Years ago I was gifted a pair of waterproof socks, which seemed like a great solution to  long hikes where I invariably got my feet wet. The alternative was to continue along the trail with wet feet or take my boots off to cross streams, which is time consuming and could lead to injury.

The problem with the water proof socks were that I just couldn’t stand to wear them. Made of thick material, they made my toes feel cramped and instantly made my feet sweat. It didn’t matter how much water they kept out when my feet were soaking wet from sweat.

Along comes DexShell, which produces a range of waterproof products, most notably their socks and hats. All their products use an assortment of synthetic fibers such as nylon and acrylic coupled with natural merino wool. We had the chance to test a pair of DexShell waterproof socks. We can safely say they work phenomenally well, and you can actually stand to wear them for an entire day.

In evaluating this product, we took our socks through two rounds of trial testing. The first was to just wear them for a day. I strapped them on and slipped into a pair of high-tops to simulate a hiking boot and wore the socks for an entire day at the office. My toes did feel a little cramped, though I might have needed a larger size. Overall the socks offered plenty of breath-ability so that I actually forgot about them after not too long.

Next we tested the waterproof qualities by dunking my foot into a bucket of water. With my foot fully submerged it took about a minute for the outer layer of the sock to reach full saturation. After a minute I could feel the coolness of the water and my feet felt heavy under the weight of whatever water had been absorbed. After five minute I took off the sock to discover my foot completely dry — a rousing success.

As a final test we looked at the socks ability to repel water even under fully submersed conditions. We realize this isn’t really within the sock’s prescribed abilities, but we wanted to give it a shot anyway. After a minute of being fully submerged, the sock did give up water through the ankle but to our surprise my foot was predominantly still dry. Over extended periods, we figure the entire sock would fill with water, but it’s nice to know that even fully submerged these socks can still do their job.

While many hikers and campers might scoff at the idea of wearing waterproof socks, we can see some practical solutions that would make a world of difference in the outdoors. Consider using them in a pair of wading boots. Water is bound to slip down the boot, yet with the DexShell socks that’s no problem. With the socks pulled up your calf, the DexShell socks offer the ability to cross creeks and streams and keep moving with dry and comfortable feet. MSRP $39

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Photo credit: DexShell