Unless you’ve run on a treadmill in a windowless dungeon all your life, you’re probably aware that running in the Pacific Northwest can be a soggy proposition. Showers Pass is a local apparel company that faces this fact head on, specializing in waterproof and otherwise weather-resistant garments for cyclists, runners, and other active northwesterners. Recently, I got a chance to test a Men’s Body-Mapped Baselayer Long Sleeve shirt and two types of Crosspoint Waterproof Socks.
Over the years I have accumulated an extensive collection of long-sleeved tech shirts of various designs, fabrics, and thicknesses, but the Men’s Body-Mapped Baselayer from Showers Pass is unique. The shirt is made up of several specific panels of material of different textures and patterns, strategically placed to absorb sweat, provide ventilation, and wick sweat away.
The compression style tailoring and stretchy fabric combine to make the shirt a lot tighter fitting than most shirts in my rotation, yet the thoughtful design keeps it comfortable. I received an L/XL shirt, but even though I usually wear medium (or even small), the Showers Pass Baselayer still fits me well. It’s called “Body-Mapped” for a reason! It is definitely snug, but not constricting, and the elasticity made it unobtrusive and kept it from sagging or bunching up. It keeps me warm, yet breathes well. There are unusually large, round thumb holes near the cuffs, that initially caused me some concern about drafty wrists. I was also skeptical about the need for such large holes for one’s thumbs. But a quick test proved my doubts unfounded, as the design accommodated my thumbs efficiently and kept my knuckles warm. (However, when not in use, the huge thumb holes did provide a little extra ventilation for my wrists.)
The “label” and washing instructions appear in large letters inside the hem, which is both novel and easy to read, while eliminating the need for an irritating conventional scratchy tag. My shirt came in “Graphite” gray, and with its various subtle stripes, panels, and contrasting shades and shapes, it looks very modern and cool, even with what appears to be a large tire track down the back!
Even more than the attention-grabbing “Neon Yellow” color, the first thing that jumped out at me about these socks was the size. They look huge: Thick, tall, bulky, heavy, stiff. Gargantuan. The most enormous running socks I’ve ever owned! It didn’t help that they came in size L/XL. I realized that the three-layer construction that ensures the waterproof, warm, and breathable nature of these socks requires some concessions to size, but wow! However, after I overcame my initial shock, I was pleasantly surprised: Even though they are larger in every measure than typical running socks, and they did require a little more effort to pull on, they actually fit well, they don’t fill my shoes to capacity or squeeze my feet, and they stay up and don’t bunch up or wrinkle inside my shoes, all things I feared. In addition, they don’t cause my feet to feel too warm or sweaty, and they are surprisingly soft and provide good cushioning.
As an unforgiving test, I ran one of the area’s sloppiest races, the Hagg Mud 25k, notorious for mud, wet trails, mud, dirt, and more mud, and the socks performed amazingly well, felt great, and kept my feet warm and dry from start to finish. And despite the heft and bulk of these socks, I suffered no blisters or hot spots. Usually after a soggy trail race my feet end up very dirty and wet, with mud between my toes; they look like they belong to a mummified stone age relic unearthed from a peat bog. But this time, while the outside of the socks emerged from the mire completely caked in thick mud, my feet and the inside of the socks came out miraculously clean and dry (seriously, not a speck of dirt or drop of water penetrated these socks!). Somehow, Showers Pass has managed to create socks that combine comfort, softness, and breathability with warmth and extremely aggressive waterproofness. If that’s not enough they seem durable and cleaned up reasonably well after hand washing too.
My second pair of Showers Pass waterproof socks are similar but slightly (just slightly) lighter weight than the Hi-Viz Crew Socks. I haven’t yet put them to as demanding or drastic a test as their big brothers, but on a couple of long runs they have provided comparable comfort, warmth, and breathability. This pair came in M/L, a size smaller than the Hi-Viz, so they are snugger and a bit more of a struggle to put on and take off, but that is a small price to pay for the performance once they are on. A felt a slight wrinkle against my shin at the start of one run, but it worked itself out and the fit stayed consistent throughout run, without any sagging or bunching. Waterproof socks that also allow your feet to breathe? Joe’s Toes love ’em!
Company: Showers Pass
- Men’s Body-Mapped Baselayer, Long Sleeve ($69 – on sale for $55 as of 2/23/2018)
- Crosspoint Waterproof Hi-Viz Crew Socks ($35)
- Lightweight Waterproof Socks – Crosspoint Brights ($34)
Showers Pass makes technically advanced active apparel and gear to inspire and enable the pursuit of outdoor adventure.
Thank you to Showers Pass for providing us with sample items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.