How do I choose the best hiking sock for me?
As always it does come down to personal preference and many factors come into play when you're trying to select the best sock for you. Padded or Non-padding. Single or Double Layer. Wool or Cotton. Looking for warmth or cooling? This list can be endless.
We've put our extensive sock knowledge into designing a wide range of socks that can suit most requirements and when you see them all on the website it can be a daunting prospect.
We can appreciate that our sock selection is quite varied so for a newbie it can be quite confusing! So how do you choose the best hiking socks for your needs? Never fear, the team is always on hand to help and you can email us on the CONTACT US page at any time, however to start you off here's a few tips:
- Footwear - if you are wearing boots then a longer option tends to be better as it helps to protect the ankles from rubbing at the top of the boot as well as the foot. If you are wearing lighter, trainer style walking shoes then the shorter styles may be more comfortable (you can even take a look at our running section as the cotton styles might be of interest too).
- Fit - it is important to ensure that the fit of the socks fit the size of your foot. For our double layer system to work at it's most effective the sock needs to be a snug fit with no wrinkles or creases in the layers. If the sock is too big the layers will not move independently, the sock is likely to slip or fall down or bunch under the toes. All this combined will prevent the double layer from being effective. If the sock is too small it can be tight around the toes and ankles restricting movement. It can also slip down the foot and cause discomfort which you definitely don't want half-way into a full day's hiking. Similar effects are felt in our single layer range as well so it is really important you get the fit right. You can check our SIZE GUIDE here to ensure you get the best fit for you.
- Thickness - you need to match the thickness of sock to the fit of your shoes. Many people purchase shoes that are a half size bigger than their usual fit to accommodate foot swelling over long distances. You need a sock that can fill some of this space otherwise your foot can move inside the shoe. This sliding of the foot increases friction on the skin and will result in blisters. Alternatively if you have a good fitting shoe and you chose a thick padded sock this makes the shoes too tight and again friction will be increased and blisters will result. Even our double layer will struggle under those circumstances
- Temperature - If your feet get too hot, they will sweat and swell. This is a hot spot for blisters. Most of our double layer socks have a Tactel inner lining. This material is soft on the skin and wicks sweat away from the body to keep the feet feeling dry and cool. Our single layer range will also have specially selected yarns to help regulate foot temperature. This helps to give you the bulk that you might need without overheating the feet. We also have a sock that has a inner lining to keep the feet warm so if you are heading to a colder climate the Heat sock will be beneficial for you.
Now we have covered the points that you need to consider before making your selection how do you narrow down the sock range to suit your requirements?
Take a look at the chart below to and it might help narrow down your options:
If you are still stuck then as always the team are here to help you. Email us on the CONTACT US link and we'll be happy to give advice.