We may all be out there for different reasons, be it mtbiking down the trickiest black route, running a muddy trail or just out for a walk but we’d probably all agree that we’d like to keep our feet dry while doing so. If you’re walking, then your boots should do the job, but it’s not always practical to set out with waterproof footwear. Even if you do go running in waterproof shoes, you’ll probably find they overheat and you’ll still get wet feet at the first puddle you encounter.
Basically, you’ve got two choices. One is to mamnage the wet feet as best as you can. This means you need socks that are still warm and comfortable in the wet, perhaps with thin liners to prevent blisters. Alternatively you can invest in some waterproof socks, which seems at first glance the best option.
Sealskinz are synonomous with waterproof socks, so we trïed out a pair over the last few months for walking and running. The Sealskinz Thin Ankle Length socks are just about right for running, and I find for most summer walking as well as I don’t like wearing what Poucher and his ilk would have called ‘stockings’ If you like that look, then there’s also the longer version available.
Walking, they functioned OK, being sufficiently comfortable during long walks but didn’t feel as comfortable for running in as a properly fitted running sock. We found they moved slighlty, and started to bunch towards the toe. This was annoying more than anything else, and never got bad enough to have to stop to fix it.
As these socks keep you dry with a lining, the outer sock does get sodden and does feel cold when you initially get wet. However, being merino wool these soon keep your feet warm enough during even the coldest run. They were tested out in some foul conditions over the winter, and were perfectly adequate for our needs.
That’s all well and good, but do they keep your feet perfectly dry? Well unfrotunately in our experience they didn’t. They’ve been used maybe a dozen times, and on trail runs ranging from 50-90 minutes my feet were certinly damp enough at the end to leave prints on our laminate floor a good half hour after the run.
Still, had I been wearing regular socks then my feet would have been sodden, but this is still rather a disappointment.
They’re also a bit fiddly to dry after washing (we did so in Tech Wash), you have to dry them normally and then inside out in order to get them perfectly dry.
At nearly £30 retail, you might be disappointed that your feet aren’t perfectly dry, but if you’e out in all weathers then they might well make the difference between a miserable and a comfortable run. Just don’t expect these to perform miracles in really grotty conditions.