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5 best neoprene socks for canyoneering in 2020

Published on: 
March 17, 2020

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.

Our Choice
Neosport 5mm XSPAN socks
Best neoprene socks for wide feet
The comfiest neoprene socks on the market. Suitable for all foot types including wide feet.
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Argos 4mm socks
Best neoprene socks for narrow feet
The most durable neoprene socks on the market. Suited to thinner feet. Not suitable for wider feet.
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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.

5 best neoprene socks for canyoneering

best neoprene socks for canyoneering
Best for wide feet
NeoSport 5mm XSPAN socks
Best neoprene canyoneering socks for wide feet
The comfiest neoprene socks. They're stretchy, squishy and at 5mm thick are super warm. The stretchiness is perfect if you have wider feet, but are suitable for all foot types.
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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

Best for narrow feet
Argos 4mm socks
Best neoprene canyoneering socks for thinner feet
The most durable neoprene socks on the market. Perfect if you have thin/slender feet. Not suitable if you have wider feet. 
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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

Best for comfort
SealSkinz waterproof extreme cold weather socks
Best for comfort & natural breathability
Great if you hate the feel of neoprene socks. The SealSkinz are crafted from merino wool with a hydrophilic waterproof membrane. 
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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

Best for summer
NeoSport 2mm socks
Best for summer canyoneering
Super comfy, fit all foot types including wide feet. Great for warmer canyoning trips where there is still lots of water to wade through.
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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

Most waterproof
NRS Boundary socks with HydroCuff
Most waterproof
These below knee neoprenes are perfect if you really want to keep the water out of your socks. Even if water goes above the top of the sock, the sock seals around your calf to prevent water from trickling in. 
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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

FAQ's

What are neoprene socks for?

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.

Do neoprene socks keep your feet dry?

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. 

Do neoprene socks keep your feet warm?

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. 

How should neoprene socks fit?

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.

Are SealSkinz socks waterproof?

All SealSkinz socks are 100% waterproof, breathable and windproof. 

Tried any of the socks on our list? Let us know what your favorites are!

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