If you’ve never wrapped your feet in waterproof socks before heading out on a wet run, you’ve never lived. The word ‘gamechanger’ is bandied around willy nilly these days, but waterproof running socks really are a gamechanger during winter runs.
The socks feel like a wetsuit when you slip them on, not gripping your feet as tightly as you may be used to from cotton socks. This is due to the waterproof material, which forms a barrier to keep out water. Once you’re out running in the rain, you can feel confident that if it’s incessantly heavy precipitation, or you accidentally stick your foot in a deceptively deep puddle, your feet will remain warm and dry (even more so if you pair the socks with waterproof trainers).
As with waterproof trousers, some waterproof socks are rated on their waterproofness – they follow the same HH scale, so the higher the number, the more waterproof they are.
You might raise your eyebrows at the price of some of these socks, but most people who have tried waterproof socks do not quibble about the price, and often wish they had invested in a pair years before.
So where to start? We have selected some of the best waterproof running socks. All you need is the heavens to open and you’re away…
Sealskinz Waterproof Cold Weather Mid-length Socks
Designed to keep water out at all costs, these are the ultimate in wet-weather protection. With a waterproof level of 20,000 HH, they remain highly waterproof while also letting your feet breathe via the company’s unique ‘hydrophilic’ membrane that pulls moisture away from your foot, meaning your skin remains dry. The merino wool on the inner layer also keeps your toes from going numb in freezing wet conditions.
Otter Waterproof Socks
Like with most of the waterproof socks on this list, three-layer technology is employed to ensure your feet stay dry. The waterproof PTFE membrane is in the middle, which keeps water from entering while letting moisture from your warm feet out. They are available in a range of plain designs, as well as a camo pattern.
DexShell Running Lite Socks
The Running Lite socks feature a Porelle interlining membrane for high waterproof levels while remaining breathable. This is then combined with a ‘drirelease’ inner to help absorb moisture. They are also designed with a close fit, including elastic arch support, with the idea being that they won’t become too baggy when drenched with water.
A hiking sock from Bridgedale that works equally well for running, it’s 100% waterproof and has enough length up the ankle to avoid too much water seeping in via the cuff. These also feature merino construction for added warmth and odour control (ie they won’t end up stinking!).
Geckowear Knee-Length Ultimate Waterproof Socks
Another pair of socks with a three-layer construction with the waterproof membrane sandwiched in the middle, these are knee-length for when you still want to run in shorts but the streets are awash. They feature 8,000 HH waterproof rating, so will handle things like stepping on a wobbly paving slab with a puddle of water underneath it.
ArcticDry 100% Waterproof Socks
These are so waterproof the company has pictured them being plunged into a deep bowl of water to show just how effective they are at forming a barrier to wet stuff. The outer and inner layers are constructed from a mixture of nylon, Spandex and Coolmax for warmth and breathability, and the waterproof membrane is positioned between them. One plus point with these is they're a little more playful with the design, although, like most of the others on this list (except for the ones below), they remain predominantly black and grey.
Randy Sun Waterproof Mid-Calf Socks
Randy Sun, named after the founder Randy and the fact that, um, he likes the sun, do everything they can to avoid you having damp feet while running. The US company does waterproof hats and gloves, but we’re here for the socks – in particular, the mid-calf option because, as you can see, they are colourful. Coolmax fabric wicks sweat away from your feet, and the waterproof middle membrane blocks water. As Randy himself says, 'If you step in water, your feet are DRY, it’s as simple as that.'
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