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View Full Version : liner socks, no liner socks, that is the question



Tramp
01-26-2015, 15:42
Do you use liner socks or do you not ?
Why ?:-?

Another Kevin
01-26-2015, 15:53
I use liner socks because I'm sensitive to wool, even merino. I've tried synthetic hiking socks, and got surprised by blisters.

Even if I weren't, I'd use liner socks at this time of year because they dry fast, and so I can wear plastic bags over them (keeping my socks dry), and change the liners out daily or oftener.

If I didn't get itchy feet from wool, I'd most likely dispense with liners in warm weather.

baumfamily
01-26-2015, 15:55
I hiked a few years not using them but after some blisters started using liners last year. I haven't had a blister since using them. I hiked 400 mile of the AT last year and did not get a hint of a blister. Needless to say I will continue to use liner socks!!!

sfdoc
01-26-2015, 16:04
About 20 years ago, while in the reserves, I had to do a 20 mile hike w/ a 55lb rucksack +weapon and water in under 8 hours. I hadn't trained for this hike. I used liner socks, regular socks, and Army jungle boots, and I didn't have even a hot spot. I wouldn't hike without them.

Tramp
01-26-2015, 16:24
Yep that is what i thought. I got an email from darn tough telling me that liners were old school and with there hi tec socks i did not need liners.
B.s. i thought, my question to them was should i move up a size in socks due to the liner ? thay said use no liner and buy our socks.
Other sock recomendations ??

Ktaadn
01-26-2015, 16:43
I don't use a liner sock. I think the info that you got from Darn Tough is accurate. Sock technology has come a long way.

The key for me is wearing a thin sock so that my feet don't sweat. A dry sock=happy feet for me.

fastfoxengineering
01-26-2015, 16:45
I wear lightweight, nonwaterproof trail runners and darn tough no-show cushion socks. Never had a blister. However..my feet were soaked from three days of rain and we had to help rescue a woman down a mtn. After carrying a makeshift litter for 4 hrs and just tearing my feet apart from all the shifting and lifting. My wet socks and shoes rubbed the tops of my feet raw. Nothing to do with actual hiking. However, I brought a pair of liners along. Wore them under my socks for the next two days and my feet cleared right up.

I carry a pair. Don't wear em typically, but if you start to develop a blister or hot spot, I believe they remedy the problem.

colorado_rob
01-26-2015, 16:49
Silk liner socks keep my feet cooler, drier and happier, even with today's newer tech-socks. I've hiked many times without, and for what, 30 years (?) with, and I know my feet and what works. In warm weather, those are the only socks I'll wear.

imscotty
01-26-2015, 17:22
No liners here, I wear trail runners with Darn Tough Socks. Never had a problem when wearing the Darn Tough Socks.

GTStricky
01-26-2015, 17:26
No liners here, I wear trail runners with Darn Tough Socks. Never had a problem when wearing the Darn Tough Socks.

Same here.

Tramp
01-26-2015, 18:10
So what ?? I do a test ? liner on one foot no liner on the other and see what happens ?

ATAdam
01-26-2015, 18:10
Liner socks, an Army requirements. Cant beat a ruck hump without liners. If it's good for us Army humps its good for you.

Tramp
01-26-2015, 18:11
One foot will fall off and i can hop my way to the trail head !!

kayak karl
01-26-2015, 18:57
So what ?? I do a test ? liner on one foot no liner on the other and see what happens ? NO, one trip with, one without. i don't wear liners. hate them.

Havana
01-26-2015, 18:59
You just have to try them. I like them a lot. Have used them on several hikes and it really reduces the blister risk for me. However, everyone has different feet, gear and walking styles. Best to buy a pair and wear them a bit to see if they make sense for you. I personally like the Injinji toe socks.

OCDave
01-26-2015, 19:50
I use liners but, if I would consider getting rid of them if there were a better sock. I be giving Darn Tough socks a try.

gbolt
01-26-2015, 20:03
Darn Tough socks are a class above the rest IMHO. I swore by liners in all other types of hiking socks. The second I switched to Darn Tough Socks w/out liners, my blisters stopped and my feet love me. Still same boots and some of the same trail as before. Especially a road section that tore up my feet previously. No problems...none. Now I have two pairs and getting ready to buy a final pair of running socks (to sleep in).

Honestly, I don't think Darn Tough reps were trying to BS anyone. I just feel that they take pride in their product! Who else gives that guarantee?

As they say, "Try it, you'll like it".

Sirsnappy09
01-26-2015, 20:29
Injini tor liners with darn toughs work for me. The toe socks eliminate friction between the toes .

PennyPincher
01-26-2015, 20:42
Injini tor liners with darn toughs work for me. The toe socks eliminate friction between the toes .

which style injini socks? I have many different ones and just switched back to a 'normal' minimalist runner and will use trail runners next spring. socks are expensive so would like to keep using the multiple pairs of toe socks I already own

Del Q
01-26-2015, 20:51
I used to get a lot of blisters, combination of boots not 1/2 size larger and no liner socks. Now?

Knee high women's panty hose with powder, then good socks.

Friend who is an FBI agent told me that this is a Special Forces trick. Has worked great for me.

.........and they meet all ultra-lightweight standards

Feral Bill
01-26-2015, 21:26
No liners here. I never got in the habit, and my feet are happy.

Turtle-2013
01-26-2015, 21:50
Injini tor liners with darn toughs work for me. The toe socks eliminate friction between the toes .

ditto for me ... BUT I think it makes a difference if you are using boots or trail runners too....

sfdoc
01-26-2015, 22:25
True, what Del Q said: nylon "knee highs" and regular or Army socks has prevented blisters for many SF soldiers that I've served with.

squeezebox
01-27-2015, 00:23
I'm thinking of going with a very thin rub of vasoline to reduce friction. But would that soften the skin and promote blisters instead of reduce? Foot powder. Wool toe socks. Darn tough over those. If my feet get too hot and sweaty in the summer drop either the liner or outer socks. See what happens.
Really interested in trying Leukotape. Do Not use duct tape, holds in moisture pulls off loose skin. Athletic tape or as many have said Leuko tape.
MHO

Trailweaver
01-27-2015, 02:40
I have never, ever had even a hint of a blister, and always wore liner socks with wool socks over them. Last time I bought hiking shoes - and I say "shoes" because I'd always worn boots with ankle support - I bought what people now are calling "trail runners." I had to because of ankle swelling following a severely fractured leg/ankle. Anyway, the guy who sold me the hiking shoes recommended the Darn Tough socks, and I bought them because they are made in America and I thought I'd give it a try - hiking without liner socks. I was skeptical, to say the least. I'd been so proud of never having foot issues on hikes. Let me tell you, I'm a believer! They have never caused a blister, they don't smell as badly as my previous socks, and they keep my feet warm in the winter and dry always. I'll always have some to wear if I can. They're amazing.

PD230SOI
01-27-2015, 06:50
I'm old school; Ranger and SF bosses - I never leave home without sock liners. I bet the darn tough rep was right about their socks but I wouldn't trust other socks.

i also like the fact that I can wash and dry the sock liners fast.

Traveler
01-27-2015, 07:07
I used to wear liners, but once I moved into Smartwool socks I stopped the habit and have not had any blister problems worth discussion. Liner socks, for me, tended to be slippery and ruck on me a lot but when I was using them with ragwool socks they were necessary.

I will change to PhD Smartwool socks in warmer weather, they provide cushion at the toes/ball of the feet and heel, with very thin fabric on the balance of the sock that seems to do a good wicking job.

Mountain Bluebird
01-27-2015, 07:28
Squeezebox and folks--
I hiked the "Jesus Trail" in Israel last year with Keene boots and wool socks. I met some South African pilgrims on the trail, some much older than me, and I'm 69. They knew about the vaseline trick--and I tried it. Reduces friction. I think it prevented blisters that would have otherwise appeared. For my hike I plan to take some Vicks (or equal) chest rub, because it can serve at least two purposes: It is mostly Vaseline--petrolatum, and will work the same as V. And Carmex is also mostly petrolatum, but it's much more expensive per ounce!

I think any cream/lotion would also work, although many have ingredients that make them water-soluble. If using those products on the feet, one might have to re-apply more than once a day. (With the Vaseline, I just put it on in the morning.)

daddytwosticks
01-27-2015, 08:12
In warmer weather, I actually wear two pair of liner socks inside my trail runners. My feet tend to sweat heavily. With this combo, my feet are happy and cooler, plus the liner socks are so lightweight, a simple rinse at the end of the day and they tend to be pretty dry by morning time, even in the humidity of a southern summer evening. :)

cbg
01-27-2015, 11:37
Wear WRIGHT SOCK as a liner and Darntough as a hiking sock. No blisters or hot spots.

Another Kevin
01-27-2015, 11:50
I'll expand on my earlier message. I wear Darn Tough socks and they're great. But I still wear liners because my feet itch like heck without them. (And in winter, inside my vapor barrier.) Your feet may be different from mine.

Rolls Kanardly
01-27-2015, 13:11
I bought liners because of a few posts and then left them in the dresser for quite some time. I kept thinking how am I going to get two pair of socks into my shoes/boots at the same time. Finally tried them and they work pretty good. I have not used them long haul but a day hike was good. Rolls

Havana
01-27-2015, 15:06
which style injini socks?

These are the ones I use. http://www.injinji.com/shop/liner/liner-crew.html

I carry two pairs and alternate.

Spirit Walker
01-27-2015, 22:16
With running shoes, you don't need liners. They can be a good idea if you are wearing heavy leather boots and wool socks - but not many thruhikers do that any more.

Jake2c
01-27-2015, 23:54
I not only use liners, but have also been experimenting with liner socks with toes in them. I do better with liners. The only thing that happened to me on occasion was a hot spot between toes. Initial indications are the "toed" socks may help with that.

Trail Ponderer
01-28-2015, 00:23
I have mostly used Smartwool socks in the past. I haven't had any major problems with blisters. I would get hotspots by the end of the day hiking mostly on the bottom of my feet. Last year I started experimenting with REI hiking liner (merino wool) socks only and the next day wearing Smartwool. I found that using the liner socks only, my feet were more comfortable by the end of the day because they were cooler and moisture didn't build up. I have used liner socks with wool socks over them and Wrightsocks but I didn't care for my feet feeling like they were sliding around in my shoes. Thin hiking liner socks only works for me.

RED-DOG
01-28-2015, 10:34
depends on the season if it's winter i use liner socks for the extra warmth but if it's warm weather i will not use them makes my feet sweat too much.

Dogwood
01-28-2015, 18:00
Do you use liner socks or do you not ?
Why ?:-?

Doesn't have to be an all or nothing, either or, right or wrong, good or bad, Yes sock liners are always great/ No sock liners always suck, duality two choice scenario to everything. I like keeping my options open and be willing to conceive beyond the two option scenario. Even though I've been moving away from sock liners I still, on some occasions, like HOT desert hikes, or when wearing heavier less breathable mid cut boots, add them into the foot mix system. I view everything on my feet as a system of working interconnected components with a sock liner as one component much the same as I view layering apparel on my torso.

Their are two main reasons I employ them, 1) wicking action keeping my feet cooler and less prone to blisters 2) additional cushioning/protection. However, I have found alternative techniques and gear choices with different characteristics that do much the same thing, so I don't employ them as soften as I once did. I've gotten much much better at choosing appropriate footwear for my feet characteristics and hiking parameters, higher tech more appropriate breathable socks, orthotics, toughening up my feet, and tending to my feet over the last 7-8 yrs so I all those things factor in less need for liner socks for me as well.

Singto
05-30-2015, 10:14
Darn Tough socks are a class above the rest IMHO. I swore by liners in all other types of hiking socks. The second I switched to Darn Tough Socks w/out liners, my blisters stopped and my feet love me. Still same boots and some of the same trail as before. Especially a road section that tore up my feet previously. No problems...none. Now I have two pairs and getting ready to buy a final pair of running socks (to sleep in).

Honestly, I don't think Darn Tough reps were trying to BS anyone. I just feel that they take pride in their product! Who else gives that guarantee?

As they say, "Try it, you'll like it".

Most sales reps take pride in their products, that has nothing to do with if their product will actually perform. What guarantee..the wear guarantee? Next time they tell someone about no blisters with their socks, that someone should ask them is they are willing to compensate for treatment, lost time and expenses should blisters sideline someone while wearing their socks without liners. Then you will see how far that "pride" goes.

Cotton Terry
05-30-2015, 10:50
I've always worn liners, but have heard a lot of discussion on this forum that the liners were meant to protect your feet from the heavy duty hiking boots with less flex. So, on a recent section hike on the AT (Approach Trail to Neel's Gap), I wore Darn Tough socks without liners with my Merrell Moab shoes. No blisters, no problems. However, there were others with trail runners and hiking boots who had foot problems. So, the answer for me is, it just depends on your feet and the fit of the shoe. I won't be using liners on my thruhike next year.

MuddyWaters
05-30-2015, 11:17
I consider liners to be a band-aid for another issue, but if it works for someone, they should do it until they find another way.

Happy feet is the goal. Doesnt really matter how you accomplish it as long as you are content with your method.

Ounce of prevention, worth a lb of cure.

Vegan Packer
05-30-2015, 15:13
These are the ones I use. http://www.injinji.com/shop/liner/liner-crew.html

I walk about 15+ miles per week, often in 90F+ temperatures. For years, I had to resort to taping my toes. Even after doing the same walks for several years, if I didn't tape before even just one time, I'd get toe blisters. My feet just never got used to walking without the tape. (No problem for just ordinary walking, but always problems with distance, speed, elevation changes, etc.)

I bought one pair on the Injinji socks for a test. No blisters. I have been using them for about six months or more, and not a single blister or hot spot. I am using the same model that you suggest: the liner that goes to crew height. I have orthotics, and I can't wear a second pair of socks over the liners, so I have just been wearing the liners, and it has been great! No more taping, no more worries about blisters. Also, I have plantar fasciitis, and the socks have a small arch support band running through the material, which helps with that issue.

If I recall correctly, the directions say to hand wash. Yeah, like I am going to do that! :rolleyes: I've just been washing them in the gentle cycle, and drying in the delicates cycle. I kept one pair aside from the original packaging to see how they wear. They don't look exactly new anymore, but they are holding up just fine. This is after about six months of washing every week per pair.

Next, I did a hand wash, rung them out, and tested to see how long they took to dry, to see what will happen on the trail. It's been a while now, and I can't remember the exact times, but they were something like this: still a little damp after eight hours (but acceptable for wearing), and I think that they were completely dry after about ten hours, or certainly dry after twelve hours.

The only hassle with the socks is that they take an extra minute or two to put on your feet, as you have to work each toe into place. I find it well worth the effort! :)

pauly_j
05-31-2015, 16:19
I use Injinji toe liner socks under heavyweight merino socks. I think any movement happens between the socks rather than the sock and the foot and negates blisters. On occasion I have previously had a blister between toes but I don't get that any more.

BirdBrain
05-31-2015, 16:32
Happy feet is the goal. Doesnt really matter how you accomplish it as long as you are content with your method.


Fully agree again. Nothing works for everyone. Thick Darn Tough socks and Body Glide works for me in any and all conditions.

Carbo
05-31-2015, 21:25
Liners cling to my feet and any movement is between the liner and the wool sock, not between the skin on my foot and the sock. I think this is why I never get blisters. Also, I'll wear the liners only when wearing the camp shoes, just feels better and cools my feet with the wicking effect.

Pewkles
05-31-2015, 21:40
40 years of blistered toes when hiking. I switched to toe socks four weeks ago...20 mile hikes no problems. Used toe socks as a liner with IceBreaker and as stand alone. My feet have never been so happy.

Wyoming
06-19-2015, 19:01
To show the endless variety among people.

I wear 'only' liner weight socks and nothing else. This is all I have used for the last 7000 miles or so of hiking. Not one blister. This allows me to also fit the shoe to my exact size. I think this is a very important issue. With liners and a well fitting shoe all one has to do is to tie the shoe properly so that one's foot does not slip forward or let the heel lift in the shoe. And perfection.

BTW some have mentioned getting blisters on the tops of their toes (under the toe nails etc). This can only happen in two ways. 1. is when your foot moves forward in the shoe and hits the toe of the shoe. If you have a shoe with a full toe box which is fitted properly and tied tight enough to hold the shoe in place number 1 cannot happen. 2. is if when you walk you lift your toes in the air (like when you are wearing flip flops or sandals or walking barefoot) and this rubs the top of your toes on your shoes. This is, essentially, bad walking technique and you need to teach yourself not to lift your toes when you stride forward. In other words your walking technique varies depending on what type of footwear, or lack thereof, you have on your feet.

theoilman
06-19-2015, 21:06
Injinji toe sock liners for me with my hiking socks. Prevents blisters between my toes that I got frequently without the liners.

Vegan Packer
06-19-2015, 21:14
Another vote for Injinji, and for wearing only liners without other socks. I used to have to tape my feet to avoid blisters. No matter what I did, my feet would never get used to walking without taping up first. I kept thinking that I would develop calluses, and that I would eventually just get tough enough skin, but I never did. From the very first day that I made the switch to Injinji, I have never developed a single blister again.

illabelle
06-20-2015, 04:33
Another vote for Injinji, and for wearing only liners without other socks. I used to have to tape my feet to avoid blisters. No matter what I did, my feet would never get used to walking without taping up first. I kept thinking that I would develop calluses, and that I would eventually just get tough enough skin, but I never did. From the very first day that I made the switch to Injinji, I have never developed a single blister again.

Just started using Injinji a few months ago. There have been some warm spots, but so far, no blisters. Keeping my toes crossed. (not really!)

Bronk
06-20-2015, 12:47
They cut down on blisters. If you are too cheap to buy socks officially labeled 'liner socks' then just buy some nylon dress socks. You can also change liners every day and put the thicker socks back on for several days in a row.

CalebJ
06-20-2015, 18:08
I haven't used two pair of socks in a good fifteen years. They're fine if you need them, but I've had fewer (almost none) blisters without them. Just a single lightweight pair with trail runners. With boots I'll use a thin merino sock.

Cadenza
07-20-2015, 03:03
Along the same principle as knee high hose, I use a cheap grocery store nylon sock as a liner. They dry super fast!

And though I have tried Darn Tough, I MUCH prefer Smartwool and Bridgedale wool socks.

Deacon
07-20-2015, 05:14
I believe if you have duck feet, like I do, that is, feet so wide that it's difficult to find a wide enough shoe to prevent toes being squeezed together, then liners are helpful in preventing blisters. My problem is blisters on the side of my toes from rubbing together caused by too narrow of a shoe.

I had to start wearing shoes two full sizes bigger to get enough width, then couple those with liners.


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