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Verdict: 
Useful and genuinely waterproof and breathable socks
Weight: 
123g
Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Socks
8 10

I've always been sceptical about waterproof socks, but after spending a good few weeks with the Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Socks, my doubts have been almost completely dispelled. They're toasty warm, keep your feet dry in almost all circumstances, and don't feel like plastic bags over your feet.

  • Pros: Waterproof, reasonably breathable, warm
  • Cons: Cost

How's this been achieved? Well, Showers Pass says that these socks are constructed of three layers to achieve its goals of waterproofness, but also breathability and a sock-like feel.

> Buy these online here

Outside, they look like a pair of think winter socks thanks to a tough-wearing knitted exterior with toe and heel reinforcement, while the middle layer is a breathable yet waterproof Artex membrane that you can visually see through the yarn if you stretch the sock. The innermost layer is a 'Coolmax FX' antibacterial and moisture-wicking lining designed to help with comfort as well as help get moisture moving.

Together, the three layers do a great job to provide a protective shield for your feet without insulating them too much. I've not only used them on the bike (along with toe warmers and once with full-on shoe covers), but also during rowing outings where they've not only been hit with rain and splashback, but have also been dipped into the river too.

The result in every case is that my feet (with the addition of trainer liners on freezing mornings) have always remained dry in all conditions short of repeated submerging and then squeezing to actively force water through. That's including some of the sleety-freezing rain conditions we've enjoyed in the south west recently. You can even fill them up with tap water with surprisingly little leakage, and when they come out of the wash soggy, you can make small balloons out of them.

Despite this, breathability is remarkably good, as long as the weather isn't too warm. I found as long as I wore them in sub-10°C temperatures they were able to keep my feet cool and relatively dry – certainly dryer than I've found by wearing shoe covers in similar conditions. If I were wearing trainer liners these would sometimes end up a touch damp, but you can expect that when you do start to get a little warm.

They're also marketed as being lightweight – Showers Pass says they're nine per cent lighter over the old lightweight waterproof socks – and we weighed them at 123g in the L/XL size on test. Don't be fooled too much: they're still winter sock thick, and then some. If you're wearing shoes that fit you perfectly already in the summer (as I do), you're going to be squeezing your toes quite a bit if you're wearing them during the winter, which has a knock-on effect on all-important circulation, which can really affect how warm your feet are.

> How to keep your feet warm while cycling in winter

If you've some shoes you wear for winter only, perhaps a half size bigger to accommodate winter socks, then these are perfect. Otherwise, you'll need to be careful if you still want warm feet without dreaded pins and needles.

The sizing is excellent, although it's worth pointing out that when you pull them on, they don't line up quite right if you assume the chevron design on the rear is supposed to be square with the centre of the back of your leg. If you do line it up, then the foot and ankle sections feel twisted. It's not the end of the world, though, and as long as you're comfortable around the foot and ankle you forget about the slight design misalignment.

Nevertheless, the socks are a remarkably flexible and useful piece of kit to have for those cold and wet days – for cycling and more. Yes at £27, they're expensive, but they definitely have their use and are certainly worth a try if you like to take the elements on, rather than hide from them.

Verdict

Useful and genuinely waterproof and breathable socks

road.cc test report

Make and model: Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Socks

Size tested: L/XL

Tell us what the product is for

These are socks are for cold, wet weather, and are designed to keep your feet warm and dry, while also allowing a good level of breathability.

Showers Pass says:

"We developed Crosspoint Waterproof Socks to solve the soggy toe problem and to keep your feet dry while cycling, running, hiking, hunting, any outdoor activity in the rain. Our socks are fully waterproof thanks to 3-layers: a wear resistant knit exterior (feels like a regular sock), a waterproof breathable Artex membrane, and a Coolmax FX moisture wicking anti-bacterial lining. The result is a sock that feels like a sock but protects like a rain bootie. Now you don't have to choose between keeping your feet dry and breathability (we don't like sweaty feet either). A reinforced toe and heel provide comfort and durability."

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

I have to walk on wooden boards without shoes on for my rowing, so this is a great place to test them. They're hard, and haven't snagged or worn at all.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

If you've got good circulation to your feet, they've very good indeed. Completely douse them in cold water and you'll feel it, but it'll be cold you feel rather than the wet.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

No faults to report as yet apart from a light discolouration underfoot (unsurprising given the rowing tests I've put them through too).

Rate the product for fit:
 
5/10

It's a strange fit that doesn't logically line up with the design somehow. Maybe it's my specific pair, but actually as long as you wear them so they're comfortable and ignore the design, it's fine.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

You can size them according to Showers Pass' size guide accurately.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

123g is good given the layers in these L/XL socks.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

The lining is very comfortable when worn directly against the skin.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

I can't ever describe £27 socks as great value, but they're worth the money given that they're a useful piece of kit and effective too.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Very well – they remain waterproof after 'normal' 40 degree washing.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well indeed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Waterproofness, reasonable breathability, snug feeling.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The fit/design and the cost.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, I'd buy another pair as I'd get plenty of use out of them for my rowing as well as my cycling.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

These are very good warm and waterproof socks that manage to be quite breathable too.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 188cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016)  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

3 comments

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carytb [131 posts] 6 months ago
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I've got some sealskin waterproof socks and the problem I get with them is that the wool at the top of the socks gets wet and it then the moisture wicks down on the inside of the membrane. Result wet feet. Does this not happen with these?

 

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [314 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Hey, road.cc, how about a waterproof sock shootout?

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Ashley Quinlan [1 post] 6 months ago
0 likes

Hi carytb, good question.

I've not tried the SealSkins myself, but I can tell you that the Showers Pass socks reviewed here were impressive in the way they kept water out. I noticed a tiny bit of 'seepage' when I literally submerged them in water and then applied repeated pressure to them, effectively forcing water against the membrane (its hard not to while rowing sometimes!).

Obviously, we're talking cycling here, in which case I was kept remarkably dry in wet conditions, given that my shoes were wet from splash and some rain but my feet dry (if feeling cold thanks to the wet shoe surrounding my feet). Over particularly long stints on the bike under constant pressure from water ingress, it's likely that, eventually, they're going to be overcome in some form or another. So for a bit of extra assuredness in the worst conditions (e.g. constant rain, repeated heavy showers), I'd recommend teaming them with toe covers or even full shoe covers - at least that way you protect your shoes too! But if the conditions are genuinely 'wet but rideable' within the bounds of reason, they shouldn't let much (if any) water in through the membrane.