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  1. #1
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    good synthetic socks for cold weather mtb?

    I'm looking for some good synthetic socks for cold weather mtb. I love drymax for warmer weather. Great wicking and heat dispersion but I need a bit more warmth/insulation when biking around the freezing point. I used some soccer socks like this for snowboarding several years ago and I was happy with the overall quality:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DPCT7NF..._HQggCbV0KD75C

    But I'm looking for something a bit shorter for mtb. Also, I've never been a fan of wool socks so no Merino recs please

  2. #2
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    Wool socks are better in every way compared to synthetic socks. If you donít like wearing just wool socks, have you considered wearing really thin synthetic socks under wool ones? That combination will provide warmth and breathability.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  3. #3
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    Thin poly liner sock with Merino wool oversock.

  4. #4
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    Titus is the new, improved Picard.

  5. #5
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    You want hiking socks, not soccer socks. Though I suppose if that's what you've got, they'll be better than summer weight socks.

    Depending on the shoes you have, have fun with that. If your shoes are snug and excessively stiff (think xc type clipless mtb shoes), then you're going to have fit problems. Squeeze your feet with too-thick socks, and your feet will be even colder due to restricted bloodflow. And further, the metal cleat on a clipless shoe is a most excellent heat sink, and will pull heat out of your foot in no time. Cold feet were the reason I bought platform pedals in the first place.

  6. #6
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    What are you using for shoes? The whole package for your feet would be helpful to know. I definitely experienced what Harold talks about with heat being drawn out from the bottom of my feet when weather was cold enough, but a dedicated winter MTB shoe solved that.

    I use Merino socks so I'll skip the recommendation except to say that you should also consider ski/snowboard socks. Mine go up to about the top of my winter MTB shoe (just below the calf) and are just about perfect.

    You may want to consider Smartwool, although they may all have some Merino content in them....not sure if they've expanded to have any purely synthetic options as well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by titus View Post
    I'm looking for some good synthetic socks for cold weather mtb. I love drymax for warmer weather. Great wicking and heat dispersion but I need a bit more warmth/insulation when biking around the freezing point. I used some soccer socks like this for snowboarding several years ago and I was happy with the overall quality:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DPCT7NF..._HQggCbV0KD75C

    But I'm looking for something a bit shorter for mtb. Also, I've never been a fan of wool socks so no Merino recs please
    This must be a trick question. There are no good synthetic socks. Wool is the best and is so much better than synthetics that I'd only use it if I had a severe anaphylactic reaction to wool.

    Maybe you haven't tried the right wool socks?

  8. #8
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    Give Heat Holders socks a try.

    https://www.amazon.com/Holders-Origi.../dp/B00J8JVCDS

    I got a pair for Christmas, but have yet to give them a try. They feel promising.

  9. #9
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    Don't be an asshole by recommending wool socks to the person who specifically asked for non-wool socks.

    I just got some TraxFactory Hot Sockets. Look that up. Short little neoprene toe covers that go inside your shoes. I have only used them for walking around, not riding yet, but they seem to keep my toes a few degrees warmer.

    I also tried thin socks with Dexshell waterproof socks over them to good effect recently.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Don't be an asshole by recommending wool socks to the person who specifically asked for non-wool socks.

    I just got some TraxFactory Hot Sockets. Look that up. Short little neoprene toe covers that go inside your shoes. I have only used them for walking around, not riding yet, but they seem to keep my toes a few degrees warmer.

    I also tried thin socks with Dexshell waterproof socks over them to good effect recently.


    Donít be an asshole and recommend a sock and not supply a link.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Don't be an asshole by recommending wool socks to the person who specifically asked for non-wool socks.

    I just got some TraxFactory Hot Sockets. Look that up. Short little neoprene toe covers that go inside your shoes. I have only used them for walking around, not riding yet, but they seem to keep my toes a few degrees warmer.

    I also tried thin socks with Dexshell waterproof socks over them to good effect recently.
    And furthermore, don't recommend neoprene toe covers or waterproof socks to someone who specifically asked for socks. Sheesh, I mean really.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  12. #12
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    I like alpaca way better than wool. I like Sealskinz socks, worn over a light thermal liner, (mid weight acrylic hiker would work fine here) for wet, slush and mud. Cheap felt insoles help tremendously for the cold pedals thing....the kind that ice-fishing guys use.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  13. #13
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    I just bought heated socks this year. Never going back to non heated socks when it's 35 degrees and below.

    For above 35 I use drymax cold weather socks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    I just bought heated socks this year. Never going back to non heated socks when it's 35 degrees and below.

    For above 35 I use drymax cold weather socks.
    I donít know how good todayís heated socks are but in the late 1970ís I had a pair for hunting. They worked great until one of the wires shorted out and I felt a small tingling jolting sensation. I was getting shocked by the battery pack.

    Word of advice: Maybe stay stay away from the vintage ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I donít know how good todayís heated socks are but in the late 1970ís I had a pair for hunting. They worked great until one of the wires shorted out and I felt a small tingling jolting sensation. I was getting shocked by the battery pack.

    Word of advice: Maybe stay stay away from the vintage ones.
    Hopefully the neural damage didnít travel too far north.

    I looked at heated socks last year and this year. Last year, so closely that I had a pair that I returned. Last year I went instead with heated insoles for my ski boots and a heated boot bag. This year I went with a pair of thermal Solomon hiking boots and a warmer sock system.

    As for socks, I got a $36 pair of Darned Tough wool socks for Christmas. Not sure they are THAT much better than the 4 pack of Costco merino blend wool socks I got for $16 (I have since bought 2 more packs). Ok, the DT are nicer but still. $36???

    OP - not trying to be an asshole. I commute in some pretty cold weather sometimes (minus 35). As almost all others have mentioned, I have found that wool/merino is the way to go unless there is some kind of allergic thing going on. Both the DT and the Costco socks I mentioned fit in all my footwear, including my SPD shoes.

  16. #16
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    Loose shoes, bulky socks, and warming up to get the blood flowing before going out works for me down to 0F, as long as I keep working hard enough not to start to cool off. My socks happen to be wool/synthetic blends, but good synthetic socks are available.
    Do the math.

  17. #17
    the discerning hooligan
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Ok, the DT are nicer but still. $36???
    The thing about Darned Tough is that they will replace that pair of socks forever, no questions asked.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  18. #18
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    I prefer wool, but will frequently also ride in generic ski socks that I have for skiing (duh). Especially if I'm wearing shorts (variable weather below freezing, but not too cold), as I can pull them up nearly to my knees.

    For really cold weather riding, I'll wear my winter boots (non-cycling) with thick socks and ski boot heated insoles. Toasty.
    baker

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You want hiking socks, not soccer socks. Though I suppose if that's what you've got, they'll be better than summer weight socks.

    Depending on the shoes you have, have fun with that. If your shoes are snug and excessively stiff (think xc type clipless mtb shoes), then you're going to have fit problems. Squeeze your feet with too-thick socks, and your feet will be even colder due to restricted bloodflow. And further, the metal cleat on a clipless shoe is a most excellent heat sink, and will pull heat out of your foot in no time. Cold feet were the reason I bought platform pedals in the first place.

    This^^ I prefer merino socks but honestly flat pedals and hiking boots are the biggest improvement for me. Roomy enough for thick or multi socks.

  20. #20
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    One more consideration I haven't see mentioned - toe room. Having wiggle room up front has advantages.

    You can wiggle you toes, helps warm them
    There's space for warm air to accumulate
    Your circulation isn't constricted, adding to warmth
    You have room for foot-warmer heat pads under the front - these really can help.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  21. #21
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    This thread socks.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Titus is the new, improved Picard.
    Hmmm...

    Could it be...

    ...that Titus is another of your creations?

    You really need to think about how you can convert this creative brilliance into cash somehow. Serious cash. The character development of these guys is much better than in most movies I have seen lately.

  23. #23
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    I've had problems in the past with wool socks giving me blisters. I'm going to try these as one option:

    https://www.cotswoldoutdoor.us/p/sea...ml?colour=3657

    honestly, I normally only wear the following hyper thin crew socks so simply having a slightly thicker mid-calf sock is going to help a lot:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002ABX4IM..._cVUjCbWWG3XCC

  24. #24
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    these socks seem to meet my criteria, look slick, have great reviews and only cost $10 on amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Swiftwick-Cyc...X3N&th=1&psc=1

  25. #25
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    Smartwool
    Wanted, SRAM GX 2x11 rear derailleur

    It ain't supposed to be easy.

  26. #26
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    According to Drymax their material for winter socks it's warmer than wool

    I do find them a little warmer than any wool socks I've tried.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by titus View Post
    these socks seem to meet my criteria, look slick, have great reviews and only cost $10 on amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Swiftwick-Cyc...X3N&th=1&psc=1
    Those are compression socks. NOT what you want for cold weather as they will work to constrict blood flow.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Those are compression socks. NOT what you want for cold weather as they will work to constrict blood flow.
    LOL
    Yep, nothing like making matters worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Those are compression socks. NOT what you want for cold weather as they will work to constrict blood flow.

    Actually compression socks are designed to increase blood flow. I have no idea if they would help keep your feet warm though.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Hmmm...

    Could it be...

    ...that Titus is another of your creations?

    You really need to think about how you can convert this creative brilliance into cash somehow. Serious cash. The character development of these guys is much better than in most movies I have seen lately.
    Ah, another conspirator. Yes, because I have so much free time to spend on all these (synthetic) socks you accuse me of. I'm going for a ride.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    ... 4 pack of Costco merino blend wool socks I got for $16 (I have since bought 2 more packs)...
    I donít think there is such a product at Costco.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    And furthermore, don't recommend neoprene toe covers or waterproof socks to someone who specifically asked for socks. Sheesh, I mean really.
    Zinggg!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    I donít think there is such a product at Costco.
    Huh?

    https://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Sign...100360948.html

    And why do they say 'heal' when they mean 'heel'?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Actually compression socks are designed to increase blood flow. I have no idea if they would help keep your feet warm though.
    While I am no doctor, I am to understand they can help improve circulation for people with certain vein disorders where the veins enlarge and the heart has a hard time pumping blood back up out the the legs. In that case, as an engineer, I can see how constricting a vessel with compression will increase pressure allowing the blood to flow up and out of the legs. Increasing pressure does not necessarily increase flow. Think of a garden hose without and then with a nozzle. Point the end up. Without the nozzle the water bubbles up a few inches, maybe a foot. With a nozzle flow is restricted and pressure increased and the water stream goes much higher. Compression socks work much like a nozzle.

  35. #35
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    As a followup on the Heat Holder socks, I went out on a 2 hour ride in 19 degrees today. I would say that my feet were noticeably warmer than with my Smartwool socks. They are thicker so one would need room in their boot.

    They are pretty loose fitting, so I do not see them as hikers, but certainly stayed in place for biking.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    While I am no doctor, I am to understand they can help improve circulation for people with certain vein disorders where the veins enlarge and the heart has a hard time pumping blood back up out the the legs. In that case, as an engineer, I can see how constricting a vessel with compression will increase pressure allowing the blood to flow up and out of the legs. Increasing pressure does not necessarily increase flow.

    I'm no doctor either but I do know they're made specifically to help increase circulation, and not just for people with vein disorders. Lots of athletes wear them regularly.

    Probably off topic but who knows, maybe they could help some people with cold feet? I'll stick with wool socks and reasonably fitting shoes though, that and continue living in a relatively warm climate.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm no doctor either but I do know they're made specifically to help increase circulation, and not just for people with vein disorders. Lots of athletes wear them regularly.

    Probably off topic but who knows, maybe they could help some people with cold feet? I'll stick with wool socks and reasonably fitting shoes though, that and continue living in a relatively warm climate.
    I have always suspected that compression wear may decrease blood flow. My legs are ice cold to the touch when I wear my 2XU stuff, regardless of how many layers are over top. I equated this to a drop in circulation, although perhaps there is no connection between skin temperature and circulation.

  38. #38
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    I'm not a doctor but you might want to try a few nips of scotch along with popping a few viagra.

    Sent from my SM-T387V using Tapatalk

  39. #39
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    I'm also not a doctor, but I might have been one had I been ambitious, disciplined and hard working in my youth. Regarding compression socks worn by athletes, I suspect it would be for muscle compression and support rather than any effect on blood flow. Perhaps there's a sports sock physiologist out there who can weigh in.

    Also, regarding the use of Scotch, I would like to offer this: BLECCHHH. Never could stand the stuff. Perhaps you were suggesting pouring it on your feet? For outdoor winter warmth, schnapps or peach brandy have excellent warming properties when take orally. As for Viagra, be careful. An infrared image of you might look like you had a 10,000 lumen light in your underwear.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    I'm also not a doctor, but I might have been one had I been ambitious, disciplined and hard working in my youth. Regarding compression socks worn by athletes, I suspect it would be for muscle compression and support rather than any effect on blood flow. Perhaps there's a sports sock physiologist out there who can weigh in.

    Why would an athlete need muscle support? They wear them mostly for improved circulation and to help with lactic acid removal. It's supposed to help with recovery. Y'all can Google it if you're still skeptical, it won't take long.

    Still, for cold feet scotch would be preferable.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Why would an athlete need muscle support? They wear them mostly for improved circulation and to help with lactic acid removal. It's supposed to help with recovery. Y'all can Google it if you're still skeptical, it won't take long.

    Still, for cold feet scotch would be preferable.
    Big believer here in compression wear. Hitting Kicking Horse first thing in the morning, compressioned AF. Decent dumps here. Should be some epic pow awaiting...

    That said, I wear it because it aids in a long list of things. Blood circulation is not one of them. Nope.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    As for socks, I got a $36 pair of Darned Tough wool socks for Christmas. Not sure they are THAT much better than the 4 pack of Costco merino blend wool socks I got for $16 (I have since bought 2 more packs). Ok, the DT are nicer but still. $36???
    DT rock. I have a couple pair. Hit up REI - the most expensive one I can find is $35 and most seem around $20-25. Still pricey, but like MOJO said they're guaranteed (from an authorized retailer).

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Huh?

    https://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Sign...100360948.html

    And why do they say 'heal' when they mean 'heel'?
    Speaking of Costco socks my wife got me some of these for Christmas. https://www.costco.com/Weatherproof-...100162051.html
    I tried them out this morning for a ten mile ride at 35* and my feet were nice and toasty. They only have 15% wool so maybe they won't bother you. I'm very sensitive to wool myself and after having the socks on for 10 hours I haven't had any issues.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  44. #44
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    I like my Smartwool and Carhart and Thorlo wool blend socks with or without polypropylene sock liners, but for a non-wool solution I have also had good luck with a 200 or 300 weight Polartec fleece sock (also with and wothout the polypro liners). You just have to make sure your shoes are big enough to allow them to fit. My winter riding shoes are bigger than my normal shoes in order to allow for thicker socks, and for chemical toe warmers when it gets really cold.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    As for socks, I got a $36 pair of Darned Tough wool socks for Christmas. Not sure they are THAT much better than the 4 pack of Costco merino blend wool socks I got for $16 (I have since bought 2 more packs). Ok, the DT are nicer but still. $36???
    Aside from being able to find them on sale at times for less, making them even easier to fork out for (I too scoffed at their prices initially).. they also come with a lifetime warranty. Wear them out, send back, fresh new pair comes back.

    Or so I've heard from the avid hiking community around me. I have yet to wear any out, and they're all I wear year round every day.

    The model I used to stock up on doesn't seem to exist anymore, but they're pretty much identical to these:

    https://darntough.com/collections/me...nt=45552101715

    They've carried me through AZ hiking in 115 degree heat, cold weather riding (down to around 30 degrees yesterday), wearing them at work and around town today, and a small fleet of them got me across the grand canyon and back non-stop. Wouldn't buy/wear anything else =)

    From their website/faq:

    "How does your warranty work?


    In a nutshell, if you wear a hole in them, we will replace them free of charge, for life. Our socks are guaranteed to be the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you can buy. If for some reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, visit our Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee and fill out our online warranty form.

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