Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Three simple rules for buying hiking socks

A good-fitting sock is as important as a good-quality boot on a hike. 
Even if you have the best hiking boot for your foot, a lousy pair of socks will ruin the walk.

When purchasing a pair of socks for a hike, follow these three simple guidelines:
g Select a material that best fits your foot’s needs for the trail – This requires gauging how the sock’s thickness and fabric will hold up against the hiking conditions. The colder the weather, the rougher the terrain, and the longer the hike, the thicker the sock should be. Wool always is the best option for a fabric, but short walks on smooth trails in hot weather lends itself to simply wearing a liner.
g Ensure there’s enough cushioning – Give your socks a shakedown cruise by wearing them with your favorite hiking boot in a walk around the block or through a city park. If spots on your foot rub against the boot, you may not have enough cushioning there. The solution is to either go with a thicker sock or to find another brand with extra cushioning in the troubled spots.
g Get the right size – Socks are sold to fit a range of shoe sizes, so know the latter number. The right-sized sock will fit snug against your foot. Buy too large or too small of a sock, and it will bunch up, leading to abrasion and blisters.

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