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When you think of purchasing waterproof gear for rainy or snowy conditions, your first thoughts probably lean towards the basics like rain jackets or duck boots. However, if you've ever found yourself out in the woods or on the trail wearing wet socks, you've also probably wished for gear to prevent that frustrating experience from happening again. When you're hiking or biking, wet feet can cause major discomfort and bring down your body temperature — so it'll be well worth your while to grab a few pairs of waterproof socks. Waterproof socks are an absolutely game-changing piece of gear to add to your list and don't worry, they won't feel like you're wrapping your feet in GORE-TEX. Of course, any waterproof option isn't going to match the coziness of your favorite fireside pair — they're thicker, feel a little bit like neoprene, and are not typically stretchy — but rest assured, the right ones will still be comfortable without letting water get in, even when you're submerging your feet in a pond or a puddle. We looked into a ton of different options and narrowed it down to some of the highest performers. With any of the following options, you'll add another layer to protect yourself against the elements, no matter what your wet weather activity of choice is.
1. An All-Purpose Lightweight Pair
These Randy Sun socks are a nice balance of price and performance, and should suit your feet well for all sorts of outdoor activities: in fact, these will work well for everything from fishing in the summer to snowboarding or skiing in the winter months. The waterproof membrane prevents water molecules from entering the socks. They come in both men's and women's sizes, and feature a toe seam to reduce blisters and abrasion, as well as a deep heel cup to prevent them from slipping down in thick winter boots. The socks are lightweight yet durable, and the tech fabric is moisture-wicking while still retaining breathability and comfort. Note: these socks are thick and not stretchy, so size up if you tend to like a looser fit.
2. Best for Cycling
If you're on your bike year round — even when you're getting pelted with rain and snow during your ride — then these are the socks for you. The triple-layer construction allows them to feel just like normal athletic socks while providing a waterproof and moisture-wicking performance, and the compression and odor-resistance make them perfect for long treks. They also feature some light cushioning and enough bulk to help you stay warm. One reviewer enthusiastically signed off on their waterproofing abilities, stating that "They will keep your feet dry. I've ridden with them for hours in downpours with shoes and boots that were waterlogged by the end of the ride."
3. A Merino Wool Pair Made for Snow
With waterproof, premium Merino wool and a flexible four-way stretch, these Sealskinz socks will rarely leave your feet throughout the fall and winter. They're incredibly comfortable and equally as practical, offering a water-tight fit whether you're snowboarding or taking a winter trek. The socks are handmade in the UK, and the flat seam prevent blisters for an extremely comfortable fit. Merino wool is absolutely the best material for warmth: they provide insulation and trap heat inside while letting moisture escape, so you won't sweat or feel claustrophobic in them, either.
4. The Best Knee-High Pair
If you're looking for a higher waterproof sock, this SuMade pair is a great choice: think of these as the perfect option for things like wading when out fishing or hunting waterfowl. With the knee-high construction, they'll add some extra warmth while keeping moisture out, and they're still breathable enough that your legs won't feel totally smothered. The socks come in a bunch of different colors and styles, and reviewers claim that they fit true to size.
5. A Water-Resistant Pair for Working Outside
While this multi-pack isn't completely waterproof, we love these Dickie's socks too much to leave them off this list. The moisture-wicking, water-resistant pair can't be submerged in water, but we wanted to note that fully waterproof socks are pricier and not as breathable as regular socks. If you work outside daily and don't plan on wading into a stream, you might prefer these lighter, more affordable, and more breathable pack. Our advice? Wear them with a great pair of waterproof boots, and their moisture-wicking performance should be plenty to keep your feet dry, happy, and warm throughout your work day.
READ MORE: The 5 Best Women's Rain Boots
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