Waterproof socks? Are you serious? I’d never actually heard of such an innovation until I was asked to review Sealskinz’s thin socklet! And at first I was super sceptical. Especially when I took the socks out of the packet and they rustled – clean socks shouldn’t rustle!
The concept of a waterproof sock went against my many years of sock experience. I.e., my whole life I’ve sought out socks for warmth, breathability, comfort and protection from shoe-rub. I’ve never wanted my socks to be waterproof…
It took me a while to even get my head around why I might want my socks to be waterproof…and then I started to think about times in my life when I’ve had a sock fail.
For example, I once had a super sock fail in a bog in Ireland. I was wandering around some mountains somewhere (not my idea) and whilst attempting a quicker-than-the-map-route-exit off a summit (don’t try this!) I encountered a bit of a bog…in went my boot – in went my whole leg in fact…and whilst my gaiters did their best, a certain amount of bog water crept stealthily inside my footwear.
I resorted to an unhappy squelch all the way back to the car. Waterproof socks would have saved me. Ahhhhh, I was beginning to see the point!
So, I thought about how I might put these socks to good test in my every day life. First I tried them in the basin…it’s not that I spend a lot of time with my feet in a basin, but to be honest I didn’t actually trust that these socks were truly waterproof.
Imagine my surprise – they are actually 100% waterproof. A long soak of my foot in a basin of water resulted in a dry foot, a wet sock and a surprised reviewer.
From this very rudimentary test I can tell you 4 things: –
- These socks are waterproof – no water will penetrate them
- These socks aren’t particularly warm – the coldness of the cold water made my feet very chilly
- Once wet these socks take a while to dry – i.e., they won’t dry out until you dry them out, they will happily remain wet all day long
- Don’t walk about in your wet socks – you will make soggy footprints all over the house and potentially slip over!
Having proven their waterproofability I decided I needed to actually wear these socks and see what else they could do for me in order to provide you with an informative review (I hope).
In fairness to the Sealskinz thin socklet all they purport to do is keep your feet dry – so I shouldn’t really have been disappointed by the fact that that is indeed all they do. I mean, what was I hoping for? That they’d give me a butt-lift?
Anyway, I’ve taken to wearing them when mountain biking in them there hills, and these socks seem ideal for such a pursuit as they are thick enough to prevent too much wind from chilling my toes (that’s not to say they are warm, they aren’t warm like a thick woolly sock is warm, but they are much warmer than a thin cotton sock or general sport sock).
They also keep my feet dry after zooming through the muddy puddles I love…and my feet usually end up damp from such antics.
They also wash very well – they don’t shrink on a 40 degree cycle, they haven’t bobbled, and indeed seem exactly the same as when I got them out of the packet despite multiple washes and wears. They don’t smell either…I thought they might start to pong after so many wears, soakings and subsequent washings, but to this day they remain fresh.
However, they do take a while to dry, and despite being made and marketed with Merino wool, I really don’t find them very warm to wear.
And one thing I would like to warn you about is the fact that when wearing these Sealskinz socks they do tend to grip your feet very firmly…I imagine it’s a little like wearing a condom on your feet (never tried it)…and so these are not the most comfortable things to wear if you don’t really like having your feet squeezed. And if you have a bunion as I do (embarrassing thing to have to admit) these socks are actually really uncomfortable after a prolonged wear, and I can’t wait to get them off.
Finally, if you think about the things you get up to in life, and if you ever have the risk of a wet foot and you want to offset that risk, I’d suggest you buy yourself some Sealskinz waterproof socks. They come in a range of lengths and sizes, so you don’t have to have the ankle sock that I tried out.
Perhaps ideal for fell running and mountain biking – but do feel free to get in touch and tell us what you get up to in the great outdoors that makes your feet wet!