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Waterproof socks with non-waterproof boots

Does anyone here use Sealskinz or other waterproof socks with non-waterproof boots, as opposed to boots with a waterproof membrane? Do they work in waterlogged terrain? I'm wondering whether they would be better than waterproof boots, given the tendency for the waterproofing on boots to fail. 

No doubt, waterproof socks too can fail, but it's cheaper to replace waterproof socks than boots.

I've used waterproof socks with both boots and sandals. It could be that the particular socks I had were not very good (something Gore-tex, I don't remember the brand... Black Diamond maybe?), but my experience was that my socks failed at least as often and at least as severely as waterproof boots.

I used to wear Sealskinz over my issued wool socks with jungle boots in the winter in Germany, my feet were much warmer than without the Sealskinz. With a polypro liner sock they were even warmer since GI wool socks weren’t the best at wicking. Or keeping your feet warm. 

We used thin neoprene socks for five days on our Paria hike, thinking the water would be cold. It wasn't, but combined with Dirty Girls gaiters they did a great job of keeping gravel, grit and Paria River sludge away from our tender tootsies.

More recently, I wore the same thin socks under a pair of water shoes for a cold weather sea kayak trip. They were high enough that they didn't flood with cold water as I got into my boat, and although my feet got damp gradually they were pretty comfy for the rest of the 3+ h trip.

Neoprene socks work.  In the old days I used to wear arcylic socks with a pair of canvas basketball shoes for spring rafting. Very comfortable.  I have done of a couple of wet hikes with water shoes and no socks.  Grit and gravel can get in the way.  All are workable. 

Thanks all for the replies. I was wondering if Sealskinz or similar socks paired with non-waterproof boots would be a practical alternative to waterproof boots. Yes I suppose socks can fail, but you can carry a spare pair of waterproof socks whereas you can't carry spare boots.

On the other hand, I wonder how long waterproof socks stay waterproof if they are used regularly. They are less expensive than boots but they're not cheap either, so if they need replacing every few weeks it would probably be cheaper to stick to waterproof boots.   

Ppine's acrylic socks and canvas basketball shoes bring me back to my first forays into field work as a natural resource professional. For stream studies where we would stay wet we always used Chuck Taylor Converse with various socks. No sock was option 1 in the summer, graduating up to neoprene in the winter (southern US) but the stream flow out of the mountains was still cold. I never liked the feel of anything but wool on my feet but that's personal...i always got damp feet quickly with any waterproof sock when doing any exertion as I sweat too much.

Crossing Scotland this May I was wet a lot and used breathable shoes with light hiking merino socks. I liked that combo...always had a dry pair for camp and rotated two for walking. Main blister issue for me was due to a change in gait from a new knee brace. 

Thanks Phil. One of the things I've been wondering about is how comfortable it would actually be to walk long distances with wet shoes. Your post indicates that it's feasible even with normal socks, so it should certainly be feasible with waterproof socks. Provided that the socks don't make my feet overheat, of course. I have a pair of Sealskinz so maybe I should give them a try on a rainy day and see how it goes. (So far I've only ever used them as camp footwear.)  

October 27, 2021
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