Socks

A surprisingly essential piece of clothing, often overlooked with disastrous consequences, especially if you are walking long distances.  Keeping your feet clean, dry and blister free is essential to a comfortable break in the Wild.  Rubs can quickly become blisters and before you know it they can become unbearably sore and ruin your adventure.  Invest in good socks and save your feet!

 

Features to look for:

  • Natural wool fibres for thick socks and cotton for thin / light inner socks
  • Double layer merino wool is by far the best material
  • No seams in or around the sole
  • Machine washable

Features to avoid:

  • Nylon materials or semi man-made under any circumstances

Toe socks

For
  • Great base layer that doesn’t ‘ruck’
  • Keeps your feet dry and comfortable, especially with the addition of a little foot powder
  • Worn under wool socks, prevents the need for changing outer socks over several days
  • keeps spaces between toes dry and clean.
Against
  • Good quality Merino wool ones are expensive
  • Can get uncomfortable if worn for a full day, especially if on the tight size
Stockists and Price

Not seen very often in the high street, online, prices tend to be around £10 to £15 per pair.

Wool walking socks

For
  • Keep feet warm and comfortable
  • Good quality thick wool is a great natural protector against rubs
  • Dry quickly if washed, especially near to a fire
  • Merino wool lasts a lifetime
Against
  • Need to be washed carefully on a low temperature and air-dried, not over a hot radiator or tumble dried
  • Merino wool is expensive
  • Cheap versions quickly wear through and don’t protect feet
Stockists and Price
Bought from any high street outdoors shop and of course, online.  A good pair is an investment what will last many years if cared for.  Use liner socks under them to avoid buying several pairs.  Look to pay between £15 and £25 for a good pair that will serve you well for many years.

Good value wool socks can be found in Decathlon and Millets.

Sport socks

For
  • Cheap
Against
  • Will cause pressure sores and blisters in walking boots
  • Tend to trap moisture and get wet under heavy exertion, in walking this can cause problems with rubs
  • No protection from rubs
  • Notorious for rucking up around the sole in wellington boots
Stockists and Price
Avoid where possible, unless you are only walking around a campsite for the day.  They are designed to be worn in very breathable sports shoes, not heavy boots with no or very low circulation.  Save them for the tennis court.

Terry’s favourite

“I like to wear toe socks under a pair of good Merino wool socks, I have had trouble with my feet in the past, so I always invest in things that keep my feet healthy and happy.  I’ve written a blog on the subject if you’re interested.”

Adrian’s favourite

“I’ve always just gone for really good quality Merino wool double-layer socks and a tub of foot powder.  Hand washing can be a bit of a pain, but it keeps them in great condition for many years.”