seal skinz socks

If you thought $10 for a single pair of cycling socks was expensive, check this out – $35 socks! But these aren’t just regular socks. These are warm, waterproof socks from Seal Skinz.

If you’ve done any bike rides in cold weather, you know that keeping your hands and feet warm is very difficult, yet extremely important at the same time.

I was searching the interwebs for winter socks that would still fit in my cycling shoes, and I came across this offering from Seal Skinz. These are waterproof socks that are still breathable, making them seemingly perfect for winter riding and running.

These are constructed with three layers. The outer layer is nylon and spandex (for a good fit and durability,) and the inner layer is a nice Coolmax yarn (which is surprisingly soft and comfy.) The middle layer is where the magic happens though – it’s called “Waterproof MVT,” where MVT stands for Moisture Vapor Transpiration, and it allows perspiration to escape but will not allow water to penetrate.

I’ve been wearing these socks for three years now, and here’s what I think:

SealSkinz Test: Comfort

These socks don’t look like the epitome of comfort, but they have proven to be very comfortable during use.

seal skinz sock foot

When I first put the socks on my feet, they seemed a bit tight in general, but especially in the toe area. But that sensation was quickly forgotten once I got moving. The socks are tight, but not constricting.

Normally I would wear these with a pair of liner socks, but even with just these socks, they are very soft against your feet. (The inside layer is a soft white yarn, not neoprene, like the outer layer.) For three to four hours of running, hiking, or mountain biking, these socks kept my feet comfy the whole time.

I have no problems getting them into my sneakers or boots, and they even fit into my cycling shoes, although it’s a snug fit. Just be careful if you have any super tight shoes. These socks might still fit, as they’re thinner than they appear, but you don’t want to get in a situation where you restrict circulation to your feet!

(Or do what I do and have an extra pair of shoes for winter that are one size too big. Then you can fit a few layers of thick socks in there!)

SealSkinz Test: Warmth

If it’s just cold and dry, I can usually get by with just a pair of liner socks and then some thick wool socks. But if it’s wet and/or windy, that setup doesn’t cut it.

When pairing my liner socks with these Seal Skinz, my feet stay warm in cold, wet, and windy weather. On extremely cold days I may put some thin wool socks underneath these for extra warmth.

The bottom line is, when it’s cold and wet (or cold and windy,) I wear the Seal Skinz.

SealSkinz Test: Water Resistance

Seal Skinz claim to be waterproof and they mean it. Just to see for myself, I went out on a warm summer day and waded into a creek, just to cover my ankles. I stood there for a minute or so and there was definitely no water seeping in.

seal skinz sock snow

Now I don’t go and stand in a cold river for hours on end, so I don’t know what would happen in that case. But in common situations for a runner or cyclist, such as riding in the rain, running through snow, and/or some stream crossings, I have had zero problems.

Now here’s the real test and what really has me in love with these… Normally, going running or sledding (or ski biking) in the snow, in mesh running shoes, usually leads to soaking wet feet, even with nice thick wool socks. Which of course leads to cold feet.

But I switched to wearing these socks and I can walk through snow for hours; my shoes get water logged and the mesh lets water fill the shoe, but my feet stay warm and dry! It’s really amazing.

SealSkinz Test: Durability

This upcoming winter will be the fourth winter season for this pair of Seal Skinz, and they still look and feel like new.

That’s due in part to a durable, neoprene-like outer layer. It seems pretty tough, and if you’re wearing these with shoes and pants, chances are the sock is protected from harsh conditions.

But I also take good care of these socks. The most important aspect is hand washing them. You want to hand wash and hang dry, and don’t wring them out, just let them drip dry.

Bottom line – I’m getting my money’s worth out of these!

seal skinz sock snow

My final verdict is…

I had to have some waterproof socks as part of my cold weather wardrobe, and these Seal Skinz fit the bill perfectly. I would buy them again for sure. I love wearing them with my running and cycling shoes on cold wet days – even with mesh panels on my shoes, my feet stay warm and dry!

Yes, they’re expensive, but if you don’t get them too dirty, you wear liner socks underneath, and you hand wash them, they should last for years. The only reason not to get these is if you don’t encounter rain, water, or wind. In that rare case, just get some quality wool socks, which will still keep you warm for a little less money.

But for the majority of athletes who have to deal with cold temperatures, wet days, and wind chill, I highly recommend Seal Skinz socks.

Official website: sealskinz.com, www.danalco.com

Purchase online: www.Amazon.com, www.REI.com


Product Review Details
Company: SealSkinz
Product: SealSkinz Waterproof Socks
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-09-11
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. i can comment on a pair of brigdale thermal winter socks, on which at the time it has proved i was correctly advised upon. with care, two seasons and thermal warmth.
    Great web search article.

  2. I happen to like the Bridgedale socks for my winter runs like John. They sure are not waterproof though. Interesting in giving the Sealskinz a shot.

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