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Knitted of Craft’s ZERO fabric, the ZERO Bike socks are designed to be more of a 3-season than a dedicated summer sock.  With thin-but-dense padding underfoot, substantial arch compression, and an asymmetric fit- to say nothing of eye-catching teal accents- these Swedish made socks are unabashedly technical.  But does the effort (and resulting cost) pay off on the bike?  Go below the cuff to find out!

Splashes of color peek above the cuff.

Splashes of color peek above the cuff.

With a name that might imply a minimal summer sock, the packaging’s claim that the ZERO Bikes are intended to keep “your feet dry and comfortable during exercise in fair to cold conditions” was a bit of a surprise.  Adjusting my expectations somewhat, I packed them for a week on Colorado singletrack and high altitude passes, where temperatures in the 90s, 60s, and even 30s (with rain) couldn’t be ruled out.

The end of a long day: sitting on a log and taking sock pictures was awfully appealing...

As promised, the ZERO fabric doesn’t hold moisture, either in the form of sweat or water from rain or stream crossings.  Much of the fabric is a bit thick for truly hot days (for those, Craft make the COOL Bike)- but the top of the arch is thin enough to be translucent and the whole only starts to feel warm as temperatures crest 80 degrees.  With their dense padding underfoot and extending up the Achilles’ tendon, the Crafts have proved comfortable on long hike-a-bike sections and have kept hot spots away on the road.  The curiously prominent toe seam is positioned in a way that it’s forgotten as soon as it goes into the shoe.

The snug mid-height cuff does a good job of keeping debris out, which makes the Craft ZERO Bikes a good choice for not only mountain biking but cyclocross as well.  The only thing to temper my enthusiasm for the Crafts is the $25 per pair price tag.  That said, the ZERO Bikes are some of the best big summer day with the chance of rain, hail and lots of pushing socks I’ve ridden and have quickly pushed my wooly epic ride favorites aside.




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