Be prepared this Summer – with the right pair of hiking socks, whatever your activity!
It is already well documented that wearing the right type of walking boot is vital to prevent blisters and aid a comfortable walk. However, what’s not so widely known is that your walking and hiking socks are also key pieces of equipment to help ensure a comfortable walk!
Whether you have a hiking holiday planned or perhaps you simply love walking the peaks with your dog, then wearing the correct socks will help to keep your feet protected and comfortable for much, much longer!
But it can often be problematic knowing just which sock to select for your planned activity, whatever it is. With so many different brands and styles of hiking socks to choose from, and with prices ranging from £6.00 to £20.00 and beyond, this buying decision can sometimes be quite difficult.
Below is a guide that we hope may help you to make the right decision to suit your own needs and ensure a great time, when out and about.
Expedition Hiking Socks
An ‘expedition’ usually involves a long journey, exploring and researching remote places such as the Alps or the Himalayas, for example.
When embarking upon such activities, due to the extreme weather and potential difficult conditions, socks that are both durable and comfortable are vital.
The Bridgedale WoolFusion Summit socks and the MerinoFusion Summit socks have been carefully designed to offer foot protection in the harshest of environments. These hiking socks have been made from Enduro Wool and Merino Wool (to offer warmth) and have been entwined with Endurofil (a polypropylene fibre) to ensure durability. This fibre has proven to be hardwearing meaning that these socks can be washed over and over again and still remain in great condition. These are simply great when you are out camping too!
In addition, if venturing to an extreme environment, you may wish to consider a Coolmax liner sock. These socks have been designed to be worn under thicker hiking socks, such as the Bridgedale WoolFusion Trekker sock which then helps with ‘wicking’ moisture, whilst aiding hygiene and cleanliness.
Trekking in Warm Climates
Trekking usually involves walking for extended periods of time over challenging and difficult terrain. This may include walking ‘on and off’ trail, across high level ridges and mountain summits. Often, due to the distance being walked, a rucksack packed with all the necessary requirements, such as a cooker, tent and rations is advisable. In addition, comfortable blister-free, pressure-padding, on the feet, is always a good idea!
The main cause of blisters is friction, heat or pressure. Blisters occur when the soft inner tissue connections of the foot rub against each other and, eventually, due to the constant friction, these connections will break. This, in turn, results in a build up of protective fluid to aid recovery…hence, a blister s formed!
To prevent blisters when walking, it is necessary to ‘transfer’ the friction from these inner tissue connections, through to the hiking socks themselves.
An organisation called 1000 Mile Socks has developed a unique double layer construction, that easily transfers friction from your foot to the layers of the sock. The thin inner layer, made from Tactel, will cling comfortably to your foot while the outer layer, (usually made from Wool), will move as you walk. This creates only internal friction between the layers of the sock themselves – therefore not damaging your foot! The Tactel inner layer will also keep your feet dry and comfortable, as it is draws moisture away from the skin. Tactel is known to be eight times more effective than any other similar fabric.
If you are planning on trekking in warmer climates, a hiking sock that is not too heavy or warm is recommended. But the sock still needs to offer that ‘all important’ protection and comfort! The 1000mile Breeze sock, an ankle sock, offers a double layer protection, with added padding, at key pressure points to include the heel and toe areas.
If a ‘longer’ sock is preferred, the 1000mile Lightweight walking sock offers aditional length, along with protection and comfort too!
The Bridgedale CoolFusion Light hiker has been designed with added Coolmax. Coolmax fibres ‘wick’ moisture away from the skin, to keep feet dry and cool for much longer. Similar to the Tactel fabric.
Whatever your hiking plans are stay safe and comfortable for longer in our hiking socks!