The last time we tested Dexshell’s Thermlite and Ultra Thin waterproof socks, we declared them our benchmark waterproof socks because at the time they were the best fitting we’d used, and available in a wide range of different weights and lengths.
However Giro’s new, super stretchy Xnetic H2O socks recently rewrote the rules on truly sock-like fit, though testing them side by side explained a Dexshell fit issue I’d been wondering about before. Read on for more.
The basic design is the same as any other knitted waterproof socks, with an outer layer to protect the waterproof breathable membrane, and then a liner layer. In the case of these Pro Visibility socks, that inner layer is Coolmax. This doesn’t have any thermal benefits like Dexshell’s merino wool options, but it does wick pretty fast and it’s got a relatively natural skin feel. It’s also relatively low bulk, although not quite as thin as Dexshell’s Bamboo Ultrathins.
As the name suggests, the Pro Visibility socks are also designed to boost safety if you’re riding in low light or night conditions, so not only is the soft stretch top cuff neon yellow (and the heels and toes just in case you ride on wet nights in sandals), but you get double reflective stripes around the cuffs as well.
Obviously, the extra visibility is the win here compared to other socks, but the thin liner and high-stretch weave make them an easy and mobile pull-on. They conform to your feet a lot better than thicker or earlier generation waterproof socks when new, too. Breathability is also as good as I’ve experienced with any other sock, so while they will get damp inside if you’re working hard, if you’re cruising then they should be moisture-free from the inside out.
As you’d hope, they’re properly waterproof from the outside in as well, and they add windproofing protection if you’ve got vented shoes, too. As always, with a knitted construction, the outer fabric will wet out and get cold quite quickly in prolonged rain or spray. That means it can feel like your feet are ‘wet’ when it’s actually just your senses misinterpreting faster heat loss through the damp outer layer. Once the outside is wet, breathability drops noticeably too, though again that’s inherent in any waterproof with a face fabric, not just these socks.
Back to specifics, the Pro Vis socks are long enough to provide some splash protection through puddles, and the cuff is reasonably secure against dribble at first. Doing my usual trick of riding odd pairs of kit for the purpose of the most accurate contrast and comparison, meant I rode one sock more than the other. When I paired them up again for pictures, the reason I’d started to notice a bulkier feeling fit in the shoe and wrinkle and sink around the reflective bands became very clear. The sock with more miles on had stretched significantly compared to its fresher partner and while the fit was still workable, they’re certainly not as snug as they were. You can expect some staining and dulling of the neon colors after a few dirty rides too. The durability of Dexshell socks has always been excellent otherwise though, and these are keenly priced for their category.
Dexshell’s Pro Visibility socks add extra safety to a comfortable feeling, durably waterproof, reasonably breathable performance at a good price. It doesn’t take long for them to stretch significantly though, which makes them baggier and bulkier in feel later down the line.
Tech Specs: DexShell Pro Visibility Waterproof Socks
- Price: $33 / £25
- Colors: Black and Fluro Yellow
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL