Gecko Calf Length Classic All Action Waterproof Socks
190g Large £29.95
Gecko Calf Length Classic All Action Waterproof Socks are claimed to be the “ultimate foot protector in wet and wintry landscapes”. They aren’t cycling specific, but perform very well, especially with mountain bike booties and wider touring shoes. Hand-washing is recommended, although the ability to machine wash at 40 degrees is also very, welcome.
Pros: Excellent temperature regulation, fast wicking, waterproof, versatile.
Cons: A touch thick for sportier road and mountain bike shoes.
These are another three, layer model, employing their “air skin” technology. The outer shell is 90% nylon, 10% elastic, the interling is a waterproof, breathable membrane, the inner sock is made up of 70% Cool Max FX (polyester) and 30% nylon-another synthetic yarn, popular among this genre of sock. The waterproofing rating is 8,000mm, which should cater for most contexts, including submersion and snow.
Reinforced toe and heel sections promise comfort, ditto seamless construction and calf length continue a temperate, protective narrative. Length of our medium is (cm), extending the use of 3/4lengths, through colder, wetter days. Staying
with sizing, the Gecko are available in 36-49 (3 to 14 UK) which might not be universal but should cater for most people. I liked the orange honeycomb on black, but there’s also stealth black.
I’m a size 43/44 in street/cycling shoes respectively, so wasn’t surprised to find the large were bang on, in most respects. Calf length meant just shy of overlapping seal with these Primal Dawn Bib Knickers .Though relatively thick, they’re also unobtrusive beneath tights, with no unsightly bulges, or bunching. In common with the Dexshell Pro Visibility Cycling Socks their tog weight is a little on the heavy side for sportier road and touring shoes, especially around the toe-box. No issues with these FLR Rexton Active Touring/Trail Shoe and the FLR Defender Thermal Dry S-Tex Boot .
Our samples arrived just in time for a spell of cold, wet and generally very scuzzy weather. Even when the mercury has registered zero, my feet have felt perfectly temperate, allowing me to concentrate on the ride. For much of this period, I've defaulted to the FLR Defender boots and haven’t shied away from immersing my feet, when navigating waterlogged lanes and trickling through boggy bridle path, with the inevitable dab down. Now, I love the Defender, especially in cold, dry weather but they take a good while to dry, when they’ve had a thorough soaking. No issues with cold, or wet feet, thanks to the Gecko socks.
Much the same story with the FLR Rexton Active Touring/Trail Shoe, which sport a reasonable amount of mesh paneling-given the same treatment, I could feel the water creeping inside the shoe but locked outside the sock, which felt a little weird but less so than those with TPU linings, in my experience. Similarly, I was conscious of icy winds tickling the fabric, while my feet remained arid and happy, even after several hours, when my face and fingertips were nipped and stinging.
Support to the toe-box and heel sections were similarly sublime. Not hint of gathering, slippage, or hot spots, regardless of cadence, journey. Reassuringly, when I’ve been on a few mixed terrain sessions (where it’s been a question of shoulder the bike and run, rather than drop a few cogs and twiddle). Talking of two feet, the song remained unchanged when I’ve done a few five-mile meanders wearing budget walking boots with similar results, suggesting they make the transition to other sports ad indeed, everyday wear.
At the other extreme, in double figures, despite the relatively thick materials, feet have never felt clammy, let alone succumbed to athletes' foot and other, unwelcome infections. I’ve deliberately worn ours without washing for five successive rides and 25hours. No funk. Not a practice we’d recommended, though confirmed the yarn’s wicking and anti-bacterial properties.
Several weeks and a few hundred miles later, ours still look packet fresh. No hint of bobbing, or fraying. Not that I’d expect any different, given the specification and price. Gecko recommends handwashing, but have designed them to be machine washed, which wins some brownie points with yours truly and probably a fair few of you too.
40 is the maximum, so no worries if they’ve gone in with the household wash-ours have come out, same size they went in, just looking and smelling better. However, other than looking to call their bluff, I’ve tossed it in with skanky riding kit and gone the 30-degree, minimal detergent route and naturally, swerved the drier. Bargain on a drying time of four hours-at room temperature. Too cold and wintry for line drying during this test period.
£29.99 is around the going rate for waterproof socks. The Deshell Pro Visibility Cycling Socks come in at £25.99. Bridgedale Storm Socks are another multi-discipline design, which Steve got along very well with. However, they’re nigh on a tenner dearer than the Gecko. Seal Skinz Waterproof All Weather Mid Length Sock has a waterproof rating of 20,000mm and comes in at £35.
Minor considerations aside, the Gecko Calf Length Classic Socks do what they promise in the blurb and to a very high standard. They're also very easy to live with and care for. The only sticking point (and this goes for several competitors) is the incompatibility with narrower, racier road and mountain bike footwear.