I am a weekend-warrior mountain biker and want/need to buy cycling socks. Should I buy regular cycling socks or merinos? I only ride one day a week for 1-2 hours in Mexico, that contrary to everyone beliefs, it is neither hot nor cool (between 8-18 °C or 46-65 °F) year round.

Any thoughts/experiences?

  • 1
    Buy whatever feels good. I hate wool socks and much prefer Coolmax. (But alas Coolmax is not cool anymore -- everyone pushes merino -- so I have to mail-order my socks.) Sep 21, 2016 at 21:34
  • Let's get some merino socks to see what happens :) Sep 21, 2016 at 22:53
  • I just wear whatever's in my sock drawer. Sometimes that's big woolly ones, or sometimes its thin cotton ones. The only advise is to chuck a spare pair in your bag for the end of the ride, so you have something dry to change into.
    – Criggie
    Sep 21, 2016 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


In your case, I would purchase based on reviews (for durability) and feel. Merino have the advantage of tending to stink less. However, if you are riding only once a week (not sounding like a commute) it's less of an issue for you. Some people will likely argue that one or the other lasts longer, but the reality is that manufacturing techniques vary so widely that you can find good examples of either extreme in both makes. Wool generally requires a bit more attention with care (not drying on high).

My sock collection is about 95% wool. I used to lean towards coolmax (or other synthetics), but wool socks now feel so nice to me that I can't see a reason to go back. The only synthetic socks I regularly use now are my vapor barriers, which almost always get a wool over the top.

  • Thanks for the advice @Suspended User. I see you are from Alaska. So you use wool socks during hot Alaskan summer days? Sep 21, 2016 at 22:57
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    Good, except for not drying on high. Don't dry wool in a dryer at all! Spin dry, roll up in a towel and stand on it, then hang over night indoors. The towel trick transfers most water to the towel. If you're really in a hurry the sox are dry enough to wear, just a bit cold and clamy.
    – andy256
    Sep 21, 2016 at 23:22
  • I do use thin wool socks for cycling (and running) on hot summer days. They breathe wonderfully. I wouldn't trade them for anything. As to the drying I literally have tens of pairs of wool socks that have been dried on low (from various brands) and are well into many years of use with weekly wear. That means at least 100 trips through the dryer (on low) and still going strong. The wash cycle is more important. They need to be washed on delicate/handwash. Agitation is what causes the barbed fibers to lock/shrink. Sep 22, 2016 at 17:33

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