Sealskinz Super Thin Pro: Protects Feet And Blows Minds

The Sealskinz Super Thin Pro Mid Sock with Hydrostop is a waterproof, breathable, comfortable sock that protects feet and blows minds. This simple product will totally transform your footwear, adding water-worthy wading to airy trail runners and storm-shedding comfort to your cycling kicks.

I was initially skeptical these socks would live up to their waterproof promise – they seem constructed of a somewhat sturdy yet thin nylon material, not too different than a typical wicking fabric. Yet there I was standing for several minutes in a fast-flowing stream of Mount Hood snowmelt, my feet perfectly dry.

As an avid backpacker, my strategy for wet feet mostly centers on acceptance. To many backpackers, it’s simply not worth it to wear a heavy, waterproof boot on trips where rain and snow come and go. But imagine swapping to these waterproof socks when you hit the snow line on a pass? Or perhaps on a bike tour down the Pacific Coast Highway, when the rain clouds blow in off the ocean? Or maybe before a rainy trail run? These things seriously work, topped off with a grippy “Hydrostop” band at the top to keep out the splash.

You’d think that all this waterproofing comes at the expense of breathability. To test this, I wore the Super Thin Pro during my typical seven-mile bike commute on a sunny, 70-degree day. There was a bit of moisture by the time I’d hop off the bike, but it’s hard to say if it was any more than usual – and certainly less than you’d expect. Sealskinz provides a “thermal rating” for its products, and places the Super Thin Pro, which is also windproof, smack dab in the middle.

The Super Thin Pro feels a bit bulky in the toe box, but that mostly disappears once inside of a shoe. The socks are also heavier than the wicking wool I’d usually wear on a hike – way less, though, than a waterproof ​boot. I can’t speak for the long-term durability, but they seem like they can take a pounding. And with a name like “super thin,” they do indeed slip easily into svelte cycling shoes and whatever else you’re running.

So who’s the target audience of this product? The backpacker or bike tourist who wants dry feet amid changing conditions, or someone who wants to stretch the utility of their warm-weather footwear. If you can imagine a scenario where these would come in handy, just know – they work.

Showers Pass will take whatever Mother Nature is Giving


Photo: Stephen Lam/

If you are attracted to the idea of spending a wet winter bicycle commuting in comfort and safety, the affordable Showers Pass Club Pro Jacket, a heavier-duty shell fit for layering on the bike, could be a great cornerstone of your regular getup. Yet if you are looking for an on-off stowable jacket for conditions that evolve over the course of a recreational ride, you might want to look elsewhere in the lineup.

The Club Pro shell is of a classic design, made of a waterproof fabric that drops lower in the back and sleeves cut for a better fit on the bike. It also features zipper-clad vents at the armpits, ventable pockets on the torso and a large horizontal vent above the shoulder blades. A drawstring closure at the waist, Velcro wrist cuffs and a soft fabric neck keep things cozy.

This particular model also features a color so shockingly fluorescent that this tester swore the pigment must have come from another dimension. Showers Pass offers this jacket in a spectrum of hues, all with reflective features.

The fundamental design challenge for a jacket like this is to balance rain protection with ventilation. A garbage bag provides great rain protection, for example, yet will quickly become a horrible swamp during physical exertion.

Rain was a non-issue while wearing the Club Pro during a 14-mile jaunt across a rainy Portland, Oregon. Moisture accumulation within the jacket itself was also not a problem, no doubt thanks in part to the large back vent.

Reflective tape right above the back vent. Photo: Stephen Lam/

Toward the end of the trip, with things getting a little toasty, the other vents were easy to unzip while wearing heavy gloves and provided plenty of cooling without water intrusion. It’s notable to me that the pit vents are short and shielded by the arm, compared to rain shells designed for other outdoor pursuits that tend to have very long vents running along much of the torso.

I’m no stranger to rainy-day cycling, having ridden hundreds of cumulative miles in the pouring winter wet while much of the cycling public was cultivating its love/hate relationship with the turbo trainer. It is absolutely possible to ride in total comfort with the right gear, which hinges most of all on the right rain shell.

To me, this shell is best for very cold and wet commutes, rather than high-intensity recreational rides. The fit is rather generous in the torso, making it easy to layer up with a bulky fleece and other items that are unlikely to come off during an early-morning ride.

The material of the shell itself is burly, making this a garment that does not pack as well as other options. Yet for something that will stay on over the course of a ride, it’s not a bad thing to have something that seems likely to withstand a lot of abuse.

Those looking for something packable still have options from Showers Pass, including the lightweight Spring Classic Jacket. Yet at just over $100, compared to $289 for the Spring Classic, the Club Pro is a solid and relatively affordable option in a shell likely to last several years.

As for the color — with the sun low in the sky in the winter months, assuming the sun is out at all, you are wise to have a little extra visibility. But if radioactive yellow isn’t your thing, you’ve got options.

View from the back. Photo: Stephen Lam/
And it was all yellow. Photo: Stephen Lam/