Walking enthusiasts are not adverse to spending large sums of money on their footwear.
Paying a couple of hundred pounds for a pair of walking boots is not unusual – often after endless research and the most careful consideration.
But how many people invest the same amount of time and trouble when it comes to choosing the right socks to go with them?
Wearing suitable socks is just as important as having comfortable boots or shoes, but in many cases is a factor seriously overlooked by newcomers to the outdoor life.
Walking socks must be breathable – allowing sweat to escape from the inside to keep your feet dry.
Waterproof footwear might well prevent water getting in – but it’s just as crucial to comfort for moisture to get out as well.
Breathability is all about the transfer of perspiration to the outside of any piece of clothing through a comprehensive moisture transport system, and socks are no different to baselayers in their need to ‘breathe.’
Cotton is not breathable, and so should never be worn next to the skin, either on your torso or your feet.
Specialist manufacturers like 1000 Mile and Smartwool produce a range of socks in varying weights, all designed for supreme comfort and breathability.
Preventing Painful Blisters
Flatlocked seams are paramount, preventing the risk of chafing and the development of painful blisters.
Cushioned socks provide padding in all the right places to help absorb shock, and a thin pair of liner socks slipped on underneath can add to the comfort factor.
It might seem obvious, but socks must be washed regularly to stop the build-up of dirt which can cause friction, leading not only to discomfort but also inflammation which in turn can result in the formation of blisters.
Always carry a spare pair of socks in your rucksack along with some talcum powder – changing into a clean, fresh pair at the end of a long trek can be sheer bliss!
- If you don’t have waterproof boots or shoes, waterproof socks themselves are the next best thing, and those from SealSkinz are guaranteed to keep your feet dry at all times – every single item that bears the SealSkinz name has been individually tested to prove its credentials before it leaves the factory.
Rigorous screening exposes the fabric to high water pressure seven times greater than the level required by the European standards authority, ensuring every pair of socks is 100% waterproof.
Breathability is not compromised thanks to a hydrophilic – water loving – membrane which prevents any water from getting through.
- License: Image author owned
Outdoor enthusiast Nicki Williams is a regular blogger on outdoor pursuits and sporting topics. She works as a copy writer for East Anglian company Gear-Zone, stockists of all the major brands including Smartwool, Icebreaker, Rab, The North Face and Meindl
Picture source: Gear-Zone
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