Sealskinz Waterproof MTB Socks: Review

Sealskinz Waterproof MTB Socks: Review

There are lots of different clothing options to make riding on a wet day more comfortable. You may have thought about jackets, jerseys and shorts, but did you know you can keep your feet warm and dry too? In my experience Sealskinz waterproof MTB socks are the best way to do just that.

Why I think they are so great?

I have really done my homework on these and looked at some alternatives, but the Sealskinz waterproof mtb socks seemed to be the best, so I bought some.

My homework paid off when riding the Passportes du Soleil last year. This is a fantastic ride that takes in all of the French and Swiss resorts of the Portes du Soleil. The fact that the ride took us to lots of different altitudes and areas of the mountains, meant we experienced dramatic changes in weather. We encountered rain, fog and blistering hot sun. It had been raining all night and was still raining when we finished breakfast.

As we started to ascend the first chairlift in to the clouds, the temperature started to drop. If we were not properly prepared, a 110km ride in to the French and Swiss alps in these conditions would not be a pleasant one.

The trails were very slippy and boggy to start off with, with lots of puddles. Which was actually great fun with a few comedy falls in to the soft mud from everyone. On parts of the route, we had to push our bikes through ankle deep mud, as it was impossible to get traction and pedal through. This is when I was glad to be wearing my sealskins waterproof MTB socks.

Luckily the weather perked up quite a lot, meaning we could really enjoy the final downhill sections back to Morzine for a few beers in the sun.

The socks were kept my feet dry and warm when the weather wasn’t great, but when the sun came out my feet weren’t too sweaty either, and here’s why:

Sealskinz Waterproof MTB socks are made from a combination of materials:

  • Outer: 90% Nylon, 10% Elastane
  • Membrane: Hydrophilic membrane
  • Inner: 35% Merino Wool, 35% Acrylic, 23% Polyester, 3.5% Elastane, 3.5 Nylon

The main component of Sealskinz waterproof MTB socks we are interested in here, is the merino wool. This is finer than traditional wool and is hydrophilic, meaning the fiber absorbs and releases ten times more moisture than synthetics. It does this without feeling wet to the touch and doesn’t feel clammy.

While the inner part of the sock absorbs moisture, the outer part of the socks repel it. The fibers of the wool have tiny overlapping scales. These scales make the socks hydrophobic, meaning water just runs off them, keeping you warm and dry.

The clever thing about them is that even when they are stretched, the waterproofing is not compromised. They are also suitable for men and women.

Which ones to choose

MTB Mid Knee Socks sealskins waterproof mob socks

This mountain bike specific sock is a mid weight, knee-length waterproof product. Its thermal rating allows it to be breathable, while remaining warm. The extra length means these are ideal for when you are riding on a cold day.

The features that the sock has are as follows:

  • 100% Waterproof, Windproof & Breathable
  • Added coverage – Knee length sock offers protection higher up the leg
  • Mid weight sock offering the perfect balance of warmth and breathability
  • Moisture control and comfort – Merino wool lining
  • Additional ankle support – Elasticated ankle and instep
  • Secure comfortable fit – Y-gore heel construction
  • Guard against friction and reduce risk of blistering – Padded heel, toe and footbed
  • Prevent rubbing – Hand linked toe closure created flat seam

Buy these socks here to keep those toes warm

MTB Thin Knee SocksMTB Thin Knee Socks

These socks are thin and knee-length. Ideal for use on a warm wet days, when you don’t really want much insulation. The extra length is good for adding that little bit of protection when riding through areas where there may be long grass or thawny bushes that may scratch your legs.

  • 100% Waterproof, Windproof & Breathable
  • Added coverage – Knee length sock offers protection higher up the leg
  • Moisture control and comfort – Merino Wool lining
  • Additional ankle support – Elasticated ankle and instep
  • Secure comfortable fit – Y-gore heel construction
  • Prevent rubbing – Hand linked toe closure created flat seam
  • Guard against friction and reduce risk of blistering – Padded heel, toe and footbed

Buy these great socks on Amazon here

MTB Ankle Socks with HydroStopsealskinz-waterproof-mtb-socks

These ankle socks are also waterproof and are very lightweight and thin, ideal for warm wet days. But these have the HydroStop feature (the socks above have a HydroStop option too). Hydro stop is a silicon free elastication providing a secure fit and band around the top of the sock. This stops water getting in over the top of the sock, when you splash through a puddle or stream.

  • 100% Waterproof, Windproof & Breathable
  • Our lightest sock, ideal for warm, wet days
  • Reduced water ingress – Hydrostop silicon free elastication provides a secure fit and band around the top of the sock
  • Moisture control and comfort – Merino wool lining
  • Ankle support and comfortable fit – Elasticated ankle and instep

You can buy these directly from Chain Reaction here

What about those dry days?

MTB Mid Trail Socks MTB Trail Mid Socks

These mid length socks are not waterproof, but they do have great sweat wicking properties, thanks to the CoolMax material they are made from. They are close-fitting and offer breathability and protection. They are also a lot cheap than the socks described above.

  • Keeps you cool when warm and warm when cold – Coolmax performance yarn regulates temperature
  • Rapid wicking of moisture from the skin – Engineered with fiber cross sections and tight terry looping maximizes surface area
  • Extra breathability through vented panels
  • Guard against friction and reduce risk of blistering – Padded heel, toe, bridge and footbed
  • Elasticated ankle, instep and cuff for support and a comfortable fit
  • More secure fit – Double rollover cuff
  • Prevent rubbing – Hand linked toe closure created flat seam
  • The cool/dry micro-climate prevents odour causing bacteria from thriving, resulting in comfortable, odourless feet
  • Left and right specific design for even greater comfort and fit

These socks are available to buy here.

Keep ’em dry

There are other brands that make waterproof socks for mountain biking. But in my experience, Sealskinz waterproof MTB socks are the best ones money can buy. You may think they are expensive, but trust me, you will be glad that you made the purchase when you find yourself on a wet ride. Mountain biking is undoubtedly fun, but small tweaks to our bikes, technique and our clothing can make it even better.


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6 responses to “Sealskinz Waterproof MTB Socks: Review”

  1. Mikael says:

    Thanks for a great list of waterproof socks. I very easily gets cold feet when I am in the outdoors and therefore need to keep them dry to at least have a chance to keep them warm.

    Do the Sealskinz socks come in models for both men and women, and are the unisex models?

    Thanks,
    Mikael

    • Tom Fortune says:

      Hi, These socks are unisex. So they are suitable for both men and women.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Justin says:

    I really like this Sealskinz waterproof Socks review – it is full or really useful and easy to read information. Interesting fact about the merino wool, I did not know that it absorbs and releases 10 times more moisture than the synthetics. These socks will certainly do the trick and I will certainly try them out, what approx. price do they cost?

    • Tom Fortune says:

      Thanks Justin,

      They cost between £36 and £40 depending on which ones you are interested in.

  3. fernglow says:

    I have started mountain biking a few months back and I enjoy every bit of it except when it suddenly starts pouring rain and it feels all gross everywhere. I was looking to make my whole gearset waterproof so as to be more comfortable when riding and the sealskinz sock was everything I needed. Which one do you think is the best for keeping your feet breathable as I always find my feet really warm? Thanks!

    • Tom Fortune says:

      Hi!

      It’s great to see someone getting in to riding!

      All of the socks featured are all breathable. But maybe the thinner ones would be best for you if you are getting too warm. The ankle socks are great too. The “HydroStop” feature stops water getting in over the top of the socks.

      I really hope this helps. 

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