Why We Chose It: Waterproof, comfortable, sweat-wicking.
With a laser focus on waterproof accessories, British manufacturers Sealskinz are a brand who stick to what they do best, creating precipitation-proof socks, gloves, hats and overshoes. They have a broad range of products, not by type, but by intended use, encapsulating everything from the dynamic pursuits of cycling, hiking and watersports to more genteel activities like fishing, golf and photography.
Their Waterproof All Weather Ankle Length Sock with Hydrostop (let’s just refer to it as the Ankle Sock henceforth) is designed to feel like a standard stretchy hiking sock and there’s no need to treat it any differently when it comes to washing either. Yet, behind this façade is a highly technical piece of footwear that’s suitable for a wide range of adventurous activities.
Who Are They For?
Quite simply, the Ankle Socks are designed for anyone who wants to keep their feet dry while enjoying adventurous activities. This could be hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers, fly fishing enthusiasts, paddlers or boaters. At over £30 a pair, it’s unlikely many are purchasing these for casual wear around the house or for town, though they may appeal to commuters who are fed up of arriving at the office with sodden feet.
Materials and Construction
Three bonded layers make up the main fabric of the Ankle Socks. Each has its own important job to fulfil. The outer features 4-way stretch nylon, which leads to great fit and wearability. A hydrophilic membrane is the meat in the sandwich, giving the sock its waterproof qualities and releasing steam and warm air caused by sweat, thus keeping your foot cool and comfortable. Finally, the inner is woven from merino wool, which is well known for its insulating and sweat-wicking properties. The result is a sock that keeps water off your feet whilst allowing internal moisture to escape. So confident in their waterproof qualities that Sealskinz offer a lifetime guarantee on all their products.
The other notable element of the Ankle Sock’s construction is its Hydrostop feature. Anyone who has spent a day hiking through the British uplands in dreich conditions will know how runoff from waterproof layers can collect, discover weaknesses, and eventually seep through to your mid and base layers. The Ankle Socks also have an elastic taping around the cuff, which effectively clings to your ankle and stops water from running off your leg into your sock.
The Ankle Socks are also designed to prevent blisters and feature a seamless design, reducing friction, irritation and eliminating areas that could be prone to chafing. Elastic support gives your feet reinforcement on the ankle, heel and instep, which improves comfort and performance during dynamic activities.