Cycling and MTB socks, better long or short?

Bike Equipment 25/06/20 16:00 Migue A.

Beyond any trend, we try to reveal the doubts about whether long or short cycling socks are better. They are an essential and unnoticed element, but cycling socks and mountain bike socks are a fundamental piece of clothing.In fact, their qualities and characteristics will make you take more or less care of your feet and legs, especially the lower calf and the calf. But better long cycling socks or short cycling socks?


Where does the fashion for long cycling socks come from?

Let's start from the basic idea that we mentioned: the question of the length of cycling socks responds more to fashion than to any other variable. However, there are some nuances to this statement.

The most current example is the recent limitation that the UCI made on the length of cycling socks, mainly due to the strategy of marginal benefits that Team Sky, now Team Ineos, was carrying out. Their way of analyzing details made them design long cycling socks.


However, this included secondary intentions: compressive and aerodynamic fabrics. That's right, the UCI had to get its hands on how this wasn't just a style, or a simple sales strategy from their clothing supplier. Sky's cycling socks provided very little, but everything counts.

The UCI limited something that was already happening. The first step in this retrospective look would lead us to Bradley Wiggins. The British rider was the first to wear long cycling socks, about 10-12 centimetres in length, in an elegant black that was his trademark. Wiggins did it in several stage races and caught the attention of the brands: it was a way to increase sales by diversifying. First the classic cyclists of the 70s, then Wiggins, then Sky, and then all of them.


What started out as an aesthetic question, however, led to a practice to increase performance.

Nowadays, the UCI limitation is still valid in professional careers. However, outside there is no limitation, so which are better for the performance of an amateur cyclist?


Why choose long or short cycling socks?

From the 6 and 7 centimetres of the classical era, we have moved on to cycling socks that are almost twice as long, between 12 and 15 centimetres.

But let's be clear about the concepts: performance benefits are so marginal that you have to value other things, also beyond fashion.


First of all, pick out some cycling socks that don't get too tight. It's not worth wearing compression garments if you don't suffer from poor circulation, because increasing aerodynamics at the cost of losing circulation is not going to compensate.

Second, run away from fashions that will cost you ventilation. Now, especially with the high temperatures, it's illogical to wear long socks that aggravate your skin's natural transpiration, so don't wrap up if it's 40 degrees on the asphalt or on your mountain bike. If you ride off-road, long mountain bike socks may be more useful if you are riding in bush and brush, because they will protect you from scratches in a very exposed area.


You can be guided by the price, but we do not advise you to cover everything at cost either. Invest a little in good cycling socks, it's not much of an investment and you'll get a lot of use out of them.

Marconi Collection Socks 

And finally, keep your foot clean and dry to avoid problems with blisters or pedicures. Change your socks if your route is very, very long, and use fabrics with rapid evaporation and evacuation of sweat. Short or long, we insist, are fashions, but prioritize these aspects.



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