If you are like me, adventurous, you probably find yourself ‘off-piste’ when out hiking. Taking the path less traveled often results in wet boots and wet feet. When on a multi-day hike or wild-camp, drying wet boots can be a real struggle, resulting in wet feet throughout the trip. Not nice, trust me, I’ve been there. That’s when I invested in waterproof hiking socks and this is why you should consider them too.
I’ve been actively hiking for a number of years now. Based in Yorkshire (U.K), I am no stranger to the frequent rain-spells that we encounter on the fells and open moorland. Over time, Hiking through the Peak District’s peat bogs, the Yorkshire Dales saturated moorlands and crossing becks, streams and rivers in the Lake District have finally taken their toll on my waterproof GoreTex boots. It was time to try the waterproof hiking socks.
Trying Out Waterproof Socks
By now it was December, I was headed to Kinder Scout in the Peak District on a solo hike. Heading up Grindsbrook Clough from Edale in my well worn and failing GoreTex boots, I could see that the plateau was cloud covered, I was in for a soaking. I was in the midst of a motorbike project that was tying up most of my left over spending money. This meant that new boots were not on the agenda. I took this as a great opportunity to try out a pair of renowned Bridgedale waterproof hiking socks. My first impression was that they were quite comfortable! The waterproof membrane inside the sock means that they hold their shape when you put them on. That means you may need to spend a few minutes fitting the sock to your foot before doing up your laces.
Anybody who has made the ascent up onto Kinder via Grindsbrook Clough will know that the path criss-crosses the stream on it’s way down from the plateau. As this route is a scramble in multiple places, water crossings are numerous. Perhaps this was the perfect testing ground for my new socks.
Sure enough, I found that the water coming off Kinder was heavier than usual, the stream crossings were a little deeper, causing the water to flow over the top of my lower boot. Instantly I could feel the water penetrating my aged GoreTex and cooling my foot. I waited for the water to reach my feet. It did not come. The socks were working.
I managed the scramble up onto Kinder, the weather really was coming in, driving rain soaked me from head to toe. The rain was so sustained that I could actually feel the weight of the water soaking up into my boots. Finally I finished my hike back at the car-park at Edale after a good few hours in the cold, rain and wind. I waited in anticipation as I took off my thoroughly soaked boots. My feet were completely dry. I simply slipped my clean socks on, put my driving shoes on and headed home.
So, we know that waterproof socks do indeed work. Is that the end of the story? Not quite. Over the next few months I found more and more reasons to like them. Firstly, I don’t own any waterproof motorcycling boots. The socks are brilliant at keeping my feet comfortable when I am out on the bike, meaning, just like when out hiking, I can cover more distance without needing to stop for comfort breaks. Being knee-high, the socks not only protect my feet when hiking through wet grass or water crossings, the extra length keeps my lower legs, exposed to the elements, dry when out riding through rain on the bike.
Going back to hiking, I am aware that their is a shift among some hikers towards using trail runners for hiking. These light weight shoes are great for light weight adventure travel. However, the chance of water penetrating these shoes are higher than that of their boot equivalents. A waterproof hiking sock would completely eliminate this issue, giving the user complete waterproofing and the advantages that the trail runner brings.
To summarise, there are frequent occasions when I prefer to allow my boots to get wet yet keep my feet warm and dry by using these socks. I do not need to worry about drying my boots on multi-day trips. The socks are far easier to dry than the boots.
Cleaning Your Waterproof Socks
The great thing about using a waterproof sock over a waterproof boot is that you can wash and dry them far easier than that of a waterproof boot. Most manufacturers of waterproof socks state that they are machine washable at around 40.c. Drip / Air drying is recommended as a direct heat source may damage the waterproof membrane. Personally, I tend just to let the socks soak in warm water for a while, before air drying them for a period of time. I can do this when wild-camping or traveling too which is a great advantage over the difficult to dry boots.
Try Them For Yourself!
I’ve already alluded to the fact that my first pair of waterproof socks were Bridgedales. This brand consistently provides high quality and reliable socks. That is why I am recommending you try theirs. I am thinking of purchasing atleast another pair of waterproof socks for longer adventures and travels, when I do, I will purchase these SealSkinz as I have been well-informed that they are just as effective as the Bridgedales. I encourage you to try them out on your next hike, motorcycle ride or camping trip. You won’t be disappointed and you may never go back! I’ll be holding off purchasing a new pair of GoreTex boots for a while!
See these socks below!