When purchasing socks, most people generally do not think about the total protection they provide. Socks are used for more than just padding and cushioning, they serve as a barrier between the shoes and the feet. A good pair of socks can help absorb some of the pounding suffered by feet and ankles, reduce soreness following physical activities, and prevent foot conditions like calluses, blisters, and fungal infections.
What to look for in a good pair of socks
Finding good socks is not as easy as choosing the most expensive brand. Socks need to be comfortable, and they should also be suited to the proper activity and use.
Here are a few things to consider when picking out socks:
- Do not purchase socks without trying them on first.
- If you are an athlete, try to find socks designed specifically for your sport.
- Look for a high thread count (denser socks repel moisture and protect the feet for longer periods).
- Look for socks with a reinforced heel and toe.
- Look for socks with cushion sole support.
- Make sure to buy the proper sock size; your toes should reach the seam, and the heel padding should hit your heel in the proper place.
Issues created by improper sock fit
Finding a pair of properly fitting shoes is one of the best ways to prevent foot injury, and a pair of good socks can provide extra insurance against injury. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true; poorly fitting socks can cause blisters, calluses, and abrasions.
Socks that are too tight often trap moisture; this can lead to fungal development and conditions like athlete's foot and toenail fungus. Socks with insufficient cushioning also pose problems for athletes, particularly anyone who plays sports that require pounding feet on pavement and jumping.
A good pair of socks will keep your feet cool, dry, and comfortable. To avoid blisters, hot spots, abrasions, and fungal growth, look for socks that wick away moisture and cause less friction and irritation.