It’s amazing really, something as small as a blister can completely ruin a hiking or camping trip and I’m sure it’s happened to plenty of people reading this.
Which is why it’s worth taking the time to find the best hiking socks to prevent blisters.
Hiking socks aren’t the most interesting of items to spend time browsing – but seriously, they are an important piece of kit.
If you want to put an end to painful blisters here are some tips to help, along with a couple of options for hiking socks that’ll keep your toes, feet, and ankles free of friction and dry.
Why Do I Get Blisters When Hiking?
There are two main reasons why you are getting blisters when hiking, running, or doing any other outdoor activities that keep you on your feet.
Moisture – Skin becomes more prone to blistering when it’s damp as this makes the skin more delicate.
So, if your feet are sweaty for long periods or your shoes are damp due to the weather conditions you’re much more likely to develop a blister.
The main prevention against damp feet is to wear socks made from moisture-wicking materials and replace your socks when they are soggy.
Friction – This is the main cause that most of us are well aware of. If you feel toes or a part of your foot rubbing on new shoes you know a blister is going to develop.
The friction creates what is called a ‘hot spot.’ It does feel hot as the rubbing causes irritation, which is why you should put a blister plaster on when you first notice it.
Some General Tips for Preventing Blisters When Hiking
Choose the best socks – Ok, this is what I’m covering in detail in this article so I have you covered with all the information you need here.
Have plenty of spare socks – One pair of socks is not enough. In fact, you should have at least two pairs per day on you.
Swap to fresh socks if they are drenched in sweat, getting dirty from trekking through mud, or starting to rub for any reason.
Have blister plasters handy – Preventing a blister is your best course of action. If you feel a spot on your foot is rubbing put a plaster on it asap.
Rest your feet – The more you walk, the more friction and stress you’re putting on your feet. Rest up if you have achy feet or feel a hot spot developing, attend to the area and set off again refreshed.
Two of The Best Hiking Socks to Prevent Blisters
Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midnight Hiking Socks
Injinji is probably the most well-known brand of outdoor toe socks.
They have a wide range of styles, colors, and sizes, so however odd you think your feet are or how difficult it usually is to find good socks, be sure to check them out.
They use a material that comprises of NuWool, nylon, and lycra, which gives a lovely soft feel and awesome wicking properties.
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HASLRA Hiking Five Finger Toe Socks
I’ve included these tow socks from HASLRA as an option as they are made from very a different material to the Injinji socks.
They are made from 90% cotton, which isn’t the best for wet weather. But some people love the feel of cotton and will prefer these I’m sure.
As you can see from the image they offer excellent and are perfect for hiking.
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Do Toe Socks Help Prevent Blisters?
You may have seen toe socks before but not tried them and wonder what the advantages are over normal socks.
There are a few advantages, and they do help prevent blisters if you find the right pair.
Here are the main reasons why toe socks may be a better choice for you:
Less toe friction – With each toe basically having their own socks there is less rubbing together and against your shoes.
More stability – It might not seem like much, but with each toe being able to move independently you will have better balance and stability.
You’ll notice the difference if you hike over different terrains a lot and switch to toe socks.
Drier feet – As long as you pick up a pair made from good moisture-wicking materials your feet will stay drier than in a normal sock.
This is because each toe is individually covered, and the glove-like fit stops sweat from building up in pockets inside the sock.
Blister prevention – All of the above are factors that make toe socks much better at preventing blisters.
There is next to no rubbing or friction when you’re walking and no hot spots. As long as you have a good pair of shoes that fit well it’s very unlikely you’ll get a blister.
Hopefully, this article has helped introduce toe socks to a whole new audience, and helped you pick up a few tips to reduce developing blisters on your future hiking trips!
Any comments, questions, or feedback is welcome, thanks.