Neoprene socks are one of the most essential items you can have in your canyoneering gear. Our picks for the best neoprene socks for canyoneering are the Argos 4mm for thinner feet or the Neosport 5mm for wider feet. They both offer the most warmth and best durability.
More canyoneering and outdoor fun
Neoprene socks are waterproof but do often allow some water in over the top of the sock. Neoprene however, acts as a thermal insulator by sandwiching the water between your foot and the sock. Your body heat then naturally warms the water in your sock, thus warming your feet. Neoprene socks also act to keep sand away from your feet, stopping them from being shredded.
The NeoSport 5mm neoprene socks are perfect for COLD water. These and the Argos 4mm socks are the most recommended neoprenes for canyoneering in colder temperatures.
The NeoSports use XSPAN technology which basically makes for a soft and stretchy sock. Compared to the Argos socks these are noticeably softer, squishier and stretchier. So if you have a wide or chunky foot, you’ll find these to be comfier than the Argos socks.
Despite being great for wider feet, they are the comfiest neoprene socks we’ve ever tested no matter what style of foot you have. If you’re looking for comfort, get the NeoSport.
Pros: Extremely warm, soft and stretchy, comfy, perfect for all foot types including wide feet
Cons: Not as durable as Argos
Argos make some of the most well-respected neoprene socks on the market. They’re super durable and if you need confirmation of that - they are often used as rental socks for canyoneering, diving, kayaking and other outdoor sports that involve water.
These socks fit great across most shoe sizes but do fit better if you have a thinner foot. If you have a wider foot the Neosport 5mm socks will be a better choice as they are stretchy and squidgy so they can handle more volume.
The 4mm’s are probably the warmest neoprene sock we have found. Perfect for wetter canyons such as Imlay and Heaps or any canyon where the temperature is cold.
We found that the socks can become painful after a couple of hours of use with no sock worn underneath them. The seams inside the sock are quite rough and begin to really grate on your feet over time. But this can be said for most neoprene socks anyway.
Pros: Extremely warm, durable, great for thinner feet
Cons: Not suitable for wider feet, uncomfortable seams that shred your feet over time
While SealSkinz socks aren’t technically neoprene, they are a well regarded waterproof sock for canyoneering. SealSkinz offers a more balanced approach to foot protection than neoprene socks do. While they’re not quite as waterproof as neoprene they are comfier and feel more like a normal sock. These SealSkinz are actually made with merino wool for added warmth.
Pros: Comfy, warm, handmade in the UK, feels more like a normal sock, made with merino wool
Cons: Not as waterproof as actual neoprene socks
The NeoSport 2mm socks are perfect for summer canyoneering in the likes of Zion National Park where there is still plenty of water to be trekked through. As with the NeoSport 5mm socks these are stretchy, squidgy and comfy. Ideal if you have wider feet, but still perfectly comfortable for average feet too.
The 2mm socks are also perfect if you like to wear a thinner neoprene with wool socks underneath or if your canyoneering shoes don’t have enough room for anything thicker.
Pros: Great for summer canyoneering, comfy, great fit, perfect for wider feet
Cons: Can let in some sand eventually
The NRS boundary 3mm calf socks are great if you really want to prevent water from getting into your socks.
The boundary socks create a seal around your calf to keep the sock up and keep out water. Whilst many neoprene socks only keep out water as long as the water stays below the top of your sock, these can actually keep water out even if the water goes above the sock. Despite creating this seal, they are not tight or uncomfortable to wear.
Pros: Seals out water, durable, seals around your calf so the socks don’t fall down
Cons: Not suitable for wider feet, can squish your toes together
Neoprene socks are used to keep your feet warm in cold and wet conditions.
Neoprene is waterproof. Water can only really get into your feet over the top of the sock. However, if water does manage to get in over the top of your sock the neoprene acts to sandwich the water between the sock and your foot. Your body temperature then warms the trapped water keeping your feet warm even when wet.
To a certain extent yes. While neoprene is a waterproof material, water will most likely manage to work its way over and into your neoprene socks. That’s why the main purpose of a neoprene sock is to keep your feet warm even when they are wet.
So while a neoprene sock provides more of a protective barrier against water than a normal sock would, your feet won't necessarily stay dry.
The main aim of a neoprene sock is to keep your feet warm. Even if your feet are wet. Neoprene is essentially a closed-cell insulator that is filled with air. This insulation effect heats any water that is trapped between your foot and the sock.
The environment determines how thick you need your neoprene socks to be. A warmer environment will require a thinner (0.5-3mm) neoprene sock, while cold waters will require a 5mm neoprene sock to keep your feet comfortable and warm.
Unless you plan to wear a wool or wading sock underneath your neoprene socks then you should buy a size that fits your feet “snug”. By this we mean fairly tight, not too tight that they bunch your toes together, but tight enough that water won't easily seep in over the top, or the socks won’t keep falling down when you're wearing them.
All SealSkinz socks are 100% waterproof, breathable and windproof.
Tried any of the socks on our list? Let us know what your favorites are!