- Plenty of size options for right fit
- Material seems to to snagging
- Bulkier than a normal sock
Dex Shell offers a pretty wide range of waterproof socks, gloves and hats. The Thermlite Merino socks are ankle length. lighter weight aimed at cold and wet conditions. They claim to be waterproof, breathable and close fitting - they are a decent option for battling the worst of the weather.
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The merino wool in the socks acts as the thermal part, coupled with acrylic and polyamide - so not pure merino, but a blend - this offers a little more life and wear in the sock. There is a Porelle membrane which is 100% PU and then the outer is a 98% polyamide with 2% elastane for some flex and stretch. They are made with a seamless manufacturing style, which makes nothing to rub or create pressure spots in your shoes.
There is no getting away from the fact they are a waterproof sock, in such that they have that preformed shape and feel a touch bulky - worth thinking about if you have close shoes, as you need that wiggle room to keep circulation for warmth. I used them in my flat pedal shoes, and the relaxed fit meant they didn’t bulk out the shoe. Despite the lightweight label, these are effectively three layers of socks built together and so will always be larger.
The use of merino is due to the warmth, wicking and antibacterial properties - I suspect the latter is undone a touch by the large amount of manmade synthetic elements, but the wicking and warmth is noticeable, as I found them really effective in the breathability claims - I’d rather have warm and slightly damp feet than cold and wet feet anytime. I had a couple of rides in milder weather where at the end there was a degree of moisture, but nothing compared to what they’d have been with regular socks getting soaked.
Riding in snow cold snowy weather and several prolonged wet, windy rides, they have performed happily, and the key is making sure you get a good fit - luckily these fit well, but there are four size options, so you should be able to get a good fit, just make sure you have room in your shoe. Clearly, water gets in from above - so ingress happens from water running into them from your shins - the length of these helps, and pretty much all smaller splashes or feet into puddle situations stops any water getting in.
I haven’t seen any problems with wear on the toes or heels, and they seem robust enough for a couple of seasons - I found some issues with snagging on undergrowth with threads pulling out, and the finishing on the top seems a little weak, but had held up for now, but I’ll be keeping an eye on how it progresses.
With the merino addition, these are a good, effective pair of waterproof sock for anything but really cold riding conditions, and whilst not cheap, don’t break the bank for the benefits of warmer, and mostly dry feet - but fit will be crucial to how well they work. They are available in Tango red and Olive green.