Saturday, January 3, 2015

Know types of hiking socks to ensure you select best one for your trail

Lightweight socks are fine for hiking in summer but of limited benefit on
rough terrain.
Just as important as the hiking boot is the sock beneath it. When hiking, the sock does most of the work of keeping the foot warm and dry and is absolutely necessary to keep the skin from rubbing raw against the boot’s leather.

Generally, hiking socks can be grouped into four categories, based on their thickness:
g Liner – The thinnest and lightest of socks, liners are worn close to the skin to wick moisture away from the foot. Liners can be worn on their own during hot days and on easy, smooth trails. Wearing them beneath midweight socks, especially if your feet sweat more than normal, and because they help reduce abrasion between the foot and boot that a thick sock might cause, also is a good idea.
g Lightweight – Also called “summer socks,” rather than provide warmth, they focus on wicking moisture from the skin. Their thinness makes them best for walks on hot days, and with the lack of cushioning their use should be limited to smooth, easy trails.
g Midweight – Also known as “three-season socks,” midweight socks are made for cold and moderate hiking weather, so they have extra insulation and cushioning, making them thicker than summer socks. Many brands add padding in the part of the sock covering the heel, ball of the foot, and toes, which helps the foot when crossing rough terrain.
g Heavyweight – More commonly referred to as “mountaineering socks,” these socks are thick, warm and cushioned far more than a midweight sock, as they are intended for long backpacking trips, cold weather, and rugged terrain. This type of sock never is needed for a day hike.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.