This winter I will be wearing waterproof, breathable, Merino wool socks from 360DRY® for some of my runs.
Should you wear waterproof socks for running? Ask a group of fell runners the question and you’ll probably get a divided opinion. Some will swear by them whilst others will tell you that you don’t need them and to stop being such a wimp!
Notice I didn’t say that I would be wearing them for all of my winter runs, so when would I choose them over a standard running sock?
Why wear waterproof socks?
For me the issue isn’t necessarily about keeping my feet dry it’s more about keeping them warm, so in summer and autumn even if I knew I was going to get wet feet I’d not bother with a waterproof sock. Even in winter if I’m doing a harder training session such as intervals or hill reps where I will be running fast and I won’t be out for very long then I don’t worry too much and would wear a normal sock. Likewise for a short winter race, unless the temperature was very cold I’d just wear a wool sock. Where I would “wimp out” though is on longer runs in cold weather or even on short runs in snow melt conditions.
I also opt for a waterproof sock if I’m teaching navigation skills when I might be out on the moors moving at stop / start pace for over 5 hours (that’s a long time to suffer with cold feet!) And I also choose them for coaching in winter where I am stood on a wet playing field for an hour doing nothing more strenuous than looking at a stopwatch and blowing a whistle! It doesn’t take long for your feet to get cold if you aren’t moving, even more so if they are wet.
360DRY® are a small Yorkshire based firm offering two versions of a breathable, waterproof sock made with Merino wool and a waterproof membrane. The ankle length version has a soft feel and doesn’t appear that much different to just a thick woolen sock. The full length, calf sock feels a bit thicker and more robust. Unlike compression socks the calf length socks aren’t very tight, I find them snug enough that they don’t fall down yet they aren’t a struggle to get on and off. The full length socks are quite thick so if your shoes are tight fitting then you might find that putting your shoes on is a bit of a squeeze. Both pairs feel comfortable, there is one seam across the toes but I haven’t experienced any problems with rubbing.
As with other makes of waterproof socks I’ve found that my feet do get a bit clammy. I don’t think that there is any way that sweat can escape if the outer of the sock is wet. As a result my feet will be warm but damp after a prolonged run – a much better scenario than cold and wet!
It pays to look after the socks to prolong their life so it is recommended that you hand wash them in warm water rather than throwing them in the machine on a hot cycle. Any grit in your shoes will lead to abrasion of the waterproof membrane so your socks will last longer if you wash your shoes and keeping your toenails short will help prevent from wearing holes in the toes. Unfortunately the big toe on my left foot always wears through my socks! It’s not the end of the world if you do eventually wear a hole in them, yes a small amount of water will get in but I’ve found my feet still stay warm thanks to the Merino wool.
The 360DRY® socks are good value for money compared to other well known brands.
Ankle socks £24.99
Calf socks £27.99
For an additional 15% off use code FELL15 at checkout