable and free to enjoy the ride.
We’ve put together a list of our best picks and a small guide on what you should look for in a good motorcycle sock.
Super comfortable and sweat-free
Made from Merino wool, these socks keep you warm, dry and prevent odours – what more could you want from a sock? The light-weight, breathable wool makes these socks wearable in any season. Coming in UK sizes 3 – 5, 6- 8, and 9 – 11, they reach just under your knees to stop your boots rubbing your calves. The wear points (toes and heels) are reinforced for durability. A must have for any rider.
No-nonsense all-year socks
Held is a well-known motorcycle brand that knows how to create high-quality, durable equipment for riders. These socks are no different, the socks are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and the breathable material made from 51% polyamide, 46% Coolmax, and 3% elastane prevents odours. The shin, calf, toes and heel are reinforced for added protection to your skin, avoiding rubbing. Available in UK sizes 3 – 11.
Cheap motorcycle socks
Should you buy a bargain basement pair of socks for motorcycling? We think yes and no.
For a fiver, you can pick up these thermal socks from Amazon available in size 6-11, which are calf length.
Customer reviews give a mixed response, but the overall gripe is the socks roll down and aren’t as warm as they claim. As you’ll be wearing these in sturdy motorcycle boots, it’s probably best to avoid these because they won’t last very long and won’t provide warmth or protection from friction.
However, spend a few quid more and you can get these Mountain Warehouse Merino Explorer Thermal Socks which are a much better bet.
Mountain Warehouse is renowned for its expertise on hiking gear. These merino socks are breathable and keep you warm in colder temperatures but remain cool in the summer. In UK sizes 4-7 and 7-11 with smooth seemed toes for comfort when wearing boots. The tops are elasticated and reach to mid-calf. There isn’t any reinforcement in the heel so be prepared for a bit of wear.
If you’re on a budget, these are a good option.
You don't want a 100% man-made sock, they'll be sweaty and won't allow your feet to breathe.
Bamboo or wool socks are a good bet if your feet sweat - they are more breathable and bamboo prevents bacteria growth and odour.
Long socks that provide padding will make riding more comfortable in your sturdy motorcycle boots compared to thin ankle-length socks
Merino wool is soft, breathable and non-itchy. Other wool yarns make for an uncomfortable trip.
Hard wearing design features like reinforced Achilles, heels and toes are essential to ensure your sock lasts a decent amount of time.
Elasticated ankles and tops are a must to prevent your socks riding down into your boot.
Other great motorcycling socks
Available in sizes S/M, L/XL, and L/XXL, Alpinestars have designed these socks specifically for motorcycle wear. Knee height for maximum coverage and breathable material with dense cushioning in the heel, toe, insole and Achilles area for extra comfort.
With a 3-year guarantee, you can’t go wrong with these knee-length socks from hiking sock specialists, Bridgedale. Dense cushioning throughout provides extra warmth, extra impact resistance and extra comfort. Made of 51% new wool, 29% nylon polyamide, 19% endurofiltm, polypropylene and 1% lycra elastane – they get excellent reviews.
Designed to fit correctly to prevent them from rolling down, these socks are for you if you don’t want any man-made fibres as they’re made from 100% breathable cotton and have extra padding in the foot to avoid any pressure marks.
Professionally designed, knee-length thermal motorcycle socks available in size UK 7-11. Perfect for cold temperatures, the proper ankle support keeps them in place all day. Summer versions available.
A knee-length sock made from a blend of Nylon, cotton and Lycra for great comfort and a non-sliding fit. There’s a padded shin, heel and footbed to aid comfort and improve wear.
Waterproof motorcycling socks
Let’s be honest, none of us wants to get water into our boots but, it happens. You might not want to buy a set of waterproof boots, especially if the majority of your riding is in summer, but we can all get caught out in a rain shower from time to time.
Waterproof socks are exactly that – they keep your feet dry. The best ones are the ones designed for hiking. Mid-length or full-length knee high socks that are designed to squelchy bog-water from creeping in are ideal for us bikers too.
Sealskinz makes quality waterproof socks like these ones or these ones. Both get excellent user reviews. So if your boots tend to leave you with slightly clammy feet, waterproof socks are a great option.
Use Layers To Beat The Winter Weather
We’ve put together a brilliant guide that shows you how to use the layering system to keep warm on the bike.
You don’t need heated gear (although it does help) and you don’t need to spend a fortune. Just check out our ultimate guide to keeping warm on your motorcycle.
You’ll pick up tips that’ll help you beat the cold weather for years to come.
Thanks to the following websites which helped us research and write this motorcycle socks guide: