Defeet's Aireator is "the original airflow design that changed how modern endurance socks are made" according to, well, Defeet. They have been around for ages, and now they're available in about a million different designs in various cuff heights. These Framework fluoro socks are a generous six inches to the cuff and they're certainly noticeable, if that's a thing you like your socks to be.
The Aireator name comes from the mesh top panel that gives these socks top-drawer breathability. They're not socks for nippy days unless you're brave, but in the summer they come into their own.
Made with Sorbtek Repreve fibres that are derived from recycled resources, they feature a number of different weaves that are heavier and more durable in high wear areas, and a compressive cuff that keeps them at full mast.
And ye gods, these Framework pattern socks are bright. On a recent long ride with some grotty lanes, another rider asked me how come my socks weren't getting dirty when my shoes were. It turns out they're so bright you basically need to plaster them in mud before they start to look dirty. I expect you can see them from about a nautical mile away, which is probably good for your on-road visibility.
If by some crazy happenstance you don't like this design – I can't imagine that applies to anyone – then like I said, you can choose from about a million others, from plain black to doughnuts to geometric patterns to skulls to tacos.
At £15.99 they're certainly up among the more expensive cycling socks, but if granny's going to buy you socks for Christmas she might as well get you some nice ones.
Classic, breathable performance sock in a retina-burning design
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Defeet Aireator 6in socks
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
The Aireator® Sock
The Aireator® platform goes well beyond typical sock construction. It's the original airflow design that changed how modern endurance socks are made. With it's trademark venting mesh weave instep, durable 6" StayFast cuff, plated heel & toes that wears like iron, the Aireator guarantees long-lasting performance. Made with COOLMAX® Ecomade, the fibre that is made from recycled resources.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Defeet lists these features:
The original DeFeet sock, the Aireator has been consistently upgraded and remains the gold standard of cycling socks.
Affordable and incredibly durable, Aireator's are the most popular cycling sock the world has ever known.
DeFeet Aireator mesh for superior breathability and comfort, the first sock to incorporate this type of open-mesh construction.
Eco-friendly: Made from recycled water bottles in North Carolina, USA.
Great for running, hiking, and on the bike
Machine wash cold, tumble dry low. No bleach, softeners, or harsh detergents.
60% Nylon, 39% Recycled Polyester, 1% Lycra
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Come up looking brand new on a standard wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well: these are classic summer socks.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfy, breathable, eye-wateringly bright.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Near the top end of the price spectrum.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're pretty expensive socks, on a par with Castelli's Rosso Corsa socks. Certainly you can spend a lot less.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I'd get someone else to buy them for me, for Christmas.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Very good performance, for a high price. I like them though.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.