View Full Version : Summer socks

06-17-2005, 11:21
Having read a number of threads on the subject of socks, I am a bit dismayed to hear hikers complain of damp feet and then go on to say that they wear wool socks.
Wearing wool socks in warm weather makes just as much sense as wearing a wool shirt! Wool is hot and it absorbs and retains moisture. Wool also mats and compresses when damp, so the sock looses much of its cushioning ability.
There are a number of synthetic socks available that are designed with moisture management in mind. (The Ultimax line by Wigwam ranks high on my list. The soles of the sock are knit with a hydrophobic yarn. Moisture is moved to the top of the sock where it can evaporate. )
So if you have bought into the marketing hype that wool can somehow be made "smart," get smart yourself and put your wool socks away until winter. Your feet will thank you.

06-17-2005, 11:40
Check out the LightHikers from Thorlo with Coolmax. Hiked in them from about Pearisburg to Glencliff, NH on my thru in 2003.


06-17-2005, 21:47
Sox, in the summer, are highly overrated. You don't need them except to keep your shoes from smelling so bad. (it's easier to clean your sox than your shoes) I heard that Earl Schaeffer didn't wear sox on his 50 anniversary hike in 2000. So, i asked him if that rumor was true and he replied: "What do you need sox for in the summer?"

For cold weather hiking, nothing beats fleece sox. Most of us have discovered the advantages of fleece over just about everything else for keeping our upper body, head, hands, warm, well, it works just as well on your feet also.

06-19-2005, 13:31
Save your money, go to Wal-Mart and buy Men's dress socks. Just buy the ones with nylon/spandex and whatever do you, make sure they don't have cotton. Wear two pairs and ***voila*** foot happiness and easy on the wallet.

06-20-2005, 08:34
Boot/shoe fit comes into the equation here, especially if you are "old school" in your choices of footwear. The heavier the boot you wear, the more critical sock choice becomes. A sock that doesn't help you match the boot to your foot or changes how the boot wears on your foot, may cause blisters. This is where, I think, the wool socks come into the situation.

Before I switched to lighter weight boots, I hiked full leather boots. Getting the boot-to-sock combination right was something you didn't want to mess around with. Once i had a comfortable combination, I didn't change it, regardless of the weather, so I was wearing liner socks with Thorlo Trekking socks over them in 100 degree plus heat. I sweated out my boots long before the rain could get through, and I learned to live with it.

Now I generally wear a lightweight mid-height boot and my sock choice is FAR less important. I generally wear a light trekking sock by itself and between the venting panels in the boots and the coolmax in the socks, my feet stay a LOT drier. I also get as much support as my feet need with my lighter pack.