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Orro's Aira socks are a prime example of why cycling specific socks work. There are no seams to irritate, and like all the best summer socks, the slightly compressive material gives a supportive and comfortable feel while keeping your feet dry even in warm conditions.
Cycling-specific socks are one of those items you may find yourself thinking about ignoring. After all, what's wrong with the ones in your drawer that are just fine for all the other tasks in your life?
For me, the biggest problems there are the seams. Most normal socks have a noticeable seam that runs across the top of the toes, whereas the Airas don't. There is still a join, but it is completely smooth.
As our feet don't need to move much on the bike (just round and round), cycling shoes are generally a closer fit than normal. This means that normal seams can rub while you are pedaling. It's more noticeable on longer rides, to be honest, but once it starts you really won't be able to unnotice it.
Orro has these made in Italy from polyamide (85%) and elastane (15%), and it creates a very soft-feeling fabric with just a hint of compression that means that they stay in position. They won't be sliding around between you and your shoes – another thing regular socks tend to do. The cuff has an elasticated feel, and stays put regardless of the conditions.
The Airas are also incredibly breathable. They make your feet feel fresh from the moment you put them on, and even on warm days they cool well thanks, at least in part, to the mesh-like midfoot section. After many, many hours of riding, the toe and heel sections still look brand new, so wear definitely isn't going to be an issue either.
Some brands offer various lengths (or is that heights?), but the Airas are this mid-length only. Not really an issue for most, but if you are a follower of fashion, you might be looking for something a little longer.
Given the quality and performance, the £9.99 asking price makes these Orros seem very good value for money. Many of the socks we've recently tested are around 30% more expensive, such as the Endura Pro SL Sock II at £15.99 or the Scott Performance Crew socks at £16.99. In their case though, they do offer fancy Q-Skin fabric with antibacterial properties for combating whiffs.
Even Stolen Goat's Tappa Coolmax socks, which were the same price as the Orros when we tested them back in May, have jumped up to £12.99.
The Orro Airas are very comfortable regardless of how long you're in the saddle, and they are well made too. The big win though is that they're also good value against the current competition.
Comfortable, breathable and hardwearing with an impressive price compared to the opposition
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Orro Aira Sock
Size tested: large
Tell us what the product is for
Orro says, "Suited to daily use the socks are made from tough yarns mixed with nylon for durable performance. The intricate construction promotes fast drying with a vented mesh midfoot panel. Comfort without constriction is achieved with a midfoot support band and secure double cuff adorned with four contrast chevrons."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made in Italy
Small: 2 to 6
Medium:6 to 9
Large: 6.5 - 12
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They've been through plenty of washing cycles with no issues at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They feel comfortable and very breathable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very comfortable fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really, as long as you don't want a length option.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are well priced, as you can see by the competition mentioned in the review.
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 Airas are well made and very comfortable. The price is also good, especially against similar opposition.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!