Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Sealskinz socks

Like most people, I don't really like hiking with wet feet. Preferring to walk in trail shoes, I think that those with a waterproof lining are a waste of money because water will easily go over the tops and wet feet will quickly result. Some years ago, I discovered Sealskinz waterproof, breathable socks. They weren't cheap but if they worked then they sounded good. I found them comfortable to wear and found that my feet didn't sweat. They seemed ideal and for a while they kept my feet dry. But not for long. I returned them to Sealskinz for replacement and they didn't quibble. The replacements only lasted a few outings before being returned. In all, I've had four pairs of them now although only paid for the first pair. Last weekend, although I knew they were suspect, I wore them but they were very soon letting in wet. Unlike ordinary socks which will let wet out and dry eventually, Sealskinz tend to keep it in. So, my love hate relationship with them is now at an end. I binned them when I got home and won't bother returning them. Surely I can't be the only dissatisfied customer and to have four out of four pairs fail with really only quite light use must mean that there is something wrong with the product. I really would like to like them and if Sealskinz would like to send me another pair specifically to test and review on this blog then I will do it but perhaps they won't want to risk a bad review.

Water most certainly didn't go over the top of the socks. Each pair that I've had have been well cared for and washed by hand in warm water.

An alternative waterproof sock (although very different in design and construction) is the Trekmates Amphibian, now discontinued. I have a couple of pairs of these. They are surprisingly comfortable and do keep my feet dry. However, even with these, I am tending to accept wet feet during the day by wearing ordinary socks and then wearing the Amphibians in the evenings so that I can wear dry socks but in wet shoes. But they won't last forever and, apart from Sealskinz, there doesn't seem to be anything else on the market.

I have a pair of Sealskinz gloves as well; one of these lets water in. A Sealskinz Winter Hat which I have is excellent.


  1. I don't know what it is with Sealskinz. Some people swear by them others have had leakage.
    I bought a pair of Sealskinz gloves and they leaked badly on day 1. I bought a pair of their socks and yes they leaked after about 3 days wear. I gave up on them and bought Gore -tex socks and they worked but are not that comfy as i found the material tended to roll. I bought mid height lined boots for a few years. I eventually tried another pair of SS socks about 10 yrs later and although they had improved they didn't last like they should, at least a year imo. They lasted about 20 days. I've given up again. Wasting no more money.

  2. I have similar problems. In my case I think there is an element of water going in the tops, but this doesn't explain all of it. When you're able to actually pour water out of them when you take them off, that surely is proof enough that it's getting in from somewhere major. But I will say that they do two things which are useful. Firstly, they're comfortable and fit with my trail shoes really well - better than any other socks I've got. They're also good to wear when your boots are already soaked - they're enough to keep your feet dry if there is no further wetting, and if not then they at least slow the process down a bit. On a multi-day drip, I now keep them specifically to wear the day after a soaking - I don't care how wet my feet get during a walk, but I like to start each day feeling dry. The other problem with Sealskinz is they're a bugger to get dry, because you effectively have to dry them twice (inside and out) because of the "waterproof" lining which seems to be surprisingly effective at preventing water passage when drying, if not when getting wet!