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If you've ever been to a cycling or outdoor trade show you may well have seen the lucky employees of Seal Skinz milling around in their socks in a plastic tub to prove how waterproof they are. These activity socks feature a fully waterproof membrane and are a great cold/wet weather choice, especially if your tootsies suffer on your winter rides.
Eagle-eyed readers may well be looking at the Activity sock and thinking, "that looks a lot like the walking sock that Seal Skinz used to do". And you'd be right to think that, because that's exactly what they are. Seal Skinz felt they were missing out by pigeon-holing these as walking gear, and a quick rebrand later you can use them for any 'activity', cycling included.
The sock itself is unchanged: Merino on the inside, acrylic outer and a hydrophilic membrane that's completely waterproof. The Activity sock has elasticated sections in the arch and ankle to give a close fit and it's a comfy sock. It's fairly thick so it may not fit in your race shoes but that's not going to be a good look anyway.
Out on the bike in the cold and wet it's everything you'd want a winter sock to be. It really is waterproof (and also windproof) and the breathability's not bad so long as the sock outer is dryish. They definitely kept my feet a lot warmer than a standard winter sock and even some very deliberate puddle hopping didn't get my toes wet, although water obviously still seeps down from the top over time. And, of course, you can use them for cold weather walking too. They wash easily on a 40° cycle and they're wearing very well.
The only downside is the price: at thirty quid a pair you're in danger of having socks that cost more than your shoes. It's money well spent, though, if your feet suffer in the cold and wet.
Very good cold and wet weather socks, worth investing if your feet suffer in the winter
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Make and model: Seal Skinz Activity socks
Size tested: L
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I\'m testing... My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.