Socks Matter

Only a few miles into our hike, and it became apparent that the sock choice was sadly a mistake. It's probably obvious that bunching socks create issues, however, this particular issue wasn't because of sagging socks. No, this pain-inducing sock choice was due to the thickness of the socks. Too thick and your socks can create hot spots, rubbing, and/or squashed toes in your shoes; too thin and your feet can float in the shoe causing blisters from the extra movement. Choosing the correct sock thickness for the journey will keep your feet moving without a second thought for their comfort. There is nothing worse than blisters and toenail pain when on a multiple day journey.


Before spending lots of time hiking, my go-to sock fabric was cotton. I quickly learned that hiking with cotton was not such a great idea for several reasons. Cotton is useful for retaining water and odor within its fibers, but that is exactly what you don't want on your feet when sweating or walking through wet conditions. My cotton socks also stretch out over time, which causes bunching in my shoes, and that translates into blisters.

Wool socks to the rescue! Wool wicks moister, doesn't retain odor, and keeps its shape. My brand of choice is Darn Tough, it is hard to beat their lifetime warranty. Smartwool also has a good product with a number of sock options. Wool on my feet is not itchy, keeps my feet dry, and does not kill my nostrils when I remove my boots.

While you test out your footwear, find several pairs of socks that are a good fit too!