The best-feeling waterproof socks we've used with great wicking performance but insulation is the wrong side of the membrane to be as cosy as possible when it's cold
- - Excellent super-stretch fit
- - Impressively dry
- - Low bulk fits most shoes comfortably
- - Mid-length is good for deeper puddles
- - Competitive price
- - Not as warm as wool-lined socks
- - Just one design
Let’s be honest, most knitted waterproof socks feel very similar and while they’ve got better over the years, they’re mostly still quite stiff and clumsy (for want of a better phrase) in feel. However, Giro's new Xnetic H2O socks are a whole lot stretchier and more like a normal sock in feel which gives them a comfort and fit advantage straight away. They wick well when dry too, but they’ve still got the typical issue of an outer layer that can get soggy, hold the cold and reduce wicking though.
Giro is relatively tight lipped about its tight-knitted Xnetic H2O fabric but we can tell you it’s totally seamless and very stretchy. The RainGuard membrane inside the protective outer weave is equally elastic and you can actually hear it stretching as you pull the socks on. There’s a ribbed, hypoallergenic inner liner to spread sweat out for fast wicking and quick drying. Equally importantly, the Xnetic socks are actually shaped like normal socks, not awkwardly oversized or strangely straight like a lot of designs we test.
Unsurprisingly, the super stretchy construction and close cut makes for an excellent fit with none of the stiffness and compromised fit we've come to expect from waterproof socks. While they’re not the thinnest we’ve used, they’re still skimpy enough not to be a squeeze in a normal shoe. The stretch keeps water ingress to a minimum and the relatively tall ‘mid’ length allows deeper wading.
The 15k breathability and waterproofing stats we’ve seen quoted in some places (though oddly not by Giro itself) are backed up by impressively dry results even after riding for a few hours in wet but warm conditions. As temperatures get closer to freezing, the fact that the inner doesn’t hold heat as well as a wool mix and the outer fabric gets wet and increases heat conductivity which can be an issue in colder/breezier shoes. However, if your shoes cut out wind and at least slowdown water movement enough for the wetness to warm up then it’s not such a big deal.
Super stretch and low bulk make the Xnetic H2O socks easily the best-fitting waterproof socks we’ve used. They’re impressively dry and comfortable overall, too, to the point where some of our testers who’ve given up on waterproof socks actually got on really well with them.
They’re not as warm as wool-lined or less externally permeable socks when temperatures drop. There are no different colour, length or ‘weight’ options yet either. But pricing is competitive, and overall, we'd happily recommend Giro Xnetic H2O socks to anyone riding in the wet.
Tech Specs: Giro Xnetic H2O socks
- Price: £34.99 / $44.95 / €39.99
- Colours: Black
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL
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