Socks by the fireplaceSpring is just around the corner, and soon we’ll all be out enjoying the sunny days and mild temps again, as well as heading out to our favorite places to hike or run. We’ve talked before about choosing shoes and boots, but which are the best socks? The answer is—it depends. Here are some factors to consider:

What footwear will you be wearing? You can’t wear thick wool hiking socks in a pair of ballerina flats, but there are footies that won’t show above the edge of the shoe while still protecting your feet from friction. In running shoes, you might want a pair with thicker cushioning on the sole that helps absorb the pounding they will take.

What activity will you be doing? Guys, if you wear oxfords for work, look for a medium weight sock with a comfortable band that won’t leave rings on your ankles after a full day of work. Ladies, if your job requires you to wear heels, you can find skimpy footies with special pads in the metatarsal and heel areas that cushion the ball of your foot and the back of your heel. (Every little bit helps, right?)

Hikers often like the thin sock liners that wick away moisture under a heavier hiking sock in their boots (make sure there’s room for both). If you are on your feet all day at a construction site, a thicker sock can make your feet feel more comfortable in your work shoes.

What sock fabric should you choose? All that sweat that your feet produce (from over 250,000 sweat glands!) has to go somewhere. Ideally, you want to draw it away from your feet so it can evaporate. What your sock is made of makes a difference. Natural fibers include Merino wool (non-itchy, absorbs moisture, dries slower, costs more); silk (light, smooth against skin, not as durable); and cotton (not great, absorbs moisture but holds it against the skin).

Certain synthetics (polyester, acrylic, polypropylene) are often combined for a snug fit along with moisture-wicking ability. They are durable and dry fast, but may not be comfortable in hot weather.  If you are eco-minded, you could try a corn-based PLA fiber as an alternative to polyester (made from renewable resource, wicks moisture, controls odors, can be commercially composted).

For more information about how your socks can affect your foot health, talk it over with our foot experts. Just call Aadvanced Foot Care Associates at (718) 896-4433 in Rego Park, (718) 969-2266 in Flushing, or (516) 822-9595 in Plainview for an appointment. We can evaluate your feet and recommend shoes and socks that will work best for you.

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