No-one likes the feeling of soaking wet socks, especially when you're trying to exercise outdoors. Waterproof socks are a fantastic invention that'll save you from uncomfortably damp feet when cycling, running, hiking, or even competing in water sports.
Read our buying guide to learn all about the features you should look out for in a pair of waterproof socks. Then, check out our reviews of the best products to buy for both men and women at Amazon and eBay, from top brands like SealSkinz, Dexshell, and ArcticDry. With a pair of waterproof socks, your feet will always stay dry - whatever the weather!
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There are a few things that might seem obvious when buying waterproof socks. Clearly, they need to keep water out - but this isn't the only thing to take into account! In this section we'll explain other key factors that you should consider when shopping.
Waterproof socks need to meet several requirements: they need to be simultaneously breathable, warm, and protective. This is not an easy task! To match these requirements, they're normally made from a few different materials which each have specific properties.
The outer layer of a pair of socks is the first line of defence against water. It's usually made from a blend of different plastic fabrics like nylon, polyamide, or polycolon. These materials are hard-wearing and, most importantly, totally waterproof!
Plastic-based materials are usually combined with a stretchy fabric like spandex, elastane, or lycra to make the socks comfy and easy to put on.
Bamboo rayon is another good choice for the inner layer of socks - it's naturally hypoallergenic and has anti-microbial properties, so it'll keep your feet feeling fresh when you're out running!
Lastly, Coolmax® is a popular polyester-based fabric that works well for the inner layer of socks. As it's incredibly breathable and moisture-wicking, it'll dry quickly if your toes do get a bit sweaty while you move around.
Some of the socks in our ranking require washing by hand, but if you don't want the hassle of doing this after each use then you should opt for a pair that can be put into the washing machine instead.
Just make sure you check the care instructions on the label - some brands will advise you to wash the socks at a specific temperature, to avoid damaging the materials or the waterproof layer.
When it comes to waterproof socks, sizing can either be that of traditional shoe sizes or a small/medium/large system. The former shouldn't be problem if you just go for your normal shoe size. If you're unsure about the latter, look for a size guide from the manufacturer - this should indicate which one will work best for you.
Occasionally, waterproof socks will only come in one size. This size is usually flexible, but you might have issues if your feet are particularly small or large. Socks that are the wrong size can lead to your shoes rubbing and giving you nasty blisters, so if this is the case then we advise buying from a brand with specific sizing options.
There are three main lengths of waterproof socks on the market: ankle, mid, and knee-high. Most brands offer ankle length options, which are high enough to cover your whole foot. Mid-length socks are less common but add a bit of extra protection without covering the whole of your leg.
If you're training in particularly cold weather, a pair of knee-high socks is an even better choice. These will cover the whole of your lower leg, keeping the heat in and the water out. Bear in mind, though, that knee-high socks are likely to keep you very, very warm - so only break these out when it's really chilly!
Most waterproof socks come in muted or dark colours, and with good reason. If you're going out in wet and muddy conditions, it's very likely that your socks will end up a different colour by the time you've finished your outdoor activities!
Whilst you can of course wash mud and grime away, you might struggle to get brightly coloured socks back to their former glory - we recommend a pair in a more muted tone like black, grey, or navy instead.
If you're doing a water-based sport where you're unlikely to get muddy, then a pair of colourful socks should be fine and will add a bit of fun to your outfit!
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Waterproof All Weather Mid Length Sock - Grey
Summer-Suitable Socks With Added Support
Stop Foot Odour in Its Tracks
3-Layer Technology Means Extra Protection
Waterproof Breathable Socks
Colourful Socks to Brighten Your Day
Xtreme 100% Waterproof Socks
Perfect for Chilly Days, but Not Larger Feet
Waterproof Cold Weather Knee Length Sock
Knee-Highs to Keep Your Legs Dry
The Lost Peak
100% Waterproof Crew Length Black Socks
A Simple Yet Effective Design
Waterproof Socks for Men
Socks Made With Men in Mind
Sports Cycling Socks
A Cheap Multipack of Cycling Socks
Your feet can get wet in all kinds of weather, but a lot of brands focus on colder temperatures when making waterproof socks. That's why we love these - they're designed for warmer weather, so they aren't heavy or too clingy. They still provide a waterproof layer but focus on keeping your feet cool as well as dry.
In addition to a breathable Merino wool inner, these socks have zonal elastication for added support and flat toe seams to prevent rubbing. Plus they have shock-absorbent padding in the footbed. They come up a little bit higher than your ankle too, which we love. For all of these reasons, they just had to be our number 1 product!
Do you find that your feet tend to get sweaty and whiffy when you're doing sports in waterproof socks? You won't have that problem with this pair by Waterfly, thanks to the anti-bacterial inner layer made from Merino wool.
While these socks need to be washed by hand, we assure you that they're worth taking the time to care for. They're brilliantly designed and come in enough sizes to fit everyone. The geometric pattern on the front looks amazing too!
Here's another superb product by Otter, available in sizes from S all the way up to XL! With 3 layers, each made from different materials, these socks are designed for ultimate comfort. The polyamide outer layer protects against liquids, as does the middle layer that's made from plastic membrane. Lastly, the Coolmax® inner layer keeps your feet cool while allowing them to breathe.
These socks are incredibly versatile and are suitable for all sorts of sports, plus the fluorescent strip across the top makes them fashionable too!
A lot of our recommended pairs of socks come in very muted shades, but if you fancy going down a more colourful route then we highly recommend this funky blue and pink design. As well as looking good, the polyamide outer layer is incredibly effective at keeping your tootsies dry.
Otter claims that these socks are 30% warmer than other waterproof socks on the market, making them great for winter activities. They are a bit shorter than the usual ankle-length style though, stopping just above your ankle bone.
The ArticDry brand name tells you all you need to know about these socks - they're basically designed especially for cold conditions. Tested in both snowy and muddy environments, they'll make sure you're prepared for whatever the weather decides to throw at you!
Unfortunately, these socks don't come in a huge range of sizes, only S and M. If only they made larger sizes, they'd be much higher up on our list.
This pair of socks does more than protect your feet - it makes sure that the bottom half of your legs stay cosy too! Part of SealSkinz's "Cold Weather" range, these socks are ideal for those who often venture out in freezing temperatures.
However, this means that these socks are no good for those who want to exercise in warm weather or who get overheated easily. They're also expensive for a pair that you're only able to wear in certain weather conditions.
We love the fact that this pair of socks is black all over; this means they won't be easily stained by mud or dirt. Another great feature is the number of layers - they have 3! A nylon outer, a breathable middle, and a moisture-wicking Coolmax® inner.
As these socks are only available in a size medium, they unfortunately won't be suitable for everyone. They also lack any kind of stretchy material and therefore might not be as tight-fitting as other socks.
High-quality, waterproof men's socks at an affordable price can be difficult to come by, but this pair solves that issue! At less than £20, they're cheaper than most of our other recommendations but still provide plenty of protection.
Don't be deceived by the simple-looking design - these socks actually have 3 layers which are all designed to keep your feet toasty. The only downside is that they do require hand washing, so will require more of your time than a pair that you can just throw into the washing machine with your other laundry.
These socks are excellent value, with a multipack of 3 pairs costing less than some of the single pairs on our list. They're the perfect pick if cycling is your sport of choice, as they've been specially designed for this activity. Providing compression technology where you need it, they won't fall down as you peddle.
There are sadly a few drawbacks though: these socks only come in one size and they also lack an inner layer, meaning they won't keep your feet fully warm and dry.
As we all know, British weather can be incredibly unpredictable - one minute it's sunny and the next, it's raining cats and dogs! Check out more of our waterproof products, designed to keep you warm and dry, at the links below.
Worrying about getting cold, wet feet when out and about will no longer be an issue if you invest in a pair of waterproof socks! Whichever activity takes your fancy, choose one of our recommendations to ensure you get the right balance between practicality and comfort.
Author: Emma Cramp
No. 1: SealSkinz｜Waterproof All Weather Mid Length Sock - Grey
No. 2: Waterfly ｜Waterproof Socks
No. 3: Otter｜Waterproof Socks
No. 4: Otter ｜Waterproof Breathable Socks
No. 5: ArcticDry ｜Xtreme 100% Waterproof Socks
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