Choosing the correct socks for a hiking trip can have almost as much influence on your comfort level as choosing appropriate boots. Neoprene socks help to keep feet warm and dry. The thick, synthetic fabric also helps to cushion feet on long hiking trips, and reduces blisters and sore spots. The impermeable nature of the fabric keeps irritants such as sand away from the skin.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Neoprene socks
- Hiking boots
- Sock liner (optional)
Choose a pair of neoprene socks that are stretchy and close-fitting. Decide if you wish to wear the neoprene socks over a pair of thin sock liners, a pair of heavy hiking socks, or by themselves. Try on your neoprene socks over the appropriate under-sock to ensure the best fit.
Purchase hiking boots of a size that fits over your neoprene sock as well as any under-sock you wish to wear. The boots and socks should move as a unit with no slipping or sliding, but should not be so snug as to impair blood flow.
Bring one or more changes of under-socks along on your hiking trip, and change them throughout the day as needed if they feel damp or uncomfortable.
Wash your neoprene socks according to the manufacturer's recommendations at the end of the day. Remove the socks, taking care not to overstretch the seams, and shake away any debris. According to Artistic Sportswear, neoprene garments should be washed inside out using a mild detergent or specialised neoprene shampoo. The garment should be rinsed with clean water and left to drip-dry inside-out away from direct sunlight.
Tips and warnings
- Wear neoprene socks under sandals to protect feet from grit when walking through wet areas in warm weather. Adjustable sandals are a good choice for optimum fit.
- Neoprene socks come in a variety of densities. Choose heavier socks for cold-weather hiking or wet conditions and lighter socks for warm-weather hiking.
- Do not wear cotton under-socks. Perspiration can make cotton stick to the skin and increase the amount of friction inside your boots.
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