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review

Giro Xnetic H20 Socks

8
£34.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Warm, comfortable and waterproof, yet breathable enough for mild rides
Waterproof
Breathable
Warm
As bulky as most waterproof socks
Weight: 
64g
Contact: 

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Giro's Xnetic H2O Socks do a good job of keeping your feet dry (and relatively unsweaty), and stay comfortable and warm when the weather gets nasty. Their inevitable thickness can cause issues with shoe fit, but they're no worse than any of their rivals for that.

These, like most waterproof socks, have a layered construction. You've got a nylon fabric outer, a 'RainGuard' membrane as a midlayer, and another fabric layer next to your skin.

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This protects that vital membrane and keeps them feeling comfy, but obviously adds bulk, which can bring other issues – squeezing them into your regular shoes can lead to reduced circulation and cold feet. So long as your winter shoes are a bit roomier, though, it's not a problem.

The RainGuard membrane proved effective on wet rides, and I've gave these a few full submersions in my bath to doublecheck – they had no leaks that I could detect. Despite this, these socks are fairly breathable too, and when the weather is mild you don't get that nasty boil-in-the-bag effect.

2022 Giro Xnetic H20 Socks 3.jpg

The inner fabric is 85% bamboo and particularly soft against the skin. It's bamboo's natural smoothness that makes it so unlikely to irritate skin, which is why many people – Giro included – claim it's hypoallergenic. It's worth noting, however, there aren't any standards to be met before you can make that claim, and 15% of this isn't bamboo anyway.

Either way, the liner feels very soft, which is great if you have sensitive skin (or even if you don't). This, plus the near-seamless construction, makes the Xnetics very comfortable.

> 37 of the best pieces of waterproof cycling clothing

There's reinforcement at the heel and the toes for a touch more cushioning and durability, while the fit is good – they weren't baggy anywhere even on my relatively narrow feet.

Giro rates the Xnetic H2Os for temperatures between 2-10 degrees, and I'd broadly agree with that. Pair these and a good set of shoe covers and you might be able to go a couple of degrees lower, while on my milder rides this winter I've had no problem with overheating.

Value

At £34.99 these are very close to the competition. Dexshell's general-use Thermlite Socks are less at £30, but its cycling-specific Ultra Dri Sports Socks are £34 (amazingly, the same price as when we reviewed them in 2018).

The Showers Pass National Geographic socks are £35 as well, making the Giros as good for value as any.

Overall

These are comfortable, breathable and very effectively waterproof – which is all you can ask for, really.

Verdict

Warm, comfortable and waterproof, yet breathable enough for mild rides

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Giro Xnetic H20 Socks

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

Giro says, perhaps to a very elderly listener: "THE WATERPROOF XNETIC H2O SOCKS CAN BE WORN WITH NEARLY ANY CYCLING SHOE, PROVIDING DRY WARMTH AND COMFORT WHEN CONDITIONS ARE LESS THAN IDEAL."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Giro says: "Xnetic H2O socks combine waterproof performance, seamless construction, and breathable fibers in a knit construction for the highest level of flexibility available. The unique three-layer composition fuses our RainGuard membrane between a durable nylon outer shell and hypoallergenic liner, for use in wet weather and temperatures that dip towards freezing."

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Nice. There's a slight ballooning as air can get trapped, but it's no problem once your shoes are on.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Very comfortable thanks to the inner lining and good shape.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

On par with rivals out there.

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

Giro suggests to hand wash these socks in cold water, but having got them particularly filthy I found they stood up to a 30 degree wash okay.

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

Solidly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The performance, neat construction and comfort.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The inevitable thickness of multi-layered waterproof socks.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At £34.99 these are very close to the competition. Dexshell's general-use Thermlite Socks are less at £30, but its cycling-specific Ultra Dri Sports Socks are £34 (amazingly, the same price as when we reviewed them in 2018).

The Showers Pass National Geographic socks are £35 as well, making the Giros as good for value as any.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 32  Height: 188cm  Weight: 80kg

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

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Dabble in Zwift training and racing

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4 comments

Avatar
wtjs | 2 years ago
1 like

Agreed- the Aldi ones are excellent. I always wondered why the inner layer contained a lot of obsolete cotton, when I thought it should be a synthetic for durability. It appears that the aim is comfort for cycling where there's not much of a 'wear' problem. However, I did quite a lot of walking on the Pennine Bridleway and they stood up well to that also as well as saving me from several wet-feet days

Avatar
dave_t replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

I've got a favourite pair of walking boots that are now very old and no longer waterproof, the Aldi socks have allowed me to keep wearing them even in wet conditions.

Avatar
dave_t | 2 years ago
1 like

I bought a couple of pairs of waterproof socks from Aldi a couple of years ago, have remained waterproof to this day and only cost about £12, one of my best purchases ever. Similar socks with the Porelle membrane can be had from Decathlon for about £20.

Avatar
Freddy56 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Will try these, my sealskins are not breathable, so hoping these keep my feet warm on the MTB.

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