With an abundance of refinement comes the 3rd generation sock waterproof sock. The construction / makeup of the sock are somewhat similar, but the product outcome is a lot better and delivers on its promise.
I was a little skeptical at first, having used the first generation sock which was a strange feeling of a scuba suit around your foot. So stepping into the Showers pass new ultralight sock, I wondered if it was going to be worth it.
The $42 socks are designed as waterproof that is breathable for all types of activity that require wet weather protection. To clarify, In cycling it goes on the inside of the shoe, as opposed to an oversock like the ones from Defeet or all weather shoe covers. The sock is a knit sock from synthetic materials (polyester) with a flexible membrane. Imagine a 3 layer material, the knit outside, a waterproof barrier and an knit inside. The waterproof barrier / membrane is a PU vs a PTFE membrane (that they use in their jackets) to get better stretch properties around the foot shape.
It’s available in a few different colors and size ranges.
The Test Idea
I decided to give this one a 3 part test, by getting some time running in the sock, and also some time on the bike. The running is an interesting way to test water absorption and transfer, prolonged impact and static water can really find weak-falls in a knit material. this along with all the other parameters.
I generally run a 5 to 7mile loop on the regular and right now its pretty rainy in Portland Oregon. I decided to go out in the rain in summer / lightweight running shoes and hit every puddle available.
Lightweight running shoes are not waterproof in the least and the layers tend to hold water in the shoe around the foot, which is the squishy feel. Perfect for the test! While running your feet undergo a lot of impact, which forces water every direction and they also get pretty hot, so this would test the breathability of the sock well. If it can hold its own in these run tests, then it can certainly stand up on the bike.
Putting the sock on still feels a little rubbery like the original sock. It has a compressive feel of snug sock with limited stretch, this is due to a couple of layers of material and their coatings. This new sock certainly felt lighter and thinner than the original, the manufacturers claim 20%. It’s much easier to get on, and I had no problems with the sock inside my running shoe, its slightly thicker than a normal sock but not by much. There is still a little bit of a spongey feel to it. I didn’t find this feeling off putting.
On my first running test it was raining pretty heavy and had been for. while, a lot of puddles on the roads. The temperature was low 50’s. I used my general Nike Pegasus 36 running trainer, and I can honestly say the sock performed amazing. I ran for almost an hour at a high intensity. The feel of the sock was great, nothing peculiar to write about, sure it felt a smidge spongey and thicker but nothing distracting or causing motion issues. I ran through every puddle, my feet did not have that soaked squish feeling if I had been using regular socks. After finishing the run, I removed the sock and my feet were a tiny bit clammy, nothing bad, certainly not wet or cold. This was proving the breathability was working.
My second run was similar duration maybe a smidge less wet. I found the same results. The socks kept my feet almost dry, the almost being the small amount of vapor / perspiration that couldn’t escape.
My ride tests had a slight slant to them. I found when I wore the socks inside the shoe and breathable over shoe covers (defeet) my feet would be sweaty after a ride. Maybe the overshoe covers saturated and kept moisture in?. When riding without over shoe covers, the inner socks performed much better better. Of course without the over shoe covers the shoes were very dirty and grimy from the wet, which I don’t really like. One thing I wouldn’t do is combine the socks with waterproof over shoe booties, this will definitely lead to a soggy foot from perspiration vapors not being able to escape.
The crosspoint’s have come a long way from the 1st generation. The product seems to be well suited for running, hiking and cycling. An application here exists for those racing cyclocross (even through there is no racing at the moment)
For the future, cycling specific, I would like to see this showers pass technology incorporated into something you wear outside the cycling shoe. This would protect the shoe also, Shoes cost money? so why not protect them also.
The potential for this type of sock is not just cycling, its much larger as it can assist with a lot of activities.
It does it make a good christmas gift and the bonus, right now Showers Pass are having a 30% off sale. Grab your socks while you can.
I recently ran with these socks in trail shoes and in cold temperatures. They work great, I had expected that they would feel mushy in a more lugged trail shoe and on dirt. But turns out there is little impact on performance and the foot stayed snug in my Kiger 6’s.