Jim Noah   

Do You Need SealSkinz? That depends on how much time you spend outside in the wet and cold weather. I found out I needed them for years and didn't even know about them. You do too if you fish, hunt or even golf in nasty weather. They are a God send for tournament anglers braving the winter elements.

I was introduced to SealSkinz by Emily York with the suggestion of "Try them, you don't know what you have been missing except dry hands and feet!" Now we have all heard extreme comments like that, but I did get a pair of socks and gloves because I hate the cold and being cold and wet is even worse!

This Missouri winter has been the perfect testing ground with lots of cold days and over 12 inch of snow to play (I mean work) in. I have to give Emily credit for fairly representing SealSkinz! My hands have stayed dry and yet I was able to tie a knot in 8 lb. test XL line. I played with them in the warm house in the tub at first. I waited until no one was around, to try tying knots in the bathroom with wet SealSkinz gloves on.

I'll admit the first outing was to shovel the drive and I was impressed. I had dry hands and was able to gather the mail out of the mailbox with out a problem. I hadn't put the socks to much of a test since I had water proof boots on, but my feet were dry and warm.

We headed to northern Missouri to deer hunt that weekend so I packed my SealSkinz gloves and socks. A cold wet hike to the platform stand will test any product. Over the railroad tracks, down across a shallow creek with just a skim of ice proved the socks are waterproof. The creek was just a few inches deeper than the tops of my boots, but my feet stayed dry. Everything was covered in a blanket of ice making the going tough and wet. My hands stayed dry just like before.

At the stand I had no trouble climbing the ladder and into the stand with the gloves on. I was able to cock the T/C with my gloves on too. My hands and feet stayed dry all weekend and sold me on SealSkinz products. A small buck for the freeze made it worth while too. I was wearing the WaterBlocker socks that feature an in-cuff seal that kept the water from entering at the top of the sock. While Emily says these will keep your feet dry while wading in waist deep water, I wasn't and don't plan to. I thought this was the best sock selection when you make the mistake of going in over your boot tops in creeks or snow drifts. I don't go wading over my boots on purpose, but SealSkinz makes three different socks and I've only tried the WaterBlocker so far. The All-Season Sock is a mid-calf height (11") and an over-the-calf (15" height) socks are also available. Some day I'll get the others, but right now the WaterBlockers are keeping my feet dry.

I have been using the gloves with gripper dots that greatly increase your ability to do tasks, even tasks that usually require the gloves to be removed. I would have used the Gauntlet Gloves that go up to the elbow if I had them. They would be the ticket for ice fishing.

I was surprised to learn SealSkinz are made of a 3 layer system that actually has 3 different products fused together. I really like the fact the socks do not have seams that tend to cause blisters on my feet. I do wear cotton socks inside the SealSkinz socks for additional warmth.

Remember, I hate the cold!

SealSkinz products are available on the web at or at Cabela's.

Your favorite Sporting Goods store can order them too. I would get both socks and gloves today so your feet and hands will dry when you are out in the wet weather!

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