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These GripGrab Merino-Lined Waterproof Winter Socks have no problem keeping the elements out. They are amazingly waterproof, and not overly bulky with it, plus they do an impressive job of keeping your feet warm too.
If you are not a fan of wet feet, then you need a pair of these GripGrab socks as literally nothing is getting through their layers.
They're made from a polyamide/elastane outer and a merino wool (45%), acrylic and elastane inner sandwiching a polyurethane membrane, and are very comfortable to wear.
With some waterproof socks I've worn, the materials slide against the membrane, which can feel odd, but you don't get any of that here. The GripGrabs feel just like a traditional pair of socks.
They aren't bulky, but their construction does make them a little thicker than standard socks so you'll need a bit of spare room in your shoes. This isn't something you normally allow for in road shoes, but if you own a specific pair of winter shoes or boots with a bit more room in them then these socks will fit fine.
The merino wool content on the inside helps the socks feel soft against the skin and warm too. Merino is famed for its insulation qualities and that is noticeable here. Get your feet soaked in cold water and you will barely feel the temperature change.
Breathability is okay; it's not a major issue for their intended winter use, but on warmer days your feet will sweat, and things can get a bit clammy – the downside of waterproofing.
The only downside to the GripGrabs being so waterproof is that if any water gets in over the top of the cuff, it's staying in there. If you ride using mudguards, or use waterproof trousers over the top covering the cuffs, this won't really be an issue, but it's worth bearing in mind.
I found them great for gravel rides where it wasn't necessarily raining but there was a lot of flooding, and I could walk or ride through most sections without getting my feet wet.
The overall quality is great. A reinforced heel and toe protect against wear, and there are no stray threads hanging off anywhere. There are seams, but none are positioned in a way that irritates.
Price aside, though, I really can't fault them; in terms of performance, comfort and quality they're great.
Not cheap, but great waterproofing and impressive comfort
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GripGrab Waterproof Merino Thermal Socks
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
GripGrab says, "The Merino-Lined Waterproof Winter socks are fully waterproof, insulating and comfortable cycling socks designed for the cold and very wet days.
Merino wool offers comfort, high breathability as well as excellent insulating properties, making these socks ideal in the wettest of conditions. Both heel and toe are Nylon-reinforced for added durability.
Notice: The socks are completely waterproof, but will get soaked if submerged in water to above the top cuff."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Heavy rain protection
* Nylon reinforced heel and toe
* Merino wool
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple instructions to follow, and they remained the same size and shape.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They keep the water out and are comfortable to wear.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Bulkier than traditional socks.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
A good tenner more expensive than those mentioned in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall, the quality is excellent, as is the comfort and the waterproofing. They are pricier than some of the competition, but I'd still pay full whack for them considering their performance.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!