How to choose the right socks for hiking?

Updated on 15 March 2024

How to choose the right socks for hiking?

Do you enjoy hiking? In that case, you should consider your choice of socks. While you may have paid attention to properly breathable clothing, good shoes, and perhaps even specialized hiking sticks, have you thought about your socks? Well, they are very important, especially in humid or cold weather. In this article, we will cover the essentials of a good pair of hiking socks and how to choose the right one for your needs to keep your feet comfortable and healthy.

What are hiking socks?

Hiking socks must be able to support your Achilles tendon so that it doesn’t wiggle around in your shoes. They must also provide adequate support for your heel and toes in order to last a long time. Furthermore, your stability depends on their support for the instep. These socks ought to be breathable to keep your feet as comfortable as possible. Ideally, you should also look for seamless socks to avoid getting blisters.

How to choose the right hiking socks to protect our feet

Caring for our feet involves choosing the right socks. Your perfect pair of socks must fit well, so it’s important to buy them in the right size. Additionally, you should pay attention to your foot’s needs. For example, if you have sweaty feet, synthetic materials may not be suitable; wool, bamboo or cotton socks will provide you with better breathability. The latter is important to prevent fungal or mycotic infections. We also recommend seamless socks for activities that can create significant friction, such as running and jogging. Lastly, if you have issues with blood circulation, you should opt for compression stockings. If you have sensitive skin, look into materials like cotton, bamboo or linen. It may take a bit of time, but choosing the right socks is a skill to acquire. 

Recommended materials for hiking socks

It is well-known that socks protect us from blisters and excessive sweating of the feet. However, it’s important to note that certain socks are more appropriate for certain activities than others. For example, silk socks are not suitable for hiking excursions. Wool, nylon, lycra, cashmere, and linen socks are recommended as they are durable, comfortable, and breathable. Below, we will explain why cashmere and linen have slight advantages over other materials.

Cashmere socks

Cashmere is a type of wool that comes from the undercoat of goats. It is collected from their neck and belly. It’s considered a rare material as a goat only produces around 150-160 grams of cashmere per year. The higher the altitude where the goats live, the more insulating their cashmere will be due to the colder temperatures. This makes cashmere more expensive. Cashmere is valued for its luxury, its ability to keep warm, its insulating properties, and its softness, which distinguishes it from other materials. If you’re going on a trip in cold weather, this material is sure to keep you warm.

Linen socks

Linen is a natural material that is derived from the flax plant. It is an environmentally friendly choice because it requires minimal amounts of water, fertilizer, and pesticides to produce. Linen is also thermoregulatory, which means it adjusts to the surrounding temperature. It keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making it a versatile choice. Linen socks are both breathable and insulating, which means it can provide warmth or coolness depending on the need. Additionally, linen socks are known to be more durable and last twice as long as cotton socks.

A well-shod hike

Hiking is a popular activity among many people; however, if you’re not properly equipped, it can lead to discomfort. Choosing the right socks is essential for a comfortable hike. If you’re planning on hiking in cold weather, you should consider wool, cashmere, or linen, as they provide warmth. On the other hand, for cooler weather, bamboo or linen are a better option as they are thermoregulatory. It’s important to take care of your feet by wearing high-quality socks to prevent pain and discomfort. Follow these tips to make your hikes much more enjoyable. If you have any doubts or questions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a podiatrist. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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