When it comes to choosing the best winter socks the material used in socks play an important role, you want your winter socks to come from thick and high quality material that posses thermal properties in order to help warm your feet and conform to the shape of your feet. A good winter sock is the one that can help regulate your temperature, it should warm your feet in the winter and also cool down your feet in warmer seasons. Your sock should be able to absorb moisture from your skin so that nasty odors can be minimized and can reduce painful blisters.
High quality socks will give you all the comfort you need during the winter season like when you’re walking out with your dog, going for work in cold morning or when hiking up a snow capped mountain. You can find various types of winter socks that are designed to suit winter season, they come with different lengths; up to the knee, calf length, and ankle. Calf length and ankle socks are a perfect combination for shoes; while the knee length socks are best worn with boots, they’re made from different types of materials and each provide different level of support.
Common materials used include synthetic and natural fibers. Some socks are designed for everyday use while some are designed for special outdoor activities such as hiking or snowboarding. Winter socks aren’t much expensive, even though it depends on your requirements; the average cost is somewhere around $8-$28. Whatever the price might be, not all socks are created equal, and if you’re looking for more comfort you should expect even higher cost than mentioned above.
Tips To Help You Choose The Right Winter Socks
The first thing to consider before buying any sock in the winter is the material fiber used in designing the socks. Most of the time winter socks are made from synthetic materials such Elastane and Nylon with a combination of natural fibers such as Merino wool.
Synthetic materials such Nylon can be used with Elastane and Lycra in various part of the sock, it’s mostly used around the calf to help give you better cushioning and support. Elastane or Lycra stretches well so that the sock follows the shape of your foot. Other fibers such as CoolMax Polystene, and Acrylic are used to help absorb moistures in order to make sure that your feet is dry and also prevent blisters around your toes or heel.
One downside of synthetic fibers is that sometimes they’re not comfortable to use in summer days, they also have less insulation in wet conditions, they produce bad odor because they don’t breath well.
When choosing winter socks it’s best to avoid picking cotton socks, socks made from 100% cotton aren’t suitable for activities that require exertion such as hiking or other winter sports. Cotton socks are designed to absorb more sweat and moisture quickly and this can cause blisters.
Wool – Merino Wool
Wool especially the Merino wool is the best material to use in winter socks and that’s exactly what you should be looking for. This material helps keep your feet warm and dry. The more wool that’s present in a sock the better thermal protection you’ll experience. But if the wool fiber isn’t enough to resist constant abrasion inside your boots or shoes, nylon or other synthetic fabric is mixed with the wool so that they can provide more abrasion support.
Merino Wool is the best material when it comes to breathing and moisture wicking performance because it’s a hydrophobic and hygroscopic substance; the wool is capable of absorbing and repelling water at a time. Wool fiber is a good thermostatic material, it’s capable of regulating temperature, and this means your feet can stay warm throughout the day during winter and also will remain cool during summer days. Another reason why Merion wool material is preferable is because it doesn’t itch like Rag wool, some manufacturers used rag wool because it’s cheaper.
Now the downside part is that it doesn’t dry faster, Merino wool dry slower than other synthetic materials, but overall they offer the best support and protection during winter and that’s why it remain the best material that’s ideal for use in winter socks.
Cushioning And Arch Support
You’ll find a lot of winter socks that are designed to provide extra cushioning; this feature offers more comfort than other socks. Extra cushioning or padding is added by increasing weave density in the ball or heel of the sock or sometimes by weaving other synthetic materials like acrylic on these areas. Getting socks with extra cushioning is really important especially if you’re wearing hiking boots and engaged in sporting activities in the snow. Cushioning can also increase shoe tightness especially if the sock material is very thick, if you’re not going to stand for long or you won’t be participating in sporting activities, you don’t need socks with extra cushioning, you should choose socks with low percentage of wool.
The next thing you want to consider is fitness and tightness, when it comes to sock sizes, it depends on your feet size. Most feet don’t conform to standard sizing. In order to know the size that fit you well you need to look at the size chart which is given by the manufacturer, the size chart should be in compliance with standard shoe sizes and the equivalent sock size.
The height of the sock should also be considered before making purchase, if the sock is lengthy it will bunch up above your toes and it it’s very short it will slide below your calf into the boot. During winter it’s better to stick with long socks because they offer more support and protection.
Most manufacturers design winter socks so that they can provide more warmth and support during harsh winter, for people who are extremely sensitive to colder temperatures, the wool isn’t enough to give them the warmth they want, and for people with such sensitivity a sock liner can give them extra warmth.
Sock liners are great when it comes to strenuous activities especially during snow days and also when you’re engaging in various winter sports like hiking, cycling or skiing. Sock liners are made from synthetic materials such as polyester and they’re added under the winter socks. They give the best extra support if you’re wearing boots and also can make your regular shoe very tight. The sock liner is a handy item when you’re going for hiking and will provide more support to your camping gear. A part from insulation, sock liners also have extra benefits like absorbing moisture from your feet to the outer sock so that it can evaporate to help your feet remain dry. They’re also a great option for hikers that are in the middle of wilderness because they can be washed and dried quickly than other socks.
How To Look After Your Winter Socks
- Winter socks should be turned inside out before washing.
- They should be washed on a gentle scale in warm or cool water.
- Don’t use regular detergent on winter socks; look for detergents specifically designed for woolen materials.
If you don’t want to lose sock shape and size, allow them to dry naturally instead of using dryers.