In a recent radio interview, I mentioned the importance of a good pair of hiking socks for a comfortable hike. Stuart Plotkin, DPM, and author of the book The Hiking Engine, agrees: ” There are few things more important . . . than your socks.” Hiking socks that are too tight or too loose can inch down, or bunch up beneath the foot. Bad or ill-fitting socks can make a trail experience a nightmare. Who wants to keep stopping to fix your socks? Bad socks contribute to blisters, aching feet, and a generally foul mood – – not things you want out on nature’s trail! We are fortunate to have great hiking socks available to us these days. My favorites, and why I love them follow:
SmartWool’s PhD outdoor socks have wonderful vented areas to keep your feet cool and comfortable. The well-designed outdoor socks are constructed to hug the foot. I’ve hiked for many hours on rough terrain in these socks – – and they don’t budge. Get them in a variety of lengths and cushion depths to fit your individual needs. During a recent Achilles’ heel recovery period, these hugged the tendon in a supportive manner that felt secure without being too tight.
For an overall good hiking sock with tons of cushion, Thorlo’s varieties are best. The wool blend padded sock is one of my favorites. On a recent several-day hiking jaunt in Zion National Park, I saved this sock for the last day when my feet were their most weary. This sock literally saved my feet on that final day!
Eddie Bauer also makes some good all-purpose hiking socks. Treat your feet well and you’ll put your best foot forward.