We’ve enjoyed over two years of use and abuse with the Sealskinz waterproof MTB Mid Knee Sock…
Mountain bike riding in winter is great craic slipping and sliding around in the schlop, but it can be hard on your extremities. Your feet are generally first to make contact with the mud, water, snow and all manner of winter elements, so they need protecting.
Simply put, shitty socks don’t cut it. You need something better than summer anklets in winter – something that will keep you dry and warm.
Specialists in taking the misery out of the grim, Sealskinz have a full range of weather-proofing garments that’s backed by over 30 years of experience. And their MTB Mid Knee and MTB Mid Mid Knee with Hydrostop fit the bill for bike riders seeking out 100 per cent waterproof socks.
Sealskinz Waterproof Sock Description
The Mid Knee is a performance mid weight, knee length waterproof sock designed specifically for MTB, which offers a balance of warmth and breathability with added coverage.
The Mid Mid Sock with Hydrostop is a performance mid weight 100% waterproof calf length sock that reduces water entry into the cuff from a silicon elasticated band.
Both use merino wool in their construction.
What is Merino Wool?
Finer than traditional wool with tiny overlapping scales that case each fibre, these scales are hydrophobic (water repellent). Inside it’s a different story, the fibre core is hydrophilic (highly absorbant). Merino is therefore a wicking fibre and can absorb and release 10 times more moisture than synthetics.
Each fibre can absorb up to one third of its own weight in moisture without feeling clammy or wet to the touch. In their socks and gloves, the moisture is then wicked through the membrane to keep you feeling warm and dry.
Sealskinz Waterproof Sock Details
- 100% Waterproof, Windproof & Breathable
- 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
Sealskinz Waterproof Sock Ride Impressions
You know the story – first trail, first puddle and, boom, cold wet feet for the rest of the morning. There’s nothing worse as the coldness eats away at you from the get-go. It was hard enough to get out of bed in darkness and now your feet are slowing turning into blocks of ice. You might carry spare gloves, but you’ll never carry spare socks, so at the very least, Sealskinz eliminate this problem in one hit.
The socks initially have a weird feeling when you put them on. Thicker and stiffer than regular socks, I always feel like I’m stepping into a wet suit. However, the neat, flat seams ensures there’s no rubbing or irritation when wearing shoes. They are a comfy fit.
The fit of the knee-length sock was on the money too. Coming up just under my knee pads, never once did it slip down my leg when riding, which actually surprised me.
The calf-length sock has a silicon-like inner band at the top of the sock. It’s designed to prevent water running down the inside of the sock, but also grips securely to your leg preventing slippage. At first – as the band grips the hairs on your leg – it’s a weird feeling, but one that passes as quickly as it arrives.
I’ve put over two years worth of riding in with both the SealSkinz MTB Mid Knee Socks and also their shorter calf-length MTB Mid Mid Socks with Hydrostop. Sealskinz advertise them as 100 per cent waterproof and to be honest, that’s pretty much exactly what you are getting – waterproof socks, which for any die hard MTB rider is essential for winter riding (or a normal Irish summer for that matter).
I’ve worn these socks in the rain, mud and gutters, through streams and during the bitterly cold snow storms of 2018. I even used them on a skiing holiday. I can’t fault them, they keep your feet dry and relatively warm.
Priced at £42 (€46 approx) for both options seems expensive for a sock, but at the time of this review (now on season #3) they’ve paid for themselves time and time again. In the past I tended to wince every time I splashed a freezing cold puddle of a Sunday ride, now I just smash them for fun. So I guess that in itself is telling enough!
*Updated: Since this original review (Jan 2019), I’m now on my third winter with the Sealskinz and still going strong. No rips, tears, nothing. I’ve also started using the shorter Mid Mid Knee for road cycling too. Ok, the fashion police may not be too impressed, but they’re working a treat!
- SealSkinz MTB Mid Knee Socks: £42.00 / €46.00
- SealSkinz MTB Mid Mid Socks with Hydrostop: £42.00 / €46.00
*Prices at time of Jan 2019