/ Waterproof socks

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Andy Johnson - on 09 Oct 2017
Last night I got back from a couple of days backpacking in the Lake District. It was extremely wet, my (fabric) boots and socks were soaked almost from the start, and my feet are now quite sore and red.

So I'm wondering, what are the options for waterproof socks? I've heard good things about Sealskinz but have been reluctant to try them - I remember trying goretex socks years ago and found they made my feet hot and sweaty, and I don't fancy spending £35 just to re-live the experience. Or are they worth a try?
JennyFoster - on 09 Oct 2017
I have a pair i got from Amazon, I wear them with a thin sock underneath and have done quite a few miles in them without problems. I think they are the Dexshell Coolvent Lite Waterproof Socks

gethin_allen on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

I'll tell you in a weeks time if the weather does what it's forecast to do. I'm doing a bike race and my SPD shoes are totally not waterproof so I've bought some ALDI waterproof socks (£12 rather than £35 for seal skins). I tried them in the bath and they kept the water out. They do have a slightly odd shape to them (not enough bend) but they seem ok. I think I'll wear some coolmax socks under them to minimise sweat issues.
richlan - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

Hateful things, all that happens is that the water runs down your legs (especially cycling) and sits in the socks resulting in almost soaked feet from the start which result in quite sore feet ;-)
Wil Treasure - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

I have a pair of the Sealskinz. I wouldn't use them in a walking boot, not least because it probably means you've got 2 layers trapping the moisture then so it's be sweaty. Where I've found them useful is if I don't want to take boots, but I do want to keep my feet dry. Usually situations where it's not raining heavily, but maybe the ground is wet underfoot so I'd get wet feet in trainers. I really rate them for this kind of use and don't find them particularly sweaty, but perhaps because I'm not spending all day in them.
ElBarto - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

I highly recommend Sealskins, I was in the Brecon Beacons where there was a constant light rain and all the ground was wet and in parts boggy too but I'd forgotten my waterproof walking boots! Wore a pair of Sealskins with my approach shoes and by the end of the day (around six hours I think) the socks I had under the Sealskins were only very slightly damp at the bottom, which I'd put down to sweat. My shoes on the other hand were as wet as it was possible to be, they were even frothing like there was some fairy liquid in them.

As for them trapping sweat and being uncomfortable from that I'm unsure as the day wasn't particularly warm and I don't tend to sweat much from my hands or feet unless I'm really hot.
HB1 - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

FWIW I have a pair of Seals, and I'm not impressed. I wore them for running and in no time had holes in the toe area, so not waterproof anymore. Having said that they are warm to wear on trails in the winter months, so not to be rejected outright
Sam W - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

I just bought a pair from Aldi (own brand) for £12. They're sold as cycling specific, but shape seems very general and would be fine for walking. Been on one ride in the rain and had slightly damp feet in a pair of soaking wet shoes. Expecting to use them on cold wet rides through the winter, yes water will run inside them but they'll be warmer than alternatives.

Might be worth trying them for walking, cheaper than Sealskins
Simon Caldwell - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

I use Sealskinz for fell running in the winter months. They don't keep all the water out, but when it gets in it stays in for long enough to warm up, so I don;t suffer with cold feet. I wouldn't use them for walking though as they don't breath that well.

I don't think you're going to find much of a solution for fabric boots - they're always going to let water in. Personally I prefer wearing fell/trail shoes outside the winter (sometimes in the winter too). Your feet get wet easily, but they also dry out quickly. For winter walking I'll use proper leather boots.
Climbing Pieman on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:
Been a few years now since last used, but I never got on with Sealskins for hill walking. Useful for less active use though where waterproofing is number 1 priority. Gave them a good try on hills though most of time too hot (or too cold in winter!), too sweaty, feet too damp, lack of breath ability, too stiff (years ago so maybe different material now?) so wear rate was high at toes and heel, and generally not comfortable due to type of material; feet were worse than in normal wet sock and occasionally when water run down legs felt you were squelching in water!

Solution for me was quality leather boots, and good quality wool socks and when they leaked eventually they were still far far more comfortable overall. BTW, I don’t get on with goretex boots if that is a factor as I run hot and sweaty with them also.

Limited experience with trainers suggests they perform much better than in boots. Maybe just me.

Anyway, if you wish to try, pick up a cheaper pair and see how you get on rather than spend on Sealskins.
cousin nick on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

I've had 3 pairs of Sealskinz socks over the last 15 years or so. All were waterproof in the beginning, but soon started leaking (like after 3 or 4 times wearing them). I mostly used them for mountain biking and did not abuse them in any way. one disadvantage is that if water does get in, it tends to stay in. Having said that, providing you don't get too wet, they keep your feet warmer than normal socks (but not as good as cycling overshoes).
For walking and backpacking I think I prefer waterproof boots, which in my experience usually means leather.

Andy Johnson - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and notes on your experiences. On balance I'll probably pass on getting waterproof socks for the time being, and look at other ways of dealing with persistently wet feet.
Post edited at 16:55
oldie - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

For many years have used plastic bags (thicker ones, not thin supermarket's) over socks . You'll get damp, sweaty feet but far preferable to cold, soaking ones, and prob still comparable to Sealskinz at minimal cost. After all skiers wear plastic boots all day.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

I have waterproof trousers with built in gaiters in the legs. The only time they ever leaked was when I was knee deep in the river outside the CIC hut!
robert-hutton on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

I use decathlon neoprene windsurfing socks for fellrunning good when cool but too hot in the summer.
They also sell on eBay for £6-8.00.

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