How Waterproof Socks Work
Waterproof socks are an essential piece of kit for any outdoor adventurer, especially if you’re planning to do some hiking, running or cycling. While there are a lot of different options out there and each is suited to specific activities or conditions, most waterproof socks work in very similar ways. Go here
How do you wash waterproof socks?
Generally speaking, the main element that keeps water out is a tightly knitted, thick layer of fabric that covers the foot. This layer is normally a mix of cotton, nylon and elastane or some sort of technical polyester which is designed to be soft on the feet but tough enough to resist snags and tears.
Then there’s the outer layer which is typically a combination of polyamide, lycra and elastane or some other synthetic fibre that provides both comfort and durability. The waterproof membrane itself varies between brands but some like the DexShell models below use the Porelle membrane which stops water molecules coming in but lets sweat molecules out, keeping your feet cool and dry.
Other key factors to consider are how much warmth your socks provide, as well as how breathable they are. While most waterproof socks will be less breathable than a standard sock due to the 3-layer construction, some manufacturers are now combining breathability with waterproofness in their fabrics and these are a great option for anyone looking for the best of both worlds.
It’s worth remembering that waterproof socks are usually a little thicker than normal socks and may feel bulky inside your shoes. They are also likely to wash up a little differently, with the waterproof membrane prone to damage from harsh chemicals found in some detergents so it’s best to turn them inside out and only wash them with detergents specifically designed for technical fabrics.