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Friday, June 01, 2018

First Impressions: Showers Pass Waterproof Socks

MassDrop was offering Showers Pass Waterproof Socks for a somewhat reasonable discount off the outrageous $36/pair price. While it doesn't tend to rain in California, it does rain in Europe during the summer, and we have a bike tour coming up, so I gave it a shot.

The socks themselves are fairly thick, though not as thick as the SmartWool socks that I've otherwise been using for rainy situations. They add significant width to my feet that aren't bothersome in my well-worn SIDI shoes, but do bother me in the relatively new Pearl Izumis. I've ordered a new pair of SIDIs in case it's a shoe design issue.

At first, the socks felt plasticky in an odd way. It's as though you're wearing socks with stiffeners built in. But after a while, the feeling went away and I found I could ride with the socks on and no issues. The socks are relatively heavy, at 100g per pair.

It's past the rainy season, so I didn't get a chance to try them in the rain. But I ran the shower and walked into the puddles the showers provided. While the outside clearly got wet, my feet never felt wet! I guess it'll take a real rainstorm to figure out whether the squish squish feeling is what I hated most about cycling in the rain, or whether it's the wet feet part that I hated. In any case, these are clearly suitable for touring: even if your shoes don't dry out overnight, wearing these will ensure your feet don't feel wet the next day, so they're probably worth the weight.

The biggest issue with this sock is that they're tough to dry. They definitely don't dry overnight, and you can't throw them into a dryer. My guess is that in some sort of mesh bag out on the back of the bike rack they'll definitely dry while on a bike tour. You'll definitely have to rig up some sort of drying mechanism on your backpack if you're using them on a backpacking trip.

All in all, I think they're worth a shot, but obviously for most day to day riding in California you won't need them. Recommended.

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