Monday, September 10, 2012

Sock It to Me

Eight girls wearing toe socks
Eight girls wearing toe socks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Socks are a vital part of foot health and safety. If you look for a great pair of socks and expect a quick find, think again. You will have to consider what activity you are participating in, then select socks that meet all the criteria necessary for a pleasant experience. Outdoors can be tough on your feet, so let’s walk that walk first.

There are 250 thousand sweat glands on your feet. All operate at peak performance meaning your socks better be up to a lot of moisture wicking capability or else you will drown in your shoes. Well, probably not, but you will need to choose a sock that is either merino wool or synthetic, or a combination of both. This will allow you with the moisture wicking properties necessary to keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.

Socks will need to fit your foot because if they are too long they will bunch in the toes causing discomfort, and if they are too short they will slide down into your shoe. If you’re hiking you will have to get socks that come just above your boot tops, which will prevent abrasion from boot tops. Socks can be manufactured with extra padding or cushioning at the heel and ball of foot. This increases the density of the stitches PSI or you can weave in tough, long wearing material like acrylic. Make sure socks, with all their extra cushioning, fit into your shoes or boots without feeling tight.

As a review, please remember that a great pair of general purpose outdoorsy type socks will include:
  • Keep your feet dry. Dry feet will prevent blisters and provide comfort in a variety of situations. Your best fabric selections are merino wool, synthetic or a combination. Avoid the old cotton tube socks because they absorb sweat, are quick to saturate, and slow to dry.
  • Have protection for your feet. Provide a little cushioning so your feet do not feel the impact of running and hiking.
  • You need a perfect fit. Fit your feet properly with socks. If your socks are, too long or too short, a foot injury is likely to result.
You probably don’t think of socks in the “high tech” sense, but advancements in fabrics and design allow the creation of an entire line of specialized socks. Such socks include liner socks, waterproof socks, heated socks and toe socks. Toe socks are like a glove for your foot. When designed with seamless construction, they prevent blisters from occurring between the toes. They may not be ideal for all pursuits, but try them for running and hiking. You can learn more about specialized socks at your local sporting goods retailer.

Before you get off on the great adventure, make sure your feet are in shape. Call Dr. Boucher at (203) 238-3668 and address any outstanding foot concerns with her.


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