Not many people would argue with the fact that your feet are the most important part of your body to take into consideration when hiking, therefore only the best hiking socks will do.
If you don’t want to read the full review for the best waterproof socks I recommend SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking socks – you can’t go wrong with them.
Having the proper footwear is highlighted as a priority in many different articles, but it’s often ignored what type of socks you should wear or why they can make your hiking trip great or terrible.
Even if you’re hiking in summer, it might rain for a couple of hours, or you might have to cross a little stream – who knows what might happen? Isn’t that the whole point of hiking? Embrace the unexpected, but if you want to learn from my past experiences, be prepared for everything. That obviously includes getting some water inside your hiking boots and having wet socks on your feet.
You might be crossing the bridge over the River Oja (if you’re hiking Camino Frances) or any other hiking trail, the reality is that you’ll want to have the possibility of changing into waterproof socks if the need arises.
Experienced hikers know that having wet feet is not ideal when you’re counting on hiking for hours. It’s uncomfortable and it can cause blisters and sometimes, not even great hiking shoes can save you…or your feet.
I’ll show you the best waterproof socks below and compare them for you, so you can make an informed decision. Everyone looks for different things and hiking trips can be quite distinct, therefore take your time to make the best decision for your particular case.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Waterproof Socks Reviews
- 1.1 1. Dexshell Hytherm Pro Waterproof Socks
- 1.2 2. Hanz Waterproof Crew Socks
- 1.3 3. SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking Thick Mid Socks
- 1.4 4. SealSkinz Hiking Waterproof Mid Socks
- 1.5 5. DexShell Ultralite Bamboo Waterproof Socks
- 1.6 6. Randy Sun Waterproof Breathable Socks
- 1.7 7. Showers Pass Crosspoint Crew Socks
- 1.8 8. Bridgedale Midweight StormSocks
- 1.9 9. NRS Hydroskin 0.5 Hiking Socks
- 1.10 10. Rocky Gore-Tex Waterproof Socks
- 1.11 11. WATERFLY Waterproof Sweat-Absorbing Socks
- 1.12 12. KLIM Covert GTX
- 1.13 13. SuMade 100% Waterproof Socks
- 1.14 14. Layeba 100% Waterproof Breathable Socks
- 1.15 15. Tanzant Waterproof Breathable Socks
- 1.16 16. MEIKAN 100% Waterproof Socks
- 2 Best Waterproof Socks Buying Guide
- 2.1 Waterproof or Water-Resistant?
- 2.2 Are Waterproof Socks Any Good?
- 2.3 What Material Is Used?
- 2.4 How Long Should the Socks Last?
- 2.5 Can Waterproof Socks be as Breathable and Wicking as Regular Hiking Socks?
- 2.6 I have Waterproof Shoes, do I need Waterproof Socks?
- 2.7 What does Waterproof Rating on Socks Mean?
- 3 So, What Are the Best Socks?
Best Waterproof Socks Reviews
All the waterproof socks reviewed below are very good and you are unlikely to be unhappy with any of them. Still, some of them may be a better choice for you than others. Keep reading and find out which one of these socks will suit your needs the best:
1. Dexshell Hytherm Pro Waterproof Socks
- The quality of material
- Fit & comfort
The Dexshell Hytherm Pro socks are considered to be among the best products of this type on the market. Many other articles name them the best out there and these are the main reasons why:
Besides being waterproof, the Dexshell Hytherm Pro socks are also windproof with a 20% nylon outer layer with cuff elastics; they utilize merino wool to keep you warm when it’s cold but they also help release moisture when it’s hot; a porous Porelle membrane to prevent the water from passing through; they offer great comfort with a cushioned footbed; they’re mid-calf length and you can handwash them or throw them in the machine.
The price is also really interesting, staying around $45, which is considered average for this type of socks.
2. Hanz Waterproof Crew Socks
- The quality of material
- Not too thick or too thin
- Odor control
The Hanz All Season socks are also mid-calf, they are made of a combination of nylon and lycra spandex on the outside layer, a waterproof moisture vapor transpiration middle layer to allow perspiration to escape, remaining waterproof, the inside layer makes them flexible.
These crew calf socks are suitable for any season, as the name suggests.
3. SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking Thick Mid Socks
- Ideal for cold temperatures and Y-gore heel
- Great design
- Comfortable & warm
- Too warm for warm-weather trekking
These SealSkinz socks have a thick merino wool interior to keep you warm and absorb odors but they’re also elasticated at the ankle and instep to give your foot additional support when hiking in rough terrains.
They are also padded at the heels, toes, and footbed, which absorb shock and also prevent blisters.
4. SealSkinz Hiking Waterproof Mid Socks
- Not the best choice for cold-weather hikes
These ones, from the same brand as the previous ones, are quite similar to their sisters.
They’re a mid-weight sock, also utilizing Merino wool lining on the inside, with an elasticated ankle and instep, and with the same hydrophilic membrane for both waterproofness and breathability.
As such, they are great for longer backcountry trips, but also for everyday adventures.
5. DexShell Ultralite Bamboo Waterproof Socks
- Good price
- Could be warmer
The DexShell Ultralite Bamboo Waterproof Socks are an interesting option in between these 5 because they utilize bamboo in the inner layer.
They also add 30% Nylon to the 70% Bamboo Rayon, which can be an important element to consider if you’re thinking about the environment. They are ankle-length and lightweight. If you’re looking for a sock that replaces your waterproof trousers, then this one might not be the right choice for you.
They’re also seamless, offering great comfort and they can be used for any outdoor activity.
6. Randy Sun Waterproof Breathable Socks
- Three-layer construction
- Anti-bacterial yarn
- Reinforced toe & heel sections
- Keep the feet warm and dry
- Many color options
- Not seamless
The Waterproof Breathable socks from Randy Sun offer a fantastic value for the money. Not only do these socks come at a reasonable price, but they’re also available in a number of patterns and colors, allowing buyers to personalize their outfits.
The Randy Sun Waterproof socks feature a unisex three-layer design and look quite funky regardless of which color you decide to go with. This three-layer construction that I’ve mentioned is precisely what makes this model highly breathable, but also waterproof and anti-bacterial. It takes a bit longer to dry due to its thickness, however.
All in all, this model is designed to be worn in moist conditions and it handles cold water quite well.
7. Showers Pass Crosspoint Crew Socks
- Excellent fit
- Waterproof and breathable
- May be too tight for some people
Great for outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and running, these socks feature three layers whose job is to keep your feet warm and dry.
The Merino content of this sock’s inner layer isn’t as high as the Merino content of the next socks I’m going to review (Bridgedale StormSocks). Therefore, the Shower Pass Crosspoint socks are lightweight socks but also ones that still retain their moisture-wicking properties.
Once we combine this lighter construction with a genuinely comfortable fit and an Artex breathable membrane, we get a truly well-made and functional waterproof sock. And since it provides excellent mid-calf water protection, this sock is well-suited for mountain biking and hiking, as I’ve already mentioned.
8. Bridgedale Midweight StormSocks
- High Merino content
- Durable outer layer
- A bit too stiff to start with
Bridgedale makes some of the best waterproof socks on the market – it’s as simple as that. For that matter, it’s not really surprising that their StormSocks are held in high regard by many hikers all over the world.
The socks made out of Merino are odor-resistant and moisture-wicking – the StormSocks contain 54% of Merino in their construction. Not only are these socks waterproof, but they also handle moisture and bad odors quite well. They’re also very good at regulating the temperature of the wearer’s feet. In other words, they keep feet dry and warm.
This model is perfect for long walks in wet conditions. It owes its waterproofness to a breathable PU membrane and the tough outer layer (this layer is made from nylon). For general outdoor wear and trail running in cold, wet weather, these waterproof socks are an excellent choice.
9. NRS Hydroskin 0.5 Hiking Socks
- Neoprene construction
- The 4-way stretch outer layer
- Anatomically shaped
- Unmatched waterproofing
- Very warm & comfortable
- Clean, minimalistic design
- Neoprene doesn’t breathe
NRS has achieved recognition with its quality rafting and kayaking gear. Therefore, it is not surprising that they’ve also tried their hand at sock making – the result of this experiment is called the Hydroskin 0.5 Hiking socks.
These socks are made from neoprene, which is precisely why they’re both incredibly waterproof and warm. They are also a bit less pricey than the waterproof hiking socks that feature three layers in their construction. Finally, their design is minimalist – waterproof socks are usually a bit more colorful so I welcome this clean, basic design.
The only real downside of these waterproof socks is that they’re not breathable. The sweat always stays inside the socks and this can become a major issue during cold-weather hikes, as it can lead to frostbites. Still, this waterproof sock is a great choice for folks who want to keep the water out at all costs.
10. Rocky Gore-Tex Waterproof Socks
- Genuinely waterproof hiking socks
- Excellent durability
- Snug, anti-blister fit
- Not for winter hiking
What makes the Rocky Gore-Tex socks a bit different than the other models in my roundup is that these were designed to be worn together with a pair of quality wool socks. As the name suggests, the main (and the only) layer is made out of Gore-Tex – all of the moisture-wicking is done by your regular socks.
In terms of durability, this is actually a pretty good design. On regular socks, the Gore-Tex layer is the membrane layer that never wears out – the layers that do wear out are the outer layer and the inner layer. So, once your regular socks wear out, you can take a new pair of socks and wear them over the Rockies again.
The fit of these waterproof socks is snug and they feel very comfortable. However, they won’t keep your feet warm on their own and aren’t the best choice for winter hikes. Still, these socks are a good choice for active folks.
11. WATERFLY Waterproof Sweat-Absorbing Socks
- Fairly comfortable & lightweight
- Moderately warm
- Not very breathable
Are you looking for a pair of quality waterproof socks but don’t want to fork out too much money? If so, these ankle-length socks made by WATERFLY are one of your best options: they are warm, moderately waterproof, and quite cheap for a pair of 3-layer socks.
Just like most 3-layer models in this roundup, these also have a Merino wool interior, a breathable middle layer, and an outer layer made out of waterproof nylon. While it’s fairly effective, the material out of which the middle layer is made isn’t as breathable or durable as the Gore-Tex fabric. On the other hand, this lack of breathability definitely adds some extra warmth.
It’s pretty obvious that these socks are made for folks who don’t really need the best possible waterproofing but only a pair of cheap socks with a good fit.
12. KLIM Covert GTX
- Reasonable price
- Waterproof and breathable
- Well-padded and comfortable
- Could be more durable
These waterproof hiking socks are designed with Gore-Tex technology. As such, they offer quite a lot when it comes to weather protection, keeping your feet protected while you’re hiking in wet conditions.
KLIM Covert GTX socks sport nylon-reinforced soles, heels, and toes, which is precisely why they’re so durable and capable of keeping your feet stay dry. The model’s stretch band, on the other hand, makes sure that the sock stays in place and prevents it from sliding down the wearer’s ankle. The fit is snug and there’s plenty of padding that provides a high level of comfort.
The only major downside of these waterproof hiking socks is that they’re not as durable as some of the other models on this list. However, once we take into account their reasonable price and the level of waterproofing they offer, the lower durability doesn’t really look like a bad trade-off.
13. SuMade 100% Waterproof Socks
- Waterproof & quick-drying
- Protect against friction
- Good compression and stretch
- Can be difficult to put on
Having your feet stay dry during long, demanding hikes in moist conditions is crucial – all outdoor enthusiasts know this. Without a pair of socks manufactured from the right material, you could easily end up with ulcers, frostbites, or blisters.
Made out of Coolmax quick-drying material, the SuMade 100% Waterproof Socks are comfortable and breathable all day long. As their name suggests, these socks come fully waterproof, while their cushioned heels have the job of absorbing shocks protecting against friction.
Other features worth mentioning are the knee-high length, the good overall stretchiness, as well as the wide range of available sizes and colors. My only complaint is that these socks can sometimes be quite difficult to get on – the fit is really snug.
14. Layeba 100% Waterproof Breathable Socks
- All-day-long comfort
- Keep the feet smelling fresh
- Run quite big
The next pair of socks on my list comes from Layeba and is SGS-certified. Available in three different colors, these socks are made out of various materials, with the primary material being Coolmax, just like in the case of SuMade socks above. Other materials include elastane, lycra, and nylon.
Just like many other models on this list, these socks also sport a 3-layer construction. In other words, they successfully prevent water from coming into contact with one’s feet while at the same time allowing sweat to escape. This is bound to keep the wearer’s feet comfortable and dry all day long.
The material out of which these socks are manufactured also has some antibacterial properties – you’ll never have to worry about bad odors. The only major disadvantage is that they run quite big, so I advise getting one size smaller than you normally would.
15. Tanzant Waterproof Breathable Socks
- 100% waterproof
- Soft, stretchy, and warm
- Great for a range of outdoor activities
- Could be more breathable
Unlike most socks of this type available on the market, these won’t only protect your feet from water, but also from wind, blisters, and rashes. Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?
Manufactured from premium-quality cotton fiber, this sock provides its wearer with high mobility. In other words, you’ll be able to engage in various water activities without having to worry about your feet getting wet. One thing I particularly like is the model’s deep heel, as it wraps around the foot of the wearer and prevents the sock from slipping down in the footwear.
All in all, the Tanzant is a good choice if you’re looking for a multi-purpose sock for harsh outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hunting, fishing, and, of course, hiking.
16. MEIKAN 100% Waterproof Socks
- A lightweight, seamless design
- Comfortable & anti-blister construction
- Available in 11 bright, attractive colors
- May be too thick for some users
If none of the models listed above look interesting and eye-catching to you, this one surely will. MEIKAN 100% Waterproof Socks are in 11 genuinely interesting and attractive color combinations – you’re bound to find one that suits your style. Fortunately, the sleek look of these socks is not the only great thing about them.
Made from special moisture-wicking and anti-blister fabric, this sock keeps the wearer’s feet comfortable and dry. It is also lightweight and sports a seamless design, and is, therefore, a great choice for serious hikers. The MEIKAN sock is great in terms of breathability, too – the material out of which it’s made allows sweat to get outside while preventing water from getting inside.
In conclusion, those looking for a pair of eye-catching socks that are also waterproof and comfortable should definitely give these a go. Their only flaw is that they’re quite thick and may cause you to feel a bit too much pressure on your feet. When wearing these socks, always leave some space for the extra bulk.
Best Waterproof Socks Buying Guide
When choosing the right pair of waterproof socks for you and your hiking trip, there are a few things you should consider. However, this type of socks’ common feature is, just as the name says, the ability to keep water from going inside – no one likes wet feet when hiking all day. To make the right decision, you need to look at socks that have a high hydrostatic head. This is what measures the waterproofness of your socks.
Because of this outer layer, which is often made of nylon, you want something comfortable as an inner layer, so go for merino wool or bamboo as the material used on the inside of your sock for extra comfort and warmth. In between these two layers, you’ll find a membrane, which will transport perspiration to the outside, keeping your feet dry and less prone to blisters.
They won’t be as breathable as your normal hiking socks, therefore you might not want to choose them for all types of outdoor activities, but they are great if you’re going paddling, kayaking, cycling, fishing, skiing, or even if you work outdoors and use water often, adding a sock liner can make them more comfortable.
Waterproof or Water-Resistant?
Two very different concepts. Waterproof is, according to the dictionary, “impervious to water”, whereas water-resistant is “treated with a finish that is resistant but not impervious to penetration by water”, meaning that it’s able to resist the penetration of water to some extent, but not completely.
So, when we’re talking about waterproof socks, we’re saying that no water will be able to penetrate that waterproof membrane, which is what you want. Water-resistant pieces of clothing are good but imagine dipping one in a puddle of water; I’m sure it would be soaked. They work with light rain but are not the same as waterproof.
Are Waterproof Socks Any Good?
Yes, they are. They might be slightly bulky because of the 3 layers, but they work. They look and feel like any other of your walking socks with the added membrane. I also believe that the 3 layers help with blisters because it keeps your feet dry and it absorbs movement between your skin and the shoe you’re wearing, further reducing the possibility of blisters. Some also come with added padding on your heel, which you probably know, is great for increased comfort.
What Material Is Used?
They can be made of a few different materials, but the most typical used ones are merino wool for the inner layer as it’s great for colder temperatures, the membrane often utilized is hydrophilic nonporous PU, which helps to make the sock a little less stiff and, of course, the waterproof outer layer.
Bamboo or other comfortable material is also used sometimes for the inner layer and they also work great. What’s important to remember is that you find a good balance between the waterproofness of the sock and the breathability – and both can be measured; look for the higher numbers in MVTR and hydrostatic head.
How Long Should the Socks Last?
They should last just as long as any of your other quality walking socks, maybe even longer due to the materials used. How long that is will depend on how often you wear them. From experience, I’d say several years, but again, it depends if you’re using them once a year for a few days or once a month. Just like any other piece of clothing, if you take care of them right and follow the washing instructions, they’ll last you a long time.
Can Waterproof Socks be as Breathable and Wicking as Regular Hiking Socks?
Technically, no. Because of the 3-layer sock system, making them as breathable as your regular hiking socks make it harder, however, the new advancements in technology have shown that you still get enough moisture out to keep your feet dry. Choose the correct socks for each season and you’ll find them just as good.
I have Waterproof Shoes, do I need Waterproof Socks?
The simplest answer is yes. Even with the best pair of waterproof boots, you still want a pair of waterproof socks, depending on the activity you’re doing. If it’s raining, there’s always a possibility of droplets of water running down the top of your shoe and going into your socks. And then, there’s not much you can do about it because you need to finish your hike or activity and you might have an extra pair of socks in your bag, but won’t the same happen again? It might be an investment, but as I mentioned earlier, they do last for a long time.
What does Waterproof Rating on Socks Mean?
This rating basically means how high the hydrostatic head number is. This is what shows us how waterproof a fabric is and is measured in millimeters. 10.000 millimeters is a good start when looking for your socks. Even though it won’t stand heavy rains and will eventually leak, with the added waterproof shoes, you should be good. Keep in mind that it’s important to reapply Durable Water Resistant to your waterproof items from time to time as this helps to repel the water and to keep them waterproof.
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So, What Are the Best Socks?
My favorite have to be the SealSkinz Trekking Waterproof Thick Mid Socks due to their warmth, waterproofness, outer layer, and comfort. These are the aspects that most matter to me when hiking for several days.
Indeed, you might be looking for something a little more specific and adequate to the activity, so just keep in mind the most important keywords when thinking of buying the best waterproof socks: 3-layers system, hydrophilic membrane, moisture control, and merino wool/bamboo inner layer.
Everything has got a price and if you’re willing to pay more to keep your feet dry, then you will get something of better quality. It all comes down to what sport you’re doing and for how long you’ll do it.
I love hiking. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.