Sports socks are a staple in all of our wardrobes, though we don’t give them much thought. But truthfully, they keep our feet warm and soft even during the gritty journeys, especially if we walk frequently or go on outdoor hiking trips around different areas.
Now just as there are different types of pants such as denim and cargo pants, there are different types of socks. Socks in Pakistan, especially hiking socks, is a pretty new concept, as people don't understand what's so special about them.
But they come in handy when our feet need to remain blister-free and supported for long periods as we are backpacking over the rocky trails.
But how do we know which pair is the right match for us?
Well, that is what we will be discussing in this article. So, what are we waiting for? Let's get to it.
Choosing the Perfect Pair of Running Socks
The things that we need to look out for when buying our perfect pair of socks are
Sock length or height is mostly a personal preference. However, it can be super short so that it isn't even visible when we wear sneakers or long enough to reach the knees.
According to length, the most common types of hiking socks in Pakistan are:
- No-show Socks
- Ankle Length
These socks are super cute, but sadly they don't offer much protection to the legs, especially if we wear them with high-cuffed boots. They can cause abrasions on the legs because nothing is protecting our skin from rubbing against the boot.
It’s better to wear them with low-cut footwear as the skin won’t rub against any rough surfaces this way.
These sports socks cover the entire ankle bone and offer protection to the foot and the ankle. They can be worn with low-cut and mid-rise footwear, as there won’t be any abrasive rubbing this way.
These are the hiking socks that most people prefer to wear while hiking, as they offer quite a bit of protection to the leg from chafing. They are considered classic and are usually a few inches above the ankle bones. We can wear them with any pair of boots, but it can be hard to handle them on a hot day because they give extra coverage.
There are limited options in this category, and most of them are for mountaineering. But that doesn't mean they still can't be used as hiking socks. Their length is perfect for protection against abrasions and chafing, especially on the calves and shins. They also help to keep our legs warm when it’s chilly out. Plus, they can be worn with any footwear, be it low-cut, mid-rise, or high-cuffed.
Sports socks have to take a lot of heat and support our feet for long distances. That is why they need to be fast-drying and highly durable, as we want a pair to last as long as possible.
They are also mostly made out of a blend of fabrics to get just the right combination of comfort, support, and warmth.
The most common materials used for manufacturing hiking socks are:
It is the most commonly used sock manufacturing material, and its products are used by hikers quite often. It's because wool is a natural temperature regulating and anti-microbial fabric, so it keeps the feet from getting sweaty while also eliminating the chances of foot odor.
It also provides cushioning for the feet so that large distances don't cause getting blisters or soreness.
Nowadays, merino wool gets used for making socks instead of rag wool as it is softer and less itchy. It is mixed with a few other substances to help with the construction of the sports socks.
Polyester is a synthetic material known for being resilient and insulating. It is used as a blending fabric in socks with wool or nylon, making them highly durable and comfortable to wear. Plus, its moisture removing properties make it a good addition for making the socks warm and fast-drying.
Spandex is a light, elastic, and synthetic material used as a blending fabric. Its stretchiness helps the socks maintain their original shape even after multiple uses. Moreover, it also helps to minimalize the wrinkling and bunching of the material.
Silk is a naturally insulating material, which is also comfortable and light. However, its only problem is that it isn't as durable as the other materials on our list. Nowadays, it is used in sock liners to absorb excess moisture.
Nylon is also a popular choice used for blending fabrics as well. Only on some occasions is it used as the primary material. It is mainly known for adding durability and helping with the drying factor of the final product.
Cushioning helps with foot support, so depending upon the type of trip and activities planned, we can choose to have sports socks with us.
- No Cushioning
- Light Cushioning
- Medium Cushioning
- Heavy Cushioning
These are the lightest out of all the sock types, as they offer little to no cushioning. But they are highly breathable, which makes them the best choice for the summer.
This category also consists of liner socks, which hikers wear under their regular socks. They were more popular in the past because they helped with moisture-wicking and keeping feet dry while hiking. Nowadays, just hiking socks themselves are enough, and liner socks are not needed.
These types of sports socks are known more for being comfortable than providing warmth. They are good at moisture-wicking, and their light cushioning in vital areas like the balls and the heels offers support to the feet.
These types of hiking socks provide good cushioning to the heels and balls of the feet. They are most appropriate for hiking and backpacking in moderate to cold weather.
These are the warmest, thickest, and most cushioned running socks available for use. They are best for long trips filled with rough terrains and cold temperatures, so if we want to take them for mountaineering or backpacking trips in the winter, then be our guest.
But they can be too thick for warm or hot weather, so it’s best to avoid them then.
How Should Sports Socks Fit?
Socks should fit well, as they need to cover our feet and support them for long periods. If they are too big, they can rub against the feet and cause blisters and abrasions.
And if they are too small, they can cause pressure to build on the nerves of the feet and can also slip from the feet.
Most people think buying socks according to their shoe size is correct, but that's not true. It is better to use your own feet measurements to get socks as shoe sizes often fluctuate from store to store. So this way, you can buy socks that are either too large or too small for your feet.
To find the size of your feet, go to any footwear store and let them measure it out for you. Afterward, use that number and compare it with the sizing charts in your local stores.
If you are between two sizes, it's best to go down rather than up to prevent bunching and blisters.
The perfect fit for hiking socks should be snug, not tight. The heel cup lines should line up with the actual heel of your foot. That’s when you know you’ve chosen the right pair.
Well, here we are, some pointers on how to choose the perfect socks. But, if you still can't find your perfect pair, don't worry. You're in luck because we here at Dominance specialize in all kinds of outdoor clothing and travel accessories.
Buy high-quality pairs of hiking and spots socks at the best prices that are also durable; and make your adventures more comfortable. So, why wait? Check out our latest collection of camping gear and outdoor clothes, and get ready for your next trip!