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How to buy Socks

There is everything from wool socks to running socks out there, and it’s all specialized for different activities. Here are some short descriptions to get you looking in the right direction.

  • Cotton Tube Socks – Avoid these, and don’t use them for outdoor activities. Cotton will soak up moisture and leave your feet soggy. Go with synthetic socks that have been designed for the activity you’re pursuing.
  • Athletic Socks – General athletic socks, minimally padded and available in a variety of lengths and sizes.
  • Casual Socks – Available in many styles. Choose from Merino or synthetic that have been designed for everyday work, walks, and weekends.
  • Lightweight Hiking Socks – Thin socks that provide cushioning on the sole of the foot and keep moisture controlled in the shoe.
  • Midweight Hiking Socks – Thicker than its lightweight cousin, the mid-weight hiking sock has cushioning around the entire foot to ensure a comfortable foot on longer hikes and backpacking trips.
  • Mountaineering Socks – Heavy and thick to provide maximum comfort, padding, and warmth.
  • Ski and Snowboard Socks – Cushioned around the ankle to support pressure points while on the slopes. These socks are also longer, often close to knee height.
  • Liner Socks – Thin, lightweight socks meant to be worn under thicker hiking socks for moisture control.
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