Who Needs Socks?


We’ve got a pile of cycling socks to give away from the guys over at Darn Tough Vermont, and would like to tell you a little about them as well.

There’s no shortage of bike sock companies out there, but when I came across Darn Tough at Interbike I was impressed by the company and the quality of their product.

The crew over at Darn Tough told me all about the research and testing they’ve put in to provide a durable sock with the right thickness and comfort to satisfy us cyclists.  As far as I know, they’re the only sock company out there with an “Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee”:

“If our socks are not the most comfortable and durable socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair or your money back.  No Strings.  No Conditions.  For Life”

I’ve honestly never been too concerned with the socks I ride in.  As long as they’re comfortable and look cool, I wear them.

But just recently I had a pair of my favorite socks totally start to fall apart….and they were only about a year old.  So I took a closer look at what Darn Tough had to offer.

Because they are made with 17.5 micron Merino wool yarns with 1441 stitches per square inch, they are soft, strong, and last like forever.  Okay, I won’t bore you with all the details of what makes these socks so darn tough…but if you’d like to find out more be sure to check out www.darntough.com/darntough.html.

If you could use another pair of great cycling socks, be sure to enter our giveaway below….or simply head over to your nearest REI and pick some up.

Win Some Socks

The Darn Tough giveaway is now over.  The response was awesome and thanks to all of you who entered to win.

We are totally buried in socks and want to give our readers the chance to try out a pair from Darn Tough, so we’ll keep giving them away until they’re gone.

Leave us a comment (including your sock size) about the worst pair of cycling socks you’ve ever owned and what made them so awful. Include a picture of them as well if you like.  We’ll randomly start sending out pairs immediately.

Darn Tough’s market is primarily the USA so they’re only able to send to those of you located here. Sorry to the rest of our readers, but winners must be located in the United States for this one.

Enjoy Your Ride

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92 Responses to “ Who Needs Socks? ”

  1. v on October 9, 2019 at 3:08 am

    Currently, Revis est un membre des Patriots.

  2. rachey on April 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I had a goofy pair of socks, forgot which brand, but I bought them from the 2nds. They were different sizes.

  3. Bob Beresh on November 12, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Men’s 11. Alright, being a commuter and a roadie (can you be both?) I’ve got a few socks in the basket. I love wool socks, and recommend them often. Worst pair? DeFeet “DeLine” crew socks. for no other reason than they were the first pair of real cycling socks I ever bought and they looked terrible! That’s cycling. Trial and error.

    Hope to get some lifetime socks!


  4. Kelly Cato Barnard on November 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Worst pair of sock I ever had, the elastic wore out and the shoe would eat my sock. Could not keep the socks above the shoe! Womens size 7.5.

  5. tsarjeant on November 9, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Picked up a pair of socks a few years back, wore them once and they were so tight i had to stop on a ride and take them off. My feet were going numb. mens 8.5 Thanks for yet another great opportunity!!!

  6. Bob Fiedler on November 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Worst pair of socks ever…has to be the cotton tube socks I double up on in these cold Midwestern winters. No matter how many I put on, my feet are still ice cold after 30 minutes. I have been thinking of some wool socks for cycling and these could be the ticket. Size lg.
    ps- I even love the colors.

  7. Mike on November 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Men’s size 10 – When I started riding, I was wearing cotton athletic socks, not really knowing any better. This became a real problem once I started riding in the cold & snow in Upstate NY and my feet turned to frozen, wooden blocks. So, any sock that will help prevent frostbite sound great to me.

  8. Allen Key on November 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Men’s 8. The worst pair I ever had were too expensive to throw away but the cuff wreaked havoc on my circulation. I threw them in a jersey pocket and went sockless for part of a ride because of them.

  9. LC on November 8, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I wear a women’s 6 1/2 to 7 The worst socks I ever had were really great to begin with. They were smooth and fit great. Then, agter a couple of washes they became lumpy. I don’t know what happened! I wass really upset about it so I called the company The customer service rep ‘sometimes socks just do that’. No “I’m sorry about that, here’s how we can fix it…” He suggested I buy a couple more pairs…no way!

  10. Lauren S. Gros on November 8, 2012 at 7:28 am

    I actually am new to cycling (I started in May riding an old 1970s beach cruiser that weighs AT LEAST 50 lbs) and an slowly but surely accumulating quality gear for my rides. I have to pace myself because all the gear is so much fun to buy, but paychecks only allow a couple of things at a time! lol Women’s size 9 for me!

  11. Malachi on November 8, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Never had cycle specific socks! However I did end up with a pair of sport socks from Cabot when I lived in Vermont. Besides maple syrup and roasting coffee they had socks down

  12. David Nichols on November 8, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Nothing like the feel of that little hole slowly getting bigger as your big toe pops through. Even worse than a flat. Shouldn’t happen with Darn Tough, especially if they’re purple. Size 9 1/2.

  13. Collin Stringer on November 8, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Men’s size 11. My worst pair was not terrible, but small holes appeared at both big toes after 4 or 5 months of riding. I guess I should say my toes appeared through the holes. They were Pearl Izumi.

  14. Stacey Hanna on November 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I wear a women’s 10, and I think I have one pair left after my move. I have some half pairs(we gave away the dryer that ate the socks), and the girls have claimed them from me for crazy sox days. I packed everything I could fit into storage, and gave away everything else to the salvation army when we moved into my Parents’ house to take care of my mom. I miss comfy riding socks. I rise in Converse with cotton ankle socks. They slip down into the cycling shoes and end up in a wad under my toes. The elastic is new and they move slower in the converse, but like lightning in my cycling shoes. They are the only thing that moves that fast on my cruiser.

  15. Dan on November 7, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Size 13
    I usually use Castelli socks which I like, but I could always use an extra pair of socks.

  16. kimstrong on November 7, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Women’s 9. 2 pair of bad socks, one pair the top cuff has stretched out so much they fall down, the other pair there’s not enough elastic to hold them up to my ankles and they too, fall down inside my shoes (kinda how kids like to wear them these days, but that doesn’t fly for this cyclist) thx! (btw, your moving to grenada post has inspired me to persue a national parks job and travel instead of sitting idle at a state job , thank you for that kick in the pants)

  17. Brad on November 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Never found a pair of cycling socks that I did not like. Since I only wear them while riding haven’t worn many out. Maybe I’ve never had a “good” pair to know what to compair them to.
    Size 10.5.
    Thanks for the blogs.

  18. Jrsst97 on November 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I’m new to cycling, so have never experienced cycling specific socks. I have had some pretty nasty barn socks. Size 10.

  19. pete on November 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    they were flash “silk” mtb socks and as I pulled them on my foot kept going through them until the sock was around my knee and no longer over my foot, they were one time only and never worn and never replaced by the shop i got them off, bad news, unfortunately that was 10 yrs ago and don’t have a photo, mens large size

  20. Larry Myers on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    My worst pair of cycling socks are just standard crew socks since I really cannot afford to buy them, that is what I am stuck with. I hate how they hold sweat sooo bad. I would love to try a real pair of socks out and if I was chosen that would be awesome and my sock size is size 12 or however they come. Thanks for offering these! This could be great! Larry Myers

  21. Billi1905 on November 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Men’s 8 worst socks were a dozen pair from a defunct team. Super thin, and every stain is perminent.

  22. Tom on November 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    The worst pair of socks I had were made by Giro. After the first washing, one of them disappeared and was never found. Disolving socks are not cool! I’m a Large please.

  23. daisy on November 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Worst cycling socks? The ones that fit so poorly they disappear into my shoe.

    I’m a women’s medium. Thanks!

  24. ClareM on November 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I would say that the worst problem with my cycling socks is that half of them disappear. Maybe this brand has magical threads that keep a pair together in the wash??

  25. RickF on November 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Size 9 for me. Worst pair I’ve had were from Performance many years ago. There was really nothing good about them except the price. I only use them if everything else is at the bottom of the laundry pile. The SmartWool socks I have are very comfortable with good compression and fit but have had trouble getting them clean after wet, messy ride. Dirt stains don’t come out. Wool is the best though and these look great.

  26. Crystal Fun2Race on November 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    size 9.5 please 🙂 My two biggest complaints with socks are 1)they get stretched out and lose their elasticity too quickly and 2)they are not breathable

  27. Mark J Schultz on November 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Size 11. Listening to the cycling 360 podcast and clicked on the link for the site for the first time, sorry it took soo long to do so. Going through all he old podcasts to get them all in, almost there. I never had a bad cycling sock and I have many pairs. They must all be great brands because I put in a ton of miles. Nothing beats the feeling of a brand new sock though the first time you put them on. LOVE the site and the show!!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      Congratulations @facebook-100000024742084:disqus you’ve been randomly selected as one of our sock winners….and it’s not just because you’re a loyal Cycling 360 listener. Hahahahaha. Glad we finally were able to drag you over here to Loving the Bike. Maybe the free socks will help keep you around for a while. Please send your mailing address to https://lovingthebike.com/contact-us.

  28. Sky1228 on November 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Never owned cycling socks, just some regular old hanes! would love some, size 7

  29. John C! on November 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    After 100 miles on “name brand” woollies, the soles became threadbare on a 3 week bike tour, giving me raw, nasty feet. Luckily I had spares, Darn Tough actually- and besides only having the one – much to my partners chagrin- I rode the rest of the tour without a hitch.

    I’m a 10.5 mens

  30. Joshua Mitchell on November 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    First off, I’ve been wanting to try some Darn Tough’s for a while. Worst pair of cycling socks? Had a pair that of full synthetic that ripened after a single ride… yeah, not good.

  31. Sarah Beth on November 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I have yet to own a pair of cycling socks but it sounds like a lot of fun darn it! 😉 socks have sizes um… Regular women? Shoe size 7.5.

  32. Nicole Steinberger on November 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    hi lovingthebike! i recently found you on google + and i really enjoy what you share, thank you. i bike here in the bay area, northern ca. it’s really helped to transform my life 🙂 i have never owned a pair of socks for biking specifically but would absolutely be grateful to. my shoe size is 7 in womens. peace.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Nicole, glad you found me on G+ and followed me over here to the website. Good luck with the sock giveaway, we still have several more pairs to give out and will keep randomly picking winners over the next couple days.

      • Nicole Steinberger on November 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

        thank you very much 🙂

  33. Corey K on November 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    10.5 US – a pair of early synthetics that gave me heel blisters and smelled like low tide after a few hours in the saddle. What’s worse, they transferred that odor to my shoes, which I had previously been able to keep odor free…I’d take a picture, but they didn’t last but maybe three wearings before I sent them away.

  34. AZBon on November 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Size small (women’s) No cycling sox yet.. Bike commute 20 miles daily since April, and ride for pure pleasure every chance I get. Still wearing my running socks, which are too thick in the toes! 🙁 Love to try these!

  35. Melinda on November 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t have a bad pair. I usually just wear the socks I get from the store. However, as my 13 year old daughter is catching up to me in foot size, I am finding I have to get MY socks out of HER drawers. lol I’m also so new to the sport, that I don’t have special bike socks yet. (I’m a shoe size 10)

  36. Marker Berens on November 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Size 10. I have never owned a pair of cycling socks although I am quite interested in trying a pair out. My experiences have been riding with cotton socks that get sweaty during hot conditions and take forever to dry out. During rain the cotton socks get very wet and cold making for an uncomfortable experience.

  37. HHS Teens For Christ on November 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Well I’m still new to the sport/hobby, so I’ve never had true cycling sock. I would love to try a pair. size 8

  38. Ashley on November 7, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I can’t say that I’ve ever owned a bad pair of cycling socks. I’ve used many non-cycling socks for cycling, which is generally a bad idea. I wouldn’t mind some more so I don’t have to use regular socks, though! I’m a size 9.

  39. Mike Benigni on November 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Darryl, great news about Grenada. I could use a pair of tough socks on my transcontinental ride. I wear a size 10. – Mike Benigni

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Thanks Mike, I appreciate your comment. Good luck with our giveaway…we still have plenty more pairs to give out. Keep checking in to see if you won.

  40. Kaleb on November 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I love cycling socks for the personality each pair has. I have various brands and styles that I basically wear every day, but one pair only ever got worn once and that was my summer bontreger.The seams rubbed me the wrong way and felt in the wrong place. anyway my foot size is 10 US.

  41. Mike A on November 7, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Anything synthetic; in particular Pearl Izumi. They smell like burnt onions after only a day’s use, as do my feet. I will only wear wool these days. I wear size 8.

  42. Scott Smith on November 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Size 10.5, The worst socks I ever mistakenly bought were Cutter brand. They were made from this cheap thin microfiber that snagged on everything. I tore the sole open on the inner sole of my riding shoes. How does that happen? I will never buy Cutter or any other synthetic microfiber sock again.

  43. Mike on November 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I have these strange “winter” socks that are way to tight at the top so they cut off all circulation to my feet, but are also super loose on the actual foot so wearing them with cycling shoes makes my minor OCD tendencies get out of control. Shoe size 10.5.

  44. The Group Ride on November 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I would love a pair! Worst socks I have are some by Sock Guy. They just don’t seem to hold up very well. They get holes in the toe box more easily than DeFeet and the elastic cuff is not very good. I’ve kept them around to hold me over in a pinch, but I would love to just toss them. Size 8, thanks!

  45. Richard Scheffrin on November 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Size 9.5, my worst pair of cycling socks I bought at the bike shop on clearance. They were too small so they barely reached my ankles. But kept my feet fresh 🙂

  46. Michael Hayes on November 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I just started riding regularly again this past year, so I’m just wearing cotton ankle socks, for now

  47. Michael Chaffin on November 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

    So far, these have been pretty bad. Seem to bunch up at the front quite a bit.
    Size 9.5

    Let me know if I win and I’ll send you the address.

  48. CalebSimpson on November 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I’ve never owned a pair but would like to. Size 13

  49. Ira D on November 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I’ve been lucky enough to purchase relatively high quality cycling socks, but the ones I have are for summer so they’re very thin and have lots of ventilation on them. Now that it’s getting cold, I am having to be creative!

    • Ira D on November 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

      BTW I wear size 7.5 Men.

  50. Michael on November 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Worst pair of socks, worn while cycling – a very thick pair of wool skiing socks that cut off circulation to my toes. On a seventy degree day, my toes were freezing cold, then unbearably hot and then numb and achy. The worst. I have one well worn pair of Darn Tough socks now, would be ecstatic to win another pair. Size 43, men’s 9.5

  51. chris. on November 7, 2012 at 9:02 am

    size 9. Worst I ever had was a pair of cheap, off brand “tech” socks. There was an internal seam across the toes that rubbed just enough to be annoying, and the “wicking” feature must have been reversed because it was like wearing bread bags on my feet. I was too lazy to pull them from rotation so I’d remember this about half hour too late, when they were already on and I was out.

  52. William J Dunkerley on November 7, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Worst pair I ever had only lasted one ride. 2005 Lobster Century Ride in Maine. Rain from start to finish, and I picked up enough silt to wear holes in both socks. I had put them on for the first time that morning. I don’t even recall what brand they were. I have to mention that my favorite socks are my Defeet Woolie Boolies. I only wear them when the temps drop below 60, but I love them, and they have lasted me many years. Would love to compare these Darn Tough socks with the Woolie Boolies, and see if maybe I have a new favorite. I wear a size L. or 43 shoe size.

  53. Mike Neifert on November 7, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I wear size 12 shoes. I have two pairs of socks that have a seem that runs under the ball of my feet. They’re way too warm too. So I have hot, bothered feet when I’m done…well, I used to anyway. I don’t wear those socks any more.

  54. Tony on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Worse pair have been any Walmart brand socks my wife has bought me.

  55. Guest on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Free pair of socks from an air line. Elastic went as soon as I put them on and they made my feet sweat. Why you’d want to wear those on a flight is anyones guess.. Couldn’t even use them for bike cleaning purposes… [size 6 :)].

  56. I Wear Spandex on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I’d love some new socks…size XL. My worst pair was from my favorite bike shop. They used horrible colors and this awful design. They don’t match anything that I own, or I’ve seen in stores. They also have this terrible tight ring around the ankle that digs in more over time. I still wear the socks, mostly because I can’t match anyway.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 9, 2012 at 7:13 am

      Hi @twitter-622514105:disqus (Brian), you’re one of our winners. Please send your mailing address to https://lovingthebike.com/contact-us and we’ll get them off to you.

      • I Wear Spandex on November 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        Thanks, Darryl! Really excited to be a winner. I know it’s just socks, but Darn Tough sounds good to check out…and, I’ve gotten excited for much less. For example, “My 10-year old spandex shorts didn’t fall apart today…awesome!”

  57. Jurgen on November 7, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Worse pair of bike socks: Pearl Izumi…they kept falling down off my ankles. Size 8.5 shoe. Thanks for the chance to own some really goo socks.

  58. Robert Fiedler on November 7, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I am new to cycling this year. I started out commuting to work (4 miles round trip). I started out on 26 in mountain bike that is 13 years old. I then progressed to riding 75 miles a week. I lost 70 lbs over the course of the summer. Needless to say, ifell in love. I bought my 1st road bike less than 2 weeks ago. I have always ridden in cotton socks( which are very cold now in northern Indiana). With the new road bike I bought my first pair of cycling shoes and pedals. The bike shop had to order the pedals and should be here in the next week or so. I am already looking forward to spring and all the great riding. Size 13 in US

  59. Brandy on November 7, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I have seen the phases of cycling socks over the years and bought in to the cute designed ankle cuff socks, I love the high sick movement right now. Though I recently bought some ankle socks at a big box store, blisters. Never again. Size 9 women’s

  60. karrock on November 7, 2012 at 8:05 am

    And it’s funny, I clicked in from your tweet thinking you were writing about whether socks were necessary. 😀

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 7, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Yeah, it sort of looked that way from the title of the post. Glad you came over anyway. Good luck.

  61. karrock on November 7, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Do you have anything in a size 9? :o)

  62. Paul Kirby on November 7, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I have a couple pair of bike socks that I got from the REI outlet. Thought they were a good deal. Well, the cuff is starting to separate on both socks of both pairs (!!) and it turns out that the seam on the toe is poorly placed and digs into my pinky toes – there is a definite crease in the skin after longer rides. Ouch! So, new size 10 socks would be great!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Congratulations @twitter-316781071:disqus you’ve been randomly selected as one of our winners. These socks are going to go great with your Loving the Bike kit. We have it around somewhere, but please send us your mailing address and sock size so we can get these out to you. Send it to us at https://lovingthebike.com/contact-us.

      • Paul Kirby on November 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm

        Rock ON! Thanks! Info sent.

  63. JBrescia on November 7, 2012 at 7:51 am

    My worst pair of socks is a pair of swiftwhich that I have as a last resort. They are too tight around the bottom of my foot and too thin for anything but short sprint work. I love the graphic on the ankle, but loathe the sock!

    • JBrescia on November 7, 2012 at 7:52 am

      PS – Size 9.

  64. Michael McFadden on November 7, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I have two pair if bike socks wear the elastic around the ankle wore out. The socks stay up but look ridiculous! Oh, yes, I still wear them when my other socks are in the laundry.

    Size XL

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 7, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Congratulations @google-6f819802680bcae46207036a8380abec:disqus, you’re one of the random winners of a pair of Darn Tough socks. Please send your mailing address to us at https://lovingthebike.com/contact-us.

      Hey everyone, we have many more pairs to give away so keep the comments coming.

  65. David Fribbins on November 7, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Size 9.5 – Only ever owned 1 cycling specific pair of socks and they were pretty special (especially for a free gift) but my worst experience would be during a commute in a pair of thin cotton socks on a miserable wet day (In England we get rain and cold temps regularly).. frozen toes and vented shoes made walking off the bike very difficult!

    I would be willing to pay postage if UK is possible, otherwise enjoy the stories from this side of the pond!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

      Thanks for entering, David. I’ll see what I can work out if you’re one of the randomly selected winners. These socks would be great for those cold wet days in England.

      • David Fribbins on November 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        They really would… Planning on a little adventurous 50 miler tomorrow.. My toes are not going to be happy!

  66. Tim on November 7, 2012 at 7:17 am

    How about a size 10 for me and a womens size 7 for my wife?

  67. Roger on November 7, 2012 at 7:16 am

    I do. Size 9 please.

  68. Branan on November 7, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Yes, always need new socks, particularly quality socks. Bargain bin socks wear through nearly instantly. Size large please – I’ll happily sing the praises of good footwear!

  69. Pete on November 7, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Any chance we could get you guys to sponsor our Pure Mountains Bike Girls (female only) trip next year? Some socks for the 16 ladies would go down a treat!

  70. Adam on November 7, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I sure could use some socks. Please send a pair of size 10 my way.


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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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