Kickin’ It – The Best Motorbike Socks For Long Rides


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Last Updated: 16th June 2020

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.

Our Top Pick

RST tour tech

RST Tour Tech

Best Socks In Class

These cotton base layer socks have a deserved reputation for being comfortable, the right length and for keeping their shape and elasticity even after multiple washes.

Both my dad and I wear these on long rides and swear by them.Check On SportsBikeShop

Buyers Guide

What to look for in a quality pair of motorcycle socks.


Fit

All of 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!

Material

Socks that wick moisture effectively are preferred and to this end merino wool is a favourite (if expensive) choice.

There are a number of benefits in 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 man made fibres such as polyester or a combination of cotton and man made fibres are generally a cheaper option and will certainly do a more than adequate job if budget is a concern.

Washing

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 hand washing.

Maintenance

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 in particular, if not kept trimmed, will rub a hole through your fancy socks and eventually through the GoreTex lining of your boot.

Like with a lot 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. Without the cuff being too tight – the RST Tour socks will stay in place on even the longest ride.

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RST tour tech

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.

Pros

plus iconCompetitive price point

plus iconKnown to stay up all day

plus iconAs warm and comfortable as the competition

Cons

minus icon We scoured the internet for product reviews and nobody was complaining

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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..

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motogp socks

When researching this article I sent a message out 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 boots as well as race boots.

Pros

plus iconComfortable and durable

plus iconReasonably priced

plus iconSome people love that Moto GP logo on the top

Cons

minus icon Inclined towards thread pulling if touched by the velcro straps on your boots

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EDZ Merino Boot Socks

The price point of these socks may be double that of some of the synthetic/cotton options, but regular touring riders consider them worth every penny.

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EDZ merino socks

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.

The only complaint we’ve heard 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.

Pros

plus iconThe material is superior in almost every way to the synthetic/cotton options

plus iconMerino regulates heat – great for mountain riding with large elevation changes

Cons

minus icon Double the price of their competitors

minus icon Some users report trouble keeping them up

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Alternative Option 1 – Heated Socks

Heated socks, like the other heated kit we have reviewed here, are powered from your bike’s battery or a lithium ion battery pack.

If you are prioritizing purchases on your first full set of gear, heated socks should fall somewhere close to the bottom. I rarely feel the cold in 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.

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Gerbing heated socks

Heating elements on the top and bottom of the sock 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 heated elements are covered by a lifetime warranty.

I find the default setting on all heated socks to be 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 consequently have only one heat setting.

We’ve written about controllers before and its worth a read if you are planning to go down this route.

Pros

plus iconTypical Gerbing build-quality

plus iconLifetime warranty on heated elements

Cons

minus icon No controller means socks can only be used at default setting – may be too hot for most people

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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 required.

They are powered directly from your bike’s battery or a rechargeable pack.

Electronically heated insoles can daisy chain to other pieces of heated kit. Most heated vests, body warmers, jackets and jacket liners come with dedicated connectors for heated insoles.

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.

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Keiss heated insoles

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.

The option to power 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.

Pros

plus iconHigh build quality and (too) warm

plus iconCan be powered by portable lithium ion battery

plus iconEasy to connect to heated vests and jacket liners

Cons

minus icon Default setting is too hot for most conditions

minus icon Variable heat control unit must be bought separately

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Conclusion

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. The fact that 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.


Image Credits

All images via SportsbikeShop