So you’ve got your trusty walking boots, or new boots with cutting-edge technology – you’re guaranteed to be blister-free and comfortable all day long, right?
In our experience: no. There’s no point in having the perfect boots if you’re going to wear terrible socks with them. The wrong socks can lead to pain and discomfort, even in the best-fitting boots.
Obviously they must be the right size – too big and the extra material will ruckle and rub, too small and the heel will be positioned in the wrong place, causing the sock to slip downwards even further.
Socks which are breathable are always going to be more comfortable. Walking boots, especially leather boots, are usually made of rather thick material, and so usually your feet will become hot while hiking. Counter this with socks which allow your feet to breathe, and your whole body temperature will stay a little lower, allowing you to go faster for longer. Socks with fast-drying and moisture wicking technology are also a great option – effectively taking the sweat away from the feet, and if you happen to get your socks wet navigating a bog or a river, a sock which does not cling onto this moisture will save you from hours of uncomfortable squelching!
If you have a long walk ahead of you, especially if it’s likely to be on roads or stony trails, you might opt for more underfoot or toe padding to act as a shock absorber. Equally if you just like to walk in cushioned comfort, go for a padded sock!