Whether you’re walking, running, hiking or simply going out with friends for the afternoon, what you wear on your feet makes a real difference in how you feel. Shoes are a big part of foot comfort, but having the right socks can be equally important.
Socks are made with many different kinds of fibers and features. Knowing how they compare, and which choices are best in various situations, is helpful in preventing foot problems.
COTTON: THE TRADITIONAL CHOICE
Many of us grew up wearing cotton socks for sports, relaxation and dress occasions. They’re generally lighter and may feel cooler than socks made with synthetic fibers. One thing to remember, however, is that cotton socks absorb moisture. This can be good – but the downside is that cotton can also become wet and saturated, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Cotton socks and tights also retain more heat than other types of socks, which can make you sweat more, soaking your socks faster.
SYNTHETIC FIBERS FOR STYLE AND SPORTS
Synthetic socks are made of nylon, polyester and other man-made materials that don’t allow sweat to disperse. They are generally thinner than socks made of natural fibers such as cotton, and they don’t fully absorb sweat, so your feet may stay wet. However, the socks themselves will dry faster than cotton and other materials.
Polyester socks are the ideal synthetic sock choice for athletes who need dry feet, since polyester is the most absorbent synthetic material. Tights and other full-body hosiery are most often made from polyester, nylon, spandex and other materials and will also stay drier than cotton tights.
WOOL FOR WARMTH, COOLING AND BREATHABILITY
Wool socks are among some of the best socks for hard-working feet because they absorb moisture efficiently. Unlike cotton, wool absorbs moisture within the fiber itself. This allows for greater moisture distribution throughout the sock, preventing feet from getting and staying wet inside shoes or boots.
Wool socks are often thicker than cotton socks, but because of wool’s unique fiber structure, feet will have more breathing room. This cools feet down when they’re warm and warms them when they’re cold – a real advantage for hikers and other athletes.
BAMBOO: THE BEST FOR SENSITIVE FEET
Bamboo fiber socks are an environmentally friendly option that is ideal for individuals with diabetes, allergies and sensitive skin. Bamboo regulates temperature well, so it keeps feet warm in winter and cool in summer. Bamboo socks are nearly 4 times more absorbent than wool socks, which helps reduce odor and promote foot health by controlling moisture and bacterial growth.
LOOK FOR THESE FEATURES WHEN YOU BUY SOCKS
Arch reinforcements. Many brands of socks offer a tight-fitting, reinforced weave in the arch to provide extra support. This is great for people with high arches, flat feet or regular arches who simply need extra stability. Proper arch support prevents injuries, plantar fasciitis and other causes of foot pain.
Padding. Your feet take a beating from constant use. Some socks provide extra padding on the balls of the feet as well as the heel to cushion each step. The cushioning is created by adding a denser, more concentrated weave in the target areas. Padded socks are ideal for people who run or hike outdoors or older individuals who have sensitive soles.
Fit and breathability. Sock sizes are generally listed on packages, or on special size charts if you’re buying online. Finding the right fit and breathability are important for long-term comfort and foot health. Make sure the toe and heel length correctly fit your feet without bunching over your toes or pulling too tight. If your socks are too tight, your feet will have difficulty breathing, which means greater bacterial growth that will cause foot odor and promote infection. The right socks and tights will fit comfortably with or without shoes on.
QUESTIONS ABOUT FOOTWEAR AND FOOT HEALTH? TALK WITH DR. WACHTEL
As a seasoned podiatrist treating hundreds in the Lansdale area, Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel is your best resource when it comes to protecting your feet. He can answer your questions about foot pain and other symptoms, the right footwear for your needs and best way to deal with potential foot problems.
Call our Lansdale office now to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Wachtel.
About Jeffrey Wachtel
Jeffrey Wachtel has written 579 post in this blog.
Guide to the Best Socks for Your Feet
People often spend plenty of time looking for the perfect shoe. But few take the time to find the perfect sock. That’s too bad, because if you don’t pair the proper sock with your shoe, you’ll increase your risk of blisters, foot fungus, odor, discomfort and toenail problems.
When shopping for socks keep the following in mind:
- Synthetic Fibers Keep Your Feet Cool and Dry
Any sock made of synthetic fibers will keep your feet cooler and drier than cotton. Studies have shown these fibers were better at wicking, cooling and drying. Synthetic fibers include Acyrlic, CoolMax and Teflon. There are many good brands but the original manufacturer of healthy socks is ThorLo and we think they are still the best. Everything from athletic to dress socks are available and all have the best fibers to protect your feet. You can see a selection of ThorLo socks here.
- Extra Padding Reduces Ball of Foot Pain, Heel Pain and Prevents Blistering
Studies show that thicker sock with special padding like Thorlo are most effective at reducing pressure under the ball of the foot and the heel and preventing blistering. So if you have pain under the heel or ball of your foot or tend to blister opt for socks with extra thick padding. If you don’t, then choose thick or thin depending on which feels best to you. Again, ThorLo does the best job with extra forefoot padding. You can see the ThorLo socks with the best cushion here. Keep in mind that the extra padding does add to the bulk of the sock, so make sure you are wearing them when you try on shoes. If you try to use them in shoes that you normally wear with standard socks, the shoes will likely feel too tight.
- The Problem with Cotton
Avoid cotton socks if you have any problems such as ball of foot pain, blistering, sweaty feet, hot feet, toenail conditions or foot fungus. Once cotton gets wet, it stays wet, bunches up and can cause blisters. Cotton doesn’t hold up well to washing, easily loses its shape and becomes abrasive.
- Special socks for the Person with Diabetes.
The key features in a sock designed for diabetics are a flat, soft toe seam; moisture wicking capability; antifungal / antibacterial treatments; fit and comfort; white color. A good example of such a sock is the SmoothToe. These socks have a bit of compression plus they have no seam in the toe that can irritate the sensitive skin of people with diabetes.
- When Exercising, Socks are Essential Equipment
The right socks are essential equipment in any exercise program. Not only do protective socks prevent many problems such as blisters and fungus, but they will help keep your feet comfortable by ensuring that they stay dry and well cushioned. Quality exercise socks such as Thorlowill also help regulate foot temperature.
Socks if Your Feet are Smelly or Sweaty
If you have feet that tend to sweat a lot or have a problem with foot odor, then look for socks that are manufactured with X-STATIC fibers. These are help with killing bacteria that lead to odor. For this issue the brand of the sock we most recommend to our patients is the Juzo Silver Sole socks. These socks have tremendous advantages over regular socks, including:
- X-STATIC® is the most powerful antimicrobial and odor elimination system available. These socks naturally and safely eliminate common bacteria, fungi, and odors.
- X-STATIC® silver fibers efficiently transfer heat, keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- “Pillowed Sole” provides added cushion to reduce blistering, callus buildup, and fatigue.
- Mild compression in the foot and ankle (12-16 mm Hg compression).
For a list of our favorite socks and shoe stores that carry them, download our Recommended Shoe List.
Full Contact Cuff®
Unique, graduated compression keeps your socks from slipping down.
Temperature regulating for unrivaled comfort. Stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer.
Locks the sock in place while you move. No slipping, bunching, or rubbing.
Anti-Microbial & Moisture Wicking
Merino’s natural properties keep germs and sweat away and the stink out.
Dynamic Toe Cup®
Conforms to the shape of your toes for zero bunching.
The Difference is in our Full Contact Fit System
Full Contact Cuff®
Unique, graduated compression keeps your socks from slipping down.
Temperature regulating for unrivaled comfort. Stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer.
Patented heel pocket locks your sock in place to prevent blisters. No slipping, bunching or rubbing.
Anti-Microbial & Moisture Wicking
Merino’s natural properites keep germs and sweat away and the stink out.
Dynamic Toe Cup®
Conforms to the shape of your toes for zero bunching.
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I was struggling to find great hiking socks, until recently. These socks are phenomenal! I will definitely buy more in the future and proudly support a company whose product is made in the USA.
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Absolutely love FITS socks! Super comfortable, just the right thickness, and keeps my feet warm in the winter and sweat free in the summer.
Light Hiker (Jagged Edge) – Crew
The socks are designed to hug the foot perfectly. The cushioning makes them very comfortable all day long.
Light Rugged – Crew
Love FITS socks. Wear them for every type of activity from work to play. Extremely comfortable and my feet love them.
Light Hiker – Crew
This brand of socks is the best brand I have ever purchased. The Fits brand is made of the finest material and the quality and selection is superb. Ordering online is the easiest and the delivery is very fast!
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The Fits Difference
Dedicated to keeping the tradition of American domestic manufacturing excellence alive, we care more about quality than quantity. Taking the time to do things right, using the finest materials available to craft something you’ll love that lasts. From sheep to factories to your feet, we care about what goes into our products and the people who use them.
FITS® ultra-fine merino socks provide the ultimate in comfort and performance for the many paths you take. Nobody outsmarts mother nature, and there is no finer material than merino wool with its natural anti-microbial and temperature regulating properties. FITS® ultra-fine merino fibers combine with a perfect fit that adjusts to your every movement for worry-free performance mile after mile.
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The Perfect Fit Starts With the Right Size.
Your sock size shouldn’t be a guessing game. Our socks range from small to double XL, but the best way to know the perfect fit for you is to match your shoe size to the chart on the left. That way, you’ll know the size you select will give you the fit and feel you expect.
Between sizes? Go with your gut, but rest assured that your socks will still fit great. If you receive your order and find yourself wishing you’d gone up or down a size, just let us know. We’ll happily send you replacements for your preferred size.
Concerned about laundry mix-ups? All FITS® socks are coordinated by color and size, based on the colors you see on the size chart. So, you won’t have to worry about mixing up your sizes with the other FITS® wearers in your home. (But stray socks mysteriously going missing in the dryer? Unfortunately, we can’t help with that.)
Anyone who has ever had to treat a blister in the middle of a 20-mile day hike will tell you that socks are one piece of gear you can’t afford to scrimp on. That said, in an era where we’re all trying to do more with less, do you really need to spend $12 on a single pair of socks? Depending on what you plan to do in those socks, how long you intend to wear them, and how intense your activity level is – you just might. Knowing how to choose the right pair of socks for any activity can save the day, both in overall comfort and protecting your feet.
When choosing socks, first look at the fabric content. You will find that most socks are made of a blend of different fabrics. Understanding the pros and cons of each will help you make a more informed decision.
When people think of wool, they usually think winter and cold weather, but Merino wool is so breathable that the fabric can be worn year round. Made from the wool of merino sheep that live predominantly in New Zealand, this yarn is extremely soft, cushiony, itch-free, highly durable, resists odors and shrinking. Extremely popular with hikers and backpackers, Merino wool is coveted by performance athletes because of its ability to wick and quickly evaporate moisture.
Made popular by companies such as SmartWool, Merino wool is more expensive that cotton, acrylic, or nylon, but it’s hard to beat its performance.
Less expensive than Merino wool, acrylic is an all-around versatile fabric. It is comfortable, provides good cushioning and dries reasonably fast.
Feet perspire – a lot. And if you combine wet skin with friction, you have the makings of a pretty good blister. Unfortunately, cotton socks are so good at trapping moisture that after a few miles of running or aggressive hiking, you basically have a wet washcloth wrapped around your feet. So for high-aerobic use, select socks with either low cotton content or no cotton at all. On the other hand, cotton is the most affordable fabric and is perfectly fine for casual wear or around town.
Nylon is blended in with other fabrics, often comprising 20% to 50% of the sock’s fabric. Nylon adds durability and strength, and dries quickly.
Elastane, Spandex, or Lycra.
This material adds a little bit of stretch and allows the sock to fit properly. Usually only a small percentage (2% to 5%) of the sock’s fabric content is made up of these materials.
Ankle socks (the shortest) and quarter socks (slightly taller) are great for running, biking, and any use with low-top shoes. Crew socks are best for hiking and backpacking, especially when wearing taller boots. Over-the-calf socks are great for skiing.
The thicker the sock, the greater the cushioning, especially when it has a high wool content. However, thicker socks are also warmer. In winter the choice is easy; go midweight or heavyweight unless you are running.
If you are hiking in summer you may want to experiment. Try out different thicknesses to see how they work. In warm weather you’ll want to go as light as long as you don’t get blisters. If you are racking up a lot of hiking miles, you will probably need to wear at least medium weight socks regardless of how hot it is.
For longer hikes it’s never a bad idea to carry spare socks of a different weight than what you are wearing. If you are on a multiday backpacking trip, bring multiple socks, starting each morning with a clean pair.
Socks can also be used as a fitting tool to fine tune the fit of footwear. If the shoe is too roomy, try a slightly thicker sock. If the shoe is too snug try wearing socks that are thinner.
Socks should fit snugly without cramping your toes or allowing extra material to fold, wrinkle, and cause friction. Your sock’s heel should fit snugly around your heel. The arch area should fit snugly around your arch. Seams should be flat (especially on the toes) and should not rub or pinch any part of your foot.
Interior Sock Construction
Turn your sock inside out. If it doesn’t have cushioning loops, it may not be providing the cushioning you need to help absorb moisture and protect your feet from the materials inside your footwear, especially more rigid hiking boots. Also, check the toe seams; if they’re not flat, irritation and rubbing can occur, creating blisters.
“What do you think they’re doing with your socks?” I ask Jessie over the phone.
“What do you think they’re doing with them?” She responds, as if I’ve just asked her the stupidest question she’s ever heard. “They rub them all over their face, deeply inhale the stink, and masturbate with them.”
It’s apparent to Jessie why men would want to buy her disgusting used socks online. She’s a foot fetishist, and her customers are foot fetishists, too. In fact, infatuation with the feet is the most popular form of fetish, according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine. So unlike most other schmucks, who throw away their stinking socks, Jessie recognized her footwear’s value to a niche sexual community, and decided to cash in.
She started out posting old pairs of socks to Ebay, and much to her amazement, got responses within minutes. Her competitive edge came from the knowledge that customers want to see much more than just the Fruit of the Loom logo. Her listings modeled the socks both on and off, flaunting her curvy arches or her painted toes. “You make it provocative,” Jessie says, “and you’ll get millions of buyers.”
Of course, customers will have their fair share of questions and requests. They’ll request a specific style — be it gym socks for extra odor, or thigh-highs that can fulfill a schoolgirl fantasy. They’ll request that you wear them for up to 10 days. They’ll request that you to spit in them.
They may ask for an intricate description of the stench. One man once asked Jessie, “do they smell more like cheese, vinegar or Fritos?” They may also ask for extra evidence that the seller is an attractive young woman. Jessie will oblige and send the customer a selfie, but she says this is a surprisingly rare request. “Most guys don’t ask,” she claims. “Either they don’t care, or they get off on the mystery — the fact that they don’t know whose feet were in the socks.”
Perhaps for this reason, women aren’t the only ones profiting off the used sock market. Men have also been able to earn thousands of dollars meeting market demand for “frat boys used socks” or “hot college jock socks.”
Perhaps more difficult than finding eager customers, however, is finding a fetish-friendly storefront. As Jessie discovered after her first few hundred dollars in sock sales, Ebay isn’t the most welcoming platform to build your foul footwear empire. The site once deleted 13 of her well-crafted sock listings in one fell swoop.
Ebay’s health guidelines require that used and unwashed socks cannot be listed, so sellers either have to play coy — claiming their socks are unworn and hoping customers can take the hint — or risk their listings being repeatedly deleted and their account suspended.
There are a multitude of alternatives for dirty sock selling, however. Reddit provides a foot-worshipping corner of the Internet at r/usedsocks, where every posting contains seductively-posed pictures of feet dressed in disgusting socks. Craigslist has also been known to boast a thriving used sock economy. Jesse’s considering making the move to Ebanned, an adult site where filthy footwear listings can be as pornographic as possible. This is extremely important, given that marketing strategy is a major aspect of the foot fetish trade.
“When I tell people that I’m doing this, I say I’m a business-woman. I have the product, I know how to market myself, and I know how to talk to people,” Jessie says. She’s also insistent that an open mind is essential to making it as a used sock dealer. “You’ve gotta have the time, the patience, and not get creeped out so easily.”
Once you discover the cash to be gained from accomodating foot festishists, who knows? You might consider the slew of other sexual services that pay a pretty penny. This certainly happened to Jessie, who found herself a financial dominatrix to one customer who was all too eager to become her human ATM. “He got off on me forcing him to buy a certain pair of socks, and telling him how much money to bid on them. He wanted to send me money every week,” she says.
But Jessie refused the offer. She also consistently turns down the opportunity to boost her business by selling soiled panties, too. But therein lies the beauty of the used sock industry. You can watch the money pile up, all while maintaining anonymity, the ability to turn down uncomfortable requests, and not seriously fucking up your future.
So if you’re anything like Jessie — interested in cashing in on fetishism and sex appeal — selling stinky socks may be the perfect way to dip your toes in.
Posted by Alexis VanPatten · October 08, 2020
Are you one of those people who can never seem to get their feet warm? We hear you, and want to help you! It will be life changing to find socks that actually keep your feet from turning into ice cubes.
There are times when we all love a nice, thick pair of cozy socks. Thankfully, there are plenty of great sock options for those moments you want a thick pair of socks. While the fabric weight of your socks can help you stay warm, keep in mind that, in some cases, the thickness of the sock is not as important as the material of the sock. You should never have to feel discomfort while wearing shoes because your socks are too thick!
The type of material that socks are made of is the number one thing to look at when trying to keep feet warm. You want your socks to be moisture-wicking because moisture from sweat or water can make the feet even colder. The material should also trap your body heat in and keep cold temperatures out.
There are many great material options for cold feet. Let’s talk about some materials to look for in socks to keep your feet warm and cozy!
Say No to Cotton
Before we get in to which materials are best for keeping feet warm and toasty, we want to steer you away from cotton socks for cold feet. Cotton does not do a great job at keeping cold out or keeping warmth in. Cotton is also not very moisture-wicking, meaning the cold will just be exacerbated with any moisture.
Merino wool is an extremely popular choice for cold feet, and for good reason! This type of wool is thinner and softer than regular wool, making it a great choice for anyone who likes the warmth of wool but dislikes the itchiness and thickness. Merino wool is also moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, and is great at keeping heat in and keeping cold out.
Regular wool is still great for keeping your feet warm and dry if you don’t mind a little more thickness to your socks. Wool makes for the perfect warm, thick and cozy sock. It is a trusted material that is easy to come across and will most likely be a little cheaper than socks made of merino wool. Oftentimes, socks with wool will actually include other synthetic materials like nylon to keep the thickness down and make them a little softer.
Alpaca is another great material to look for in your socks. It’s known to be even warmer than wool. Alpaca is also softer and resists water better than regular and merino wool.
Thermolite is a synthetic material that is awesome at keeping feet warm! This material is made from polyester fibers making it thinner than the other natural materials mentioned above but still keeps the heat in. Just like other natural materials, Thermolite is great at moisture wicking. And if you’re still not convinced you should forget about cotton socks; Thermolite is said to dry 50% faster than cotton.
You might also be interested in:
June 20, 2017 by Blair Donovan
shefinds | Style
The day has come when you’ve found the perfect pair of sneakers that you didn’t even know you needed. With their Beautifully shiny rubber soles, perfectly clean canvas surface, delicate laces, these new kicks were born for you, and you’re already daydreaming of the places you can bust them out. When the long awaited moment comes and you officially break them in, one forgettable item stands in the way of you strutting your stuff: SOCKS. No-show socks for low sneakers have long been deemed the enemy because they fall down more times than an infant learning to walk. And, there’s no way you’re going to go sockless and run the risk of stinking up your new shoes. Despite their bad rep, a select few no-show socks actually do hold their ground and stay put throughout the day. Click through our slideshow to find the best no-show socks that’ll actually stay in place.
All Pro Cotton Footie
I can personally attest that these socks can handle whatever your feet throw at them. Go for a 5 mile run? They’re still hangin’ in there. You can’t see them at all underneath sneakers, and they don’t dig into your feet like a lot of other no-show socks. Plus, they’re super thin, so your feet can breathe easier in any shoe.
LuluLemon Secret Sock
These light, seamless socks make the case again that sturdy no-show socks do exist. Multiple reviews said that these socks can get holes easily, BUT they don’t slip off your heel and they remain invisible under any shoe, no matter how small. Pick your battles.
Loft No Show Sock Set
According to Racked writer Katie Heaney, these no-show socks are the real deal. Not to mention they come in floral and even flamingo patterns. No one will ever see them because they do their job so well hiding inside your shoes, but everyone should be armed with more than just bland white or black socks.
Nike Lightweight No-Show Socks
These socks need to be added your gym bag ASAP. It’s quite a risk to wear no-show socks while working out to begin with, but these won’t let you down. Literally—they’ll stay up from your kickboxing class to the ellipitcal and anywhere else in between thanks to the small rubber grips at the bottom of the heel.
Transitioning into warmer and warmer weather means switching out the boots and wool socks for sandals and flip flops. But for the days and times when we still need to wear socks with our shoes, it’s important to have the best socks for warm weather. Because, correct me if I’m wrong, nobody likes sweaty feet. Which is why breathable socks are a must. I mean, many of us make sure to choose the easier and breezier fabrics for our tops to help reduce underarm perspiration when it’s hot out, but feet need love too. Especially because this is one of the more dangerous areas for sweat to accumulate.
If too much sweat is trapped on your feet for too long because your socks or shoes don’t allow enough oxygen to pass through, it could actually lead to some pretty uncomfortable situations. That dark, warm, and damp environment is pretty ideal for bacteria and fungi to grow and thrive. Which means that your feet could develop skin rashes, yeast infections, athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, and warts. Yikes. So to make sure your feet can breathe better on days when socks are a must, here are seven of the best pairs to sport when the weather is warm.
Surprisingly, cotton actually isn’t the best material when it comes to breathable socks. While it does absorb perspiration well, it still traps it against the feet instead of keeping feet dry. Although it might seem counterintuitive to prefer synthetic fibers, the blend in this pair works wonders for wicking moisture away from the skin so feet stay dry.
Coolmax technology helps manage moisture while the mesh polyester gives these socks maximum breathability.
These socks feature ventilation channels and merino wool to keep your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
4. Under Armour
The Signature Moisture Transport System of these socks ensure that moisture is quickly wicked away and dried to keep feet cool.
Bamboo fibers, like the ones found in these socks, have thermal-regulating properties and are way more absorbent than cotton.
Mesh venting in these runner’s socks help with air circulation so feet stay cool and dry even when you’re working up a sweat.
Coolmax plus CatalystAF technology means not only is moisture wicked away to keep feet cool and dry, but this design also creates airflow within the fabric so skin is better able to breathe.
Remember for the most dry and comfortable feet, it’s not just up to your socks. Make sure to choose breathable shoes as well. If you’re worried that you may be developing a foot infection, talk to your doctor or podiatrist to find the best solution for you.
Posted by Jordan Stokes · September 24, 2020
There’s nothing quite as nerve-wracking as taking off your shoes around people and wondering if you’re going to clear the room with the stench from your shoe. There’s no reason to live in fear! In reality, the most likely culprit of your stinky, sweaty feet comes down to one thing: poor choice in socks.
Many people feel as though there isn’t a lot they can do about the embarrassing problem that is sweaty feet. But that’s not the case! You CAN make your feet smell better! But how? The Soxperts at SocksAddict.com are here to help! Let’s take some time to answer your burning question: What are the best socks for sweaty feet? Which socks are best at fighting foot odor?
Sweaty Foot Mistakes: Materials That Cause Sweaty Feet
Cotton: The Reason Everyone Has Wet Stinky Feet
If you’re like most people, the majority of the socks in your drawer are made from cotton. While cotton socks are very popular, they’re certainly not the best choice for fighting foot sweat or odor .
In fact, cotton is one of the main reasons people complain of sweaty, stinky feet! Even though cotton feels like a light and comfortable material, moisture absorbed by cotton fibers doesn’t evaporate back into the air outside the sock! Cotton fibers retain heat, instead of insulating (like wool) and that heat creates bacteria and odor. This s weat, bacteria, and odor is absorbed by cotton and doesn’t really go away until you put them in the wash .
Plastic, Nylon, Polyester: Old School Synthetic Fabrics
As you’ll read later in this article, synthetic fibers can be amazing for preventing hot, humid feet. Fabric technology has come a long way since these materials were first developed, so steer clear of the non-technical versions of plastic, nylon or polyester when purchasing socks. Breathability is key for preventing sweat and odor and plastic, nylon and polyester are not very breathable unless combined with other breathable fabrics.
Top 5 Best Sock Materials for Sweaty Feet
We have three words for you: Moisture Wicking Socks. If you struggle with sweaty, smelly feet, you should be wear ing socks that absorb moisture and wick it away. Fibers that “wick” draw moisture from the surface of your skin and release it into the air, keeping the fibers and your feet dry and comfortable. There are many natural and synthetic fibers with wicking properties. Let’s talk the Top 5!
5. Merino Wool: The Natural Choice for Dry Feet
Merino wool is a natural wonder. It’s light, soft, insulating , and has natural anti-microbial properties. It is a great choice for socks , and unlike cotton, it won’t make your feet hot or trap moisture. Merino wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture while still not feeling wet and uncomfortable . There’s a reason wool was the #1 choice of sailors for centuries.
Here are just a few of the benefits of Merino wool socks:
- Wicks sweat away from your feet to be reabsorbed into the air rather remaining trapped in fibers
- Absorbs up to 30% of its own weight in water without feeling wet
- Breathes well by insulat ing instead of trapping heat. Cotton traps heat, creating a tiny swamp in your shoe
- Thicker than cotton
- Insulat ing power means your feet stay warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot
- Merino wool stays warm, even when wet, making a great sock for running
- It also dries quickly, so if your socks do happen to get wet, it won’t be for long
- Naturally anti-bacterial. This bacteria fighting action is another way wool socks reduce foot odor
Still not convinced about the magical powers of Merino? Here’s 13 Reasons Why Merino Wool Is The Best so you can get on board and try it for yourself!
4. Polyester: Not Just for Leisure Suits
Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is durable, quick drying, strong whether wet or dry, wrinkle resistant and easy to clean. It is more breathable and absorbent than nylon.
3. Coolmax : Scientifically Engineered to Combat Sweaty Feet
Coolmax is a polyester based moisture-wicking technical fabric developed by DuPont in 1986. It is fade and shrink resistant and is often combined with cotton, wool, or Spandex and b est used during extreme physical exertion and in combination with other materials to provide warmth.
Coolmax was engineered to improve breathability compared to natural fibers. Sweaty feet (and the problems that come with them) are such an issue for so many people that someone out there specifically created a fiber to combat it.
2. Olefin: Nobel Prize Winner
Italian scientists won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the process of making Olefin fibers. This space-age synthetic is very lightweight, extremely strong, durable, quick drying, easy to clean, stain and soil resistant, and comfortable to wear. Olefin is one of the best fibers for both repelling water and wicking water away. Not only is this material moisture wicking, it’s also hydrophobic and moves sweat away from your feet up to 25 times faster than other synthetic fibers.
1. DryMax : The Ultimate Sweaty Feet Sock Defense
DryMax is a brand of specially engineered Olefin fabric socks. DryMax fibers are infused with an anti-microbial treatment at the molecular level, so DryMax socks stay odor free. This treatment is both non-toxic and long-lasting. DryMax fibers have a comfortable springiness and don’t get stiff, shrink or lose shape and all DryMax socks have top and/or bottom air vents to release moisture and keep feet dry and cool.
Take a moment to let the relief wash over you – now you have the tools to fight your sweaty feet! Be sure to change your socks every day, switch back and forth between at least two pairs of shoes , and wear high-quality socks made from wool or synthetic materials designed to wick moisture so you can say goodbye to smelly feet!
Check out the Best Moisture Wicking Socks to help you control your sweaty feet!
Some of these even have Bluetooth-activated warmth.
Temperatures are dropping, and the circulation to your hands and feet might be, too. If your feet seem to always be cold, no matter how expensive your Merino-wool socks are or how high-tech your new boots are, you may need to drop some cash on next-level foot warming technology.
You may not be doing as much winter traveling this year as normal, but if you’ll be outside for any prolonged period of time, heated socks would be a worthy investment. Whether you’re hitting the slopes, prepping for a morning of shoveling snow in the driveway, or heading out for a brisk walk around town, add a new pair of these heated socks to your outfit to keep your feet feeling like they’re resting next to a fireplace. Not to mention, these heated socks are also perfect for people who work for long hours out in the elements during the winter season.
We love the warmth these socks provide from the rechargeable 7.4-volt battery packs, and you can also adjust the heat level to high, medium, or low — depending on how chilly you’re feeling.
They’re medium-weight with reinforced toes and heels, because too thin of a sock lets heat escape, and one that’s too thick (or wearing two pairs) can actually be counterproductive if you’re exercising outdoors in the cold. This way, you can take them hiking, fishing, camping, or skiing all winter.
Life is simply more fun with funky, colorful socks. This starry designed pair has a 7.4 volt rechargeable battery that can last you for a full day on the slopes or a full overnight if you’re camping. If they’re fully charged (give them a solid 6 to 7 hours to get to that point), they can keep your feet warm for about 10 hours.
On their hottest setting, these socks use infrared heating to get up to 150 degrees. They come in four different sizes so that they’ll hug your feet snugly.
They’re great for outdoor adventurers or for people who struggle with circulation issues and can’t seem to get their feet warm in the chilly weather.
Plagued by eternally cold feet in the colder months? Slip on these socks, turn on the battery pack, and keep your feet feeling warm and fuzzy while you play or work outside.
They come with two rechargeable 3.7-volt lithium-ion batteries, so there’s no need to keep purchasing replacement AA batteries throughout the year.
You’ll love the super thin heating module in these socks because you’ll barely even notice it’s there — until it feels like you’re resting your toes by a heater! The battery pack is also a nice, compact size that won’t add bulk around the outside of your calf, so knee-high boots won’t be a problem. Plus, they come in fun bright colors.
Slip these insoles into your snow boots, hiking shoes, or work boots (or alternate between all three), and you’ll have heat delivered through the soles of your feet for up to 5 hours per charge.
Our favorite part? You can control the heat setting with the adjustable thermostat, so it’s perfect for folks in the army, police, or EMS who switch tasks between freezing temps and being indoors frequently.
Keep cold feet at bay for up to 10 hours with these socks, depending on which of the four settings you choose.
These liners are thinner than most other options, so you can wear them under some Merino-wool socks without buying a bigger pair of boots! Plus, you can change the output from your pocket — without exposing your hands to the cold — with a simple remote control!
These affordable socks don’t have a built-in heating element like the rest of the options in this review. What they do have is a small sleeve that holds reusable foot warmers in place.
Anyone who has ever tried HotHands hand and foot warmers knows how well they work, but they also know the struggle of trying to keep them in place while walking or running around. Problem solved!
Bluetooth controls for your socks may seem like a bit of overkill for some, but with how technologically driven our world is these days, it totally makes sense.
Sure, the fourth iteration of these lithium battery-powered socks with heated toecaps are pricey, but you can monitor the battery life and adjust the heat output as you warm up or cool down — right from a Bluetooth app on your phone!
Sharper Image makes all types of cool gadgets that you’ll see in an airplane catalog, and these might just be something that you’d need after getting off your flight to Alaska. These socks are made with a polyester-spandex blend, so they wick moisture and stay snugly in place when you’re active.
Plus, they feature battery-rechargeable heating elements that run along the sole of your foot, from heel to toe, because as we all know, heat rises!
They help promote better blood flow after a tough workout or during a long flight.
Whether you’re traveling on an international flight that lasts for several hours, or you just finished an intense workout that was hard on your legs and feet, compression socks can provide the relief you need for muscle aches and foot pain. Studies suggest that compression socks can help reduce muscle damage and inflammation, especially after a big physical feat like a marathon. But what are compression socks, exactly? And how do they work? Keep reading to learn how they help promote recovery and what to look for when shopping for the best pairs.
What are compression socks?
Compression socks work to reduce swelling and fatigue in your legs by improving blood flow in the veins of the calves and feet. By putting pressure on your legs to pump blood to the heart, these socks can help deliver more oxygen-rich blood to your muscles. They also work to help prevent swelling in the feet and legs.
“Compression socks place constant pressure on the legs to prevent the accumulation of fluid; the compression is thought to help the blood circulate better which allows more oxygen to get to the tissues,” says Priya Parthasarathy, DPM, a podiatrist who practices in Silver Spring, MD and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Many of my runner patients swear by them, stating that they reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, which in turn produces a faster recovery,” she adds.
Outside of post-workout recovery, women who are pregnant and people who live with certain health conditions, like diabetes or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), can also benefit from wearing compression socks to help reduce their risk of developing blood clots and swelling. In fact, research shows that wearing mild compression diabetic socks may help people with diabetes and edema to reduce swelling in the legs.
As a podiatric surgeon, Dr. Parthasarathy is on her feet all day, so she likes to wear compression socks underneath her scrubs. “I also wore them daily when I was pregnant to prevent varicose and spider veins. They definitely make my feet and legs feel much less tired,” she says. However, Dr. Parthasarathy doesn’t recommend people with certain heart conditions, like congestive heart failure and arterial disease, wear compression socks.
How to shop for the best compression socks
The pressure in compression socks is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Some compression socks have a mild pressure rating between 10 to 20 mmHg or 15 to 20 mmHg, while those on the firmer side have a pressure rating of 20 to 30 mmHg. “I usually recommend a lighter compression, like 10 to 15 or 15 to 20, to begin with, and for more moderate to severe swelling, we start to go up in numbers, such as 20 to 30 or 30 to 40, which should be a custom fit and prescribed by a doctor,” Dr. Parthasarathy says.
Depending on your health needs, we recommend talking to your doctor about what is the best pressure rating for you. Generally speaking, compression socks should fit snugly, but they shouldn’t be too tight that they’ll cut off circulation either. While you’ll find plenty of options for compression socks, we searched the web to find the top-rated pairs so you don’t have to spend all your time scouring reviews. Here, you’ll find 10 of the most highly rated sets and why customers love them. Find your best fit so you can gain the body benefits too.