- Oct 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm #3558132
Rob PBPL Member
I’ve got a trip coming up this weekend and it’s supposed to be 40’s (F) and rainy with stream crossings. I’ve read Ryan’s article and subsequent thread as well as Dave C’s article and thread that dealt more with neoprene socks.
Has anyone used fleece socks in an application such as this? It seems as if you can squeeze and wring them almost completely dry…I’m sure they would dry overnight if you put them in a ziplock in your sleeping bag or under your sleeping pad.
If anyone has tried these, how did they work? If you haven’t tried them but have some thoughts on this anyway, I’d love to hear them.Oct 2, 2018 at 4:49 pm #3558133
Paul S.BPL Member
I would be concerned the fleece would pack out quickly.
For cold/wet feet I would focus on leg warmth and maybe neoprene socks, GTX socks or just really thick merino socks.Oct 2, 2018 at 5:15 pm #3558137
Rob PBPL Member
“would pack out quickly”
I’m not sure I understand what this means…do you mean they would compress too much, losing loft?
I’ve got neoprene, gtx and thick wool socks, just wondering about fleece. Thanks for replying though; it’s much appreciated!Oct 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm #3558142
Paul S.BPL Member
Yes, I think it would compress and lose loft. I’m not sure how much that would effect performance since the top and sides would still be fine. The only fleece socks I have are too loose fitting to be good for hiking in but that’s what makes that great for camp/sleeping since they don’t restrict blood flow at all.Oct 2, 2018 at 6:54 pm #3558148
@iagoLocale: Boston & Galicia, Spain
I’m not a fan of waterproof socks. They end up leaking through the seams and not draining. Sweat boxes also. I tried neoprene wet socks, but they were way too tight–I have wide feet and circulation issues. I thought they would be the best option, but fit makes them not a viable alternative for me.
I use wool socks and if I need to I will wear an oven bag.
If concerned about fleece compressing underfoot, perhaps thermal insoles would help. They come in both wool and foam.Oct 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm #3558171
The first thing that comes to mind is, does you experience in such weather prove that your feet will be cold, or is this something you are worried about?
For me, it was hard to beleive those claiming that wet feet in the cold generally stay warm as long as you are moving…just didn’t make sense to me. But I tried it and damned if my feet weren’t warm. You get cold as heck when you stop, and that is when you change into your dry pair of socks. I am also a HUGE fan of the Goosefeet Gear down booties for sleeping. Wet feet while hiking, no problem. Just make certain you have warm dry socks for when you stop.
Edit: I think waterproof socks work well when worn in camp over your dry socks and inside your wet shoes. Hiking in them? Agree with iago…no thanks.Oct 2, 2018 at 9:37 pm #3558174
I’ve done long trips with wet feet. I’ve worn regular synthetic (Coolmax hiking socks), wool socks, and both perforated (“breathable”) and regular neoprene. The perforated neoprene works the best for cold conditions. It allows the water that would otherwise pool in a neoprene sock to drain out. It’s a little yucky to pull on a clammy, damp sock first thing in the morning, but they warm up quickly. Don’t bother putting a lot of effort into drying your socks overnight if they are going straight back into soaked footwear the next morning or you will cross a puddle a short distance into your hike and be wet all over again. It’s liberating to just have a f**k it attitude.Oct 2, 2018 at 9:48 pm #3558175
Michael GillenwaterBPL Member
@mwgillenwaterLocale: Seattle area
Philip, what is your preferred perforated neoprene sock brand/model?Oct 2, 2018 at 10:24 pm #3558180
The only ones I know of are Serius Innovations Neosocks. Only the foot area is perforated. The ankle and cuff are normal neoprene. Not a problem, but they really don’t breathe that well so they are mainly for sustained wet use and it’s nice to take them off during breaks to let your feet breathe, and of course you need to let your feet dry at night. The expanded foam middle fabric layer has small holes (like 1/8″) in a grid pattern where maybe 10% of the surface area is punched out, but then the inside and outside face fabrics are smooth/intact so they look like normal neoprene. I tried wearing them with a silk-weight poly liner sock inside, but that combo was too slippery and I was sliding around inside my shoes. Just wearing them as a single sock layer worked pretty well. I use them for packrafting trips, or low country trips where I am going through swamps or lots of water crossings.Oct 3, 2018 at 5:05 am #3558219
Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
I spent many, many days tromping around in near-freezing rivers while whitewater rafting. Thick wool or fleece socks don’t work. Cold water flows in, and warms up for a while, and you think all is right with the world. The next time you step in the river, more cold water flows in, and warmth/happiness drops dramatically. And you are constantly “squish-squish-squishing” as you walk, which reminds you of how cold your feet are or will soon become.
All the cold-water rafters and kayakers I knew wore drysuits with booties (not practical for backpacking), neoprene boots (also not practical), or neoprene socks inside extra large shoes or sandals.
I went on several multi-mile side hikes in neoprene socks inside tennis shoes or river sandals (early Tevas or Chacos). Even in warm sunny weather, neoprene socks act like a kind of vapor barrier, so your feet don’t sweat that much. Gets kind of funky inside, recommend rinsing or washing daily. Tried liner socks – didn’t like them at all.
But it sucked to put on cold, wet, sometimes frozen neoprene socks in the morning. They warm up quickly if you’re moving around, though.
Super-thin neoprene socks basically have no insulation value. You need a couple of millimeters or more to retain real warmth. 2-3 mm should be fine; anything more would be too warm.
Perforated neoprene wasn’t available when I was rafting, don’t know anything about that.
— RexOct 3, 2018 at 7:33 am #3558225
I’m going to guess that the Neosocks are 1.5mm. They are warm enough that I would purposely find water to walk through to cool my feet at times, though I have good circulation. They may not be warm enough for standing around with submerged feet, or hiking for long periods in cold glacial water. The flow-through afforded by the holes kept foot funk down, though pruned feet tend to shed skin. I turned them inside out at night and hung them outside on a tent loop, not to dry them, but to air them out. They are taller than I needed, so I trimmed the top down about 2” (and had to bar tack the ends of the seams) and sewed a small cord loop to the top for hanging via a micro carabiner.
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