A love letter to my Rapha winter socks

They’re so good that I went back and bought two more pairs

Rapha pro team socks
(Image credit: Future)

This article is part of a series called ‘A love letter to…’, where Cycling Weekly writers pour praise on their favourite cycling items and share the personal connection they have with them. 

The below content is unfiltered, authentic and has not been paid for. 

“Every man needs a decent haircut and a smart pair of shoes.” 

These are the wise words a Sheffield barber once uttered to me mid-haircut in the city during my time there at university. 

Walking home afterwards I thought to myself, 'A smart pair of shoes is great, sure, but what use are the shoes if you don’t have a decent pair of socks to wear with them?' It was November. It was wet, wild and cold. Winter was definitely coming.

In terms of cycling I had the smart pair of Fizik shoes but as the weather closed in, I very much fell out of love with the winter socks I owned at the time. I had been let down on far too many occasions, our relationship was over. 

What would I do once I arrived home for the Christmas holidays and took my bike out once more? I felt dejected, cast aside, and was officially back on the cycling sock dating market. 

Then along came something new into my cycling life and answered my prayers. My lovely Rapha pro team winter socks. Several years later and we’re still going strong too. 

Throughout the grimmest of winter rides, they've always been there during the torrential downpours and biting wind to ensure my feet are kept warm with a gentle, merino hug and warmed my toes as they start to freeze. To put it simply, what would I do without them? 

I still recall our first encounter like it was only yesterday. I slipped the socks from their festive packaging and pulled them on in my haste to get outside and into my own headspace to escape the clutches of the various family gatherings taking place. 

I headed out into the cold mist and drizzle of west Oxfordshire and the kilometres soon ticked by. I kept my head down and continued pushing on the pedals, dreaming of reaching my favourite café for a flat white and cinnamon bun and largely expected my feet to be numb by the time I arrived. But the fears never came to fruition. 

I arrived and happily consumed my baked goods and caffeine while my jacket steamed in the warmth of the coffee shop. During past winters, I’d often carried a spare pair of socks so I could change out of the damp cold ones mid-ride. Those days were over. 

My feet were warm, toasty, and more than ready for the run back home. Although that wouldn’t have been the case without them being encased in my new Rapha socks. 

In fact they are so outrageously brilliant and adaptable that they have since morphed into hiking socks for long walks in the mountains of the Brecon Beacons and the wildness of the South West Coast Path. 

I now own three pairs. Long may our relationship continue. 

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