Socks… they keep your feet warm in the winter and protect your feet from the rubbing from footwear. However how many of us go searching for and invest in the perfect pair of socks? Podiatrist, Jasmine Kouch, provides a guide on what to look for to find the perfect sock for active people.
Key features that you should look for:
Moisture control is one of two factors which prevents blister formation; the other being friction/pressure from footwear or other external factors. It is important that moisture is being regulated to keep feet from feeling sweaty, smelly and hot.
We all have a left and a right foot, so why don’t we have a left and a right sock? By fitting a sock anatomically to each foot, the comfort and accuracy of fit increases. Socks with anatomical fit features also include a stretchy band in the middle and at the ankle which helps hug the arch, prevents the socks from slipping down and also prevents friction.
Most socks are made from a blend of different fabrics, so it is important to choose which fabric suits your activity and activity levels. Some different materials include
Merino wool, which not only is warm but temperature regulating. It is soft, itch-free, durable and resists odours and shrinking.
Cotton, great for comfy casual wear but unfortunately does not wick moisture well. If you are doing any long walking or running where your feet will perspire a lot, choose a sock with a minimal blend of cotton.
Nylon, often comprises 20% to 50% of the sock’s fabric. Nylon adds durability and strength to the sock and dries quickly.
Elastane, Spandex or Lycra, adds stretch and aids in best fit of a sock. Usually comprises of 2-5% of the sock.
Bamboo, a hypoallergenic and moisture absorbing material. There is now more and more socks out on the market which utilises bamboo fibers as part of the blend of materials.
Reduces foot odour, particularly after a heavy activity or warm day.
- Padding on heels and forefoot (optional)
The two highest pressure points in the feet when we weight-bear are the heels are the forefoot. Having extra padding on these areas provide extra comfort during activity.