Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Athens, Georgia

    Default Hiking socks and floorprint/tyvek

    I know that by far, most hikers seem to prefer merino wool socks - whether darn tough or smart wool. Does anyone hike without wool socks? How do athletic socks work out?

    Also, what is everyone's feelings on using footprints/tyvek? I've spent maybe 20 nights out in the woods and haven't used anything yet. What's the reasoning and pros/cons?

    Thanks, y'all!

  2. #2
    Registered User Glogg's Avatar
    Join Date
    New York, New York


    I can't speak to the sock issue except to note that the important part of hiking socks is that they dry quickly. Wool or synthetic. As far as I know, a lot of athletic socks are mostly cotton, which I avoid using on trail.

    I don't use a footprint under my tent, but I do carry a piece of tyvek to use under my inflatable pad inside a shelter. A bit of splinter protection, plus a portable dry spot to lay stuff out on, plus a portable light-colored spot for dinner in the dark which reflects moonlight or my headlamp nicely.



  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Bellingham, Washington


    Most people use footprints to protect from things like twigs and pebbles that could rip a floor. Polycryo is a popular choice for footprints because it is dirt cheap, ultralight, and easy to get. Tyvek is also dirt cheap and easily accessible, and although it is heavier than polycryo, it is more durable and is less prone to blowing away in the wind when setting up a tent.
    For socks, I generally just use ones that dry quickly. I have a pair of the Fits National Park series socks, and they dry quickly. My cotton socks take a longer to dry out, and wet socks are not good.

  4. #4


    Check out Stance running socks, I've run six ultras in this brand of sock, would never trade them for anything else. Good luck finding what works for you.
    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change". Charles Darwin

  5. #5


    I use a footprint to protect the floor of the tent. I have also used it as a rain fly to cover a common area for cooking or just sitting, so it can do double duty for other uses as well as a footprint.

    Socks can be perplexing, given so many choices. Like shoes, finding the socks that work for you may take a little time and trial/error. There are big differences in foot comfort between trail runners, trail shoes, mid-high boots, and standard height boots. The overarching concern for most is the ability to wick sweat out of the shoe/boot efficiently and keep your feet warm. For this, most folks use wool or wool/poly blend socks.

    I happen to prefer Smart Wool socks (in various thickness depending on the foot gear), a lot of folks like Darn Tough. However, You really have to spend some miles in both to assess which is more comfortable and works best for you.

  6. #6


    Cotton doesn't dry or wick as fast as wool which keeps your feet wetter for longer. Putting on wet socks in the morning sucks. Wet feet are also more likely to blister due to the skin being softer and more sensitive to friction. I do wear cotton socks for day hikes of a few hours, but wool is my only choice for anything that involves an overnight.

    I don't use a footprint with my Duplex...I just make sure the ground is clear and preferably on grass.

  7. #7


    I use a piece of Tyvek.

    Very sturdy.

  8. #8


    Thurlo makes a great synthetic hiking sock. I've found them to be very durable, and now they're my daily wear socks too.

    For a tent footprint, I use a 2mil plastic painters drop cloth. Lighter than tyvek, and plenty tough. $3 at Home Depot for a 9'x12' that can be cut to shape.
    Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt, and the forest and field in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul.--Fred Bear

  9. #9


    I don't recommend cotton socks for any reason except for maybe lounging in the shade with a mint julep in your hand.

    you can buy socks in 100% wool, 100% synthetic, or any combination thereof.

    I have 100% synth Thorlo Light Hiking socks with moderate cushion that are nice for the beginning of a hike but don't dry as quickly as I hoped. they're also comfortably warm at night.

    also use Darn Tough Micro Crew that are a 60/40 combination of merino wool and synth. they're thinner have less cushion, and dry quicker.

    I like both kinds for different things...

  10. #10
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Tampa, Florida


    Tent: SoLong 6.

    Made my own footprint from kite-making Tyvek the first time I bought the tent. I wanted to protect the underside and it worked well. Second tent, I had LightHeart Gear send me a pre-cut footprint, a little thicker but for the same reasons.


    Started with Thor-lo many years ago. Tried MANY different socks and brands. Had some type of problem with most of them, mostly wearing out very fast. Finally came upon Darn Tough on sale. I wore 2 pair over 1100 miles before replacing them as the elastic at the tops stretched out with my method of using my zip-off pants as a quick gaiter. The next set of two I am still wearing, even in FL. They are wool or wool blend with the cushion bottoms. I could NOT tell you the particulars, though. No holes, still cushiony, still great.

    One note: I had one pair of Darn Tough socks that were red in color. When I wore these, I would ALWAYS start hot spots and had 1 blister form. Changed style/color and no more problems. No clue why - the socks seemed like all the rest, just different in color.
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
    Hányszor lennél inkább máshol?

  11. #11
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Lynchburg, VA


    Drymax Trail Socks are g2g. They do as they claim in terms of staying pretty daggon dry. Put them in the washer and when you take them out they are slightly damp. And the blister prevention is top notch. They are my go to for all outdoor activities. My only negative on them is durability in the large toe area. I seem to wear through them in that spot over time.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


    Bought 2 pairs of Bridgedale liners and 2 pairs of mid-weight trekking socks, as well as 1 thicker pair of summit socks. They feel very comfortable, especially the heavier pair, but have yet to be put to the sword. Also have a very thick pair of woolen Falke socks for sleeping in. Changed my Salomon boots for some lighter, less durable and cooler Hi-Tec boots, so looked for some socks to match my change. Also added an extra boot liner to the existing liner.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts