Great hiking socks are critical. Do yours deliver in all these important areas? Learn how to pick hiking sock that is smart for your trip.
Your hiking socks are probably like you at work... they do a lot more than they're given credit for. They must be comfortable, wick moisture, protect against shear, support your natural posture, keep your feet at a good temperature, distribute pressure, promote circulation, absorb shock, and be tough. That's no small order.
They are almost as important as your boots and shoes when it comes to your comfort. Here are some things to consider.
Blood Flow- This is circulation of blood through foot. A decrease or cut-off in blood flow can be caused by unyielding fabrics in hiking socks. Acrylics in combination with other fibers and a terry weave can help with this and shear.
Moisture- With exertion one foot can sweat 1-2 pints of vapor/fluid per day. That's why wicking technology in hiking socks is so important. Without it bacteria and fungus can become a problem. Hungry yet? ;-)
Position- If your hiking socks don't help to maintain correct anatomical alignment this can cause premature fatigue. Correct posture also helps to correctly position your foot in your boot or shoe to make it feel like it's an extension of your body.
Pressure Areas- Pressure can cause discomfort and lead to damage if it's not addressed. A good example of this is a bedsore. Most people hopefully won't experience pressure to this degree, but it's something you want to keep in mind when looking at hiking socks. Padding is especially important around bony areas like heal and ball of foot.