So you’ve gone through all the research online to find a good hiking boot, and you’ve gone to all the shoe stores, sporting goods stores and outdoor stores in your area to try on different makes and models and you have finally found the right pair of boots to go out hiking in. Congratulations! But… you’re not done yet. What about hiking socks?
Socks? What’s the big deal? You’ll just grab a pair of your jogging socks (the ones you use to play basketball, tennis, and just everyday wear; they’ll be fine, right?) WRONG!
The truth of the matter is that everyday cotton sports socks are NOT your best choice when it comes to hiking. In fact, they’re not just ‘not the best choice’, they’re really not a good choice at all. You see, hiking socks need some special properties that your everyday sock just won’t have. For example, they should be extra durable and have both thermal properties as well as moisture wicking abilities. No matter how long or short you plan on making your hikes, nothing will turn a beautiful day hiking into a painful and unpleasant memory like cold, wet and/or blistered feet. And good quality hiking socks will help you avoid exactly these kinds of problems.
So what exactly is ‘wicking’? Wicking is the process of pulling moisture away from the surface of the skin and transferring it to the outside of the material where is can easily evaporate. What this does is keep your skin nice and dry and comfortable. In cold weather it will keep your feet from getting chilled from teh dampness and in the hot weather is acts as a kind of evaporative cooler to keep your feet nice and comfortably cool.
Basic everyday cotton sport socks have none of these abilities. Hopefully you can clearly see that it’s worth just a bit more time and effort on your part to find some of the best hiking socks for your efforts. You’ll be glad you did.