A proper three-layer waterproof sock, the inner cushioning is 3/4 merino, 1/4 nylon, for warmth and a great feel against the skin, dry or wet. Inside the cuff is a slick layer of what feels like a very supple vinyl. It acts as a sort of seal, preventing the worst of water getting down from your leg. Of course it's not going to be completely watertight, but it does a very good job.
The real test came on a three-hour gravel-track-bogfest of a 'ride' in about 8 degrees, with a strong wind and a huge volume of standing water on the tracks, constantly blown into one shin or the other off the front wheel as direction changed. Worn as a single layer sock inside some Gore-Tex Northwave boots with three-quarter bib knickers on, the Dexshells kept my feet and shins nice and warm, even with repeated drenching from the wheels and half an hour fighting through an ankle-to-shin-deep bog when I realised the reality on the ground differed from the map. Eventually the boots were soaked, but my feet remained feeling dry thanks to the membrane allowing my feet to breathe. This from someone with what must be the worst circulation in Highland Perthshire, I might add.
If you're going to spend £35 on waterproof socks you may want to be able to use them for more than just bike rides – so I took them out for a few decent trail runs in pouring rain to see. I found them to be excellent running socks. Out for several hours aiming for deep puddles, my feet stayed dry, warm and there was no slippage of the cuff – surely a harder ask than when cycling because of the tens of thousands of impacts.
Fit inside the shoe was snug without being tight, with no bunching or movement. I ran a blustery, hilly off-road half-marathon through some fairly waterlogged trails, and felt nothing but warm and cosy; feet, and specifically toes, were quite happy.
All in all, the Dexshell Ultra Dri Sports socks do exactly what they say on the tin. Highly recommended.
If you want your feet to be both warm and dry in atrocious conditions, these will be the socks to go for
Make and model: DexShell Ultra Dri Sports Socks
Tell us what the product is for
They are for people wanting dry, warm feet in awful weather.
Dexshell says: "An allround element repellent sock suitable for any outdoor activitiy. Using Dri-release Merino Wool liners this sock offers a combination of quick drying, moisture wicking and odour elimination technology. With a cushion terry loop footbed for extra comfort in addition to all the usual features and benefits associated with Dexshell."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Outer: 96% nylon, 3% elastane, 1% elastic
Inner: 76% Drirelease merino, 24% nylon
Interlining: Porelle membrane
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Can't fault it – they look really well put together.
Rate the product for performance:
Awesome. Warm, dry, snug fitting – faultless.
Rate the product for durability:
Still looking good after many washes.
Rate the product for fit:
Fit is excellent, with no bunching or pressure points.
Rate the product for sizing:
The Large was spot on for me as an EU45, the range being 43-46.
Rate the product for weight:
124g for socks is hefty, but what price comfort?
Rate the product for comfort:
Keeping you warm and dry while not feeling overstuffed is a great achievement.
Rate the product for value:
Similar price to the cheaper end of the Sealskinz range; more expensive than the DeFeet Thermeators (but waterproof). If you value warmth and comfort you'll forget the price tag quickly.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine: 40 degree wash with other stuff, looks great a month on after many washes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Can't fault them – my new go-to for cold wet days.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort. Cycling or running, they just feel great to me.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are more expensive than the DeFeet Thermeator Knee High, but then you are getting a genuinely-waterproof sock. And less than some in the Sealskinz range.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I'm marking them down from full marks because of what some might find to be excessive bulk, and also the price; although not the most expensive in the waterproof socks world, there are cheaper.
Age: 45 Height: 183cm Weight: 72kg
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is: Velocite Selene
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling.
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