Hiking in neoprene
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whalen e
(whalen) - M

Locale: PNW
Hiking in neoprene on 03/01/2013 12:19:42 MST Print View

I would love to hear from those who hike using neoprene socks and gloves on a consistent basis. Here in WA, I'm constantly fiddling with my rain gear system to find what will keep me warm and, if possible, dry. However, I've yet to try any neoprene; I'm considering NRS hydroskin socks and gloves, or NRS wetsocks.

Currently, I use Rocky Gore-Tex socks and they do a good job at keeping me dry and a bit warm, but I'm wondering if either of the NRS socks would do a better job at keeping me warmer in colder conditions, particularly snowshoeing.

Is there a preference between the hydroskin socks and the thicker wetsocks? It seems the wetsocks might be too thick for inov-8 330s.

Anyone use the hydroskin gloves with hiking poles? I've used MLD eVent mitts (seamsealed) for a year but it seems they wetout rather quickly, inside and out. So I've started leaving them at home and hiking in Defeet Merino Duragloves, which do a pretty good job keeping me warm when wet, but perhaps the hydroskin gloves would keep me even warmer.

Any comments would be appreciated. Thx

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Hiking in neoprene on 03/01/2013 12:37:07 MST Print View

I've used neoprene socks from time to time and like them.

I bought the ones I have from Campmor. They let the water pass through them through 1000s of pin sized holes through the neoprene. I don't know if they are still available.

They keep my feet warm when hiking in lightweight trail runners through snow and creeks in freezing weather.

I've used them instead of socks with no problems. They are flexible on cold mornings and feel warm as soon as I put them on.

I sweat a lot and routinely wade creeks with my shoes on so I'm very used to wet feet and it doesn't bother me at all. If you are used to dry feet you may find the neoprene not to you liking.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Neoprene on 03/01/2013 13:52:53 MST Print View

Although I use neoprene extensively for cold weather kayaking, I rarely use it hiking.

I have used socks similar to hydroskin socks as an experiment in conditions where I was going to be walking in water a lot.

I would never use neoprene gloves for hiking though, unless you think your hands are going to be fully submerged in water a lot.

The weight to warmth ratio is not that good with neoprene and even thick neoprene gloves are not going to be as warm as winter sport gloves.

When I am winter kayaking, I only wear neoprene gloves and boots on the water. As soon as I'm on land the puffy gloves go on my hands and the wool socks go on my feet.

Neoprene isn't warm enough.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
neo socks on 03/01/2013 15:37:47 MST Print View

No reason to switch from Goretex socks for snowshoeing if you're happy currently. Neo socks shine when your feet will be getting submersed in liquid water fairly often, higher than any sock or boot could hope to protect. Now on those late spring trips with snowshoing over high passes and every stream crossing swollen thigh deep? That's neo sock territory.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Neoprene socks "fun" after a few days on 03/01/2013 19:31:14 MST Print View

I have done a fair amount of rafting with side hikes in NRS neoprene socks, wearing them 12+ hours per day for days to weeks at a time, in hot weather or cold.

After a few days your feet will look like wrinkly prunes, unless you are careful to take care of them every night. Get out of the neoprene as soon as you can at camp, thoroughly dry your feet, and sleep in wool or (gasp) cotton socks with vaseline or some other goop to help restore them. If you don't, those prune wrinkles will dry and crack eventually, which is quite painful, almost debilitating. On one trip, we had a line outside our tent every morning of SuperGlue junkies, waiting for their skin cracks to be glued back together.

The inside of your neoprene socks will get a slimy coating of dead skin cells after a few days. Scared me the first few times I saw this, thought it was some kind of fungus growing. Just wash your socks out daily, ideally let them dry inside-out overnight, you'll be fine.

And there's nothing like putting frozen neoprene socks on in the morning. After the first couple of times, you'll learn to keep them warm at night.

I wear fingerless neoprene gloves on the river in hot weather or cold, mostly to protect my hands (see avatar photo). Like others said, their are warmer, lighter ways to keep your hands warm.

Edited by Rex on 03/01/2013 19:36:54 MST.