Boots, Socks and Seasons: A sponsored post by Hi-Tec Sports

Hi All, Ben here.

Below is a guide on thinking about the Socks you might be looking to chose depending on seasons, Its by Hi-Tec Sports, I’m sure for most of you they need no introduction, but for those who don’t recognise they’re a forerunner in the Hiking Boots industry. So thanks to Mike over at Hi-Tec, we’ve got an instructional and some considerations on what boots and socks you might want to consider looking at.

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A Guide

When it comes to hiking, your choice of footwear is probably one of the more mundane details.  However, making the wrong decision can mean the difference between enjoying your excursion into the countryside and counting down the kilometers as you hobble around your planned route.  In order to ensure the comfort of your feet you must select the right shoes or boots and also the right hiking socks to complement them.  In both instances, your choice should be guided by two considerations: the weather conditions and terrain you’ll encounter.

Hot conditions

If you are hiking in especially hot weather it could be that a standard pair of hiking boots will cause overheating.  In such cases it can be wise to opt for hiking shoes that finish below the ankle and allow for the air to circulate around your feet.  This, of course, means less support to the foot and ankle area, meaning they may not be suitable if your route involves some rough terrain. It’s a trade-off you’ll have to decide upon depending on your individual circumstances.

The lower rim allows for a low-cut sock to be worn without the need to worry about rubbing occurring, whilst further improving ventilation.  If you plan on wearing some lightweight low-cut socks, be sure to get specialist hiking ones that offer additional padding and support. (We’ll go into more detail as to why this is important later on in this post.)

Hot conditions shoes and socks

Normal conditions

Where the weather is moderate, typically during the spring and autumn months, standard hiking boots are the norm.  They will help to add some warmth to your feet and offer suitable support for most terrain.

In terms of walking socks, you will require a mid-weight pair, which stretches up to around the mid-calf area to protect against any water or mud splashes.  The increased thickness of the material will help to keep your feet warm and also add some extra cushioning.

Normal Conditions Socks and Shoes

Cold conditions or extreme terrain

If you are hiking during the colder months and wearing normal walking boots then there are thicker socks out there that will help to provide additional insulation.  These will often be marketed as ‘mountaineering socks’, rather than hiking socks.

This type of sock is also suited for when you require mountaineering boots for the most demanding terrain.  The extra thickness of the socks provides welcome padding to counter the rigidity of mountaineering boots.

Cool Condition Shoes and socks

Finding a good pair of socks

Irrespective of whether you require lightweight hiking socks for the hottest conditions, or extra-thick socks for winter excursions, there are four key elements that you should look for.

  • With any item of clothing you will always do your best to get the perfect fit.  This is especially important when it comes to hiking socks, as a pair that doesn’t quite fit can mean extra friction.  Over the course of a long hike this friction can result in discomfort and possibly even blisters.
  • It is possible to buy hiking socks that are designed to be unisex, or that are intended for use by men or women only.  The key difference between men’s and women’s hiking socks is that the latter are narrower in keeping with the female’s anatomy.  Unisex ones will take the middle ground and so are suitable for both men and women.  Try to avoid socks that are specifically designed for the opposite sex, as they are likely to cause discomfort.
  • The fibres used to make technical hiking socks are very advanced in order to deliver maximum comfort and performance.  Many of these materials have been engineered by individual manufacturers and copyrighted as part of their brand.  As a result, it can be a little bewildering as to which materials are best suited to your needs.  All you really need to look for here are materials that are both wicking, to take moisture away from your skin and that are breathable to prevent overheating.
  • Specialist walking socks should provide padding and support in the right areas of your feet, specifically the forefoot, heel, ball of your foot and toes.  These are the parts of your feet that will encounter the most contact with the inside of shoes or boots, thus requiring extra protection.

Sponsored by Hi-Tec Sports, specialists in both mens and womens walking socks.

 

5 Responses to Boots, Socks and Seasons: A sponsored post by Hi-Tec Sports

  1. I think that a third of the equation is missing here : insoles. The insoles shoe makers put in their products are 99% of the time rubbish. Even great brands such as Keen or Zamberlan. I know a lot of bushwalkers who always change the insole for something like Superfeet soles or Sof Sole. I now mix between my orthotics and some Superfeet Orange, depending on the room in the shoe. In terms of socks, I can’t go without double socks, otherwise I have blisters everywhere. I tried some Injinji socks but they’re worse, blisters grew between the toes…

    • Interesting call, I dont actually have a lot of experience with this kind of Sock / shoe / innersole issues though I know a lot of people do.

      I have very robust feet. In fact my brother’s girlfriend is studying Podiatry and uses the “freakish” descriptor. I dont want you to consider this a plug for Barefoot running, there isn’t enough info holding up either side for me to put it here; but I do barefoot run and try to not wear shoes whenever possible around the house because it works for me. In the end this means I have very strong / hardened skin on my feet.

      With that in mind I generally use the insoles that come with my shoes. And I usually wear either Business socks because they’re so light (yes really) or explorer socks if its really cold when I’m walking, and wouldn’t dream of double socking for fear of the end-of-day bootgasm being interrupted by A category 5 poison odour.

      That all being said, Liz has Superfeet, Green ones I think? And she loves them.

      • Hehe you’re lucky, my feet are a nightmare. Some shoes give me blisters on the heel, some only on the toes, I have a leg shorter than the other, etc… This means I have to develop a very thick layer of callus in order to be fine. If I stop hiking for 2/3 weeks, some of the callus peels off and it’s back to blisters. Wearing tough Zamberlan boots with roomy toe box and having thick double socks helped, but I still get some blisters here and there. I have to pierce them in the evening so I can walk on them the following morning.

        • Wow, thats pretty brutal. I do not envy you. What kind of tracks are you walking? I cant imagine anything thats hard enough on my feet to cause that kind of issue.

  2. It happens on every kind of track, from sandy to rocky. I have sweaty feet so it contributes to the problem.

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