Best Gore-Tex Socks
Hiking, backpacking or any other sports activity should be accompanied by the proper gear that will fight the weather conditions. A short hike, for instance, will require only a bottle of water, but once you decide to make longer trips or longer training sessions you would require more proficient equipment. The winter weather conditions on the other side require even higher quality equipment. It might seem unnecessary but mountain socks are one of the basic gear that you should pack when going on a long trip. Without a pair of Gore-Tex socks, blisters are inevitable and other issues might occur. The main function of the socks is to make you feel as pleasant as possible while you are focusing on your favorite sports activity. Your sports socks should suck the moisture from your feet and transport the moisture to the upper layers where it could easily evaporate if you have the right shoes. In winter, their main use is a bit different; they should keep you warm and comfortable.
As the fabric production technology has dramatically increased, natural cotton material socks are avoided for sports activities and they are being replaced by socks with more suitable features – Gore-Tex socks. Regarding this product, we have made extensive research on the market and we have picked the best Gore-Tex socks out there. We have also reviewed and rated them and we are now presenting the results in the review section bellow.
The Gore-Tex socks with the highest quality are usually padded on sensitive areas on the feet in order to provide you greater comfort. They are often combined with elastic fibers that give your feet feeling of flexibility and a greater freedom of movement.
Our Top 3 Picks
3 Best Gore-tex socks
1. Gore Bike Wear Universal
There are only few companies that are manufacturing Gore-Tex socks and there is a good reason for this. Even though the manufacturer claims that they are very breathable, their breathability properties are taken to minimum. When tested, these socks have been put under water pressure. For this reason, it is safe to assume that that they have little or o breathability properties. In order not to boil your feet in your own sweat it is important that you wear liner socks that will absorb the sweat. Merino wool socks are the right choice if the temperatures are bellow 0, and only thin liner socks will do the trick in warmer weather. Also keep in mind that the Gore-Tex socks will increase the micro climate temperature inside your shoes, so if you are in doubts if you are going to be too hot, definitely go for the thinner basic socks.
A pair of basic socks is also recommended because otherwise, these socks will cause you blisters from the humidity inside as well as the chaffing.
The main downside of these socks is their price which is definitely higher than any other type of socks. However, it also offers exceptional features and they are also universal which means that several members of the family could find them useful.
These socks are not suitable for using them in warm climates because of their warming properties and the lack of breathability. They are also a bad choice for people who have a very good circulation and whose feet are always hot.
Their content is a combination of polyamide, which is the main ingredient in every Gore-Tex product, elastane, in order for them to fit better and so that you could take them on easier; and a Gore-Tex membrane. The inside shell is made from a blend of polyamide and elastane.
Its combination of different materials allows the user to feel comfortable while wearing them. They are also 100% waterproof. A test was being made in order to prove their waterproof properties with a man standing in water for a couple of hours while wearing these Gore-Tex socks. When he got out, his feet were completely dry. The inside of the socks was also completely dry.
All of the materials used in the production process are extremely lightweight, which means that these socks are as well. Even though they are lightweight, and they weigh no more than a pound, they are still conserving the heat your feet are creating and they are keeping you dry.
Even though these socks are well known for their waterproof properties, they have some other features which you might find applicable. They are also windproof which would prove very useful up on the skiing lift, especially if it is the open type. The windproof properties are making them ideal for bikers as well.
They also have extra elastane material on the cuffing in order for them not to slip while you are wearing them. This will also prevent blisters.
Although the waterproof features of these socks are undisputable, they do come in four pieces. All four pieces are required in order to construct them properly. So when you order them, make sure you double check the shipped pieces. After that, it is recommended that you test them at home before wearing them on the field. They can be tested by filling them with water. If nothing leaks out, you are good to go, otherwise, consult with your distributor for a new pair.
It is also recommended to double check the dimensions, instead of simply ordering your size. Since they contain very little elastane, they have nearly no elasticity, which is why putting them on can be a bit difficult. Don’t worry, though, this is normal and it wouldn’t influence the comfort.
- Incredible performance
- Solid construction
- Provides great warmth
- On the expensive side
- Too warm for some climates
2. Rocky Men's 11" Gore-Tex Socks
With these socks being a bit tighter than the usual Gore-Tex socks it also means that if you have wider feet you might have difficulty putting them on the first few times. If you manage to get past the heel, the rest is easy. However, it helps if you are wearing liner socks under your Gore-Tex socks. Even though you could decide to wear them without liners underneath, it is almost certain that this would prove to be wrong. That said, we recommend that you only wear these socks with liners. Otherwise, blisters might be inevitable.
What’s specific to them is that they fit most people perfectly. However, if your feet are wider or longer than the regular dimensions, they might get all wrinkled. Even though this wouldn’t affect your comfort, they look a bit unusual like this. It is always recommended that you add a size up when you are purchasing Gore-Tex socks because they should be worn with liners and because of the fact that feet tend to swallow a bit when you are hiking for a longer period of time. So, even if they seem slightly large at first, they would fit better after few days in the field.
The main downside of this pair of Gore-Tex socks is their price. With the Gore-Tex membrane being part of its composition, the price significantly increases. Even though there are some neoprene competitor models on the market that have a lower price, the features they offer are not nearly the same. Gore-Tex socks are the only ones that offer you 100% waterproof properties for hours and hours.
Another downside is their tightness in the above the heel area. However, that particular feature is providing a great support to the ankle and it is reducing the bulkiness of the socks. Without it, a significant amount of elastic should be added to the top of the sock so that it doesn’t slip off. Nevertheless, if you manage to put them on, you will definitely feel this feature as an advantage and nothing else. This tightness also provides additional comfort to the foot.
The material which is being used in the manufacturing process is making these socks flexible which is very useful for hiking and backpacking on hills. They allow your foot a freedom of movement while protecting it from the elements. The calves part of the socks though is made a bit more elastic than the foot in order to allow the user easier take on.
Nevertheless, it is recommended that the liners that you use underneath these socks are elastic and bit moisture absorbing. This way, chaffing will be completely avoided and your foot will receive a better support on harsh terrains.
That said, these socks are made for turning any pair of shoes or boots into waterproof. Even if you are wearing them with non-waterproof shoes, you won’t feel the moisture outside. However, they are not thermally isolated which means that you still need to get a pair of waterproof boots if you are planning on hiking on lower temperatures and harsh weather conditions.
What’s particularly useful in these socks is that you could wear your regular shoes all along and carry them in your backpack until the first sign of rain. After that, simply put them on and you could continue to hike or perform other sport activity through mud and flood and your feet will be nice and dry. After the storm has passed, simply dry the shoes and continue with your journey like nothing happened. A nice example for such situation is the Appalachian trail hikes that could take months. These socks will get you through different seasons and temperatures like no other gear you posses.
This Gore-Tex pair of socks also has a windproof feature which makes them perfect for bikers. If you are a biker you have definitely been surprised by a heavy rain which has come unexpectedly. However, with these socks, you will be able to put them on and make your feet completely waterproof regardless of the shoes you are wearing.
What proves to their quality is that these socks used to be used in the military for muddy training and days of hiking preparations. This means that they are the ideal choice for people who spend most of their day in wet and cold weather conditions. They don’t even have to be used for some kind of sports activity.
It is also important to mention that they are very thin. This makes them the perfect choice if you want your feet to stay dry, but you don’t like the bulky boots that seem to be the only waterproof type.
- Excellent windproofing
- Reliable performance
- Durable design
- Still slightly expensive
- Somewhat tight-fitting in the heel
3. CABELA’S UNINS 13? GTX SOCKS
That said, these Cabela Gore-Tex socks are combining and eliminating some of the downsides from the previous two suggestions. They are tight and they are perfectly following the shape of your foot. Even though this should make them more difficult for putting them on, this is not the case. They come in pieces and they could be attached together while on your foot. This eliminates the fear from not being able to get them on. Of course you could try to get them on without setting them apart, but it is nice to know that there is another solution if you don’t manage to do so.
The only downside of these Gore-Tex socks is their price which is equal to buying dozens of pairs of regular socks. However, they are bought once in a lifetime, and they will last you for a lifetime!
The material which is being used in their production is a Gore-Tex which is specifically intended for aerobic sports. They are made from three layer construction of Gore-Tex material which includes a Gore-Tex membrane, a pleasant to the skin inside layer and a nylon mesh in order to provide the waterproof properties.
This construction is making the testing a bit more difficult. If you fill them in with water, they will not leak, but they will feel wet if you get them on afterward. Nevertheless, don’t worry because this only happens when the moisture is coming from inside. If they are subjected to heavy rain or pressured water, they will definitely pass the test.
The additional features include the waterproof feature and breathability feature. The breathability feature is always debatable because of the outer layer of the Gore-Tex construction, the nylon is completely non-breathable. However, a small amount of moisture does manage to escape your socks to the outer layer of it.
- Great build quality
- Segmented design
- Not available online
Criteria for Evaluation
You have probably spent a good amount of time looking for backpacking boots. Why not spend as much effort on choosing the right pair of socks? When you are looking for sports Gore-Tex socks you should consider a couple of features that are essential for your comfort and foot stability. They wick the moisture out and they are drying very fast. Even though natural is always considered as better, in this case, the good old Gore-Tex material is the most convenient one. The stitching should be unnoticeable so that it doesn’t bother you and the only thing left for you to do is to choose the right size.
Since the material is already chosen, you should also consider the following features.
When choosing Gore-Tex socks you should first decide whether you are going to use them with another pair of socks under them or not. Gore-Tex socks are usually worn with wool socks and this combination is the perfect fighter against low temperatures and high moisture areas. Regardless of the socks, you are going to choose, this will also determine how comfortable you are going to be during your hike. For this reason, if you happen to do so, make sure you also get high-quality material socks for underneath the Gore-Tex ones. When you are purchasing shoes you are spending a lot of time considering the size of it and whether they fit you. With socks, it is the same, or at least it should be the same. If your socks are too big they could cause you blisters no matter how good they are. And if they are too small they will cause lower blood circulation in your feet and as a result, you will get cold feet.
Another thing which is essential to know is that you should first get hiking socks and only after that, hiking boots. However, Gore-Tex socks all have the same thickness, so you if you already have a pair at home, you could try on your boots with them as well. If you are planning to wear another pair of socks underneath, which is highly recommended, and then decide their thickness as well before proceeding to the boots.
Gore-Tex could be stretchy or not. The stretching property of the material is gained by adding stretchy synthetics in its composition. This doesn’t disrupt its properties since it is only a small percentage that makes your feet a lot more comfortable. Stretchy Gore-Tex socks are following the shape of your foot and they are quite flexible. They allow you a great freedom of movement and a great foot support. However, the stretchy Gore-Tex socks are usually not worn with other socks underneath. This means that if you are looking for low-temperature socks, it is better that you go with the non-stretchy option.
The non-stretch Gore-Tex socks, however, are not as flexible and they don’t feel tight on your feet. In fact, when you first try them on you have a feeling that you are wearing socks that are few sizes up. However, because their composition is pure and there are no synthetic impurities inside, they also tend to be more durable and they are also tougher on touch. Because of this feature, they are also less slippery which is an important feature if you plan on taking your shoes off somewhere. However, if you are not, it is a bit redundant.
Nevertheless, both choices would last you for more than a decade and you will need them for every hike after you have tried them once.
Occasion & Weather
As mentioned before you have an option of wearing other socks underneath in order for their properties to become more accented. However, the socks underneath will also depend on the weather conditions. If you are planning on hiking on a hot summer day where there is a lot of humidity, go ahead and use thin liner socks. However, if the temperatures are low and the weather conditions are harsh, you should choose more heat-trapping fabrics for your basic socks. In winter woolen socks are usually used.
What is perfect in these socks is that they are ideal for summer temperatures. They are the perfect substitute of waterproof boots. Hiking with boots is great. However, boots are heavy and they are keeping your feet warm even though you don’t need them to. For this reason, wearing good hiking shoes combined with Gore-Tex socks and liner socks underneath is the ideal combination of summer hikes. This combination will help you deal with snow on high areas and you could pass streams without any issue. And the best thing is that you are not going to feel a drop on your feet. Coming from the outside or your own sweaty feet. The Gore-Tex socks will take care of everything, you simply focus on the hiking part!
Putting Them On
Putting Gore-Tex socks on is not the same as putting on other socks. Because of the waterproof membrane layer that is incorporated in its composition, the Gore-Tex socks are not as stretchy as other models even though they are promoted as stretchy. This means that you are going to have to put them on by first putting them on your toes then go to the heel without pulling them on the end but more of seat your foot inside them. The main point of this putting the Gore-Tex socks on technique is to not put too much strain on the cuffing because it might get damaged. In fact, damaging the Gore-Tex socks while putting them on is a common practice for many people which is why we have included this section.
Layers Of Gore-Tex Material
Gore text is a material that is now being widely used in the world for the production of waterproof and sporting equipment as well as clothing and backpacking gear. The market is flooded with Gore-Tex material products and there is a good reason for this. Since the Gore-Tex name is patented and protected by the brand itself, there are even numerous similar products on the market that have attempted coping and imitating the properties of the material. Still, there are always differences in the features they offer and sometimes even the durability of the product. The Gore-Tex brand is well established on the market and there is a reason for this; its quality is top of the notch and its features are irreplaceable for outdoor sports. When shopping for products we are often being guided by the design, colors that are currently trending, its functionality and of course its price. Even though these factors are to be considered, they are secondary ones when it comes to socks. It is far more important to know the actual differences and features of the Gore-Tex material. Having this in mind, there are two types of Gore-Tex on the market; one layered ones and two layered products.
In two layered Gore-Tex, the membrane is “stuck” and it is forming a layer of the material that is not visible when you are looking at the material. The material’s construction is specifically designed in order to be comfortable and don’t lose its features, regardless of the weather conditions. The outer membrane, however, is used in order to protect the inside of the material from the elements.
The nylon material gives great abrasion effects, while polyester materials are extremely hydrophobic. This means that compared to other synthetic materials Gore-tex has the best ability to oppose the harsh weather conditions and keep your feet dry. Nevertheless, Gore-Tex two-layered material is usually blended with a layer of lighter protective material, such as nylon from the outside and polyester from the inner side that is not “stuck” to the Gore membrane. This results with a soft and easily adjustable and very popular material that allows the user a great freedom in movement which is the main requirement in most Gore-Tex users.
However, the two layered Gore-Tex is more prone to damages and the inner layer of material that is not stuck to the gore membrane is slightly preventing the air circulation which is directly resulting in increased humidity inside which the material is able to release without condensation occurring.
The three-layer Gore-Tex on the other side is a material that is more suitable for winter usage and extreme sport in extreme conditions. The construction is sandwich like where the outer layer mentioned before, is placed in the middle and the material on the outside is a stronger one. The inner layer, however, remains polyester. Such combination of layers is making it seem like it’s a one layer material which is tougher instead of being soft to your skin. For this reason, the three-layer Gore-Tex is usually not used for the production of socks and any other clothing that directly come in touch with your body. It is useful though because in extremely cold weather conditions it is known for staying hydrophobic which means that it allows evaporation without condensation occurring. Hardcore sportsmen that like to push themselves to the edges, also require equipment like this to support them in their lifestyle choices.
After spending some time in nature, you will quickly realize that choosing socks is just as important as every other part of the outdoor gear. This is a lesson that is learned the hard way for most beginners in the nature that are using cotton socks for their activities. If you are a beginner in any kind of sport you might even not be aware of the fact that your feet are not feeling comfortable and dry inside your shoes. Even though many sports beginners believe this is normal, there are solutions to this problem. Running, hiking or backpacking or any other activity you are into doesn’t have to be accompanied by sweaty feet and blisters. Gore-Tex socks will show you that little things such as feet comfort will make you push harder and be more effective in your training. You don’t have to own many socks. Instead, you should focus on purchasing socks with the right characteristics for your favorite sport that will support your every step on the way.