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  1. #1

    Default Water proof socks...

    I did a search and did not find a thread on water proof socks so; here it goes:

    I backpack in the winter in the sierras on 3 to 5 day stints; it often can be muddy, wet, and snow or ice on the ground. I have been using mid top Lasportiva boots (synthesis) and loved em but alas they have worn out. I purchased an even lighter pair of LaSportiva crosslight shoes that have ZERO water resistance and am thinking about trying some Dex shell ultra thin waterproof socks with a thin pair of merino socks. Any one have luck with this approach?

    Thanks-

  2. #2
    Registered User Nanatuk's Avatar
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    I own a pair of Sealskin mid hikers and a couple of pairs of Waterfly waterproof hicker socks. Both lined with merino wool. I wear them with Altra Lone Peaks, fall, winter and spring, anytime the ground is wet or snowy. Wash them once a week.

    Love them. They are not ultra thin but don't feel any need to wear a liner pair. They fit similar to the mid weight Darn Tough hikers I wear at other times.

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    I used to do a lot of sIerra trips in the winter and went back there this May. I wore my trusty Altra with a pair of water resistant nylon booties that I made. While my feet didn’t stay completely dry, they were wet warm which is most of the battle especially when walking through slushy muck. If you can sew, silnylon is cheap and easy.
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    Timely. I've been considering the same sock combination for the same conditions(light snow, under 3-4") wearing non WP trail runners(Hoka, Altra) or non WP Keen Voyaguers. The model of WP sock I go with is dependent on snow depth, water content, how cold and how consistent that cold is, and the height of my shoe/mid cut boot. I'm not a big user of boots.

    They aren't as pricey as the Sealskinz Super thin ankle and Hanz Mid Crew socks I've used with very good results. And they aren't as pricey as the Sealskinz Pro Super Thin socks I want to try. Dex Ultra thin are on sale right now for less than $15 at REI so felt might not hurt to try them out pre winter hike.

    I've been researching Dex Ultra Thin socks getting mixed reviews which has me somewhat hesitant to pull the trigger. I'd like more reviews of complete and lasting WProffness which is what I MUST have if I'm carrying a WP sock. What I've become aware of is the number of different brand WP socks. That might be telling us WP socks do work so that I'll offer that as this is prolly going to end in judgments about WP socks being truly WP.

    One thing I do like about the thinner WP socks with Porelle liner is that they don't feel like simply a sock with a "bagtex" sandwiched layer that dislodges. Hand wash. Don't high heat. Dry flat. The membrane can get dislodged or distorted. I did this to my first pr of Hanz WP socks which costs $45.

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    What Nanatuk said is another option. Don't use two pr of different socks. Used an insulated WP sock allowing for the added interior shoe volume required. Have second pr of merino wool non WP socks at the ready. That's what I do on longer slush snow mixed conditions backpack treks. Carry two pr of socks with different traits with one pr for those wet cold days and one non WP pair. Wet and warm and dry and warm switch offs. Taller and shorter heights. One more insulating and thicker than the other.

  6. #6

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    I'm sitting here in a pair of SealSkinz up to my knobby little knees with a pair of thin REI wool sock liners.Leaving in a few minutes for a trip to Dockery Lake via Woody Gap and expecting rain all day tomorrow.Will report back on Sunday if I don't freeze on Saturday morning when the cold front comes thru................

    Note,they have worked great in the past.I usually get my wool socks Darn Tuffs wet before changing into them.Changing tactics a little bit here...

  7. #7

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    Wow, great input my friends! Thank you. Looking forward to Five Tangos report after the weekend. The Dex socks on sale at REI are only available in XL now, thats what I get for waiting. Oh well better to buy right once

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    I'm sitting here in a pair of SealSkinz up to my knobby little knees with a pair of thin REI wool sock liners.Leaving in a few minutes for a trip to Dockery Lake via Woody Gap and expecting rain all day tomorrow.Will report back on Sunday if I don't freeze on Saturday morning when the cold front comes thru...............

    Hope ya made it back; looking forward to your results

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by poolskaterx View Post
    Hope ya made it back; looking forward to your results
    Got back after hiking in wet conditions for two days and numerous stream crossings which did wet one shoe.
    Light wool liners and feet stayed dry.Keep in mind that your foot will feel the cold clammy water squishing around in the shoe when enough water gets in the shoe.In dry conditions they are comfortable to hike in and well cushioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    Got back after hiking in wet conditions for two days and numerous stream crossings which did wet one shoe.
    Light wool liners and feet stayed dry.Keep in mind that your foot will feel the cold clammy water squishing around in the shoe when enough water gets in the shoe.In dry conditions they are comfortable to hike in and well cushioned.
    would you use a better draining shoe with those wp socks next time in those conditions?

  11. #11
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    I used the Seal Skinz socks on my Thru Hike for a short time after Vermont. I thought they worked great keeping water out and feet dry as long as the water was below top of sock level. However, after an all day rain, I was able to take off the socks and actually pour out water. Not only did it keep water out but water that ran down my legs filled up the sock, that kept that water in! I don’t see the need for them when weather is warm; very similar to rain jackets. But make your own decision.
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  12. #12

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    The Randy Sun waterproof socks were a bust for me. Here is my review on those. https://youtu.be/WnwK7dDqhd8

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    LOL. That combination of marketing 'waterproof and breathable' claims another poor soul. TU Michele as I was recently looking at the Best WP socks of 2016, 17, 18 reviews. Randy Sun ranked at or near the top.


    At least the RS's are colorful and festive to hang from the fireplace.

    FWIW, it may be those reviews are, at least in part, determined by best being defined as most often purchased and lowest purchase price. IMO a very bad Amazon data mined metric to solely govern a WP sock purchase. And, when looking at reviews from running sites one might conclude those are day runner reviews proffered by those going back to a dry home after a short(ish)run.

  14. #14

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    The shoes I currently have are a very light and vented shoe (lasportiva shown below) that "should" vent and drain quickly; problem is when it is 20-30 degrees when they get wet my feet will freeze. I have heavier waterproof boot but I really wanted to find a pair of socks that would keep water off my liner socks and offer a little wind protection... I'll be using the gaiters (shown below) to keep splashes and ice from falling into the shoe.
    3643efa0-7b7f-42a5-b62c-7b01ae69892e.jpg34793c16-4c8a-451f-86c4-61b42fa9bcd7.jpg

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    would you use a better draining shoe with those wp socks next time in those conditions?
    Yes,I actually have a pair of Teva omnium sandals that I bought for just such an occasion but was not as satisfied with the grip of the soles as compared to my Salomon Speed Cross 4's.Latter is not draining at all but it grips the trail to my liking.I am looking for a well drained shoe with a good tread grip that fits my foot.The Omnium was a little loose,Salomon a little tight in the toes.Any ideas?

  16. #16

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    So your feet "did" stay dry Five Tango?

    I am curious as to how well my combo will work... guess I could always pack a second pair of shoes and socks (just in case) for a quick overnight trial in the snow

  17. #17
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    @FT: Non WP light-very light wt fast draining trail runners. Paddle type amphibian footwear aren't usually designed for backpacking or extensive hiking.

    I did a TEVA Terra fi sandal and Rocky Goretex sock sandwiched over a thinner Smartwool high merino count for much of VERY WET ME on a AT NOBO. I can't recall what versions though. The versions can make a difference! The then seamed Rocky Gore Tex soon leaked. I would never get another Goretex WP sock based on my experiences(that included using at other times) but some have better experiences than I have. I didn't use the combo below 40*. If warm enough from what I know I might go with a merino sock and sandal if going the sandal for footwear approach.

    Personally I seek one piece non seamed WP membrane socks in a WP sock. Adhering to less frequent and non machine laundering prolongs the WPness. That is not to imply that's all there is to having long term WP success. When on a long distance hike virtually always I have a non WP sock to switch off to or possibly be used in combo with thinner WP socks.

    Liz 'Snorkel's cold weather foot system article had good things to offer. http://www.eathomas.com/2017/05/03/t...y-in-the-snow/

    BTW, in Artemis vid she said she saw dust? when she peeled off her RS's. Dust? inside socks, any kind of sock, can came from many different sources while backpacking. I've had that in well used fully functioning fully WP socks. Maybe, it was just my toe jam?

    FWIW, as a guesstimate, I've a pr of HANZ WP Crew Height Chillblocker with at least 80 wearings(backpacking days) on them that are still 100% WP. However, they are best in cooler weather! And since I do like having two pr socks with different characteristics on longer mixed conditions/transitional hikes I like to have thinner WP socks along with usually a high merino content mid wt sock. I think that arises out of a desire to continually modualize systems for greater applied diversification and potential wt savings.

    Philip Werner had a decent HANZ sock review. https://sectionhiker.com/hanz-chillb...-socks-review/


    If you went this far know you're fighting a sometimes justifiably anti WP and breathable bias. We don't have to always approach things with the first knee jerk most familiar notion to a topic all the time across the board though.

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