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Made in the UK from wind and waterproof, breathable Coolmax, Seal Skinz hi Viz socks wouldn’t be my choice for performance road or cross racing but are just the ticket for three-seasons mountain biking, touring beyond the beaten track and more general outdoor use.
Intended primarily as generic outdoor garments, they employ the same three layer seamless construction used in Seal Skinz gloves, keeping feet relatively temperate – and moreover completely dry – even when fully immersed in muddy water. The length and thickness might spoil the snug fit of both road and mtb race shoes but they're fine with trainer type and winter booties and I know of some folk who love pairing them with sandals for winter touring.
I’m not completely sold on the dayglo yellow cuffs and would’ve preferred Scotchlite reflective strips for night riding but on the other hand worn with shorts or three quarter lengths and turning a steady cadence they alert others to your presence even in murky conditions.
They’ve been a little on the warm side for hot summer riding but otherwise, seamless construction maintains the comfort factor and most importantly they do exactly what they promise, my six year old was mesmerised at how I’d managed dry feet even with my lower calves immersed in seawater!
Overshoes better serve Road, Audax and cross duties but these socks are pretty hard to beat for mountain biking, rough stuff touring and general outdoor pursuits such as rambling or even golf.
Dependable socks ideal for mountain biking, touring and the great outdoors.
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Make and model: Seal Skinz hi-viz 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 waterproof, wind proof and breathable socks intended for the great outdoors- a little bulky and lacking in the style stakes for road use but great for mountain biking, touring and generally enjoying the great outdoors.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Coolmax base layer, waterproof, wind-proof and breathable hidrophillic membrane, outer KDK nylon/elastaine mix.
Could be a little on the warm side in high summer.
Fantastic in most conditions and with wider footwear.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These are fantastic for changeable conditions, mountain biking and rough stuff touring in particular with no obvious weaknesses even when completely submerged. Coolmax wicks moisture very proficiently, although they're a bit on the warm side for balmy summer rides
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, quality of construction and of course, they're completely impervious to the elements.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing glaringly obvious but they're just a little thick for competition footwear.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? In the main, yes
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)