The Dexshell Ultra Dri Sports sock is a great waterproof option that's warmer than its competitors, fending off elements while remaining comfortable and stretchy too. Listed as a 'bike sock' if perhaps not designed exclusively for cyclists, the Ultra Dri is an ideal length for mountain biking and gravel riding.
The sock is made from a durable outer, a four way stretch laminate which is waterproof, windproof and breathable, and a Dri-release Merino wool liner with a terry-look cushioned footbed.
To (literally) top it off there's a stretchy vinyl panel encircling the inner cuff to help prevent water ingress and keep the sock up.
I’ve used these socks all winter, and they've proved waterproof and pretty breathable too. They easily fend off splashes and even full immersion. Some water will, of course, get down the top of the sock if worn with shorts, but the vinyl does a good job of stopping most of it.
It was immediately noticeable how warm these socks are in comparison to the merino-lined competition from Sealskinz (though I haven’t used their 2019 or 2020 versions). I put this extra warmth down to the terry-look footbed and the knit itself trapping warm air more efficiently.
They size up accurately, and with four sizes encompassing size 3 to 14, choice is wide. Note that you also need room in your shoes, as this is a bulky sock both in comparison to regular riding socks and the Dexshell Waterproof Thermlites.
Constant exposure to regular washing powders haven’t diminished their waterproofness – just don’t use conditioner, which may block up the membrane. They drip dry, but as it takes a couple of days to get them fully dry I recommend just leaving them muddy and wearing for a second/third/fourth time if you're riding consecutive days.
Unfortunately there are only two colours – this or a more subtle blue/grey – and ideally they'd dry a little quicker, but otherwise the Ultra Dri works extremely well (especially under full-length trousers). At £35 they're not cheap, but they're well made, effective and give good value by making winter riding usefully more bearable.
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