Sealskinz socks or winter shoes/boots?

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  • Sealskinz socks or winter shoes/boots?
  • Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    Everyone will have a different view, but I’m a Sealskinsz/overshoe wearer.
    I like the overshoes because even if they get covered in mud, the shoes underneath are clean, so I can walk inside (when I get to work) without leaving a trail of mud.
    The combination of socks and overshoes keep my feet warm, but maybe this doesn’t work for you.

    mrbelowski
    Member

    My left sock is waterproof, the right one isn’t. Not ideal but one foot does actually stay dry

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Sealskinz are fine for breathability, and you ought to be able to find some for under £30… I’d suggest the calf length ones not the ankles- getting the tops further away from the puddles seems to help keep the water out. Mileage seems to vary but I’ve never had a problem with them, sometimes they do let a bit of water in but it’s still far better than the alternative- keeps you much warmer. I killed a set by drying them with heat, they do not like that.

    (£13.99 at cyclesurgery if you’re a small, £17 from CRC for all sizes, for the thin mid lengths.)

    Premier Icon postierich
    Subscriber

    I use both Shimano goretex boots and sealskin socks never had cold feet!

    back2basics
    Member

    PI goretex shoes and seal skins, good combo, but if water does get into the sock I find it traps it , they can also be tricky to dry quickly. ..

    Go knee high

    c_klein87
    Member

    sealskin waterproof socks are total crap, turned mine into overshoes, decent merino socks, or woolie bullies and good overshoes are a much better option

    Premier Icon Keando
    Subscriber

    Calf length Sealskinz & Spesh Defroster boots work well for me

    butcher
    Member

    Every year my feet suffer through the winter. Usually once they get wet, and ravished by the wind. Neoprene overshoes have helped a bit, but they only really delay the inevitable. Is it possible to have warm, dry feet through the winter?

    Riding would be mostly road, and light off-road, on SPDs.

    Sealskinsz waterproof socks sound like a great place to start on a budget. Reviews I’ve heard have been mixed though, from awesome, to pointless. I assume they’re more breathable than plastic bags (I would hope so anyway, for £30)?

    Other option is new winter shoes, but the prices scare me. So cheap as possibly really. Less than £100. Preferably less than £60! Though I’m maybe prepared to pay for the Holy Grail, if it exists.

    Premier Icon langylad
    Subscriber

    OP, I think most of the people who reply ‘sealskins and shimano goretex’ are the answer, don’t get the ‘oh my god my circulation is so bad and my feet are so cold I want to cry’ thing. I ride with plenty of chaps who moan a bit about cold feet, whereas it properly ruins my rides from december onwards.
    I have found for road riding (where it hurts the most), the best solution for me, which makes the rides bareable, is merino socks, overlayed with a plastic bag (sandwich bags fit my feet), normal road shoes and neoprene overshoes. Add to this battery heated insoles that i exchange with the normal insoles. Can get them on ebay for about 20 quid, really made a difference for me.

    Premier Icon nickdavies
    Subscriber

    Sealskins are brilliant. Waterproof, breathable, and at £30 is pretty cheap considering if you trash them, you buy a new pair, and if you have a waterproof boot you trash you can’t.

    Tend to ride in them all year round, just different thicknesses for summer/winter.

    I use Sealskins and love them, but it’s the normal length ones which once water gets in means your foot has it’s own little bath. I’ll be going with mid length ones for this winter which should help solve that. Yes CRC have them on sale at the moment, even so £30 isn’t that bad when you look at the price of waterproof boots.

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    I do have ‘proper’ winter spd boots (shimano mw02) but actually find my preferred combo is Sealskins with these…

    steve_b77
    Member

    Winter boots are great when it’s cold, but crapola when it’s properly wet as they just fill up with water. The same can be said for sealskinz.

    When it’s properly wet woolie socks and normal shoes off road or coupled with neoprene overshoes on the road

    jkomo
    Member

    Just got back from CYB in torrential rain.
    I had seal skins, spd’s and neoprene overshoes.
    Made a huge mistake though, had the socks over some tights.
    The water soaked into the tights above the sock and ran down inside where it couldn’t escape.
    My feet stayed warm though, due to the over shoes.
    My mate had Aldi water proof socks, trainers and overshoes.
    Trainers soaked but feet properly dry and warm.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    This year might be the one where I finally cut some holes in the bottom of the set of sealskinz I have that are no longer very waterproof- just to see if it works to let the water back out 🙂

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    Reynaud’s sufferer, so know a bit about cold feet and the pain they can cause when riding.

    Best combo for me so far is long Sealskins and Shimano goretex. Even if the socks let water in from the top, they soon warm up again.

    Slogo
    Member

    I use seal skins, I’ve had a set for a few years and are starting to let water in. Not as quick as a set of normal socks. They feel a like having a bin bag between to socks. I use them sailing before getting proper boots.

    feet, head and hands are really important to me, £30 to keep the feet warm is nothing compared to cold wet feet.

    butcher
    Member

    Presumably the Sealskinz stop the wind too, to a degree anyway?

    I’m wondering if it’s best to buy the thick ones, or just go thin and put another pair of socks underneath…

    Superficial
    Member

    Neoprene overshoes have helped a bit, but they only really delay the inevitable. Is it possible to have warm, dry feet through the winter?

    IME, no. Not really. If it’s wet enough you just can’t stop water getting between your skin and socks / boots. Sealskins and waterproof boots protect your feet to a certain extent but they will eventually fill up from the top.

    However, do you actually care about wet feet? For me it’s not really a problem provided that they’re warm. And I haven’t been let down by my Shimano MW81 shoes +/- sealskins. And obviously appropriate layering and general body warmth. I don’t think I have pathological circulatory problems though. Just normal all-winter riding.

    The one combination I’m keen to try (but haven’t yet) is some waterproof lycra combined with winter boots, with the lycra somehow over the boot gaiter. I think that would stave off external water for even longer.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I’ve managed to keep my feet dry wearing Endura Stealth tights over Sealskinz or Gore socks. I also acquired some insulated Salomon snow-shoeing boots. The combination seems to work even in the most foul of winter conditions.

    ninfan
    Member

    Sealskins merino and a pair of spd shoes that are a clear size too big, bought in the sales

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    Never had Sealskinz* leak or let water in down the inside and been out in literally all weathers. 3/4 baggies and mid length or waterproof rights and mod length have been fine.

    *Apart from a set I holed accidentally…

    Premier Icon pb2
    Subscriber

    I am firmly in everything made by Sealskinz is utter crap, I am simply staggered that people still buy their stuff now everyone knows the truth !

    cbike
    Member

    Sealskins are pish and turn to powder if you get the wrong wash setting.

    i’m using Costco Merino blend tril socks and my 5 winter old , venerable Lake MXZ301’s.

    had a couple of zero deg c commutes this month, no problems with my feet… my fingers on the other hand……..![pun intended :)]

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    pb2 – Member
    I am firmly in everything made by Sealskinz is utter crap, I am simply staggered that people still buy their stuff now everyone knows the truth !
    POSTED 7 HOURS AGO #

    Perhaps because it has never failed me and just works. I have a working pair that are 12 years old…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    butcher – Member

    I’m wondering if it’s best to buy the thick ones, or just go thin and put another pair of socks underneath…

    Layering is better generally… I’ll wear different thicknesses of socks under mine depending on the weather. But I always have something on under them so I guess I’d be happy enough with the thicker ones too.

    cbike – Member

    Sealskins are pish and turn to powder if you get the wrong wash setting.

    I dunno man, if I had suffered a user error with a pair of socks, I don’t think I’d tell anyone.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    pb2 – Member
    I am firmly in everything made by Sealskinz is utter crap, I am simply staggered that people still buy their stuff now everyone knows the truth !

    But what is the truth?

    I’ve been happily wearing SealSkinz with sandals throughout winter for years and my feet stay warm and dry despite frequent dunkings while crossing icy water. It’s important to have a shoe or boot which doesn’t fill up with and retain the ice cold water though. (Sandals are crap winter footwear, but they don’t hold water. I may try Scotroute’s idea of drilling drain holes in a pair of boots).

    I think there’s 2 things to bear in mind.

    1. Get a size that you don’t have to stretch to get on to your feet – I can imagine that opening up the pores in the membrane.

    2. If you have a problem with water getting in through the tops of your SealSkinz, you’re the sort of person who would have the same problem with wellie boots. The solution is kind of obvious.

    Used to use sealskins but couldn’t get them to fit properley , might of ruined them in the wash so water came in the top to easily. This year I ave got some of the lake mxz303 boots. Not been cold yet but they kept my feet dry and I have ridden through some really deep puddles at tunnel hill and Caesars camp just to test them. Also found that one puddle went over the top, got a wet foot but foot was still warm. Happy foot!
    Not dissing sealskins they simply don’t work for me.

    mrchrispy
    Member

    Used to be a fan of sealskinz but many a pair came to a sticky end I’m the washing.
    Now a fully plaid up member of the northwave artic boots, if it’s too cold for them it’d be physically impossible to ride anyway, waterproof apart from the big hole in the top, no better or worse than socks in that respect

    Premier Icon chrispo
    Subscriber

    My conclusion is that unholed Sealskinz socks are great against the odd puddle and spray but cannot cope with serious MTB wetness, presumably this is because they’re breathable

    The gloves work well though as they don’t get the same hammering from puddles

    Ashley tell me about the 303’s

    mduncombe
    Member

    A couple of winters ago I splashed out for some North Wave Celsius Artic GTX. Worth every penny not had cold feet since buying them. Use them on my road and mountain bike. One issue is they are often too warm, so often find myself wearing my summer shoes and neoprene overshoes or sealskinz when its single digit temps and using the North Waves only when its a few degress either side of freezing

    Premier Icon madxela
    Subscriber

    Ride all winter in the peak district off road, and on road to commute.
    Goretex winter boots + sealskinz
    Never had cold feet but….

    Size your boots shoes bigger than normal to allow wiggle room in your toes even with thick socks.

    You will need merino lined socks (and boots) once it is below 5C and wet.

    Warmest boots are the northwave arctics
    Shimano also rated by my mates
    I use a non lined pair of Sidi’s most of the year, but they are not warm enough when it gets really cold.

    FOlks – NEVER WASH YOUR SEALSKINZ IN THE WASHING MACHINE
    hand wash in warm water with some pure soap only.
    They will then only wear out from holes
    (warning they may have a slight aroma..but then so do most of our shoes/boots)

    awaits flaming from OCD brigade 😉

    dunmail
    Member

    The main things to consider are not constricting blood flow and stopping movement of water. The first is most easily done by either getting a bigger shoe or using thinner socks (daft as it may sound). The second is a bit trickier: if you try and keep water out then you have to ensure that you do so as any water ingress will impair your insulation. The other way is to accept that some water will get in but then don’t allow it to move, this is how wet-suits work – once you’ve warmed the thin layer of water between you and the material it becomes part of the protection.

    The plastic bag/sandwich bag system is the old Vapour Barrier Layer developed by the US military and is very useful in really cold climates as it’s designed to stop your body sweat affecting your insulation. You need a very thin pair of inner socks inside the VBL otherwise it does feel a bit weird. These get damp from initial sweating but once the humidity reaches a certain level your feet stop sweating so they don’t get any wetter.

    With SPDs you also need a thicker insole in your shoes/boots to insulate you from the metal of the cleat mounting mechanism, another reason to have a bigger shoe size.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    chrispo – Member

    My conclusion is that unholed Sealskinz socks are great against the odd puddle and spray but cannot cope with serious MTB wetness, presumably this is because they’re breathable

    Mine cope with serious mtb wetness, frequently. Not 100% but, oh, let’s say 70%? I sometimes get wet in the worst conditions, like riding down kinlochleven snow-melt enduro-rivers, but I’m always better off than I would be with no sealskinz.

    Breathability doesn’t have much to do with waterproofness

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    I ride flats so proper winter boots aren’t an option.

    I did use Sealskinz for years but got fed up with them retaining water. I’ve ditched them and switched to normal merino socks. Infinitely better. They still get wet but at least they don’t hold the water in and my feet are considerably warmer than with sealskinz. Plus the merino is way cheaper.

    stanleigh
    Member

    Life is too short to have winter rides ruined with cold feet , just bite the bullet & buy some decent winterboots , they’re not cheap but you’ll get a few years out of them.

    I can remember my first Shimano MW80s , after spending almost just as much on overshoes , seal skins , morinos ect over the years.

    Then after years of cold feet , it was one of those OMG , why did I put this off for so long ?? – NEVER had cold feet since.

    Ok , they can let water in , in extreme conditions , but they still hold their warmth.

    belugabob
    Member

    Now a fully plaid up member of the northwave artic boots,

    At first, I thought that this was a typo, then I looked those boots up, and it turn out that they do look a bit tartan

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)

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