If there’s one garment that’s undergone a ridiculous transformation in mountain biking, it’s socks. In just a few years they’ve gone from being a practical, low-key item to something that people actually care deeply about and even show excitement for! We’ve been putting the relatively new Sox Footwear brand products to the test recently. Here’s what we think…

One sock brand that’s shown immense growth in South Africa is Sox Footwear. Going by our annual SA Mountain Biking Survey, presented by Garmin, we see that Sox Footwear went from 5.68% in 2019 to 7.76% in 2020 to 13.36% of the market in 2021! It’s the biggest increase of market share of any brand in any category between 2020 and 2021!

National flags, stripes and ethnic patterns are some of the Sox Footwear options.

Sox Footwear has three styles of socks: Crew Cut, Anklet and Knee High. Anklet are short, just covering the ankle, preferred by female tennis players and those who like to avoid tan-lines; Knee High are just that – knee high. We’ve seen some people wear them for mountain biking, but aren’t too sure why; and Crew Cut is the correct length sock for mountain biking. In our opinion. It reaches the bottom of the Gastrocnemius – the bulgy muscle on your calf.

Cycling themed, plain and patterned – which ever you prefer, Sox Footwear seems to make it!

Socks have become a form of fashion and character expression. Colours, patterns and pictures are almost the norm these days. So much so that plain black socks are hard to find. But Sox Footwear has this covered. Thank goodness!  Some of our testers are conservative  (old?) and like plain black or muted and dark socks. Also quite cool is the range of country-flag themed socks from Sox Footwear.

There are over 200 existing sock designs to choose from and the impressive website makes it easy to navigate to the style and theme you’re after.

We’re a fussy crowd at TREAD when it comes to socks. If we notice them while riding, they’re not good enough. Decent cycling socks should just feel right all the time and shouldn’t become a distraction. So when Sox contacted us about doing a product test, we explained that they would need to have a damn good product if they wanted to reach the review stage.

“If they’re not good enough, we won’t review them,” we said. They promptly sent us voucher codes to order 12 pairs from their website (four per tester). We chose our preferred styles, designs and sizes from a wide range on the intuitive website. They arrived three days later (shipping is free in South Africa).

Our testers put the 12 pairs of Sox socks through a year’s worth of use in varying conditions.

Our three testers (two male and one female) set about wearing the various pairs of Sox socks in a range of conditions through all four seasons in five different provinces over a 12-month period. When we started writing this review, we weren’t sure how long we’d had them, so checked and were rather surprised to see that it has been a year! Each of the 12 pairs of Sox socks is still very much in use (and surprisingly each still has its partner!).

This of course indicates good durability. For a garment that costs R159, a year’s worth of service is very good. Yes, socks do last for longer than a year, but they don’t always retain a reasonable level of fit as the elasticity normally diminishes. In this initial batch, we noticed a slight loss of elasticity after a few weeks.

One of our male testers has thin ankles and he wasn’t entirely happy that some of the Sox socks slipped down slightly to create a small fold while riding. The female tester didn’t have this problem and the other male tester didn’t notice any slipping. Other than that slight cuff slippage, there were no issues with the fit and comfort of the Sox socks for our team. When the Sox crew found out that we’d experienced some slipping, they promptly and proudly told us that they’d done more development in those months and their current product was improved here. We then ordered another three pairs with the improved cuff elasticity. We were impressed! As we said earlier, it takes a lot to impress our crew with decent socks, but these actually did.

The Sox Footwear arrives in good quality reusable packaging and is delivered at no charge anywhere in South Africa.

On our original test batch (12 months on), the colours are still bold and dense with no apparent fading. Some are showing signs of scuffs with a thread or two pulled – expected in mountain biking where trailside shrubs and bushes lurk low down.

On the technical side, this is what Sox Footwear claims: Seamless toe to avoid blisters; lightweight material to keep your feet cool and dry; Y-shaped heel for a well-rounded fit and anti-slip; clean look and feel on the inside of the sock; no tassles or loose yarns; 16cm cuff for everyday wear and all types of sports; reuseable packaging and manufactured in South Africa. And those claims are pretty spot on according to our year’s worth of Sox Footswear wear.


Sox Footwear sells a really wide range of socks to suit mountain bikers and cyclists with different tastes and length preferences. It’s a locally made brand that sells at a reasonable price with good durability. The improved cuff elasticity puts it right up there with the best socks we’ve ridden.

For more information, visit the Socks Footwear website here.