Motorbike-specific socks – an often overlooked piece of kit that’s worth a second thought!
On longer rides, the padded areas, moisture-wicking properties, and insulation of a good pair of socks can make a real difference to your comfort.
What to look for in a quality pair of motorcycle socks.
All the socks on our list are cut to be worn under a protective motorcycle boot and feature padding and reinforcement in areas likely to rub or wear over time.
These socks will fit snugly and stay in place – with the cuff just below the knee.
This prevents the one major complaint riders will make about a pair of socks – they slide down into the boot, and you have to stop to fish them out. Tis the stuff of nightmares!
Socks that wick moisture effectively are preferred, and to this end, merino wool is a favourite (if expensive) choice.
There are several benefits to using merino in motorcycle boot socks.
- Softer than regular wool and can be worn next to the skin without causing any irritation
- Wicks moisture away from the skin
- Regulates temperature
- Helps to cancel out any unpleasant odours
Socks made from manufactured fibres such as polyester or a combination of cotton and manufactured fibres are generally cheaper. They will certainly do a more than adequate job if budget is a concern.
For ease and convenience, make sure your motorcycle socks are suitable for machine washing (all the ones reviewed here are) ain’t nobody got time for handwashing.
One piece of advice given to me by a professional mountaineer has stuck with me all these years:
If you’re going to spend a lot of money on waterproof boots and fancy socks, then for God’s sake: keep your toenails trimmed.”
The big toe, if not kept trimmed, will rub a hole through your fancy socks and eventually through the GoreTex lining of your boot.
Like many of the socks on our list, it’s best to avoid letting the velcro straps from your boot touch your socks. This can result in thread pulling or balling.
Best Motorbike Socks Reviews
Our top 3 choices.
RST Tour Tech Socks
These cotton, base layer socks are comfortable, durable, the right length, and crucially – they stay up all day. The RST Tour socks will stay in place without the cuff being too tight on even the longest ride.
I own a pair of these myself, and they are my go-to socks if I intend to ride for more than an hour.
Built-in comfort pads work a treat, and these socks will keep their shape and elasticity even after several years’ worth of washing. Recommended.
Competitive price point
Known to stay up all-day
As warm and comfortable as the competition
We scoured the internet for product reviews, and nobody was complaining
Moto GP Boot Socks – Race
Moto GP Boot Socks come in one size to fit all – ultra stretchy.
They are loop knit for warmth and comfort, feature a fitted ankle to reduce slippage, will stay up and keep you warm.
When researching this article, I sent a message to some friends asking what they wear under their boots on longer rides. One fella reports having a pair of these socks on the go for almost a decade – gross, but an endorsement of quality.
Moto GP Race socks fit perfectly under commuter and race boots.
Comfortable and durable
Some people love that Moto GP logo on the top
Inclined towards thread pulling if touched by the velcro straps on your boots
EDZ Merino Boot Socks
The price point of these socks may be double that of some synthetic/cotton options, but regular touring riders consider them worth every penny.
EDZ Boots Socks are Terry cushioned (like expensive hotel towels) for warmth and comfort and are reinforced at points likely to wear against your boots.
Our only complaint against these socks is that some customers had trouble keeping them up. I checked out a pair in a high street shop and felt they would certainly hug my slender calves comfortably. Your mileage may vary.
The material is superior in almost every way to the synthetic/cotton options
Merino regulates heat – great for mountain riding with large elevation changes
Double the price of their competitors
Some users report trouble keeping them up
Alternative Option 1 – Heated Socks
Like the other heated kit we have reviewed, heated socks are powered by your bike’s battery or a lithium-ion battery pack.
If you are prioritizing purchases on your first complete set of gear, heated socks should fall somewhere close to the bottom. I rarely feel the cold on my feet with a decent set of socks under my windproof, waterproof boots.
That said – if you’re changing elevation by several thousand metres on a long tour, the option to electronically heat the feet can be a welcome one.
Gerbing MicroWire Pro Heated Socks
Gerbings heated socks are made of a lightweight, moisture-wicking, four-way stretch material.
The heating elements on the sock’s top and bottom ensure an even distribution of heat.
Can connect directly to your bike’s battery or be daisy-chained through a heated jacket or trousers; optionally, you can use a Gerbing battery pack.
The manufacturer suggests wearing a lightweight sock underneath these for hygiene purposes.
Like all heated gear from Gerbing, the elements are covered by a lifetime warranty.
I find the default setting on all heated socks too hot for regular use. Granted, I am a hot-footed man – but it is something to consider, given that these socks are sold without a controller and have only one heat setting.
We’ve written about controllers before, and it’s worth a read if you are planning to go down this route.
Typical Gerbing build-quality
Lifetime warranty on heated elements
No controller means socks can only be used at default setting – may be too hot for most people
Alternative Option 2 – Heated Insoles
Heated insoles serve the same function as heated socks but don’t require frequent washing and can be left in your boots and turned on or off as needed.
They are powered directly by your bike’s battery or a rechargeable pack.
One thing to be aware of here – the default setting on most heated insoles is really hot. Unless otherwise stated, heated insoles come without a dedicated controller – this means only the default setting is available.
Keis S102 Heated Inner Soles
Keis S102 Heated Inner Soles are made using a durable one-piece design and ship with everything needed to connect directly to your bike’s battery.
They can also be powered by any Keis battery pack and are designed to connect to Keis heated vests and jacket liners.
These insoles are lightweight, breathable and fully washable.
Powering them by battery pack also makes these an attractive option for those with a secondary interest in golfing or hiking.
One criticism levelled at these (and most other heated insoles) is that without the option for variable heat control, they are simply too hot. Keis sell a lightweight controller unit, which I and many others consider an essential purchase to make this product perform well.
High build quality and (too) warm
Can be powered by portable lithium-ion battery
Easy to connect to heated vests and jacket liners
Default setting is too hot for most conditions
Variable heat control unit must be bought separately
True to form – I’m not going to deviate from my first pick.
The RST Tour Socks are reasonably priced, well-made, toasty and durable. I own a pair and can personally vouch for their quality may account for something here.
The Moto GP Boot Socks have also left a trail of satisfied customers in their wake, and when a toe finally pokes through my RSTs – I’ll give them a shot.
All images via SportsbikeShop