Waterproof Socks: All You Need to Know (UPDATED)

Image for post
Image for post

Outdoor adventures like mountaineering, hiking, and backpacking usually come with a range of unexpected challenges. This is especially true when the weather is less than favourable; like during the winter season.

The elements can do a number on you if you fail to dress for the occasion. One of the most important clothing gears that many outdoor adventurers tend to overlook is a pair of socks.

While your hiking jacket and walking trouser will do a great job of shielding you against the cold and dust, your comfort can’t be assured without a practical pair of waterproof socks.

Image for post
Image for post

Even if you are wearing military-grade hiking boots, they will not be enough to prevent your feet from getting wet when it starts to rain, or when you have to walk through a marshy territory.

Aside from comfort, there are so many benefits that come with wearing this type of socks (more on this to come). As such, you’d be wise to invest in a high-quality brand for whenever you plan to hit the trails with your fellow adventurers.

But with so many models to choose from on the market, it can be a little bit overwhelming. That is why in this post, we are reviewing the best waterproof socks to make the decision easy for you!

What are Waterproof Socks?

Image for post
Image for post

Waterproof socks are a specially designed kind of footwear that protects your feet from getting wet. Unlike ordinary socks, they feature a three-layer construction with a waterproof membrane in the middle to keep your feet dry.

In most cases, the material blocks any water molecules outside from getting through but is also porous enough to let water vapour escape to the outside.

From running, cycling, and hiking to skiing, kayaking, and snowboarding, you can look forward to a comfortable experience when you are donning a pair of waterproof socks. Waterproof socks for women, men and children are generally all the same as they utilise the same waterproof tech.

What Should I Look for When Buying Waterproof Socks?

Several features help to enhance the practicality of waterproof socks. If you are in the market for a nice pair to wear during your upcoming outdoor expedition, remember to consider the following:

Why Should My Socks be Waterproof?

While waterproof socks serve a variety of functions, their main role is to shield your feet from moisture. Wearing a wet pair of shoes can be extremely discomforting, especially when taking part in activities such as hiking.

It makes your feet cold and interferes with your comfort during the adventure. Furthermore, extended exposure of your feet to such wet situations may result in undesirable conditions such as frostbite, hypothermia, and other health hazards.

Luckily, the right pair of waterproof socks helps you to avoid all this. Manufacturers use a combination of waterproof fabrics in the sock construction to make it completely waterproof.

Usually, three different layers of fabric are used to ensure water molecules won’t get through t socks to your feet. So, before you buy the socks, check that they are waterproof and not water-resistant.

Can Waterproof Socks Improve My Comfort during an Outdoor Adventure?

Yes! Investing in a nice pair of waterproof socks goes a long way to enhance your level of comfort during a hiking escapade.

Due to this, more shock is absorbed when you’re walking to protect you from the impact of piercing rocks and hard ground. Not to mention that they are padded to facilitate the same.

Furthermore, waterproof socks feature an elastic outer layer that holds tightly against your feet. This keeps them from sliding down during strenuous physical activity like hiking, saving you the trouble of constantly pulling them up. Overall, you get an interrupted hiking experience that enhances your comfort on the trail.

How Durable Should My Waterproof Socks be?

The best waterproof sock should serve you for years without easily showing signs of tear and wear. Unlike ordinary socks, these are designed for rugged conditions of use and tend to maintain their shape despite repetitive use.

This is why they will cost you considerably more than what you pay for regular socks. Before buying, be sure to check the composition of materials used to construct the socks.

It ensures that any small stones, twigs, as well as pieces of debris that find their way inside your waterproof boots, don’t end up puncturing the socks. The material should also be elastic enough to retain its initial shape after being stretched. Not even regular cycles in the washing machine should loosen its fibres.

Do I Need Breathable Waterproof Socks?

Waterproof socks do a great job of keeping moisture at bay but they should not be too impermeable to block the flow of air.

This is because when your feet get hot and sweaty, there is no way for the steam to escape into the atmosphere. This leaves you with drenched feet that are not only irritating but can also end up causing blisters and hot spots.

Breathability offers an escape route for the water vapour inside your socks while allowing cool air from outside to get to your feet. In the end, your feet remain dry and fresh to save you the irritation and possibility of blisters.

What is the Right Fit for Waterproof Socks?

Wearing the correct fit of waterproof socks allows you to remain comfortable during your adventure.

When the socks are ill-fitting, they can squeeze around your foot and interrupt your blood circulation, resulting in pain and numbness. This is can easily throw a monkey wrench into your works in the outdoors.

Ideally, you should find waterproof socks made out of flexible and stretchy material that easily cinch to the shape of your foot. They need to fit you snugly (not too tight and not too loose). This way, the socks will remain intact during rigorous activities like climbing mountains and rock faces.

The Best Waterproof Socks- Reviews

ArcticDry Xtreme Waterproof Socks

Image for post
Image for post

These, in our opinion, are the best waterproof socks across the globe currently.

The ArcticDry Xtreme waterproof Socks will serve you diligently on all manner of outdoor adventures and having used these personally, I think they are the best waterproof socks

Whether you are going hiking, snowboarding, fishing, or mountaineering, you can’t afford to miss a pair of ArticDry™ Xtreme Waterproof Socks. The socks are available in XL, L, and S sizes, which means there is something to fit you perfectly.

Image for post
Image for post

This also makes them suitable for adults and children alike. The socks feature a three-layer design that includes a combination of nylon, spandex, and CoolMax fabrics.

This delivers a stretchy sock that holds snugly around your foot to make for a comfortable fit. A waterproof membrane that keeps water molecules from reaching your feet.

Image for post
Image for post

This works so effectively that your feet remain dry and warm even when the sock is fully submerged inside water. The triple layer build results in a thick and cushiony pair of socks that keep you comfortable while walking. This is reinforced with extra padding on the toes and heels to reduce the impact when hiking on hard surfaces.

This makes for durable use down the line and allows them to maintain shape even after several trips to the washer.

Image for post
Image for post

Lastly, the ArcticDry™ Xtreme waterproof socks are quite easy to maintain. Unlike other waterproof products, which need to be DWR treated constantly to maintain their attributes after washing, these socks only need to be washed in a lukewarm mixture of soap and water then left to dry.

Image for post
Image for post

Incredibly, they don’t lose their waterproofing property. You’ll also like the multipurpose performance of the socks that allow you to use them on various kinds of outdoor adventures without letting you down.

Pros

  • Multipurpose functionality
  • Easy maintenance
  • Stretchy and flexible fabric
  • 100% waterproof
  • Provides cushioning and traction
  • Abrasion-resistant and durable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • They run a little bit narrow

Check them out by Clicking Here

Sealskinz Waterproof Socks

Image for post
Image for post

The Sealskinz waterproof socks boast a formidable design that stems from a combination of high-quality materials. These range from elastane, merino wool, and polyester to nylon and acrylic, resulting in an unbeatable design that will suit a variety of situations.

It leaves you with an optimal balance between waterproof and breathability to ensure that your feet are protected from wetness without being suffocated. The elastane makes the Sealskinz aptly elastic to make for a comfortable fit that stays intact throughout the journey.

Meanwhile, the merino wool material boasts a thermo-regulating property that allows your feet to stay toasty and cozy when it gets cold while keeping them fresh and cool in warm weather. A hydro-stop waterproof membrane does a great job of staving off water molecules to keep your feet dry and protected from the wetness even when it starts to rain unexpectedly.

The underside of the socks is padded to offer shock absorption when walking on hard surfaces, helping to make for an easy-going outdoor experience. The toe seams are designed to be flat, which prevents rubbing and the formation of blisters and hot spots that may end your adventure prematurely.

Despite the multi-fabric construction of the socks, they retain a lightweight design that will be practical on the trail. You also get to benefit from a 100% waterproof, breathable, and windproof performance that shields you against the wrath of Mother Nature.

The Merino wool lining has moisture-wicking properties that prevent your feet from getting drenched in sweat when walking in a hot environment. The manufacturer employs a Y-gore heel construction that delivers a secure fit that helps to boost your level of comfort on treacherous trails.

Another useful feature is the flat seams on the toe closure, which offers your digits enough wriggle room not to rub against one another. This not only presents discomfort but also the formation of hot spots and blisters when your toes rub. Lastly, there is a lifetime guarantee offered when you buy the Sealskinz waterproof socks. So, you can rest assured that you’re investing in a high-quality product!

Pros

  • Nice of mix of quality fabrics
  • Lightweight and practical
  • Waterproof yet breathable
  • Elastic for a snug fit
  • Thermo-regulating merino wool
  • Flat toe seams

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

Dexshell Waterproof Socks

Image for post
Image for post

The Dexshell waterproof socks come with a charming design that easily blends black and orange colors. They are conveniently lightweight not to weigh you down on the trail.

This makes them a great choice for hiking, trekking, backpacking, and other outdoor adventures that keep you on your feet for extended periods. The outer shell of the sock is made out of 96% nylon and 3% elastane to make for a comfortable fit. Cuff elastics at the top help to secure the socks to your feet, preventing unnecessary sliding when you are engaging in strenuous activity.

The nylon material is abrasion-resistant to prevent easy wearing and tearing. A waterproof membrane between the outer and inner layers helps to protect you’re your feet from wetness when you have to wade through marshy grounds and or cross streams and small rivers.

Despite this, it is still adequately breathable to keep your feet comfortable when it starts getting hot. Merino wool fabric inside the sock comes in handy when the conditions get cold. It helps to provide warmth when you need it, ensuring that your adventure remains comfortable all the way.

The inner layer also comes with moisture-wicking properties that prevent your feet from getting drenched. It is porous enough to let water vapor escape without interruption while allowing for the free flow of air.

This means your feet remain dry and fresh in those unforgiving outdoor environments. You won’t have a problem cleaning and maintaining the socks after a week of adventure. The Dexshell are machine washable, so you only need to toss them inside the washing machine once they are off your feet.

On the downside, these socks tend to shrink after every subsequent trip to the washing machine. Unlike other waterproof socks, these do not stop shrinking, meaning you might find yourself struggling to fit inside them after some time.

Furthermore, they don’t offer any kind of odor control, so you might have to persevere the notable stench after removing them. Other than that, these are very practical outdoor gear that you can use on a broad range of outdoor activities while expecting the same level of performance.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Machine washable
  • Suitable for various adventures
  • Highly waterproof and breathable
  • Abrasion resistant outer shell
  • Snug fit

Cons

  • No odor control
  • Shrinks after wash

Bridgedale Waterproof Socks

These waterproof socks feature a knee-length design that offers no chance of water getting to your feet. A waterproof merino wool fabric is used to construct the three-layered sock, with the outer shell consisting of 100% nylon material for durability. This both abrasion resistant and windproof to protect the sock from easy damage while ensuring that the cold breeze doesn’t get to you during the outdoor expedition.

It will be a long while before you start thinking of replacing these socks. The middle layer is made out of Porelle, a 1-way polyurethane membrane that’s among the most water-resistant and breathable fabrics you can get. Even as you enjoy protection from moisture, you won’t have to feel suffocated when the weather starts to heat up. The inner layer further features a mix of merino wool, nylon, and acrylic to offer excellent warmth in cold situations and convenient thermo-regulation.

It also delivers a nice odor protection performance that keeps your feet from becoming a stinking mess when you remove them after the adventure. Thanks to a stretch PU membrane that binds the three layers of the sock together, the Bridgedales feature an elastic build that offers a snug and comfortable fit. The only slight shortcoming of these socks is that they take a little bit of time to dry. Once you hang them to dry for some time, you will still have to turn the other side for the inside to dry.

Overall, the Bridgesale Storm waterproof socks are a reliable choice when it comes to protection from wet conditions. They are highly waterproof but breathable to keep you comfortable all through the journey. Its practical design means that you remain comfortable at all times, regardless of whether you’re going hiking, backpacking, fishing, or any other outdoor activity that comes to mind.

Pros

  • Nice stretchy construction
  • Merino wool
  • Highly durable outer shell
  • Waterproof, windproof, and breathable
  • Temperature regulation
  • Anti-odor, anti-bacterial treatment

Cons

  • Takes long to dry

OTTER Waterproof Socks

Image for post
Image for post

Our final pick of the best waterproof socks is a pair of mid-length socks produced by Otter. These will appeal to you with their cute design featuring adventurous colors. They blend black and red colors easily, which you can try and incorporate into your overall outfit. With 100% waterproof protection, these socks allow your feet to remain dry and warm in all kinds of weather conditions. Whether it rains or snows and even when you have to step on mud puddles.

A hardwearing polyamide material on the outer surface of the sock makes for a rugged and durable construction to protect against premature wear and tear. This guarantees that you will use the pair for years before you have to replace them. Furthermore, they don’t easily lose their shape even after multiple cycles of use. A couple of fabrics are employed in the construction of these reliable socks. Despite this, they maintain a close-fitting profile that snugly fit around legs.

The application of spandex in the sock material makeup results in a stretchy performance to not only bolster the fit but also prevent suffocation of your lower leg, which may cut off your blood circulation. Merino wool is also used for its insulating properties, helping to keep your feet warm and cozy when the temperatures drop. But when the conditions get warmer, the fabric still manages to bring some coolness inside the socks.

Merino wool also offers antibacterial properties that serve to ensure your comfort for the entirety of the escapade. Meanwhile, the acrylic yarn used to knit the Otter waterproof socks handily wick out sweat and wetness in your feet to the outside. This delivers a great balance between breathability and waterproofness. Overall, these are a practical pair of waterproof socks that you can rely on any kind of outdoor activity that may need protection against moisture.

Pros

  • Moisture-wicking property
  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Nice and attractive design
  • Multipurpose functionality
  • Warm and comfortable
  • Stretchy and snugly-fitting

Cons

  • Somehow overpriced for the performance

Conclusion

Waterproof socks have become a must-have accessory when setting out on an outdoor expedition, especially during the winter and rainy seasons. They offer a great deal of protection against the elements to ensure that you remain warm and cozy from the start of your expedition to the very end.

So, before you set a date for your next hiking, mountaineering, fishing, or snowboarding adventure, make a point of including any of the above best waterproof socks in your travel gear list!

FAQ

What are Waterproof Socks Designed for?

Waterproof socks have a broad range of applications. Anybody who spends a lot of their time in the outdoors, especially in wet weather, needs waterproof socks to keep their feet dry and healthy.

This means whether you like to hike, go fishing, snowboarding, or even work at the mines, you will find a great use for these types of socks. Wet feet can be a potential health hazard, especially when they stay like that for extended periods. The risks range from frostbite, blistering, chafing, and trench foot to athlete’s foot.

These are all undesirable conditions that can significantly deteriorate the health of your feet. A good way of preventing them is to invest in a practical pair of waterproof socks that will keep your feet dry and warm in the wettest situations.

The good thing is that you can wear the socks on any kind of outdoor activity you engage in, meaning you’ll always find a use for them throughout the year.

How Do I Clean and Maintain My Waterproof Socks?

To ensure that your waterproof socks serve you for years without losing their performance, it is recommended that you hand wash them in lukewarm water mixed with mild liquid detergent.

Once you are done, rinse the socks and hang them out to dry. After a while, turn them inside out to dry the inside of the socks and you’ll be free to wear them again.

If you have to use a washing machine, only be sure to strictly use the delicate cycle and keep the water temperature at under 40 degrees Celsius. Steer clear of bleach and tumble drying your socks as these may mess up the structure of the waterproof and breathable membrane.

Most importantly, remember to go through the manufacturer’s care instructions to know the aptest method of cleaning.

How Do I Wear My Water-Resistant Socks?

Before you slide your feet inside the waterproof socks, ensure that they are clean and dry. The fit should be snug but not too tight to restrict circulation in your feet.

If need be, you can add a layer of regular socks underneath to enhance your warmth and comfort, especially when the weather is a tad colder than normal. Finally, find the appropriate shoes or boots for the adventure you are about to take on.

What Size of Waterproof Socks Should I Buy?

There is no standardisation when it comes to allocating sock sizes. Some can run small or large depending on what the manufacturer deems is correct and their style.

As such, the best you can ensure you get the right fit is to take the measurements of your feet and compare them against the size chart of the pair you are about to order.

Remember that most waterproof socks are built with stretchy material and generally tend to be thicker compared to ordinary socks. Finally, be sure to pick a sock longer than the depth of water you plan to step in to make sure that the wetness doesn’t find its way inside from the top.

Won’t My Feet Get Sweaty When Wearing Waterproof Socks?

Eventually, your feet will start to sweat when you wear waterproof socks for a while, especially as the weather conditions become a little bit warmer. That is why you should pick a pair of waterproof socks designed to be breathable.

If it will even be better if it has a fabric that can wick away the sweat and excess warmth to the outside, thus preventing your feet from getting drenched in sweat. Sweaty feet and wet socks can easily lead to the formation of blisters and hot spots when you walk, and a great way to prevent this is to prioritise breathability in your pair of waterproof socks.

Hiking & Camping Enthusiast from the UK

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store