Heading out in inclement weather need not be an exercise in overdressing. Base layer, outer layer, socks, shoes and shoe covers. All the kitting-up time can be a drag, but what if you could eliminate one step by going with the new Super Thin Pro Hydrostop socks from SealSkinz?
SealSkinz Super Thin Pro Hydrostop Socks Features:
- 3-layer StretchDry waterproof/breathable membrane
- Windproof and impervious to sand and grit
- New bamboo inner lining
- New nylon/acrylic knit outer layer
- Elastic, grippy cuff to keep water out
- 33% lighter than previous thin models
- Machine washable
- Lifetime guarantee
- MSRP: $50
Ditch those shoe covers… mostly
The process of kitting up for winter rides just got easier with the new SealSkinz Super Thin Pro Hydrostop socks. These knit wonders are nothing short of magic for cold and wet rides. Admittedly, I’ve seen but not used their previous-generation Hydrostop socks. I looked at them and felt they were too thick to fit into any of my road shoes.
Well, at Interbike 2017, these new socks were introduced and caught my attention. I’m not going to lie, they are still thick and quite a bit oversized compared to my usual winter-weight socks, but I like them — a lot.
At the core of these socks is SealSkinz’ Hydrostop membrane. This stretchy material is sandwiched between an outer nylon/acrylic layer and an inner bamboo layer. In concert, this three-layer sock wicks away moisture, keeps moisture and wind out and insulates against the cold. It really is the trifecta of joy in a winter sock.
Now, I’ll admit that when I first put them on, they felt a bit like I was wearing Shaquille O’neal’s socks. They are loose-fitting and don’t offer much compression, but the length is good and the Y-gore heel cup keeps everything place just right. Luckily, I have a pair of Specialized Audax road shoes that offer a little extra width to accommodate these socks. My racier shoes won’t accommodate the extra girth of these socks.
As with arm or leg warmers, you should fold down the top first before putting them on or taking them off. That way, you don’t have to fight the grippy silicon. You’re welcome.
On my first ride, I faced 38-degree temperatures with gusty north winds. The wind chill made things downright cold. I tucked a light pair of shoe covers in my jersey pocket just in case, but I never needed them. That’s not to say that my feet didn’t get cold (they did). But, I still didn’t feel the need to bring out the shoe covers and my toes never froze — just got a little chilly.
Since that time I’ve used these for cold mountain bike rides and on hundreds of miles of road riding — mostly with temperatures in the mid-40’s. The result? Well, I’m almost ready to ditch the shoe covers completely and I truly appreciate the simplicity they provide.
Admittedly, the fit is a little “disconnected” but, the simplicity is worth it. I do have to loosen my shoes up a touch and you do lose some shoe feel because of the thickness, but that’s okay. The silicon rubber atop the cuff keeps these socks in place and keeps moisture from dripping down your leg and into the sock. The outer knit does soak up water, but it stays there and doesn’t penetrate the membrane — pretty slick.
I love the length of these and the bright yellow color is fantastic. They resist stains and clean up great. I’ve stuck with hand washing and drip drying and will continue to do so (you never know how these would be treated if I just threw them in the wash in our household of 6).
- Enough cold weather protection to nearly ditch shoe covers completely
- Bamboo lining is soft next-to-skin
- Breathe really well
- Keeps nasty weather out
- “Super Thin” is still pretty darn thick
- Might not squeeze into your regular cycling shoes
The Bottom Line: SealSkinz Super Thin Pro Hydrostop Socks
Originating from the UK, SealSkinz has quite the following in wet-weather climates. These new Super Thin Pro Hydrostop socks are thinner and lighter than the originals yet still provide all the benefits. Yes, they are considerably thicker than typical cycling socks, but the simplicity can’t be denied. I’m absolutely loving these in place of shoe covers for most winter rides these days.
More Info: Visit SealSkinzUSA.com (socks available soon)