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GripGrab Alpine Merino High Cut Winter Socks



Tall, warm and protective with a very comfortable fit, though they're not cheap
Soft and comfortable
Easy to get on and off

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The GripGrab Alpine Merino High Cut Winter Socks are really good at keeping you warm and comfortable in poor conditions. They're quite expensive, but the length and soft-yet-protective fabric is worth having on wet, cold rides.

As the name suggests, GripGrab is best known for things (particularly gloves) with grippy and grabby bits all over them, but there's nothing like that here – these are just regular socks. Good ones.

At 21cm these are taller than most typical options, but just as comfortable and secure despite the cuff reaching well onto your calf muscles.

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While I could have tested the medium size, I'm in the overlap for large (in cycling-world my feet are size 10) and wore those instead; the fit, for me, was very good. Toe to heel was just right, and they were easy to get on and secure once there. I actually really value the former trait – I've tried a lot of socks that are very comfortable but quite a struggle to get on and off, especially over wet, cold skin. You can thank me for my sacrifice later.

> How to dress for spring cycling – tips on choosing the best gear for the most of unpredictable season

The Alpine Merinos feature the familiar patterning of thick sections underfoot/over the toes for insulation against both cold and vibration, and thinner bits on top for breathability. There's an elasticated band mid-sole to keep them snug and slop-free. It all works well.

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On some cold and very wet rides this fabric did well at keeping off the chill; I never noticed draughts stealing away my warmth, even when everything was soggy. It's 54% merino wool, for the record, with 3% elastane for that nice stretch. The rest is a mix of various synthetics, and the result is soft against the skin.

It's always good when socks are available in something other than black or white, and if you don't like this green there's purple or blue instead. There's also a black option for traditionalists, but thankfully no white. Having been young in the 80s, the mere sight of white socks can still trigger PTSD in me, which is to say, Post-Trendy Sock Dismay.


At £27 these are pretty expensive, if not unusually so for merino ones. I recently reviewed the Velocio Winter Wool socks – because this is the kind of crazy sock-based lifestyle I lead – and those were £23, if shorter and a lot tighter in the same size (L). For the record, though the claimed difference in height between the two pairs is 1cm, I measured these GripGrabs as 2cm taller than the very typical-feeling Velocios. The GripGrabs sit 28cm tall when measured from the ground.

The Universal Colours Spectrum Tie-Dye Merino Socks that I also reviewed (more socks!) last year are similarly nice to wear and £25, while MAAP's Alt_Road Merino Socks that Emma reviewed in 2021 have gone up to £28 (though they're currently discounted to £20).

Overall, these are soft, protective, comfortable and very well judged for size. They feel like they'll last really well, too. If you feel like treating your feet and don't care about 'boutique' branding, they're a great option.


Tall, warm and protective with a very comfortable fit, though they're not cheap test report

Make and model: GripGrab Alpine Merino High Cut Winter Socks

Size tested: Large (44-47)

Tell us what the product is for

GripGrab says: "Soft and insulating high cut winter socks for added comfort and warmth when cycling in cold conditions."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

GripGrab lists:

* Naturally insulating and soft

* Breathable and moisture wicking

* Padded sole for added comfort

* Stretch arch support for superior fit

* Extra height for added insulation

54% Merino Wool, 20% Acrylic, 15% Polyamide, 8% Polyester, 3% Elastane

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:

Comfortable and warm even in wind and rain.

Rate the product for durability:

Very promising.

Rate the product for fit:

Roomy stretch but smooth and secure.

Rate the product for sizing:
Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
Rate the product for value:

They're very good, but at a significant premium.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

No issues.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The warmth, comfort and height. They're also easy to get on and off, unlike some.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

£27 for one pair of socks is high, if not unusually high for merino.

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

These are great – very socksessful, you might say – in every way except the price. Okay, many merino socks are a similar price, but not all of them are, plus there are some very good synthetic alternatives for considerably less. This aspect holds them back from a higher score, but if you don't mind the outlay these will eventually earn their keep.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

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,

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