Pulling on a pair of socks for everyday use is a mindless task, but if you want to keep your feet cool and comfortable during longer fitness walks, look into getting a pair of dedicated walking socks. Properly designed walking socks feature extra cushioning, moisture-wicking materials and an absence of potential irritants such as seams.
What to Look For
While cotton is a prevalent material in regular socks, you'll want to eliminate it from your walking-sock drawer. Cotton retains moisture and can cause uncomfortable rubbing and chafing that can lead to blisters. Instead, look for socks made from materials that wick moisture off your skin and keep you dry and more comfortable. Polyester blends, acrylic and merino wool are common blends in walking socks. Flat seams prevent uncomfortable chafing and itching, and cushioning underneath your heel and toes provides some extra comfort and shock absorption.
Bridgedale Bamboo Lo
Though Viscose from bamboo may sound about as rough and uncomfortable as a pair of socks could get, the material is actually quite soft and pleasant. In fact, Runner's World named the Bridgedale Bamboo Lo its "Plushest Pair" in a 2009 rundown. Testers found the blend of bamboo and Coolmax fabric to be comfortable against the skin and effective at wicking moisture.
Thorlos LWXM Walking Socks
These walking socks from Thorlos combine focused cushioning with a light Coolmax fabric to cradle your feet in comfort. The socks feature light cushioning on the heel and ball of the foot to prevent blistering. Thinner cushioning on the instep prevents discomfort and chafing from the shoe. Meanwhile, the Coolmax fabric pulls moisture off your skin.
Injinji Ex-Celerator Compression Toe Socks
At £24 a pair, these Injinji socks are a little expensive for a pair of socks, but the Ex-Celerator Toe Socks do bring some technology for the price. The socks combine compression technology with a five-toed design to increase circulation, speed recovery and eliminate toe-on-toe friction, helping prevent blisters. Outside magazine featured these socks in their 2010 Summer's Buying Guide, stating: "Compression socks are catching on, and for long, blister-free runs, I've become a fan of toe socks; Injinji's Ex-Celerator Compression Toesocks combine the two."
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