To put it simply, good walking socks and hiking socks, properly constructed and cushioned, anatomically correctly fitting, with good wicking and ventilation are the difference between a great walk and a grind. Happy feet and sad feet!
Why are we 'hiding' them in the Fitting Shoes Section?
Thank you for asking. Here's some more 'rocket science' for you.
Your socks are the final piece of the puzzle in fitting your shoes well. The last thing between your foot and the inside of your shoe. All in there together! Real cozy. They had darn well better get along real good, don't you think?
Good. We think so too!
In a nutshell, if you know you are going to be wearing walking socks or hiking socks with your shoes, then you need to select them for your intended activity and WEAR them when you are trying on your shoes. It only makes sense.
For you folks with special needs like diabetic socks or arthritic socks, they are most certainly available. It is just as important you wear your specialized socks when you're trying on your shoes too.
Here's some things to look for in your walking socks, hiking socks or specialized socks.
Walking socks and hiking socks need to provide good cushioning that matches the activity they are used for. Walkers feet need different cushioning than a golfer, a hiker or a skier.
Heavier cushioning under the heel and ball (2), lighter at the instep (3) for protection from boot pressure, moderate under the tongue (3) to relieve lace pressure.
Different cushioning and wicking can also help people with special foot problems like diabetes feet and arthritic feet.
For activities like hiking and backpacking - where you could be active for long periods of time - you want and need extra cushioning, cooling/ventilation (4) and wicking. More protection against blistering, shock, impact and shear. Socks designed for hiking tend to have the most thickness for these reasons
Good quality walking socks come in light, medium and heavy cushioning. Remember we recommended earlier in Shoe Fitting Tips about matching the sock to the activity? Make sure you wear the correct type of sock when you try on your shoes.
The heavy cushioned socks can add as much as one full shoe size! In some cases the medium cushioning may also call for a slightly larger shoe size. Make sure. Wear the right sock to get your best fitting shoes for the task!
...Coolmax, Acrylic, Spandex and Nylon are some of the necessary materials used for resilience, durability, good wicking and ventilation (1) and of course cushioning of the feet. You will also find lambswool and Merino wool socks that are great too. Better absorbency, wicking and comfort.
These type of socks actually can help keep your feet cooler in the summer AND warmer in the winter too.
...and a good contoured fit prevents bunching and balling of the sock around your foot - things that can lead to blisters and chafing very quickly. Men's and women's feet tend to be a different shape so get socks that are gender specific where possible.
We personally are raving fans of Thorlo Socks. We use them, love them, talk about them and sold them on our old internet store. These guys at Thorlo are totally nuts about socks - about 35 different specialized types of socks. A father and son team founded the company over 40 years ago. They are truly passionate about foot health and comfort. Our feet are most thankful!
Walking socks. Hiking socks. Specialized socks. Important stuff to add the finishing touch to a a great shoe fit. Your feet will be so happy. Your walking will truly be more enjoyable for sure. You will be happy!
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