If you’re planning to keep swimming throughout the winter months, you’ll probably want to invest in some cold water swimming socks. Here, we round up some of the options available to you.
Should I get wetsuit swim socks or booties?
First off, if you’re looking to actually swim then go for neoprene swim socks as opposed to booties. Wetsuit boots are great for when you need to clamber across rocks but are also good at creating extra drag in the water and generally weighing you down. Swim socks are more flexible and will allow more freedom to kick, useful if you need to get going sharpish.
What makes good swim socks?
A decent thickness of neoprene will keep your toes toasty, we’d recommend at least 3mm. It pays to find socks that fit snugly as these will insulate better, look for tight closures or socks that have a secure band above the ankle. Another handy feature is if the wetsuit socks have grippy soles, so you’re not a complete slippy seal sliding over rocks to your wild swim spot.
How can I warm up after cold-water swimming
Best affordable swim socks
Below is our list of beat neoprene socks that won’t break the bank but should keep you swimming for longer in that cold water over winter.
ZCCO Premium 3mm Swimming Socks
These ZCCO cold-water swimming socks have the standard 3mm thickness, which should keep you adequately warm year-round during open water swim adventures. Designed with a quick-removal cuff along the top of the sock, these should be easy to pull on and off after use.
ZCCO claims that the technology used for the stitching means they are extra durable, strong and long-lasting. The outer sole has non-slip coating, which should help you avid any mishaps getting into the water. They also have a choice of black, gray or pink!
QKURT 3mm Neoprene Socks
Popular on Amazon, these QKURT 3mm neoprene swim socks should keep you adequately warm in the water. The above-ankle strap aims to securely fasten the socks and help prevent any water ingress, whilst the blind-stitched and glued seams should provide durable and comfortable wearing.
PAWHITS 3mm Neoprene Socks
Tested by 220’s Kate, these PAWHITS neoprene impressed socks by their snug fit and grippy soles. The non-slip design along the sole and heel worked wonders in keeping us upright when clambering along rocks and river banks. The size small fit our size uk5 tester well, with extra stretch for those with feet a size or two larger.
The blind stitches and glued seams have endured five months of wear with no noticeable affect, so we’re confident these will be fairly long-lasting. We also liked the quick drying capabilities and found them handy at folding away small into our swim bag.
RTDEP 3mm Neoprene Socks
These RTDEP 3mm neoprene socks come with an elasticated strap along the top to securely fasten in place and help prevent extra water ingress. The 3mm neoprene has added nylon for stretch and aims to be quick drying after use (no smelly swim socks festering in your bag!). RTDEP claims that the fabric is ‘heavy-duty’ and weatherproof to withstand the elements.
Cressi Ultra Stretch 1.5mm Neoprene Socks
Available in a range of colours, these Cressi unisex neoprene socks are designed to have ultra-stretch capabilities thanks to their thinner 1.5mm neoprene build. Along the top, the secure-fit cuffs and ‘anatomically shaped’ sock should aid comfort and ease of use. The claimed ‘quick-drying’ material and anti-slip soles should mean they are easy and safe to use.
Lomo Neoprene Open Water Swimming Socks
These LOMO stretchy neoprene socks have both double-blind stitched seams and are liquid-seamed on the outside, which should help prevent water ingress and aid comfort. The fit aims to be tight like a ‘second skin’ and along with the ankle gasket, they should be snug and tri-optimised.
These HUUB booties, or socks, come with a reinforced sole which should prevent slippage when jumping into any wild swim spots. The unique-looking split-toe design aims to prevent the foot from rolling and getting injured. Complete with adjustable Velcro straps to secure the socks to the feet and help prevent water ingress, these can be worn over or under a wetsuit.
Blueseventy Thermal Swim Socks
These Blueseventy thermal swim socks aim to be form fitting and help prevent injury thanks to reinforced soles protecting you from sharp stones and slippy patches. The thermal lining of the 2mm Yamamoto neoprene material is designed to keep you warm yet remain light-weight and quick-drying after use. Unlike others in the round up, these socks are made from 100% neoprene.
Zone3 Neoprene Heat-Tech Socks
The thickest socks on test, these Zone3 heat-tech 3.5mm neoprene swim socks are made with a titanium lining which aims to reflect the body’s heat and help the feet retain heat when in the water. The upper Velcro ‘Smoothskin’ closure and increased length should help maintain a secure fit and avoid water ingress.
The ‘3D sole pattern grip’ on the bottom of the feet aims to keep you accident-free when walking about in the socks on slippy and precarious surfaces. If you’re prone to getting extra-cold and numb feet on the swim, these could be the socks for you!