Water Proof Socks – Winter Hiking Without Cold Wet Feet


I started using waterproof socks a few years ago based on my buddy Meerkat’s recommendation. The protection and warmth they give my feet in the winter changed how I winter backpacked. They have a nice cushion, wool wicking material inside and a strong outer shell. I’ve tried the whole bread bag thing to shield your socks away from the water but it’s just not for me.

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31 comments

  • Hey Frozen, I had a pair of Randy Sun waterproof socks and after testing them at home I thought they were a little damp inside so I ordered a pair of Seal Skinz and did two tests with one of each sock. 1. put water in a bucket and soaked my feet several minutes 2. turned the socks inside out and filled up with the faucet like you did. I didn't see any obvious leaks so I turned them right side out. I let both socks air dry overnight. The next morning I put my hand in the socks and they feel damp. I had a paper towel in one of them and it was definitely damp. the Randy Sun socks were more damp than Seal Skinz but they were definitely both damp. Is this normal?

  • Thanks for the review…..! Have you has any problems with blisters…?

  • With the midweight have you had to get a larger trail runner to accommodate the extra width or did your normal shoe size work well?

  • I recently purchased a pair of waterproof socks and haven’t used them yet. Actually, purchased them for use on the Pinchot Trail and didn’t need them. Take Care

  • Tell me about best warm winter shoes for – 20° celsius. And best thermal, best jacket as well

  • T B

    great info but the music is very distracting.

  • I have military ones, likely made by Sealskinz, Other military ones I own are more like gore like bags that fit looser. I'll be trying them out this fall/winter.

  • I usually wear Altra Lone Peaks but I wore waterproof thinsulate boots and put on waterproof socks on our rainy last day of Dolly Sods Circumnavigation in early spring (still snow on the ground). My brother wore Altras (and he usually wears waterproof boots ironically). I was the happier of the 2. Was that Dolly Sods in the beginning of the video? Looked like it.

  • Those socks have saved my but many times in the last year. Thank you

  • Waterproof socks and light sandals (e.g. xero shoes) – pretty much the best water crossing gear I have found for every season. Soaking your shoes not only makes them uncomfortable – it makes them heavier.

    As far as snow, goretex runners and gaiters work really great – as long as you don't fill them up with liquid water.

  • Wear Smartwool Liner socks.

  • Would these be useful for road running in heavy rain? If so, how are the mids for running?

  • My husband just got a pair after I showed him this video. He hasn't had a good test of them yet. I'm just afraid I'm going to ruin them by accidentally washing and drying them with the rest of our hiking clothes. Also, I am a new subscriber and I really enjoy your content.

  • We may have to try some of these

  • I'm very happy you did this video Frozen, thankyou.
    I've been looking in to this product lately, because I seem to have a relationship with bad weather lol.
    Couple weekends ago I did a trip to Shawnee state forest and it was the best and worst trip, beautiful but miserable weather, had a few fails lol, including my feet being wet and cold the whole trip, sometimes you just have bad fortune lol.
    Anyways thankyou again for the review and the info on the heat and why the socks would fail, as always, you are a great well of information, think I'm about to go and get a pair today👍👍😁

  • In an effort to not lose all my summer hiking fitness over the winter months, I've taken up a bit of trail running. Nothing long and/or strenuous, just enough to give the legs and lungs a good stretch. When the trail is hard packed, I don't have any problem in the Altras and Darn Toughs, but if it's soft snow or slushy at all, my feet are a frozen pond when I get back to the car. This is just what I need!

  • I too have been doing the waterproof socks this winter season. Decided to go with Randy Sun for the price difference. Using them with my Altra Trail runners. So far, with a couple hundred miles in Snow, rain, shallow creeks, etc… I'm impressed. Though now that you mentioned Seal Skins having the lifetime warranty, i may end up going that route!

  • Hey friend. I have always been worried about getting swamp foot when wearing these. Unfortunately my feet do sweat a lot.

  • jason I got a pair of Sundry before my son and I hiked the Moshannon State forest. When we got up there we had 6" of snow or better on the ground. I wore a pair of darn toughs inside of them and was amazed at how they kept my feet dry and warm! Definitely worth the money. I may have missed it in your video but what did you wear inside of them? anything?

  • 1. For winter running: thin polyester liner socks plus plastic bags plus merino outer socks plus a running shoe. 2. Winter day hikes or snowshoeing: Baffin insulated soft shell hiking boots, plus I add plastic bags if it is really cold to keep the insulation dry. 3. Winter camping or super cold snowshoe day: Sorrell pack boots with removable liners that I can sleep with to keep my boots from freezing. (Not great for long hikes though, heavy and clunky.) 4. Cross country skiing or mountain biking: Electric/battery warmed socks. I am in Canada, it gets cold up here at times!

  • Been using sealskinz for last 3 yrs and I love them. Actually stumbled upon them reading Joe’s ( owner Zpacks) gear list for cdt and studied up on them. Only thing I’d like to add is I bring extra gal ziplock bag and put them in the ziplock then at night stuff them in my foot box of my quilt. Your body temp keeps them warm and when you wake and up put them on right away even with cold wet shoes your feet will be warm right away.

  • Might pick up a thin pair of these to use in my shoes for camp shoes. Rather than carry sandals, crocs or slippers etc. Great review!

  • They also make 4 season hiking in keens a reality on wet & snowy sections. Though if it’s snow and micro spikes all day, every day then boots are still preferred for me.

  • I'm curious about the "Rocky" brand which is made of Gore-tex.

  • Thanks Jason this was a very timely video. I’m going to be doing some hiking on the Pinchot trail and understand it can be very wet. Take Care.

  • Same principle but simpler & more versatile option: VB socks (basically, an extremely durable bread bag). Phil Werner (sectionhiker.com) uses them pretty extensively for winter backpacking in the Whites.

  • That sounds like it would work well for the shoulder seasons or winter trips without much snow. 👍 Not sure how well that would work in deep winter backpacking. ie White mountains/Adirondacks. Great video! The struggle is real trying to talk to a freaking camera! Haha

  • Nice got to get some. I am planning a thru hike on AT hopefully in next month. Pray i work it out. Good Lord willing. Take any advice. Thanks. 😆 hahaha i am KFC.

  • I use snowshoeing boots with compression socks. They’re good for any condition.

  • If your foot is sweating all day then how does your foot stay dry? I dont believe the sock can wick it away as fast as I sweat.

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