How to Find the Right Socks For You

Socks are such an essential part of your every day routine that it’s almost easy to forget how important they are, and comfortable socks can make or break a day. Look below for the biggest discounts on brand new socks!

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.

Sock Fabrics

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.

Merino Wool

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.

Acrylic / Cotton

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 / Elastane, Spandex, or Lycra

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. / 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.