The Aspire team battles the elements while testing a selection of Sealskinz’s 100% waterproof products
Having never actually worn fully waterproof gloves or socks before, I hadn’t appreciated how good these products would be until it came to testing them over an extremely wet week and weekend.
I’ve recently started an active commute on a cargo bike and as the season has shifted, it’s may hands that have taken a hit on recent trips – they’ve been both cold and wet.
I’m now addicted to the MET weather app and having seen the rain was coming, I packed my Sealskinz gloves in preparation for a wet journey home. The gloves kept my hands warm and dry, yet still allowed me to be able to press buttons to change gear and undo straps to hand things to my daughter in the front. The soft fabric detail on the thumbs also came in handy for wiping the rain from my face. They have very quickly become a must-have accessory for my new commute!
On first feel of the socks, I thought they might be too thick for milder weather, but since I was keen to test them, I slipped them on for a wet dog walk in the woods. The comfort was immediately obvious, they felt soft, snug and protective on my feet – and not too thick at all once on. My daughter was insistent that I wore wellies like her, which wasn’t what I’d planned for my testing session. I joined her, and we enjoyed splashing in puddles together.
I decided to have a bit of fun with my socks and did some extreme testing. I took off my shoes and walked through a big puddle in just my socks. It was strange sensation, because looking down, my brain was telling me my feet should be soaked through by now, but not one drop of water reached my feet. Absolutely brilliant quality products and something any lover of the outdoors should invest in – also the perfect gift for fellow outdoors enthusiast.
As the cold and wet weather started to hit, it was time to pull off the tags of some of the Sealskinz products we were given for testing – and I gave the beanie a try. Sadly, due to injury there is no running or cycling for me at the moment but the dog still needs his two walks a day! With the evenings getting darker a lot earlier earlier now, there is no time for an evening play in the park, so we’re back to walking the streets in the wind and rain again.
On picking the beanie up, it makes a sort of rustling sound if you move it around your hand. In a way, it sounds like there is lining paper or something similar in the hat, I thought this might make it feel stiff and sweaty on my head, leaving my hair (especially my fringe) to feel damp – but this wasn’t the case at all. The micro fleece lining makes the hat super comfy and warm (probably a bit too warm at the moment but come January it would be perfect), yet my head felt fresh and my hair didn’t feel like it was stuck to my head, which is the case for most of the hats I own.
Aside from my hair being a little damp on the ends, the rest of my head was totally dry and the beanie took seconds to dry when coming back inside. Some of the streets I walk down are poorly lit but I was really surprised by the subtle glow from the reflective stitching which straight away made me feel a little safer walking in the dark. It actually looked really cool, as well!
This is definitely going to be my staple accessory this winter whether I am walking Charlie around the block or running the streets in rain, this is the perfect hat for me. I just have to make sure my husband doesn’t steal it!
Admittedly, I hadn’t ever tried a waterproof sock of any kind before this testing session. As a regular runner, I had pretty much come to terms with the fact that winter runs here in the UK are wet – and there’s not much you can do about it. So, ahead of our testing plans, I was keen to give a pair of running-suitable waterproof socks a go.
Seeing them in the packet, I wondered if they’d feel a little too bulky for me. I’m used to tight running socks (that shrink after every wash) and these looked and felt very different. However, when I put them on inside my running shoe, they genuinely felt amazing! They are a little thicker than my usual socks but still feel light, airy and comfortable.
When it came to actually running, I was surprised at just how waterproof they are. Sealskinz say their products are 100% waterproof and that really is the truth with this pair of socks. My first run was an extremely wet 10k around the streets and local parks of south London and they protected me completely.
I targeted every puddle on the way (which must have looked interesting) and they still held firm. Interestingly, the sock didn’t feel weighed down by the water either, when my shoe definitely did. Overall, I was completely won over and very impressed with their all-round performance. It’s fair to say I now have a new favourite pair of winter socks.