These are the thinnest and subsequently, the most suitable socks in the Seal Skinz range for cycling. Ideal for cross, touring, winter training and mountain biking they keep feet bone dry and temperate without encroaching on performance cycling footwear’s snug fit. Every winter wardrobe should have a pair.
Emerging from the packet, they enjoy a tactile yet synthetic and slightly inflexible feel but this is quickly forgotten once on your feet. A three-layer sandwich system consists of an impermeable nylon/elastane outer, a second water and windproof, breathable membrane while the merino wool inner wicks sweat and moisture from the skin, keeping feet cool and hygienic. Elsewhere an elasticated support instep offers some welcome additional support. Sizing, unusually close to street, rather than cycling shoe, although I’m pleased to report our medium test pair intended for size 8 fitted my size 9s without feeling uncomfortably close around the toe-box-something I attribute to the seamless construction. Elasticated tops prevent annoying unravelling-even after several hours and turning a consistently swift cadence.
Reclaiming my helmet and gloves blown into the river by unexpectedly high winds, they’re every bit as waterproof as their heavier siblings and repay the initial £25 investment by preventing discomfort and chill which can be the priceless difference between and enjoyable winter ride and a miserable one. Even more miserable when you consider that chilled bodies are more prone to colds and sickness and they’re every bit as useful for outdoor activities generally. However, being mid length means while fine for tights and the latest generation of touring/mtb trousers, worn with shorts you’d look a bit of a chump.
Not cheap but worth it for warm dry feet
road.cc test report
Make and model: Seal Skinz Mid Calf Lightweight socks
Size tested: M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
These are a waterproof, breathable sock and the thinnest in the range and easily the best for the closest of winter/race shoes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thee layer construction Merino wool base, waterproof beathable mid layer and a final, outer layer completes the package. An elasticated instep and seamless construction adds further comfort and welcome support.
Fantastic all day, fair weather or foul.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's no doubt these deliver in all conditions- they've passed the "stand in a bucket of water" test with flying colours, I've waded through a shallow pond without problems and worn with race shoes or trainer type there's ample support on and off the bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, fit and outright practicality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing but mid calf can look a bit odd with shorts/3/4 lengths!
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)