People often spend plenty of time looking for the perfect shoe. But few take the time to find the perfect sock. That’s too bad, because if you don’t pair the proper sock with your shoe, you’ll increase your risk of blisters, foot fungus, odor, discomfort and toenail problems.
When shopping for socks keep the following in mind:
- Synthetic Fibers Keep Your Feet Cool and Dry
Any sock made of synthetic fibers will keep your feet cooler and drier than cotton. Studies have shown these fibers were better at wicking, cooling and drying. Synthetic fibers include Acyrlic, CoolMax and Teflon.
- Extra Padding Prevents Blistering
Studies show that thicker sock with special padding like Thorlo are most effective at preventing blistering. So if you tend to blister opt for socks with better padding. If you don’t, then choose thick or thin depending on which feels best to you.
- The Problem with Cotton
Avoid cotton socks if you have any problems such as blistering, sweaty feet, hot feet, toenail conditions or foot fungus. Once cotton gets wet, it stays wet, bunches up and can cause blisters. Cotton doesn’t hold up well to washing, easily loses its shape and becomes abrasive.
- Special socks for the Person with Diabetes.
The key features in a sock designed for diabetics are a flat, soft toe seam; moisture wicking capability; antifungal / antibacterial treatments; fit and comfort; white color. A good example of such a sock is the Jobst Sensifoot.
- When Exercising, Socks are Essential Equipment
The right socks are essential equipment in any exercise program. Not only do protective socks prevent many problems such as blisters and fungus, but they will help keep your feet comfortable by ensuring that they stay dry and well cushioned. Quality exercise socks such as Thorlo will also help regulate foot temperature.
One of the socks we most recommend to our patients is the Juzo Silver Sole socks. These socks have tremendous advantages over regular socks, including:
- X-STATIC® is the most powerful antimicrobial and odor elimination system available. These socks naturally and safely eliminate common bacteria, fungi, and odors.
- X-STATIC® silver fibers efficiently transfer heat, keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- “Pillowed Sole” provides added cushion to reduce blistering, callus buildup, and fatigue.
- Mild compression in the foot and ankle (12-16 mm Hg compression).
Another brand we recommend regularly is Thorlo. Thorlo has some of the best padding in the heel and forefoot and they are great socks for anyone suffering pain under the ball of their feet or in their heels. Keep in mind that the extra padding does add to the bulk of the sock, so make sure you are wearing them when you try on shoes. If you try to use them in shoes that you normally wear with standard socks, the shoes will likely feel too tight.
For a list of our favorite socks and shoe stores that carry them, download our Recommended Shoe List from our forms page.