Which socks with trail shoes?

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by Craig, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Craig

    Craig Summit Camper

    Just making the switch from boots to trail shoes for mountain walking. Accepting the wet feet, but wondering what is the best sock option? I assume I need something like a running sock ? thick or thin? . With regularly wet feet through the day how do I look after them? I am thinking fresh socks at camp, feet on plastic bags (any bag recommendations?!) and then into wet shoes? Any wisdom appreciated.
  2. Baldy

    Baldy Thru Hiker

    I don't get the `accepting wet feet', so it's Goretex Addidas terrexs or Montrail GTX for me.

    Socks. Cooler conditions, Thorlo.
    Rest of the year, Inov8 or most recently Morvelo cycling socks. The cycling socks have no underfoot padding so a good footbed in the shoe is useful. The advantage is they dry very quickly if damp.
    Diddi likes this.
  3. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Not really much difference socks wise with boots Craig

    If it's warm = thin socks
    If it's cold = thicker socks

    I know some here disagree, but my opinion is to use anything except wool

    In my experience wool is the absolute worst material to use for socks.

    I prefer coolmax, but to be honest i tend to just tend to grab whatever socks come to hand easiest.
    I've got cheapo dress socks and more "specialised" running socks, after 1 hour on my feet i'd struggle to tell the difference to be honest.

    If you've got a birthday coming up Wrightsocks are nice but pricey.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  4. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I think palate packs 50 miles a day guy uses thin dress socks from Walmart. .
    Given a big enough footboard I like injinji, this time of year the thin liners in coolmax or the 2.0.
    cushioned merino mix darn tough in the winter.
  5. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Synthetic are best for use in the wet as they dry out the quickest. Using the wet shoe approach, socks have to get rinsed regularly to get rid of silt that makes it's way in and causes premature blisters and wearing out of the shoe lining.

    +1 on what Gixer says. If they fit, stop any heel lift and don't 'fall asleep' on your foot, a dress sock is often every bit as good as a 'dedicated' outdoor sock.

    Currently, fave socks in all footwear is various pairs of various brands of diabetic socks and coolmax liners. The fancy 3d padded socks just aren't working as well as plain woven for me this year.

    Looking after them? I don't know whether you mean the shoes or your feet..

    Feet; dry them as aften as you can. Trenchfoot can set in quick. Air them at lunch stops get a bit of sun on them when possible. Gewohl do a great waterproof barrier cream for feet, it gives quite a few hours of protection from wading in swamps.

    Footwear; rinse at every opportunity if they are wet. Socks are best washed at the end of the day in soap and then dried overnight/the next day.

    It's often a bit of a perverse pleasure as your hot and tired cheesies sink into a nice wet bog.........Enjoy! :biggrin:
    JKM likes this.
  6. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Is there a difference? :)

    I tend to wear two pairs of socks, I find it helps save my townie feet from blisters on consecutive long days. Coolmax or merino liners depending on the temps, then Xsocks synthetics or a wool blend like Darn Tough micro crews. If it's going to be a particularly wet trip I find two pairs of thin socks dry better than one thicker pair.

    Camp routine is foot powder then into light Sealskinz and back into the wet shoe, if it's not that cold in camp I often just leave my wet socks and shoes on until I retire for the night. I find plenty of Gehwols morning and night stop my feet from falling apart.
    kiltedpict and murpharoo like this.
  7. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    I like the inov8 race ultra socks, they're very thin but fit really well (don't move around) and dry quickly.

    For plastic bags I use Costco bags that come free with a hot chicken... or when you pinch a couple of dozen off the roll. They last a good few wears, especially just doing camp chores. I've been taking waterproof socks this year though and think I'm going back to chicken bags.
    Jamess likes this.
  8. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

  9. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    I'm using x socks last few years , but agree most are ok . I try and stay with thinner ones and just one pair,blisters not had one in 20 odd years but I'm out on the hill quite a bit . I use Grewhol cream at end of day if I'm out more than 3 days otherwise I don't bother. If you can it's really God practise too wash out shoes and socks at end of each day I norm only wash socks after 2 full days wear, As others say try and air your feet at dinner if you can and as much as temp allows at camp .. Did that tgo walk few years back got told lots retired that year due to feet problems,due to very wet ground that year ! It's Scotland some bits are wet very wet .. never had any problems on multi day trips in shoes next to impossible to keep feet dry and impossible to dry gortex based footwear once its wet ,so easier to let water in water out
    Whiteburn likes this.
  10. ADz

    ADz Thru Hiker

    I usually wear X-socks or Darn tough, sometimes with a small/thin pair of liner socks.
  11. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    X-socks Exped light & Darn Tough #1913 work for me, single pair. Tried Coolmax socks & found then OK for warmer climes but not for Scottish bog trotting seem to take longer to dry out IME. A good fit paramount, & plenty of lycra, I found some socks go baggy when wet & tend to wrinkle up; not a good idea.
    Normally I'll try & wash the socks & rinse out the shoes at the end of the day, slap some Gehwol Extra on the feet & put on my bed socks.
    I do carry a couple of bread bags for going over the dry socks if I need to put wet shoes back on (call of nature).
    Munro277 likes this.
  12. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Now the warm weather has hit here (mind you it's been raining today :eek:) i tend to spend the summer in flip flops or barefoot so have a fair bit of hard skin on the soles of my feet.

    This causes problems when i walk far with wet feet as the hard skin seems to want to separate from my foot when my skin prunes and wets out.

    I've tried everything, from potions and lotions like Glide and creams, to them there Injian sock things with toes.
    Some stuff works sometimes, others fix one problem but cause another (the Injin sock things cause a painful blister on the crease line on the bottom of my foot as my shoes wern't wide enough for my feet to spread out wearing them).

    So i try to keep my feet as dry as possible, not always possible for sure, but if they do get wet then i'll try to dry them out and/or swap socks regularly.
    Munro277 likes this.
  13. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Soak feet. Pumice. Gently, often.
    Tricky, Munro277 and cathyjc like this.
  14. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker


    I was dragged up through the rough parts of Nottm, if i order 1/2 pint of beer i'll be laughed out of the local.
    If my mates found out i went for a foot job spa thing i'd never be able to return :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

    Mind you we did used to use the fish cleaning thing before it became popular, although we were dangling our feet next to the sluice gates wiggling our toes at passing pike, to see who'd leave their feet in the water the longest :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

    Does that count?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
    Munro277 likes this.
  15. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Suffer then you sad throwback :D
    Munro277 and gixer like this.
  16. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Meadows, Balagan, Baldy and 2 others like this.
  17. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker


    Did i say potions and lotions :eek:

    What i meant to say is, i've tried 2 stroke oil and engine grease :whistling::whistling:
    Teepee, Balagan, edh and 1 other person like this.
  18. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    I use the double sock aproach even in trail runners.
    I wear wool because even if they dont dry quick, they keep my feet warmer and stink free. And double socks keep my feet cleaner and more comfy.

    At night I dry my feet, put on nice dry socks and in the morning I will put some vaseline or anti chaffing cream, and wet socks go back on.
  19. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    Double socks in boots only a single socks in trainers.
    Always buy a size up in any footwear to protect my toes on downhill
    Thick socks winter only and thin socks summer time..
    These arrived today so these are for wet weather and i have the non goretex for drier times.
    Would rather have sweaty feet than soaking feet. :smile:
    Tricky likes this.
  20. hillwalker66

    hillwalker66 Trail Blazer

    I use teko merino mid weight socks with trailshoes, been using since I made the switch a few yrs back, good cushioning -warm when wet.. not had any blisters or foot problems
  21. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Still massively in love with my Darn Toughs of all flavours, heights, and persuasions...
    Merino blends.

    ( Did i mention they do some loverly ones with flowers on)

    And wear very comfy knitted (not sealskin type) waterproof socks* over them in claggy conditions, inside non membranous trail shoes.

    Otherwise, my delicate lady feet get very sore walking all day in wet socks....

    * sorry I'm very bad at retaining names of 'things and brands' unless it's real proper true lurve - maybe thats one reason why I don't do so well on here... I can find out the type tho' if anyone cares to know :) not too expensive and done a good few miles unbreached.
  22. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker


    Seem better than Sealskinz
    Tricky, JimH and Fair Weather Camper like this.
  23. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Aha yes...

    Them :)

    For some reason I'm put in mind of that most wise aphorism -

    " Why have a dog ; and bark yourself?" :D
    Balagan likes this.
  24. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I've just had two days wearing some inov8 socks, can't think of the model... I took two pair and kept changing them as they dried out... Had to remove the footbed on the merrell as they were like a sponge. Great socks
    WilliamC likes this.

Share This Page