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Posted on February 16, 2010
Hiking boots serve as your feet’s first line of defense against the cold. With high-tech insulation and waterproofing, most boots are highly equipped to keep feet on the right track. However, you might want even assurance that your feet will receive complete protection.
Good hiking socks take a lot of elements into account. Not only is it a barrier to the cold, it reduces blister-causing friction. If you have a good understanding of how you walk and where you’ll be hiking, picking out perfect hiking socks will be simple. If you know that you always get blisters on the back of your heels, choose a sock that has more padding on that area. The more padding, the more shock and friction absorption it will have. Conversely, if your feet have the tendency to get very sweaty even in cold temperatures, select a sock that breaths easily.
Much like the boot’s weight, sock weight also plays a role. Obviously the lighter the sock, the less weight and pressure it will put on your foot. However, a more heavy-weight sock will be more of a cold-weather shield. Thicker socks might make your boots tighter or make your boots fit better, depending on what size you purchase.
The material selected to construct the sock will determine the weight. Some of the best materials include blends of wool and polyester that dry quickly and don’t shrink after several washes. There are also liner socks, designed to be worn with another sock for additional moisture wicking and friction control.
Keen offers an extensive collection of hiking socks in ultralite, lite and mid-weight that come in a variety of heights. From low to quarter to knee-length, there’s a range of sizes to choose from. Each sock is tailored to each foot with a designated left foot and right foot sock. Keen uses Merino wool and E.C.O.-synthetic material to keep feet dry and warm. The mix of 85% recycled polyester and 15% organic cotton, E.C.O. allows socks superior wicking and drying capabilities.
Other companies who offer hiking socks include Bridgedale, Darn Tough, Fox River, North Face and Tholo. Just remember to pack an extra pair during your hiking adventure, because you never know when you’ll need ’em.