September 09, 2017

Cycling sock height;

  1. a high risk fashion choice;
  2. a central part of the 'pro' look; and
  3. more than just functional.

We write with some trepidation of course, on the weighty matter of correct sock height on the bike.  And understand that controversy and critique are likely to follow.  But we felt compelled after witnessing some egregious breaches of the rules and the urgent need to offer help and succour.  Following the trauma of seeing serious SHV (sock height violation), we have done some desktop and customer research to try and offer a solution

There is a range of advice out there, and here we think are some of the truest sources of wisdom out there to take heed of.

The oracle at Velominati is first, and we give thanks and praise for this. Velominati use the following sock height calculator.

S = A/π – √B ± (B/A) / (1/CS¹)


  • A= Lower leg length measured from inner ankle protuberance to top of the inner tibia in cm.
  • B= Distance between inner ankle protuberance to bottom of calf in cm.
  • S= Sock height measured above inner ankle protuberance in cm.
  • CS¹= Calf Shame factor on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 equals no shame (some pride) and 10 equals great shame (seppuku or calf implants are fantasized about equally).

The term CS¹ has become most controversial in peer review but most agree a correction factor should be available for individual taste.

Davis Phinney has a precise formula. To calculate your best sock length, first flex your knee to 35 degrees, says Phinney. Not sure exactly where he got 35 degrees, but who can question the scion of the house of Phinney? Phinney believes your socks should fall one inch below the calf with a 35-degree knee bend. 

The Belgian method - see below.  Our preferred approach on consideration.

Where sock height is a function of bottle cap height wearing flat soled shoes or bare foot.  A compelling case we think.

So, three strong approaches.  Some compelling case studies as follows;

To wrap up, whatever you do, do not do this;

or this;


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