Socks are a major part of a person’s wardrobe, although many people may not even give socks a second glance. Socks do so much more than people realize. They protect the foot from blisters, the cold, chafing, discomfort, and much more.
While some may not even care what brand or thickness their socks are, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts take very special care when choosing the right sock for their adventures.
Experts suggest that outdoor lovers need to pick what are termed ‘high-tech socks.’ Even if it someone’s first time hiking or camping, these socks are the way to go.
The socks are specially made for keeping feet dry and comfortable, leaving the feet blister-free at the end of a day’s vigorous walking. Sure, most people would not think that a simple sock would be called technical, but they are nothing like the regular, cheap cotton socks, that’s for sure.
Choosing the right technical socks has been brought down to a science. There is a pair of socks for just about any outdoor activity, from hiking to baseball. Depending on what time of socks a person needs, the socks will come with special instructions to make sure the person is wearing and using them correctly.
Here is a breakdown of the types of socks available:
Ski and snowboard socks
These socks have padding in the shin area and the underfoot. These socks aren’t always as warm as others because they are designed for padding over warmth.
They are meant to protect the feet and shins from pressure points caused by ski and snowboard boots.
Backpacking socks – Mid-weight
These socks are also used for hiking. They have added thickness for those who have low-volume feet, meaning they have narrow feet or a low instep.
These socks have a little more padding on the heel and ball than the hiking socks.
The socks also offer more cushioning on the top at the foot and leg for longer trails, overall these are socks that aim for comfort and protection of your feet and ankles.
Although walking isn’t an exhaustive sport, many people go for long walks daily for their means of exercise. This type of sock has cushioning and moisture-repellent properties to keep your feet dry and blister free.
Multiple sports athletic sock
Although this is a rather broad category, there is simple science behind it. From the fairly traditional white gym sock through to the special socks for cross-trainers and runners. These particular socks have extra sole cushioning, but also have minimal bulk so that they fit comfortably in the shoe and keep weight down.
There’s a wide variety of sock’s so that customers can find exactly what they’re looking for and what works for them. The running socks range from simple liner socks that have a little padding, to socks with thick cushioning in the heels and balls of the foot.
While some runners prefer less padding to fit better in a shoe, others like the thicker padding so that it reduces foot pain and fatigue. Using liner socks can be useful when slightly more bulk is needed but they also wick moisture and can help prevent rubbing and thus blisters.
These days even casual socks can be technical socks and even though this article is generally about technical socks for outdoor activities there’s a place for your everyday socks.
Sure, you can get cheap cotton socks that will work fine for you some fo the time, but if you get into any sort of activity or you get hot, and your feet sweat cotton is not a good fabric to have on your feet.
Choose a casual sock with good wool and other mixtures so that you’re getting the benefit of modern design and technology while looking good.
Lightweight hiking socks
Blisters are the bane of hikers so there’s a thinner sock designed to be a great fit for hikers. These socks are designed to accommodate different foot shapes and sizes and have less volume than the midweight backpacking making them good if you’re feet fill your boots.
The socks are generally moisture-repellent and have extra cushioning on the heel and ball. They are also thinner on the top for comfort.
These are thick heavyweight socks and are designed to be used in cold, harsh conditions, they insulate well and have plenty of padding for prolonged use while wearing heavy footwear.
Just as you would find a reputable and skilled shoe/boot fitter to talk to at your outdoor store so that you get the right boots that fit well you can do the same with socks, next time you need to buy socks go and talk to an expert, they will help you find the right sock to fit your activity and the footwear you have.