Apr 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm #1289075
You all know that Mike C! is an advocate of "thinny-thin" socks. The new minimal shoes (not the toe-y ones) also do well with really thin socks. And if you're fording many streams, really thin socks help things dry quickly.
I haven't seen it posted anywhere, but cycling socks are great "thinny-thin" socks. Most are made of nylon, although wool is available (not quite as thin). The nylon ones come in a huge assortment of designs, colors and heights.
Just as an example of what's out there, here's a link to 8 pages of men's cycling socks:
(I have no connection with the company)
Cycling socks are widely available at cycling shops, and can often be found on sale on the web. And the nylon ones last forever!
Cheers!Apr 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm #1870285
@sschloss1Locale: New England
The only socks I ever wear hiking are thin liner socks. You can usually get these for no more than $6-$7 a pair. For instance, the Wigwam Gobi liners that I prefer are $7 a pair at REI and $6 or less at several other stores. If you're okay with cheapo dress socks from Target or somewhere, you can probably pay even less.
The thing with thin socks is that they never last long anyway, so way pay more than you have to?Apr 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm #1870292
I have some of these socks that are over 10 years old and still in good shape. My experience is that they last a long time!
But the real draw, of course, is the cool graphics! You'll never find liner socks with a beer mug on the ankle!!! ;)Apr 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm #1870367
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
This is a very timely post, i also discovered cycling socks recently. $5 for Pearl Izumi socks at REI, super thin. They worked well for my Grand Canyon run recently. I've worn those "liners" before but they were always long, coming clear up onto the calf. I havent been wearing these long so its good to hear you say they are very durable. That makes them even better than I thought! For anything under 15 miles then I prefer no sock, but longer than that and these are my choice now. Those cheap dress socks worked fine too but they were not durable and not short enough. My two cents.
AdanApr 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm #1870371
I just buy the thinnest, lightest running socks I can find that still have a little cuff. Polyester dries MUCH quicker than wool. Although I think wool is slightly more comfortable. Defeet wool-e-ator cycling socks. I use both.
I have taken to wearing my wool hiking socks to the gym too. They get worn ~10 times (3 wks) between washing, and dont smell, break down, or lose sponginess (is that a word?). Although our little dog seems to search them out in my gym bag and I find her chewing on them occassionally. These socks are top notch.Apr 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm #1870427
@thegreatclodLocale: Northeast, East Asia
Darn Tough Merino Mesh do the trick for me. A blend of merino wool and polyester, I believe. Not your cheapest option, but they are super comfortable in my trail runners on long hikes.Apr 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm #1870432
Timely post for me. I'm the opposite: I like well cushioned ("spongy") socks for backpacking but find merino wool blends too warm, causing sweat and probably blisters for my hydrophobic feet. This was proved once again last weekend when I tried the oh-so-comfy rei merino wool blend socks (they don't seem to sell non-wool hiking socks anymore!) and proceeded to sweat them out in a two hour hike. Bridgedale has been my go-to sock for years; I guess I'll go on-line now that rei doesn't stock them. They have no wool in them! Thank God! This is just a little anti-merino wool in action rant; I love the stuff when I'm sitting still but top or bottom I sweat way too much when I'm active with merino on.Apr 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm #1870433
"I love the stuff when I'm sitting still but top or bottom I sweat way too much when I'm active with merino on."
You do know you're supposed to remove it from the sheep first, right?Apr 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm #1870438
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"You do know you're supposed to remove it from the sheep first, right?"
_Now_ you tell me. That could explain a few things.
–B.G.–Apr 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm #1870443
@jpmatteLocale: N. Georgia
Swiftwicks have impressed me. I used to be a big fan of the smartwool running socks but they were a gigantic dissapointment wearing thin sooooooo quickly.Apr 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm #1870444
@jpmatteLocale: N. Georgia
Swiftwicks have impressed me. I used to be a big fan of the smartwool running socks but they were a gigantic dissapointment wearing thin sooooooo quickly.Apr 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm #1870452
Maybe I should re-phrase things a bit: whether I'm wearing a merino shirt or merino blend socks, I tend to sweat more than I'd like to when pursuing outdoor activities, none of which involve actual sheep.Apr 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm #1870458
Good to know no sheep were involved in an any sweaty activities.
I personally dont find any relationship between moisture and blisters. But then again, I only use thin socks and trail runners.
Last trip we did 30 miles with feet wet the whole time for 17 hrs of hiking, 15 miles per day. Over several steep mountains. 30+ water crossings. Feet were happy feet, in loose trail runners, with light packs. Boooyah.
only time I had minor discomfort was when a small BB sized rock got in a shoe and under my foot during a water crossingApr 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm #1870467
Reading a book titled Fixing Your Feet confirmed for me that there's a huge variety of individual responses to factors that affect people's feet. The book contains a lot of interviews with ultra marathoners as well as long distance backpackers. Their responses about how to prevent blisters, for example, vary wildly. And so too their responses about most foot related issues. Bottom line: you have to find out what works for you for yourself; always listening to helpful input from others. Takes more time, but what else have I go to do with my life?Apr 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm #1870498
@backfeets1Locale: Midwest.... Missouri
Defeet wool-e-ator cycling socks. Anyone know the weight of these socks?Apr 24, 2012 at 6:28 am #1870543
DeFeet Wolleator socks, size L: 1.7 oz, 48 gApr 24, 2012 at 7:10 am #1870560
@tylerdLocale: SE US
If you are cheap (like me) you can buy nylon dress socks from Wal-Mart for $5.50 for 3 pairs. If you prefer polyester they have some Starter brand performance socks in various lengths (tab, low, ankle, crew) which I think run about $5 for 3. That is what I use and I really like them.Apr 24, 2012 at 7:59 am #1870568
@pwkelleyLocale: Central Illinois
I have run and biked in DeFeet Aireator socks for years and have recently started hiking in them as well. They are a really thin polyester blend, dry quickly, look good (fun graphics) and wear like iron. If you like a thin sock you really can't do much better than these.Apr 24, 2012 at 8:43 am #1870585
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
Of all places to find hiking gear (re: socks) I have had great success with J. C. Penny's house brand.
They are low cut, tab style, hiking shoe sock liner style. These socks are completely synthetic. I have walked them dry and have hung them up to dry overnight without any problems.
The best feature of these socks is that you get 4 pair for $10.00 everyday at J. C. Penny's.
NewtonApr 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm #1870730
My local Walmart carried 3-packs of these about 2 years ago for about $6 or $7 (and they work great), but I couldn't find any cotton-free socks the last time that I looked:
Casuals Stretch Better Fit
8 – 12 women's
98% polyester, 1% spandex, 1% natural latex rubberApr 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm #1870896
The best really thin socks for my feet are Injinji toe socks made of coolmax. They don't wear particularly well, but i can get at a least 30 solid days hiking per pair.
If I am running, I wear a single pair. If I am hiking I wear 2 pain (yes, one on top of the other). And in essentially the same shoe.
With one pair running (up to half marathon distance) no blisters in 5 years.
With two pair hiking/backpacking, up to 42 miles per day, no blisters in 5 years.Apr 25, 2012 at 6:26 am #1870939
@tylerdLocale: SE US
Paul – I was at Wal-Mart last night and this thread reminded me I wanted some ankle length socks. All WM's I have been to have these socks, they are Starter Dri-Star, they are 98% polyester 2% spandex. They have them in brown/tan, grey, and black and in ankle tab, low cut, ankle, and crew lengths. I think they run $5 for 3 pairs.
In the past couple months I have had several 8-10 mile days, one 15 mile day, then several 4-5 mile days plus probably a dozen 1-3 mile jogs in one of three pairs of the crew length socks like this I have and you really can't tell they have been used.
I am not a big believer of paying several times more for clothes, I think the majority of what you are paying for with clothing is the brand name. Especially when it comes to synthetic materials like polyester. Polyester is a really cheap fabric it has only recently been re-purposed and re-branded with all these flashy terms and brands.Apr 25, 2012 at 8:23 am #1870983
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
The Dristar socks are too thick for me, I have a bunch of these and I cant wear them. They seem hotter and wick less than regular cotton for me, even in the office. Thin dress socks are not as bad but they also seem to wick poorly for me. the $5 Pearl Izumi cycling socks are a good balance of performance, durability and value. Somebody recently posted that foot care is very individual, I agree with that.
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