Swim Socks Product Review

Swim Socks Product Review

Product: Swim Socks

Manufacturer: blueseventy

Price: US$30.00, £20, €30

Description: Neoprene socks prevent injury to the sole of foot when walking on rocky surfaces. The Swim Socks are form fitting to minimize water entry while swimming and keep your feet warm in cold water.

Test Location: We tested in California (USA) during January at (1) the Huntington Beach, known as Surf City, on its wide sandy beach when the water was 58°F (14°C), both in the early morning and mid-afternoon, (2) swimming pool in Seal Beach at a 5:00 am masters swim practice, (3) while kayaking in the Pacific Ocean, and (4) while walking at and near Mavericks, a famous surfing location near San Francisco.

Sales Pitch: Plush neoprene eliminates chaffing from plastic straps. Adjustable for any size ankle and fitting under or over clothing.

Should You Buy It? Yes – for specific open water purposes.

Why? The product, simply put, does what it says and is better suited for athletes in the open water – and less expensive – than typical surf booties.

Upside: The Swim Socks have multiple uses. Very importantly, they do keep your feet warmer – especially when they are not yet wet – and protected than they would if you go barefoot. You can use them for walking on cold sandy beaches, rocky surfaces near ocean and lake shorelines and the cold decks of outdoor pools in the winter, spring and fall. You can also use them while you are on an escort boat (or kayak) while escorting a fellow swimmer training or during a solo channel swim or marathon relay. They work well on boat decks and when you walk up on the shore, pier, jetty, breakwater, dock, groin, boat landing, seawall, boat slip or wharf. The ‘grilled’ sole part of the Swim Socks effectively eliminate our worry about stepping on sharp rocks, shells and bits of glass on the shorelines and piers, especially when it is dark in the morning or night. They also work very well on the very cool pool deck and the walk from the parking lot to the pool. Unlike larger and bulkier surf booties, we found the Swim Socks were lighter, thinner and, therefore, more appropriate for an open water swimmer. You can also use the Swim Socks during your pool workouts that can add stress to your shoulders during pulling sets or specifically help you improve your up kick on your freestyle during kicking, sprint or normal freestyle sets. The Swim Socks can be folded up and placed inside your wetsuit or swimsuit if you no longer need them when you are swimming. If you only use them to walk to the water’s edge, then they are light and do not take up much room in your bag.

Downside: The Swim Socks are not waterproof and water gets inside, so the warmth level is not what you should expect when you enter the water. On the other hand, your feet will stay warm enough, especially if cold feet bother you or if you typically wear a wetsuit and feel your feet are always freezing. If you have a strong kick or start sprinting, then the Swim Socks can sag down and you feel the weight of the water as it pools in Swim Socks near your toes, whether you are in the open water or pool. Positively thinking, this feeling of having a bit of water pooling in the Swim Socks can be seen as a bit of an additional workout challenge. We thought of this sensation as a benefit, but we would definitely not want to do all – or even most – of our workouts with the Swim Socks. When used in a pool, the Swim Socks quickly sagged down from the ankles due to the constant turns which was more than a bit uncomfortable, especially when doing butterfly and breaststroke. But, for adding stress on your legs for freestyle and backstroke swimming sets, it can be used effectively as our up kick always needs improvement.

Changes: If we could re-design the product, we would either make the Swim Socks shorter (i.e., reduce the length that it rides up your ankles) or add some kind of fabric or Velcro above the ankles so the Swim Socks would not sag. But other than that, we think the thickness and overall design achieve its ultimate aim: keeping your feet warmer and protecting against injury.

Overall: Swim Socks are not an absolutely must-buy like a pair of goggles, but blueseventy did a very good job with this product. The needs – cold feet and injury protection – were identified and the Swim Socks definitely meet those needs. The Swim Socks would be a great gift for triathletes, for a parent or friend who is a masters swimmer, for a swimmer who trains in the open water during the winter, spring or fall, for friends who support you on your channel swim or during marathon swim training, or for yourself if your feet get cold or need protection on boats, kayaks, lidos or shorelines.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones