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The Monton Pro Suutu Merino Socks are soft, warm and cosy, and at their 'reduced' price of £12 might just be the best-value winter socks I've ever used.
The attention to detail here is very impressive. The Pro Suutu socks come as a right and left pair and are shaped so they hug the contours of each foot closely. That seems to really help with warmth because there aren't any gaps or voids for cold air to get at your foot.
They're somewhat bulkier than summer socks, as you'd expect. That does mean they work best with shoes that have a bit more room than your warm-weather racing slippers; I went up a size and found that worked well.
In case you're not familiar with merino wool, merino sheep produce very fine, soft wool fibres. Because the fibres are so fine, merino isn't as scratchy as some types of wool, which makes it especially suitable for garments worn next to the skin such as baselayers, jerseys, and socks.
A big advantage of wool is that it supports the growth of bacteria much less than synthetic fabrics. Where your polypropylene cycling socks will be whiffy after one ride, merino garments can be worn several times before they get smelly. I sometimes forget to wash merino jerseys until I notice they've developed salt marks from sweat. Yes, I'm a grub.
It's rare to find 100 per cent pure merino in sports clothing, and that's the case here. There's Spandex (aka Lycra aka elastane) for stretchiness, plus nylon and polyester in the mix which should help with durability.
But it's the merino wool that has most effect and makes up most of the mix, both insulating when it's cold and helping to wick sweat away from your feet if things warm up, so even if you're still wearing overshoes you don't get too hot. That's been the case on my recent rides which have started in single-figure temperatures and finished in warm sunshine. My feet have been comfortable all day.
They're also good value for money at their reduced price. The Pro Suutu Merino Socks have a nominal RRP of £20, but Monton is one of those companies that runs a permanent 'discount' on everything, so you'll actually only pay £12 for them. That makes them a bit of a bargain. Typical high-quality wool winter cycling socks – like DeFeet Woolie Boolies, Rapha winter socks and Castelli Quindici Soft socks – cost around £20.
Excellent winter socks for quite a bit less money than the competition
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Monton Pro Suutu Merino Socks
Size tested: L
Tell us what the product is for
Keeping your feet warm in winter.
Minimal design, soft, warm & comfortable Merino wool cycling socks keep your feet toasty in cold weather. Compression fit that hugs your foot. Denser knit on the heel and toe areas for increased durability and warmth. Cushioned Footbed offers extreme comfort and extra support for your soles.
Merino Wool is a super strong natural fibre that's incredibly soft, will keep you warm in the winter. And its natural moisture-wicking properties keep your feet dry and cozy.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Merino Wool
* Cushioned Footbed
* Seamless Toe
* Reinforced heel
* Colours: Black, Brown, Navy blue, Green
* Sizes: S (36 - 39), L (39 - 45)
* Materials: 60% Merino Wool / 25% Nylon / 5% Spandex / 10% Polyester
Machine wash cold on gentle cycle, mild detergent, do not bleach, tumble dry low, do not dry clean or iron.
The shaping is brilliant, and they're otherwise very tidily put together.
They're simply very warm and very comfy.
While they look good so far, experience with other brands of merino sock suggests they'll wear quicker than thin summer socks because the fibres are fine and not especially tough. In theory, you can alleviate this by avoiding walking in them, but in practice I always forget and end up padding round the house in them. In return for warm feet, I'm okay with this.
The shaping is brilliant, closely following the contours of your feet.
Nominal size L was bang on for my size 43-44 feet.
You will know if having warm feet is worth £12 to you. It certainly is to me.
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
They kept my feet warm extremely well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Having warm, comfortable feet at the start and end of a ride.
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?
At rrp they're similar to benchmark winter socks like DeFeet Woolie Boolies or Rapha's excellent Winter socks, but at their reduced price of £12 they're almost a bargain.
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
Very, very good winter socks 'reduced' to a near-bargain price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Scapin Style My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.