Wool socks are a top option among various fabrics that you may opt to put on to enjoy hikes. There are many factors to suggest why wool socks are better than most material hiking. Reasons include impeccable odour control, excellent fit and comfort, warmth and ventilation. There are many other comparative benefits, which are the focus of this article.
Are wool socks best for hiking?
Wool socks are best for hiking for the following reasons:
Warmth and aeration: Wool socks are best for hiking given their moisture trapping and antimicrobial properties favourable to you. For instance, through temperature moderation, wool socks are made up of 30% merino wool responsible for thermoregulation. They always keep you warm when it is cold and then relaxed when it’s hot.
Moreover, wool socks are designed with comfort and cushioning features that are befitting if worn with boots. They serve an essential role in preventing aches and blisters because of thick padding. This particular type of socks has moisture tapping characteristics that have ‘sweat-wicking capability’ through a ventilation mesh or perforated membrane; this enables it to improve breathability and control awful odour.
Such is necessary given the sweat released from the feet due to high temperatures, body excretion, and shoes for long hours. You don’t need to pull up your socks quite often, as with other linen made socks. Instead, wool socks give you a perfect performance fit that comprises a quality stretch and great compression ideal for hiking adventures.
Is wool suitable for hiking?
There are many reasons why wool is apt and perfect for hiking. What happens to you when wearing wool socks is a subject of much speculation. Some of the main reasons include warmth, sweat-wicking capability, temperature regulation, odour control, comfort and protection, among others.
Wool is suitable for hiking because of its sweat-wicking capability. Human bodies release sweat through your feet due to various factors. Wool absorbs this moisture before it settles in your shoes, thereby not compromising performance. You can focus on hiking without a second thought of what could be a worry in your boots. The natural antibacterial properties of wool repel bacteria and foul odour.
The microbial traits found in the fibre clean away bacterial infections even if you do not wash wool socks every time. It will help if you consider that wool can keep your feet warm when there is cold weather. Wool socks provide a durable, comfortable and protection that complements your outdoor boots. It means you don’t need to wear double pairs at once.
Why are cotton socks bad for hiking?
Cotton is good at trapping moisture, yet it does not dry quickly. It means that after a few miles of hiking, your socks will be drenched in sweat. It affects warmth and insulation as the wet fabric makes feet cold. You can choose to wear socks made of cotton to go hiking.
You need to know the shortcomings of putting-on cotton socks as they include the following; failure to dry up quickly if getting wet. If you have trouble sweating on your feet whilst wearing cotton socks, you may need to consider other options.
Unlike other fabrics such as wool that absorb moisture and dry up quickly, cotton would instead get drenched in sweat after travelling for miles. It may result in a disrupted ability of the socks to preserve warmth and insulation.
The best conclusion is that cotton socks are wrong for hiking as they are not compatible with the least expected basics for socks. The most suitable socks for hiking are the ones made of merino wool. The comparative advantages of wool socks are that they allow aeration, dry quickly, repel lousy odour, are soft and have an extra cushion that comes with their durability.
Why are hiking socks thick?
Hiking is all about walking from one point to another. A person covers an average of 2,000 steps per one mile. Should the walk involve an undulating landscape, rocky terrain and roots, the number of steps increases, and it becomes even quite evident why there’s a need to have thick hiking socks. Thin socks are appropriately limited to warm conditions while failing to protect the skin against abrasion.
Thus, it is necessary to have thick socks which provide adequate protection, mainly medium and heavy cushioning on the heel or ball of the foot. Thick hiking socks tend to provide constant warmth and decent cushioning. Other factors such as temperature regulation and sweat-wicking capability are achievable when the socks are thick.
Surely you don’t need to catch a cold when hiking because you tread on snow or cold terrain, unlike the case with thin socks, where you end up wearing dual pairs to create a better cushion experience. Therefore, hiking socks need to be thick to achieve temperature regulation, comfortable cushions, odour control and sweat-wicking capability.
What is the difference between hiking socks and running socks?
There are many differences between hiking socks and running socks. The differences include but are not limited to; sock height, the extent of cushion, fabric, extra padding and fit. Sock height is critical and can set apart socks suitable for hiking, unlike those required for running. In terms of size, if you are a runner, you would instead go for short socks as much as possible and place priority on having a cushion underfoot.
Short socks fit precisely and securely and enable aeration complementary to their ability to wick away moisture due to body secretion. Whereas if it’s for hiking, you would instead go for long socks whose height protects your ankles from the collar of your hiking boots. Several running socks come from nylon or polyester, whilst hiking socks come from merino wool. They are made comfortable and compatible for either cool or warm conditions as they are thermostatic.
The kind of socks to wear when hiking during the summer depends on the characteristics of the weather. In summer, the weather is warm and hot in some places. Typical of drought recorded also are spikes in hot temperatures termed “heat wave”.
Merino wool socks are appropriate, unlike rag-wool socks or various other types of fibre. The pros of merino wool socks in summer is that they are thermostatic such that the feed is kept comfortable without worrying about drenching the socks with sweat. It is essential to note that merino wool socks absorb up to 30% equivalent to their weight.
Moreover, you would need socks that allow air circulation and dry quickly should you encounter creek crossing. Last but not least, you would need lightweight socks which can be enhanced to wick away moisture and at the same time cushion the heel and ball of your fit.