Giro's HRC+ Merino Wool Socks will challenge everything you thought you knew about life or – failing that – keep your feet very comfy indeed. The seven-inch cuff and 70 per cent merino combine with a gently compressive fit for a sock that's warm and protective, yet never hot or sweaty. Breathable, well shaped and nicely detailed, the HRC+ does everything you want in a sock except, now I think of it, challenge everything you thought you knew about life.
The HRC+ has become my go-to riding sock. It's tight enough to stay exactly where you put it, yet never uncomfortable – the stretch from the non-merino bits (15 per cent polyester, 10 per cent Lycra, 5 per cent elastic) is very well judged. The cuff height is similarly well judged, and fits with all lengths of short without looking odd.
The sizing is accurate and merino's mythical, semi-magic properties mean it's comfy in a broad range of temperatures – I've worn this on days between 8°C and 30°C and stayed happy. It's also very good at resisting smells. After four long rides in a row without washing it, the HRC+ still had that new-sock smell. It wouldn't even stand up on its own. Seriously, why aren't all clothes made of this?
If you don't like this purple it comes in six colours: three bright (yellow, red or blue) and three dark (black, grey or this one). However, at £22 it's an expensive option. Ashmei's Classic Chequered merino sock is £18, for instance, while Kalf's Winter Merino is £15 and dhb's Aeron Light Weight Merino is just £10. (And of course you can buy non-merino road.cc Argyle socks for just £6.99.)
It you do invest, though, it's unlikely you'll regret it. The Giro HRC+ Merino Socks are as usable, comfortable and pleasing as cycling apparel gets.
Extremely comfortable, well made and breathable, but expensive too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro HRC+ Merino sock
Size tested: L
Tell us what the product is for
Giro's UK distributor ZyroFisher says: "The HRc Team sock has become Giro's most-loved sock for riders who demand performance. It is now available with a core spun Meryl Merino wool yarn that adds the soft touch of wool for mountain biking and some warmth for cool-weather riding. The compressive qualities of the HRc+Merino wool sock promote increased circulation with greater arch support, and the extra-reinforced toe and heel improve durability. With a 7' cuff height, you have protection on the trail and warmth when the weather gets cool."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Giro lists these attributes:
Core-spun Merino wool and Meryl Skinlife construction
Nylon-reinforced toe and heel with high-rise 7" cuff
70% Merino wool
Comfy across a large temperature range.
Secure and compressive without being tight or uncomfortable.
At 50g it's about the same as two packets of crisps, but nicer to put your feet in.
Stay comfy for hours.
Expensive, even against other merino socks.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, fit, breathability, looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The socks are excellent, but bearing in mind the price I'd say overall they're very good. If they were £15 they'd get a 9.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,