Best Gore-Tex Socks
Different activities necessitate different gear. A short hike, for instance, will require only a bottle of water, but once you decide to make longer trips, you require more proficient equipment. And winter conditions require even more from sporting gear to keep you safe, dry, and warm. It might seem unnecessary, but Gore-Tex mountain socks are one of the basic pieces of gear that you should pack when going on a long trip.
Gore-Tex socks are usually padded on sensitive areas on the feet in order to provide you greater comfort. They are often combined with elastic materials that give your feet the feeling of flexibility and movement. With a quality pair of Gore-Tex socks, you should be decently protected from any kind of intense weather or storms. Not to mention, just knowing that you have a pair handy for any case scenario, can bring you peace of mind on longer trips. To keep you in the loop with the best possible waterproof socks on the market today, we have put together the following list.
- Randy Sun Waterproof
- Solid construction
- Seamless for Comfort
- Dexshell Ultralite
- Durable design
- Klim Mammoth
- Great quality
Best Gore-tex socks
Randy Sun Waterproof Socks
Downsides: While these socks provide great ventilation and breathability while still being waterproof, they don't offer too much in terms of heat insulation. In the event of extreme temperatures, it's best to pair these with wool socks or boots designed specifically for the cold. They're also a shorter length than most Gore-Tex socks, and as such water can get in them if it reaches over the cuff.
Materials: These feature a three-layer design: the outermost layer is waterproof nylon and Lycra, a lightweight and breathable waterproof membrane serving as the interlayer, and a Coolmax and elastane lining. This ensures extra waterproofing while still offering adequate ventilation and moisture wicking to keep your feet dry in even the most humid conditions.
Additional Features: The seamless design adds comfort and helps accommodate for any foot shape, which is paramount in unisex socks. Layers of Lycra and Coolmax facilitate proper ventilation, so your feet will stay dry and comfortable even for longer treks. Anti-microbial materials are included to control odor.
Seamless design adds comfort
Anti-bacterial for odor control
Wide range of colors
Sizes run large
Can be tough to dry if they do get water in them
Downsides: While these socks offer superior waterproofing, they are also shorter than most Gore-Tex socks, being only ankle length. The socks may get wet if exposed to deeper water or snow, so for those conditions, a longer sock may be preferable. If water does get into these socks, it can be difficult to get them completely dry, though the same can be said for most waterproof socks.
Materials: These are another wonderful three-layer sock. The outer layer is composed of nylon and elastane for waterproofing and a secure, snug fit. The interlayer is a porelle membrane that reinforces waterproofing while allowing for ventilation and moisture wicking. The inner sock is a cotton and nylon blend to keep you comfortable on even the longest of adventures. The cuff is brightly colored for enhanced visibility.
Additional Features: As stated above, the cotton inner sock works to prevent blistering, which is very important for longer activities. The thin design will ensure a good fit in any shoe- even light running shoes will lace up comfortably with these. Being ankle length makes these wonderful for warmer weather when a longer sock may not be ideal, and the elastic cuff means you won't have to deal with them slipping.
Cotton inner sock prevents blistering
True to size
Ultra lightweight, ideal for warm weather
Elastic cuff provides secure fit
Hand wash only
Ankle length, not suitable for deep water or snow
Downsides: While these socks do breathe well, they also feature merino wool in the blend of materials. Merino wool offers a lot of comfort and thermal protection as well as insulation when the weather gets cold, which is a real plus. However, at the same time, merino wool does not breathe as easily as some other materials, and that can create a problem if you tend to sweat a lot or worry about overheating when you are out in the cold weather.
Material: Klim’s Mammoth Socks are made from a combination of Merino wool, lycra, and polyamide, which means they are warm and have a moderate amount of breathability. They are soft and comfortable to the touch, which is always an added benefit when you are busy and on the go in the great outdoors.
Additional Features: Made with reinforcement in the toe, heel, and arch area, you also get socks that are designed to support your ankle and won’t slide down your legs. These socks also offer some great thermal retention values, which is always a plus when you are dealing with very cold weather.
Dexshell Coolvent Mid-Calf
Downsides: Being calf-length, the cuff can be tight on those with larger calves, and may even slip a bit during extended wear. Despite unisex sizing, these socks can run a little large so be mindful of that when determining what size you will need. They're also a bit more on the expensive side, but rest assured that it's a worthy investment.
Materials: The outer layer is composed of nylon and elastane for waterproofing and a secure fit. The interlayer, like most other Dexshell socks, is a water- and wind-proof Porelle membrane. The inner sock is made up of nylon and antimicrobial Coolmax fibers, for a comfortable fit and odor mitigation.
Additional Features: The cushioned sole adds extra comfort without compromising water- or wind-proofing, while the lightweight design makes them work well in any kind of shoe, from boots to sneakers and everything in between, even if the shoe itself is not waterproof.
Anti-microbial inner sock
Thicker fabric ideal for winter activities
Cushioned sole for comfort
Cuff can roll down with extended wear
Rocky Men's 11
Downsides: 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 provides great support to the ankle and also reduces 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.
Material: The material makes 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 also has a bit more elastic than the foot area in order to allow the user an easier time getting the socks 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 about 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 a 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 possess.
Additional features: 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 heavy rain before which can 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 their quality is that these socks are used by 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
Showers Pass Crosspoint
Downsides: These have been reported to run a little small, so be sure to order a size up for the ideal fit. The lighter materials mean a more flexible and breathable feel, however, they don't offer as much insulation as merino wool socks. If you're going to be in cold conditions, it's best to get merino wool instead.
Materials: The exterior is made of wear resistant knit nylon, making these feel like a regular sock. The interlayer is a waterproof yet breathable membrane from Artex, reinforcing waterproofing while maintaining ideal moisture wicking and ventilation. The inner layer is a Coolmax and polyester anti-microbial lining, meaning odor mitigation and comfort with extended wear.
Additional Features: The knit outer layer and polyester inner sock mean these will feel much more like regular socks, but protect as well as water booties. This along with the lighter overall design make them look good with even casual wear, for those lighter weekend trips.
Knit exterior feels like a regular sock
Close fit to prevent chafing
Not the best for colder conditions
Waterfly Waterproof Socks
Downsides: Being slightly shorter than most waterproof socks, and having a little more give around the calf, it is possible to get water in them if going through deep water or snow. The thicker design also may not make them the ideal choice in warmer conditions.
Materials: With an outer layer of nylon and rubber, a waterproof yet breathable interlayer, and a merino wool and nylon sock, the Waterfly Waterproof socks are sure to withstand the elements without being overly cumbersome. A seamless design on the toe and heel prevents bunching and discomfort in any type of shoe.
Additional Features: Insulation is just as important in Gore-Tex Socks as waterproofing. The Waterfly Waterproof socks are made from merino wool to ensure a strong defense against cold and wind. The nylon and interlayer wick moisture very well, keeping your feet dry from both inside and outside of the sock.
True to size
Wool for extra insulation
Not as long as some other socksT
Sealskinz Waterproof Socks
Downsides: Given that these are a thicker wool construction, you won't need to worry about the cold, but breathability for these socks is decent at best. It isn't a significant hindrance, but it is enough to make the socks feel somewhat chilly as a result of sweat.
Materials: The SealSkinz Mid-Calf socks are made of a Lycra outer later and a merino wool interior, making these ideal for cold weather when thicker socks are essential. An elasticized instep and ankle provide additional support, while the hard-linked toe closure and Y-Gore heel construction ensure proper and comfortable fit.
Additional Features: Immersion tests, as well as people's experiences with these socks, have indicated that they are completely waterproof. This along with their wool design make them best suited for colder activities, such as winter hiking and snowshoeing. They weigh about 5.4oz (153g) per pair, making them a lighter weight choice in regards to thicker socks.
Hard-linked toe closure for a flat seam
Thicker wool design for extra warmth
Not very breathable
Downsides: While these Klim socks are up to par with the quality Klim usually provides in their products, they aren’t quite as durable as some of the other Klim products on the list. That’s because the materials aren’t manufactured for durability, but more for comfort with these socks. However, that’s not a bad trade off, and these socks do cost less when compared to some of the more durable Klim socks we’ve listed here.
Material: Klim’s Hibernate socks feature a nylon reinforced toe, heel, and sole, which gives these socks a lot of strength and durability while also helping to give your feet the stability you’ll want when you are active. They also feature terry construction, which helps make the socks insulated so you’ll stay warm, but it also helps to cushion the socks. You’ll love the padding and comfort that you’ll get with these well-padded socks.
Additional Features: These socks come with arch support and also have a stretch band to help keep them in place so you won’t have to worry about the socks sliding down your ankle. Also, you won’t have to worry about the socks bunching up, which is a nice bonus addition. That helps make these socks feel very comfortable each time you wear them.
Could be more durable
Gore Bike Wear Universal
Downsides: 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.
Material: 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 create to keep you dry.
Additional features: 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
The Criteria We Used To Find The Best Gore-Tex Socks
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.
We’ll cover some of the important points we took a look at in a bit more detail below. We evaluated each one of the products on our list for their usage, downsides, material, and additional features. By breaking down each of these categories below, we hope to provide you with an understanding of how you should evaluate your Gore-Tex socks. Once you know what you need to look for in your socks, you should be able to pick the right pair for you.
Keep in mind that most Gore-Tex socks are priced to be more expensive than what regular everyday cotton socks cost, but that’s because they offer you so much more. You’ll get great weather protection and a lot of comfort and ventilation tied up into your socks, which will keep you warm even if you get caught outside in terrible weather. Some of these socks will still do a great job of protecting your feet even if your footwear isn’t waterproof, which is a huge plus. So, keep in mind what you’ll be getting out of your socks, and you won’t have any worries when it comes to purchasing your socks.
Instructions for usage
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.
It can take a bit of getting used to when you first start wearing your Gore-tex socks, but once you get used to them, you’ll love having them on. Just be prepared to have a bit of a learning curve if you aren’t used to using these types of socks, and take the time to adapt. Once you learn how to get them on and off, you’ll love having them when the weather gets bad. Since many of these socks do fit tightly, you’ll need to get used to the way they fit and how to put them on, but most of them are designed to be fairly easy to get on and off.
When we evaluated each one of the Gore-tex socks on our list, we discussed what the downsides were if you were to purchase that particular product. Different socks have their downsides, but the primary one is usually cost. These socks aren’t cheap, and they are manufactured with high-quality materials that are meant to protect your feet and keep them warm. However, even though they can be expensive, the nice thing about these socks is that most of them are very durable simply because Gore-tex is durable by design. So, any socks that have Gore-tex in them will last much longer than socks that are developed without them. Plus, you’ll get a lot of value and use out of just about any one of these socks you decide to purchase. However, whenever you decide to purchase a pair of Gore-Tex socks, you’ll need to consider the downsides in order to evaluate if the socks are still right for you. So, always factor that into your decision when you are purchasing a good pair of socks like these, and make sure it is still worth your while and meets your needs.
Gore-tex 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 copying 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 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.
What layers and levels you need with your Gore-tex socks will depend a lot on the climate you live in and what you plan to be doing when you wear your socks. So, before you decide on getting something that is very expensive and includes every top-of-the-line feature, think about whether or not you really need all that in your socks. If you factor in your real necessities, you might be able to save a decent amount of money when you purchase your socks.
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.
Other Important Factors To Consider
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!
Q: Do I need to wear waterproof footwear with these socks?
No, not usually. That’s the great thing about Gore-Tex socks—they are designed to still be waterproof even if your shoes and boots aren’t, and that can really be a benefit when you are outside being active when the weather gets cold. Most of the socks we’ve mentioned on our list were all made to protect your feet whether your shoes or boots are waterproof or not. So, you’ll get all the comfort and warmth you need.
Q: Are Gore-Tex socks breathable?
Most Gore-Tex socks are designed to ventilate very well, and are made to be breathable. However, as with all products, some of these socks are more breathable than others, and much of that depends on the materials that are designed into the socks you pick. Socks with merino wool in them are made to keep your feet warmer when the weather is cold, but merino wool doesn’t tend to ventilate as well as some other materials. Still, even with merino wool socks, you should get adequate ventilation.
Q: Do Gore-Tex socks give you blisters?
No, and that’s one of the best features you’ll find with these socks. Not only will they prevent your feet from getting wet and also ventilate the sweat away from your feet, you won’t have to worry about your feet rubbing or chaffing on the inside of your shoe. So, you should be able to easily prevent blisters wearing a pair of socks like these.
Q: Are Gore-Tex socks cushioned?
No, not necessarily. Some styles of Gore-Tex socks do feature extra cushioning, which is a nice bonus for people that really want the extra support. Usually, Gore-Tex socks that come with padding or cushioning also feature merino wool in their design, so if you want the padding and comfort, look for that. Just know you might be sacrificing another area of comfort if you want padding—breathability, but even well-cushioned Gore-Tex socks using merino wool still ventilate well.
Q: What activities are Gore-Tex socks good for?
Really, just about anything you can imagine. These socks are designed to help you through a wide variety of activities, so you won’t need to worry about how well they work when you are active. These socks are made to help you out while you are active, so you can do just about anything in them and still get a lot out of them. So, you shouldn’t have to worry about much here, since these socks are very versatile.
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.