Sadly, socks are commonly an afterthought when it comes to picking out your day's attire. What's even worse is when people who are avid participants in activities where socks play an important role – like running or hiking – are reckless sock wearers.
Being prepared with the right socks for a hiking expedition is serious – especially on the long trips. For those who still wear cotton socks while hiking, it's time for you to have a sock awakening.
When hiking, you'll need socks that will wick moisture, keep you comfortable, protect against shear, promote circulation, and absorb shock. Your feet are your friends, so you need to properly look out for them. Just picking the best pair of boots will not suffice.
Did you know with exertion, a foot can sweat 1-2 pints of vapor a day? That's why it's important to have socks that will be able to wick away the moisture. You do not want that sweat just collecting in your sock! That will not make for a fun hiking trip.
Shearing force is another important thing to think about. What do I mean by that? Well, when you're active, part of your skin is going one way and the tissue under it is going another – it causes friction. This is a common way of blisters forming because of the tear action happening under the surface of your skin. Luckily, there are socks to help combat this dilemma. For example, Bridgedale hiking socks are exceptional for this.
No one wants their feet to be scolding hot in the summer, or frigidly cold in the winter. Temperature is another key aspect in hiking socks. Some are better for warm-weather hikes, and some are better for the cold-weather hikes. You'll want to pick out a sock that will keep your feet at a consistent temperature.
You'll also find that the weight of hiking socks vary as well. The thicker and heavier the sock, the more cushioning and protection you'll have. However, sometimes if you are amid a light backpacking hike, you may want a lighter and thinner sock, as you do not need as much foot protection.
Having anatomically aligned socks is another thing to keep in mind. Anatomical socks can actually help with your posture. Maintain correct posture through a hike can help with fatigue. You'll find you'll fit in your boot better and your sock-and-boot combo can feel like they're just part of your body.
There are plenty of tidbits to keep in mind when wearing and browsing for socks for your hiking adventures. The last thing you want is to have a pair of socks ruin a hike for you. Preparation is key!