Product Reviews July 8, 2011

Do SealSkinz really keep your feet dry?

I have been meaning to write this review for a while. So here's the story of how I used, discarded then reused my 'SealSkinz' socks. A while ago the on-line retailer 'wiggle' was doing a deal whereby if you spent £100 they'd give you 15% off. Being a sucker for this type of deal I happily filled my shopping cart. After buying spare tyres (always handy to have the next pair immediately available), I started (aimlessly) obvious mistake. I stumbled across the waterproof, breathable and windproof socks, made by SealSkinz. I remembered I'd seen a demonstration of these at ‘The Cycle Show’ the previous year. Now I love a gimmick - and here it was - how to make socks interesting (potentially a tough job); a young lady standing in a pool of water in her socks - saying her feet were dry. Quite a good trick I thought. I was then offered a sock and told to put one on my hand and 'Give it a go'. So I did. True enough, immersed in water, my hand was bone dry......ummmm clever stuff.

Back to my shopping exploits, I metaphorically ‘loaded’ the SealSkinz into the shopping cart and continued meandering my way through the endless purchasing possibilities offered by ‘wiggle’. A couple of days later my package arrived and like a child I ripped the box open to study all my new goodies. Laid before me were my SealSkinz. Clever, but they were still socks. Later I went out on the bike in let's say inclement weather – an ideal time to test the socks out. By now I had taken the Tarmac Pro booties off my road shoes, so the socks offered an opportunity of at least keeping my feet dry. Merino wool lined or not, they felt alittle 'wet-suit' when I put them on. The fit wasn’t great either. I donned my shoes and went for my ride. In terms of keeping my feet dry, they did a good job. However they got a bit cold and I was not keen on the overall feeling when wearing them. By the end of the ride I was less than impressed. The combination of cold feet and a feeling of them being clad in a furry rubber sock was not working for me. After the ride, the socks, disappointing, were consigned to the bottom of the draw, taking refuge amongst the unbranded, non-cycling work day socks.   

I purchased the Mid-Light, Mid-Calf Length Socks. They claim to be close fitting, but you need calves like tree trunks for that to be the case. The Merino wool liner adds comfort but does not detract from the 'rubber sock' feel. The technology is clever and they really do keep your feet dry. However, the real trick is to wear a normal pair of socks underneath as a liner. I was offered this piece of advice by the folks on Twitter. It proved to be genius. Fast forward to RIDE24........

Preparation was always going to be the key on RIDE24 and I took this quite seriously. Besides, it was an opportunity to use all the gear I had accumulated in one massive cycle-fest. I even took the SealSkinz. With the way the weather was, the SealSkinz turned out to be an inspired choice. With the 'standard' sock liner, not only was the fit better, my feet were warm but more importantly, they were dry. Bone dry infact. So whilst the wind and the rain pelted the rest of my body, my feet remained impervious to the weather. So my advice is this. By all means, buy a pair of SealSkinz. They will do exactly what they claim; but make sure you wear a pair of 'Sock Guys' underneath. Then you'll swear by them.

My SealSkinz cost £22 and were purchased from online retailer 'wiggle'. 

Words by bikebritain

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