Whether you’re making your way through a particularly damp commute or trekking through especially sodden land off-road, no cyclist wants wet feet. They’re cold, damp and unbelievably uncomfortable to ride your bike with.
So, if you’re on the lookout for new waterproof cycling socks, we’ve picked out four of our current favourites which may interest you, as well as running through some basic FAQs on the subject.
Hopefully, from this you’ll be able to find the right pair to keep your feet toasty and dry as you cycle:
How to Keep Feet Dry Cycling in the Rain
There are generally three options in this department:
- You could arm yourself with waterproof shoes, many of which look and feel great as well as keeping your feet warm and dry.
- Another option is waterproof overshoes, which are worn over another shoe (fairly self-explanatory) to offer a snug fit but keep the wind and rain out.
- Or, you can buy waterproof socks – which is where this article should come in handy.
How Do Waterproof Socks Work?
Waterproof socks have three layers: the standard knit interior and exterior, as well as an added waterproof breathable membrane in-between the two to keep your feet warm and dry.
Obviously, this makes them thicker than ‘normal’ socks, but it’s thanks to this multi-layer build that the waterproof membrane can be adequately protected. Also, remember: socks’ waterproofing tends to only cover the tip of your toes to just below the top of the cuff.
Waterproof Bike Socks: Materials
Here are some of the fabrics commonly found in waterproof cycling socks:
- Gore-Tex materials are extremely popular, given the excellent level of insulation they provide no matter what the weather of where you’re cycling. They offer a supreme level of waterproofing, windproofing and breathability.
- Merino wool is commonly found in the inner lining because it can regulate its own temperature, can absorb up to 30 per cent of its weight in water and is extremely moisture-wicking – all of which again helps keep your feet nice and dry.
- The outer layers are often made of a combination of Nylon, which is abrasion-resistant and dries quickly, and Lycra, which enhances your comfort and fit. Together, the two provide a strong support for the waterproof membrane and help keep the sock’s shape.
- Though, that particularly stretchy Lycra is sometimes merged with other materials like elastane or acrylic, which make the sock’s lining more light and breathable – superb for keeping them odour-free..
Top 4: Best Waterproof Socks for Cycling
Best SealSkinz Waterproof Socks for Cycling
Excellent waterproof winter cycling socks or in warmer weather
- Lightweight, breathable, waterproof and windproof
- Merino wool for moisture-wicking and high comfort
- Y-gore heel for a secure fit
Boasting Stretchdry waterproof, breathable and windproof technology, these SealSkinz are some of the lightest waterproof cycling socks you’ll find.
Their Hydrostop, silicone-free elastic taping keeps water out, while they’re lined with merino wool to only control moisture and comfort further.
Plus, the elasticated ankle and insteps provide a seamless fit; as does the Y-gore heel construction.
Are SealSkinz socks really waterproof?
Absolutely – even if there seems to be a fair amount of debate about this.
What you may find is that, even if water breaks through via the top of the socks, they essentially act like a wet suit to keep your feet warm. Otherwise, though, they’re great at keeping moisture out.
Breathable Waterproof Socks for Men + Women
Waterproof breathable socks in an array of dashing colours
- Available in Black/Grey, Blue/Orange, Camouflage, Dark Grey or Black
- Sizes: UK 3 – 5, 6 – 8, 9 – 11, 12 – 14
- Tight but light fit – high in comfort
A pair which, no matter what striking set of colours you buy them in, again guarantees to keep your feet warm and dry wherever you cycle.
Its outer layer is made of 74 per cent polyamide, 23 per cent Lycra and three per cent Elastane, with an added layer of PTFE to let water vapour run through to it but not allowing it to enter its inner layer (80 per cent Coolmax, 20 per cent Lycra).
Not only are they tight-fitting but light and comfortable to wear, their construction from man-made fibres makes them more ideal for people with allergies, and they can be used in a range of sporting activities beyond simply cycling.
These are very much unisex, too – they make just as good waterproof socks for women as they do for men.
Comfortable + Waterproof Socks
Mid-length socks you won’t be able to miss
- Available in hi-vis or vidid yellow
- Sizes: UK S, M, L, XL
- Extremely light cotton inner lining
If visibility is high on your priority list even from the feet up, you can’t go wrong with these DexShell waterproof socks.
Whether on ‘hi-vis’ or ‘vivid’ yellow, you’ll be noticeably easier to spot with these on while you ride, as well as feeling the benefits of their entirely waterproof, windproof build.
Its inner lining of natural cotton is as light as it is breathable – and, crucially, these are machine-washable socks, too.
Best Waterproof Ankle Socks for Cyclists
The best if you prefer a lower-cut fit
- Colours: Black/Grey Marl/White, Red/Red Marl, Navy Blue/Blue Marl/Yellow, Green/Grey/Orange
- Sizes: UK S, M, L, XL
- Three-layer build for warmth, durability and waterproofing
Finally, let’s finish where we started with more SealSkinz waterproof cycling socks – which, whatever vibrant set of colours you buy these in, offer supreme warmth, durability and waterproofing.
Its three-layer construction promises as much, while its bamboo lining is perfect for moisture control, insulation and comfort.
It also promises extra support via its zonal elastication functions, a four-way stretch for added comfort, and its flat toe seams mean rubbing won’t be an issue.
Waterproof Cycling Socks – FAQs
What type of waterproof membrane do SealSkinz use in their socks?
SealSkinz place solid hydrophilic membrane between their socks’ outer layer and inner layers to prevent water from breaking in.
This membrane not only barricades rain, mud, and sand, but also boasts high breathability, meaning water vapour to pass out and you’ll stay dry and sweat-free from the inside, too.
SealSkinz use this hydrophilic membrane to maintain dryness and comfort even when you’re pedalling. Indeed, the harder you work and the hotter and sweatier your feet get, the better the membrane functions in ridding you of water vapour.
Can socks be waterproof and breathable?
Absolutely. In fact, you should find that all good socks in this department are made of materials which are just as waterproof as they are breathable – it should never be a binary choice between one or the other.
Though, even if waterproof socks still offer a good level of breathability on the whole, they do tend to be less breathable than others (but not massively or noticeably so).
How to wash waterproof socks?
That’s easy. Assuming, given most are, that your waterproof socks are machine-washable, anyway.
Just put them in a washing machine, adding cold water and gentle liquid detergent, before hang or tumble drying on a low heat.
For more extensive drying, turn them inside out after 15 minutes of drying, too.