@hikermor different strokes for different folks. Someone in Florida that wears sandals year round may think that $18 for a pair of Smartwools is highway robbery. Where we recreate often determines ones perceptions of a bargain. Seal skinz range in prices from $35 to $55 and that is for full MSRP. I live in SE Alaska where it rains an average of 220 days a year. To access many areas I have to hike through muskeg. There are a few options: 1) rubber boots with less than idea ankle support, 2) putting grocery bags on my feet before putting on my boots (ok in a pinch after flooding a boot but not ideal), 3) multiple pairs of socks, 4) waterproof socks. I used to bring multiple pair of smartwools, but with the high relative humidity here, nothing really dries out. Despite gortex lined hiking boots, I always plan on having wet feet by day two of most hikes. Last year while camping on a ridge it got unseasonably cold (not predicted by the weather service) and my boots were so saturated that they completely froze. They were blocks of ice. I couldn't even untie the laces. I ended up pouring hot water on my boots to defrost them enough to wiggle my feet in. The rest of the morning my feet were cold but dry. 

PDB
he/him/his