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How are your socks?


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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:43 PM

I've seen a lot of discussion on here about proper footwear, but anyone ever think about socks?

I didn't until today.

Was at the shoe store picking up a new pair of New Balance and decided to grab the cool looking charcoal gray Adidas Climalite X 2's hanging on the rack.

The difference was immediately noticeable just putting them on - super comfortable, well padded while still offering feel, and I actually felt better supported.

Anyone else have sock favorites?

If you haven't already, I highly recommend foregoing your standard Sears-style white tube socks in favor of something more, dare I say, fitting.
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#2 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 02:31 AM

I have a few pair of Smart Wool running socks that I really like. The ultra thin ones are great for hot weather. Despite the name there is plenty of cushion and support. The thicker ones are good for the cold. Wool doesn't collapse like cotton does when it gets wet so they stay comfortable when sweating a lot or if its wet out. Only downside to them is that they are $10 or more a pair.

A lot of the fancier socks have a lot of polyester or polypro in them which im not a big fan of. My feet sweat a lot and with synthetic socks I feel like my feet always feel wet.

~Jess
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#3 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 06:48 AM

Speaking of which... You should also change your socks mid day (lunch) just as you do your shoes. During the warmer months, I tend to wear flip flops to lunch in order for my feet to get fresh air.
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#4 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:56 AM

Speaking of which... You should also change your socks mid day (lunch) just as you do your shoes. During the warmer months, I tend to wear flip flops to lunch in order for my feet to get fresh air.


I make the AD rub my feet during lunch.

It's part of my deal memo.
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 08:06 PM

I'll second Jess's suggestion. All I wear are Smart Wool socks. They stay dry and are very comfortable.
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#6 chris fawcett

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 02:00 AM

Smart socks are great, though I keep loosing them. They send me cute postcards from Spain, Thailand, wherever.

Smart...and nice.
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#7 Dan Coplan

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 07:46 PM

Do you get those SmartWool socks locally or online? Which ones specifically? Just did a search online and there are tons costing upwards of $17/pair.

Dan
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#8 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 08:01 PM

These are the ones I like: http://www.rei.com/product/781632
$14.95. 10% off if you buy 3 or more and if your an REI member you will get your rebate at the end of the year. Sometimes REI has them on sale in the store for a few dollars less.

~Jess
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#9 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:41 PM

I get mine for $1.50 a pair at the seconds store. I can't really tell the difference, except maybe the occasional thin spot.
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 03:43 PM

These are the ones I like: My link
I normally buy them at REI, but sometimes you can find a better deal by searching the net.
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#11 James Davis

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 04:26 PM

I used to sell high quality hiking, ski and snowboard socks when I was a lot younger, wigwam make some of the best socks out there, they last for a long long time, all of their stuff is super high-quality, I can highly recommend anything they do but I especially prefer anything with a high coolmax fibre content, as this is a superb wicking fibre which is really good at keeping your feet or indeed any other body parts dry (not just used in socks).
I would recommend a light to mid-weight hiking sock as they are designed for people wearing supportive/stiff footwear, and for people carrying heavy payloads in addition to their bodyweight, hence they have re-enforced material in all the right areas, while being slimmed down in certain sections to prevent blisters/hotspots on your foot over long periods of time, to give you an idea of how good their socks are I have two pairs of light weight coolmax/merino that I bought nearly 10 years ago at the same time, 1 pair gave up a year ago, the second pair are almost dead now, well worth the £14 per pair that I paid for them back then, i've never had such a ridiculously long lifespan out of a pair of socks.

Lo and behold they still make the same socks that I bought 10 years ago as well:

http://www.wigwam.co...b3-001d091bb843 although I am guessing this contains an updated coolmax type fibre (dri-release), not sure as I haven't bought any fancy socks for a while, brasher (a british brand) are also very good, but wigwam are definitely the best, I have a whole bunch of their snowboard socks as well, also superb.
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#12 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 05:08 PM

Coolmax is a fancy name for polyester. The stuff works great in underarmour shirts for wearing below the vest but im not a fan of it for socks. Being a synthetic material it doesn't absorb any moisture. In the confined area of a shoe I find this just leaves my feet feeling wet as the shoe gets in the way of the wicking process. Also being synthetic they tend to have a slicker feel overall. For cold weather I have tried polyester liners with wool and/or cotton socks over them and I still didn't like the results.

Cotton on the other hand is able to absorb a lot of moisture. The downside is that once it becomes saturated the moisture causes cotton to collapse and stick to your skin. When wet they provide no padding, become uncomfortable and will cause blisters.

Wool sits somewhere inbetween the two. It will absorb some moisture(not as much as cotton) but no matter how wet it gets it does not collapse and as such does not lose its cushioning effect. I find that when my wool socks get a bit wet I am often able to get away with just letting them dry on my feet. Something that would be impossible with cotton.

While I find hiking socks to be great for cold weather with wool socks you don't need nearly as much thickness to have adequate padding. The same properties that make it good for padding make it a great insulator so I find the hiking socks too warm for everyday use. It may not seem like it but I find that the smart wool ultra light socks actually provide plenty of padding and keep my feet cool throughout the day.

Of course everyone's feet are different and people have different preferences. Whats right for me might not be right for you. Luckily with socks trying different ones out is not all that expensive of a proposition.

~Jess
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#13 James Davis

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 07:52 PM

Coolmax is a fancy name for polyester. The stuff works great in underarmour shirts for wearing below the vest but im not a fan of it for socks. Being a synthetic material it doesn't absorb any moisture. In the confined area of a shoe I find this just leaves my feet feeling wet as the shoe gets in the way of the wicking process. Also being synthetic they tend to have a slicker feel overall. For cold weather I have tried polyester liners with wool and/or cotton socks over them and I still didn't like the results.

Cotton on the other hand is able to absorb a lot of moisture. The downside is that once it becomes saturated the moisture causes cotton to collapse and stick to your skin. When wet they provide no padding, become uncomfortable and will cause blisters.

Wool sits somewhere inbetween the two. It will absorb some moisture(not as much as cotton) but no matter how wet it gets it does not collapse and as such does not lose its cushioning effect. I find that when my wool socks get a bit wet I am often able to get away with just letting them dry on my feet. Something that would be impossible with cotton.

While I find hiking socks to be great for cold weather with wool socks you don't need nearly as much thickness to have adequate padding. The same properties that make it good for padding make it a great insulator so I find the hiking socks too warm for everyday use. It may not seem like it but I find that the smart wool ultra light socks actually provide plenty of padding and keep my feet cool throughout the day.

Of course everyone's feet are different and people have different preferences. Whats right for me might not be right for you. Luckily with socks trying different ones out is not all that expensive of a proposition.

~Jess


Saying coolmax is a fancy name for polyester is like saying goretex, paramo, (whatever highly waterproof breathable material) jackets are like fancy plastic bags :rolleyes:
Polyester does nothing to actually wick moisture away or maintain dryness, it simply doesn't absorb liquids or moisture as easily as material like cotton, so it may give the illusion of wicking, by not retaining moisture, but doing nothing to either keep you cool/warm or regulate your body temperature on its own. Wool has different properties depending on the weave, density, and type of wool, the quality of the wool also makes a huge difference. Cotton doesn't collapse it simply does not dissipate moisture as well as synthetics engineered specifically for the job, it does however get saturated very easily with moisture which makes it very ineffective as a performance fabric.
Wool is great for cold weather as although it does retain more moisture than synthetic material like coolmax, it keeps you dryer than cotton and insulates you better than either material would, if however you are in extreme cold conditions and you need to avoid being wet/moist etc, then a combination of two layers one synthetic with a wool like material over the top would be the ideal combination as this would help keep the moisture away from your skin whilst still keeping you warm, or a good mix of the two synthetic and merino wool for instance would provide a great in between compromise, Helly Hansen are renowned for pioneering this type of base layer and its usage in extreme conditions before anyone else, combined with whatever breathable shell/outer layer you choose to wear.
Sure everyone's feet are different, and Smartwool/Phd stuff is ok, but I can tell you unequivocally, that Wigwam are 100 times better, the quality of construction, materials, and performance of their socks is a serious cut above anything else, and if you don't like hiking socks, they literally have something for everyone, from everyday socks, to high performance socks, thin socks, thick socks, arctic expeditions, professional athletes and everything in between, they have been in their respective trade for over 100 years.
If you haven't experienced or made use of high end technical clothing in the past, they are a good place to start B)
Oh if you have never heard of it before check out their outlast range of socks, a material developed by NASA that works amazingly well at keeping you warm without making you sweat in cold conditions.
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#14 James Davis

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 07:15 AM

Coolmax is a fancy name for polyester. The stuff works great in underarmour shirts for wearing below the vest but im not a fan of it for socks. Being a synthetic material it doesn't absorb any moisture. In the confined area of a shoe I find this just leaves my feet feeling wet as the shoe gets in the way of the wicking process. Also being synthetic they tend to have a slicker feel overall. For cold weather I have tried polyester liners with wool and/or cotton socks over them and I still didn't like the results.

Cotton on the other hand is able to absorb a lot of moisture. The downside is that once it becomes saturated the moisture causes cotton to collapse and stick to your skin. When wet they provide no padding, become uncomfortable and will cause blisters.

Wool sits somewhere inbetween the two. It will absorb some moisture(not as much as cotton) but no matter how wet it gets it does not collapse and as such does not lose its cushioning effect. I find that when my wool socks get a bit wet I am often able to get away with just letting them dry on my feet. Something that would be impossible with cotton.

While I find hiking socks to be great for cold weather with wool socks you don't need nearly as much thickness to have adequate padding. The same properties that make it good for padding make it a great insulator so I find the hiking socks too warm for everyday use. It may not seem like it but I find that the smart wool ultra light socks actually provide plenty of padding and keep my feet cool throughout the day.

Of course everyone's feet are different and people have different preferences. Whats right for me might not be right for you. Luckily with socks trying different ones out is not all that expensive of a proposition.

~Jess


Saying coolmax is a fancy name for polyester is like saying goretex, paramo, (whatever highly waterproof breathable material) jackets are like fancy plastic bags :rolleyes:
Polyester does nothing to actually wick moisture away or maintain dryness, it simply doesn't absorb liquids or moisture as easily as material like cotton, so it may give the illusion of wicking, by not retaining moisture, but doing nothing to either keep you cool/warm or regulate your body temperature on its own. Wool has different properties depending on the weave, density, and type of wool, the quality of the wool also makes a huge difference. Cotton doesn't collapse it simply does not dissipate moisture as well as synthetics engineered specifically for the job, it does however get saturated very easily with moisture which makes it very ineffective as a performance fabric.
Wool is great for cold weather as although it does retain more moisture than synthetic material like coolmax, it keeps you dryer than cotton and insulates you better than either material would, if however you are in extreme cold conditions and you need to avoid being wet/moist etc, then a combination of two layers one synthetic with a wool like material over the top would be the ideal combination as this would help keep the moisture away from your skin whilst still keeping you warm, or a good mix of the two synthetic and merino wool for instance would provide a great in between compromise, Helly Hansen are renowned for pioneering this type of base layer and its usage in extreme conditions before anyone else, combined with whatever breathable shell/outer layer you choose to wear.
Sure everyone's feet are different, and Smartwool/Phd stuff is ok, but I can tell you unequivocally, that Wigwam are 100 times better, the quality of construction, materials, and performance of their socks is a serious cut above anything else, and if you don't like hiking socks, they literally have something for everyone, from everyday socks, to high performance socks, thin socks, thick socks, arctic expeditions, professional athletes and everything in between, they have been in their respective trade for over 100 years.
If you haven't experienced or made use of high end technical clothing in the past, they are a good place to start B)
Oh if you have never heard of it before check out their outlast range of socks, a material developed by NASA that works amazingly well at keeping you warm without making you sweat in cold conditions.


Reading this back I realise I may have come across as slightly arsey/condescending, please don't take it in that manner, technical clothing is just a subject I talk quite enthusiastically about and have spent a lot of time/experience learning about in the past.
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#15 Jon Beattie

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:04 PM

most of the year I will wear some sort of athletic wicking running sock. Change them at lunch usually.

My favorite pair are http://www.injinji.com/ they make great socks. They actually are like gloves as they have toes. The big benefit to them are an increase protection from blisters etc.

Otherwise in the really cold months I also wear smartwool. I just get a mid-weight and mid-height. They are comfy, dri and warm.
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