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What type of socks are best for hiking?
You can determine the best socks for hiking by looking at different factors. These include the season of the year, the nature of the field, the distance to cover. The type of boots you’re going to be wearing is also key. In this context, the best socks for hiking provide comfort, regulate temperature, manage odor, and trap moisture. This article covers other reasons.
Types of hiking socks
You need to know about four types of hiking socks that you can classify according to the socks’ weight.
Liners: These are best for you if you have issues with blisters on your foot. Come from synthetic polypropylene or silk. These socks absorb moisture, an ideal characteristic of dealing with sweat. More so, this type of socks is suitable for wearing when there are high temperatures. You can wear them alone unless you opt to pair them with a lightweight design to cater for a terrific hiking setup.
Lightweight: You need to have lightweight hiking socks on your itinerary as this type is ideal for warm weather. Unlike the case with liners, you don’t have to wear them with another kind of socks. They are renowned for their ability to wick moisture and keep your feet warm and protected.
Midweight: Have you ever tried hiking on rocky and mountainous terrain? Well, if you have done that, you need to plan on wearing these types of socks. They are identifiable through cushioning in the ball of the foot and the heel of your foot. Indeed, you’re guaranteed to last for days with these socks and are pretty suitable for rough terrains.
Heavyweight: You need to consider the weight of socks as the warmest, heaviest and most cushioned socks available. They are adapted to alpine activities and mountaineering adventures. That is irrespective of terrain and bad weather. It is a good thing to have them ready in your quest to hike in the mountains.
Are cotton or wool socks better for hiking?
Cotton socks are not ideal for hiking due to 3 main reasons. Cotton absorbs moisture, yet it dries slowly such that you end up with your feet drenched in sweat. Cotton provides no insulation and does not suit well for outdoor hiking adventures. In the face of the above, wool socks provide several comparative advantages over cotton.
Merino wool consists of a unique set of water resistance qualities. The classic wool thread has fantastic insulation and moisture-wicking capability. Wool socks are better for hiking. Unlike cotton-made socks whose shortfalls have ripple effects on your expedition.
Should you wear two socks when hiking?
A short answer to this question is NO! Start by considering genuine reasons why you would want to double the pairs. Presumably, to add comfort to your feet, counter foul odour and a way to increase moisture wicking capacity in a bid to deal with blisters. Indeed, you need to know which types of socks to wear for a given hiking session.
Opting for midweight or heavyweight socks will suffice to deal with the shortcomings above. There are circumstances where one may end up wearing double pairs of hiking socks, i.e. having blisters on your foot and putting on liners. It is permissible to wear another pair of lightweight hiking socks if you intend to go the extra mile on a scorching day.
Should you wear compression socks to hike?
Well, it sounds like a good idea to wear compression socks to hike, possibly as a remedy to hold yourself from getting tired and feeling achy in your legs. Hear it now, the enemy of the right is good! It is thus a good thing to wear compression socks for hiking but not the right thing to do.
In this case, you can do the right thing by wearing woollen hiking socks. Depending on your preference and predicament, you can wear various suitable types of hiking socks. Including liners, lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight.
What are the best socks for long-distance walking?
The best socks for walking long distances provide comfort, protection and excellent breathability. Choosing from the available types of weight socks; midweight socks are the most appropriate. Among other advantages, you don’t have to blame your hiking boots for many blisters and soreness. Midweight socks instead, provide:
- Temperature regulation.
- Sweat-wicking and odour control.
- Comfort and protection of your feet.
What material is best for hiking socks?
The best material for hiking include cotton, wool, nylon, polyester, silk, and others like bamboo. Hiking involves walking through dynamic temperatures, rocky and mountainous terrain. Woollen material is appropriate for hiking socks. It remains the best choice and for hikers for its comparative advantage to deal with various shortcomings of other materials.
Unlike cotton that does not dry up fast, woollen socks are quick to dry such that they don’t drench with sweat. Moreover, wool from Merino sheep is known to be thermostatic, meaning to say it can regulate the degree of hotness or coldness. You wouldn’t want the type of socks you have to buy frequently. That is why you will find woollen socks durable and provide you with a comfortable cushion to your feet.
Sock materials are available and what they do.
There are various socks available consisting of length, moisture-wicking, level of insulation and compression. Sock materials are cotton, nylon, wool, and silk.
Cotton: Because cotton is a standard fabric used to synthesize clothes worldwide, it is not ideal for socks production. Instead, socks come from a blend of cotton and other types of material. Cotton is not suitable for hiking socks because it is as elastic as other material. It ends up being out of shape and not ideal for length socks. Moreover, cotton is not as efficient at moisture absorption, which makes it a cause for concern to people with blisters and sweaty feet.
Wool: As stated in the passages above, this is the ideal material for hiking socks. Merino-woollen socks provide temperature regulation, moisture absorption, odour elimination, comfort and durability.
Polyester: This is a synthetic fibre used for liners, and its composition makes it durable, water repellent, and quick drying. This material is not suitable for hiking because it absorbs water, and its thermostatic performance is compromised by air. So you will find them not ideal if you are prone to blisters, sweaty feet and odour.
Bamboo: This is another unique material that has proved to be classy and sustainable. Its fibre composition makes it a perfect choice. It’s moisture absorbent, offers breathability at par with cotton or wool. Bamboo is soft, durable, lightweight and arable. It is apt for wearing outdoors having some fun despite the temperature.
Bamboo is one of the best choices if you are looking for fabric that repels odor and has antibacterial properties.