One of the first things we notice as the weather turns cold is that the shoes and socks we use for summer riding do very little to help keep our feet warm. Our lightweight wool socks we were using for fall riding were not warm enough once the temperatures took a nosedive.
We went ahead and purchased a pair of Pearl Izumi ELITE Thermal Wool Socks. Pearl Izumi’s winter weight sock is made of 61% Merino wool a material that is well-known for moisture control, warmth, and breathability. It is important to have materials that will wick moisture away from your feet, soggy feet are a recipe for a chilly ride and can cause foot problems.
Pearl Izumi’s Description of their product is as follows:
- ELITE Transfer Merino wool yarns provide superior moisture transfer and insulation
- Strategic cushioning under foot
- Ultra-smooth toe design provides superior comfort
- Anatomic arch compression for a performance fit
- Tall 21.5 cm cuff height
Our tester tried out a 30 minute ride in these socks. The temps were in the mid-20s and the sky was overcast. to really test out how well these socks held up to the cold the tester did not wear shoe-covers. The only thing other than the socks that were on our testers feet were a pair of Sidi road shoes.
The 18.00 price tag on these socks isn’t too bad we have paid over half that amount for summer socks on occasion. When compared to non-cycling wool socks they run on the high-end of the price range. When compared to other cycling specific wool socks, they were right in line with the other major brands’ prices. An astute shopper will be able to find these socks for around 12.00.
Fit and Comfort
The socks fit nice and snug without feeling tight at any point. The contoured sock (there is a right and left sock) helped the sock wrap around the foot without any extra material or space around the toes. The extra cushioning underfoot was a nice bonus as well. Our tester enjoyed the tall, 21.5cm, cuff length and felt it added to the overall warmth that the sock provided. When paired with leg warmers the tall cuffs provided a double layer of protection against the elements for the lower leg. We find that there are few things that compare to the fresh, comfortable feeling of a brand new pair of socks and these wool socks are no exception. We will let you know how they hold up over time.
Our tester really was surprised at how warm the socks kept his feet. While the socks kept the feet warmer than expected on their own during our short test ride the tester’s toes were starting to feel the cold creep on in. On cold days you will need some additional protection from the cold. When paired with some warm shoe-covers for the coldest rides these socks should provide ample warmth and comfort for most winter days. These socks performed exactly as they are supposed to, provided extra warmth, especially if they are properly paired with a warm set of shoe-covers.