If you spend a lot of your time in cold water, be it for surfing, kayaking, diving, or any other watersport, we highly recommend investing in some neoprene socks.
Neoprene socks are exactly what you think they are: socks or bootie-style footwear made of neoprene material.
Their job is to keep your feet warm and protected in the water, preventing conditions such as chilblains while minimizing the risk of injury.
Clearly, neoprene socks are a worthwhile investment if you’re into watersports. However, because there are so many types of neoprene socks on the market, choosing the right pair can be a challenge.
Don’t worry, though - we’ve done the research already! We’ve got 5 neoprene socks to review for you today, but first, let’s take a look at the different types you might encounter.
The Different Types Of Neoprene Socks
Neoprene Socks For Surfing
Surfing is one of the most common activities for which neoprene socks are required.
Neoprene socks for surfing are usually roughly the same thickness as the material used to make wetsuits.
They often look more like boots than socks, although the material is relatively thin. They’re usually worn with a wetsuit for complete thermal protection.
For surfing purposes, neoprene socks are typically made very carefully to allow just the right amount of movement in the feet while providing sufficient protection.
Crucially, they also help to enhance the grip of your feet on your board, which, of course, is essential for any surfer!
Neoprene Socks For Diving
If you’re going diving, it’s likely that you’ll need some slightly thicker neoprene socks because you’ll probably be submerged in the water for longer than if you’re surfing.
Diving socks made of neoprene are also thicker than surfing neoprene socks because they sometimes need to help keep diving fins securely on the wearer’s feet during the activity.
Neoprene Socks For Swimming
Like diving socks, neoprene socks for swimming are roughly the same thickness as those made for surfing because they’ll be directly in the water for a more extended time period.
However, these neoprene socks are significantly thinner than those made for diving.
They don’t need to hold any diving fins in place - instead, they’re supposed to keep your feet warm and protected while enabling you to move as efficiently in the water as possible.
For this reason, neoprene socks are usually on the thinner side to minimize drag and avoid creating any excess weight, which could make swimming more difficult.
OUR TOP PICK
Our best overall neoprene socks are the OMGear Neoprene Water Socks.
These are made from medium-thickness, flexible neoprene material, which makes them comfortable and allows you to maintain movement and dexterity in your feet.
Because of their non-slip soles, the OMGear neoprene socks are perfect for surfing. However, the soles are also liable to tear on abrasive surfaces, so we wouldn’t recommend them for rock climbing or any similar activity.
While the soles might not be the most durable part of these neoprene socks, the flatlock stitching is very robust and won’t break apart easily.
Thanks to the adjustable strap, you can ensure that each sock fits firmly and securely around your ankle, keeping them from falling off during your surf session.
You can find these socks in sizes XS to 3XL, and the fit is unisex, so they’re perfect for everyone!
- Flexible material - Comfortable
- Flatlock stitching - Highly durable
- Adjustable strap - Tight fit
- Non-slip sole - Safe for surfing
- Sizes XS to 3XL - Inclusive range
- Soles are prone to tearing - Not for use on rocky surfaces
The Copozz Neoprene Diving Socks are an excellent choice if you’re looking for socks specifically designed for diving.
The material is 3mm thick, which is great because it will help to ensure your diving fins don’t fall off during the dive as well as keep your feet warm.
The reinforced soles, which are made of rubber, also help to minimize this risk.
In addition to being thick, the fabric remains flexible, so you don’t need to worry about your foot movement being restricted.
Elastic ankle straps around the tops of the socks ensure that, as long as you choose the correct size, your diving neoprene socks will not come loose underwater
The size range spans sizes Small to XXLarge, so you have plenty of options, but be aware that the sizing does run small, so you might need to size up.
- Flexible fabric - No motion restriction
- 3mm thick material - Holds diving fins in place
- Reinforced rubber soles - Durable and non-slip
- Elasticated ankle straps - Secure fit
- Sizes Small to XXLarge - Suitable for most foot sizes
- Sizing runs small - Size up where possible
The RTDEP Neoprene Water Socks are great for any watersport, from surfing to diving.
These socks are made of 3mm neoprene fabric, so they’re thermal and resistant to wear and tear.
However, just because the material is thick doesn’t mean the socks will take forever to dry.
In fact, they’re very quick-drying, meaning that you can use them day after day with no issues.
The non-slip soles are great for navigating slippery surfaces as you get in and out of the water, and they may also help to keep your diving fins firmly attached to your feet if you choose to use them for this purpose.
An adjustable strap can be found around the top of each sock to help achieve the perfect fit.
You can buy these neoprene socks in either blue or black, depending on your preference.
Just be careful of the seams when washing or handling the socks because the glue can start to fail over time.
- 3mm fabric - Warm and durable
- Adjustable strap - Ergonomic
- Quick-drying - Convenient for repeated wear
- Non-slip soles - Great for diving fins
- Available in blue and black - Flexible styling
- Glued seams - Not the most durable
These Neoprene Water Fin Socks from Skyone are, again, great for many different water-based activities.
Skyone’s neoprene socks are 3 mm thick, so they provide a good level of thermal protection against the cold, as well as shielding your feet from potential objects in the water.
In addition to being protective inside the water, these socks have anti-slip soles that make them a good choice for walking around on rocks or the poolside.
Because the seams are both glued and blinded, they hold together extremely well and won’t be easily damaged.
However, it’s important to note that the socks are not 100% waterproof, so they’re not necessarily the best choice for swimming directly in the water without fins.
This neoprene material is highly elasticated, which means that it’s easy to make the socks fit perfectly to your feet.
There’s a wide range of sizes to choose from, and the additional elasticity makes the ideal fit even easier to achieve.
- 3 mm neoprene - Thermal
- Glued and blind seams - Highly durable
- High elasticity - Widely size-compatible
- Anti-slip soles - Safe and secure
- Not 100% waterproof - Not for staying dry
Finally, we highly recommend AKONA’s Low Top Neoprene Dive Sock.
Arguably, these socks strike the perfect balance between thermal comfort and breathability.
This is because the neoprene is 2 mm thick, which is slightly thinner than the heavy-duty 3 mm we’ve seen in some of our other reviewed products.
This middle ground between thickness and lightness makes these socks highly versatile and excellent for swimming, diving, and surfing in various water temperatures.
The seams are glued and blindstitched together, while the socks are reinforced with black nylon binding. This ensures incredible durability and long-lasting use.
These socks come in sizes 5-6 (women’s and men’s sizes, respectively) all the way to sizes 13 and 14, so finding your perfect fit shouldn’t be a struggle.
However, bear in mind that the sizes run on the small size, so it might be best to size up if you can.
- 2 mm neoprene - Thermal but breathable
- Glued and blindstitched seams - Wear-resistant
- Binded with black nylon - Extra durable
- Sizes 5-6 to 13-14 - Fits most sizes
- Sizes run small - Sizing up may be required
Neoprene Socks Buying Guide
Key Features To Look For In Neoprene Socks
Of course, your new neoprene socks will be made of (you guessed it!) neoprene - but the thickness of the material is definitely not a factor you should overlook.
As we explored in our section on the different types of neoprene socks, the thickness of the neoprene plays a significant role in determining what the socks can and should be used for.
If you’re going to be fully submerged in the water for a significant period of time (diving or surfing, for example), it’s usually best to get some relatively thick neoprene socks.
For diving, this is especially important because you’ll be wearing diving fins and thicker socks will help them to stay put.
However, just how thick is too thick? You can easily find neoprene socks with thicknesses of 3 mm on the market, and this is a pretty good size to go with if you’re going to be diving.
If you’re swimming in particularly cold waters, then again, 3 mm is a good thickness to go for.
A thickness of 2 mm, however, might be more appropriate if you’re going to be swimming or surfing in waters that aren’t so cold.
That’s because very thick neoprene socks can somewhat impair the dexterity of your feet, which isn’t what you want unless you absolutely need the thermal protection.
Seam construction is almost as important as material thickness and quality when it comes to neoprene socks.
That’s because the construction of the seams dictates not only how much water comes in and out but also how durable the socks will be in the long term.
If possible, we recommend finding some neoprene socks that are both glued and blindstitched.
Some neoprene socks will have seams that are simply glued together, and since this should be waterproof glue, these socks still have a good degree of durability.
However, when compared to those that have also been blindstitched (a type of folded, invisible stitch), glued socks are less durable.
They’re also typically less effective at keeping water out.
While we’re on this subject, it’s important to recognize that some neoprene socks are not designed to be fully waterproof. Rather, some of these socks allow water in while, at the same time, warming the water inside the sock.
This provides thermal protection but is definitely not ideal for swimming because the water trapped inside the socks will contribute to drag, lessening the effectiveness of your movements.
If you’re going to be surfing or diving (in which case, we assume you’ll be using diving fins), then sole construction is also an important factor when choosing neoprene socks.
The reason for this is clear: the construction of the sole determines the level of grip you can expect, which is important both for safety and convenience purposes.
For example, if you’re a surfer, the last thing you want is for your socks to compromise your ability to safely balance on your board.
This is also true if you’re going to be climbing over rocks or even walking around on the side of the pool - slip-proofing is essential.
For the divers out there, grip on the soles of your neoprene socks is also extremely important, if only because it helps to keep your fins securely on your feet for the duration of the dive (especially in the absence of ankle straps).
The bottom line is, no matter what water-related activity you’re going to be doing, we highly recommend prioritizing non-slip soles.
While we’re on the subject of sole construction, it’s also worth deciding whether or not reinforced soles would be a good idea.
If you’re going to be navigating any potentially sharp rocks, then you definitely need a bit of reinforcement to keep yourself and your socks from harm.
Because neoprene socks are primarily designed to be used in the water, it’s helpful to have some form of additional fastening in case the drag of the water causes them to slip off.
The most common form of neoprene sock fastening is an ankle strap. At the very least, this will prevent your socks from getting lost in the water if they do happen to slip off.
Ideally, this strap should be adjustable so that you can make it work for you, no matter what shape or size your feet/ankles are.
Neoprene socks come in a huge variety of sizes, so regardless of how big or small your feet are, you’ll definitely be able to find a pair that fits you.
Bearing that in mind, though, there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, you should always check customer testimonials to figure out whether the socks run true to size, or whether the sizing runs large or small.
This will help you to make the best choice for a secure fit.
It’s also important to take into account the elasticity of the material. Neoprene with more elasticity will, of course, be more versatile in terms of fit than less elastic neoprene.
Finally, don’t forget to double-check whether the socks you’re thinking about buying come in men’s or women’s sizes.
There’s a difference, for example, between a size 6 women’s sock and a size 6 men’s sock in terms of measurements, which is why this is important information to know about.
The style of a neoprene sock, which can also be referred to as the length, plays a crucial role in determining what kind of activity and weather conditions it’s suited for.
If you’re a swimmer or diver, we recommend investing in some longer-length socks.
This is because swimming can cause socks to fall down and eventually slip off, and having some extra length will ensure that this takes longer to happen, giving you more worry-free time in the water.
If you’re a surfer, the length of the sock is slightly less important. However, longer socks do come in useful when the weather gets colder.
Therefore, if you’re going to be moving your feet around in the water for a long time or are going to be dealing with cold conditions, long socks are the best choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Neoprene Socks Keep Your Feet Dry?
Not always! As we mentioned earlier, neoprene socks can definitely help to keep your feet dry - as long as they’re designed to be waterproof!
Neoprene socks are made waterproof by a combination of seam construction, waterproof material, and fastening. If any of these 3 factors allow water into the socks, then your feet won’t stay dry.
However, what neoprene socks will do, even if they aren’t waterproof, is warm the water inside the sock so that your feet don’t get too cold.
Therefore, if you’re less concerned about wet feet than cold feet, it doesn’t really matter whether your neoprene socks are waterproof or not.
If, however, you want to keep your feet totally dry, this is a feature you’ll need to actively prioritize.
Are Neoprene Socks Good For Hiking?
Yes, neoprene socks are an excellent choice if you’re going to be hiking, whether you’ll be around water or not.
First of all, they’re thick, which minimizes the risk of blistering and helps to provide extra cushioning during the hike.
If you do come across any wet areas, then they also have the obvious advantage of either keeping your feet dry or, at least, keeping them warm.
If you’re planning a hike, it’s a good idea to invest in some neoprene socks beforehand.