Author Topic: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?  (Read 1939 times)

richardh1905

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #15 on: 17:44:20, 06/03/21 »
Another vote here for wool. It actually warms up a bit when wet - seldom see a shivering sheep - so Bridgedale merino socks for me  :)


Yes, I noticed that with the pair of Dachstein mitts that I had - they seemed to be at the best when coated with soggy snow! They lasted years too, but those serrations that they put on the upper part of ice axe blades did for them in the end. Might get another pair for next winter.
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richardh1905

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #16 on: 17:46:45, 06/03/21 »
I carried spare socks especially for overnight trips to avoid having to put on wet socks.


A good tip. I always carry a spare pair of socks buried in the depths of my rucksack, safely enclosed within a drybag.
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Birdman

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #17 on: 08:37:22, 07/03/21 »
If I'm likely to walk with wet feet for long periods of time, I just change to thicker socks. That always feels more comfortable. With dry feet I prefer very thin socks. My socks are always some wool blend.
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Kev06

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #18 on: 10:27:35, 07/03/21 »
Thanks, yes carrying spares would certainly be a possibility. As too are thicker socks (in fact I've never got on with thin ones in boots, unless doubled-up) so thats also good. :)

This thread has been useful, thanks everyone. I've settled on getting some wool/merino socks and also some spares. I've also changed expectations a bit, to only use these boots where wetness will be occasional, rather than where all-day sogginess is likely - which should both make changing socks worthwhile and also be less susceptible to foot/skin injuries, that I need to avoid.

Thanks again,
Kev

NeilC

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #19 on: 12:00:39, 08/03/21 »
Thanks, yes carrying spares would certainly be a possibility. As too are thicker socks (in fact I've never got on with thin ones in boots, unless doubled-up) so thats also good. :)

This thread has been useful, thanks everyone. I've settled on getting some wool/merino socks and also some spares. I've also changed expectations a bit, to only use these boots where wetness will be occasional, rather than where all-day sogginess is likely - which should both make changing socks worthwhile and also be less susceptible to foot/skin injuries, that I need to avoid.

Thanks again,
Kev


Personally, when doing the sandal thing, my best results were from two pairs - a pair of thin merino ones next to the skin and thicker more woolly ones on top.


Just the thick ones made my feet sore as the coarser yarn they're made with really scrubbed at my wet skin. Something that is very soft when dry isn't always the same when wet.

Kev06

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #20 on: 15:53:32, 08/03/21 »
Thats interesting to hear, thanks! As it happens I very much prefer double (or even tripple) socks, so that kind of thing could work well for me too. Maybe the outer one could then sacrifice a bit of softness for more durability.

Kev06

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #21 on: 19:26:03, 14/03/21 »
Well I've got some merino socks on the way, now. Slightly £painful for a pair of wool socks, but should be okay if they don't wear out too quickly.

Just thinking about the merino's properties and also what Neil mentioned about lining it... Would it make sense to use a synthetic liner sock - to wick away sweat (into the merino sock) yet remain dry itself?

I know that I get on very well with Tactel as a liner for instance, and also have some bridgedale liners that are synthetic, and which don't give me blisters.
Cheers,
Kev

Patrick1

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #22 on: 20:58:57, 14/03/21 »
I switched to non waterproof lightweight walking shoes last year, and found them as comfortable and blister free as hoped. My feet get wet, but stay warm and comfortable. I wear them with wool/synthetic blend socks, either "Smartwool" or the rather good value Tesco thermal ones mentioned by Richard above. I think the synthetic component helps the sock dry quicker than the pure merino ones I used to use, and also seems to make them more hardwearing and longer lasting.

Kev06

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #23 on: 10:01:42, 15/03/21 »
Thats very encouraging, thanks!  Yes those I've ordered are also a mix of fabrics too, about a third is polyamide plus a touch of elastane. Looking at tests and reviews it seems this improves longevity as well as tweaks the performance, which I'm all for.  (Though some 'merino' socks do seem to abuse that by having only a token amount of merino).   

Because this is my first venture into them I decided to get some that were well regarded for my kind of use, to give them a fair trial. They're 'darn tough' tactical socks that cost about £20, and even that was something of a bargain. Unless they last for years that would be too costly for me on a regular basis though, so (depending how they work out) the plan would be to next try cheaper ones to see how they compare.

I can imagine that cheaper socks might prove to be better value, if they use similar materials and have reasonable seams. The darn tough socks supposedly have a lifetime guarantee, but I don't know what is considered to be their lifetime or if I'd have to post back to the US to claim it. Something to be investigated if they start to wear out sooner than expected, perhaps.

Birdman

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #24 on: 10:02:20, 15/03/21 »
I'm almost surprised how hard-wearing good wool/synthetic blend socks are. I have a few pairs of Bridgedale Trekker, the oldest are now 13 years old and still going strong!

The only ones I have worn out are ultralight bridgedales (56% merino wool), which I have worn the most because I prefer very thin socks. I hiked the 2650 miles PCT basically using just two pairs of them (alternating them, wearing one pair and washing/drying the other) and while at the end they had become really thin in non-critical areas (that have less material), I still use them for day-hikes or every day use today.

Btw: this is wearing boots, which is much easier on the socks. Low shoes with lots of mesh gets a lot of dust and dirt in them in dry areas and this wears out your socks quicker. Even at home, if I wear low shoes I get a lot of wear near the Achilles where the edge of the shoe is.

But regarding the subject of this topic: when walking with wet feet (or are very likely to get wet feet), thicker socks are more comfortable in those conditions, so I change to the Trekker.
« Last Edit: 10:12:27, 15/03/21 by Birdman »
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Kev06

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #25 on: 10:15:34, 15/03/21 »
Ah, excellent; thats also very encouraging, thanks!  Possibly if they were thicker (which I happen to prefer) they might last a bit longer too; if I could get it down to averaging one replacement pair a year that would seem pretty good really.

I've had fully synthetic socks last longer, up to a few thousand miles or more, and they're also cheaper. But feet are important, and in my case somewhat fragile, so I'd be willing to pay extra to reduce chances of injury. Though I wouldn't be unhappy if the cheaper brands proved similarly good; I'm a fan of bridgedale and they don't seem excessively priced compared to many.

It might also depend on where the wear happens, as there is enough space in my boots to accomodate either a liner sock or a thin outer sock, if that helps to protect them.

Birdman

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #26 on: 10:26:13, 15/03/21 »
Ah, excellent; thats also very encouraging, thanks!  Possibly if they were thicker (which I happen to prefer) they might last a bit longer too; if I could get it down to averaging one replacement pair a year that would seem pretty good really.


Yes, thicker ones are significantly more hard wearing (Comparing Bridgedale Trekker and Ultralight)
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RAVE

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #27 on: 13:27:00, 15/03/21 »
I'm quite the walking novice, but I usually enjoy my excursions most when my feet are dry, jus' sayin'. Maybe you have heard of this technique,  it originated from Western Europe after The Great War as many soldiers were diagnosed with trench foot. The medical scientists figured this was because of wet feet so they proposed a dry foot for walking. Hope that helps a million.
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Kev06

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #28 on: 18:27:25, 15/03/21 »
It may well be that I end up agreeing with you; I've had wet feet by accident many times, and it hasn't been ideal. But that has always been in nominally waterproof boots, so the worst of both worlds really. I'm curious to know if free-draining boots will be any better for it; there are potentially advantages in improved breathability for hot days, and also where the boots would get wet anyway (through the top).

But my feet don't run unbearably hot in full leather boots, and bog-hopping or river-fording aren't things I do all the time. So I might find it not very worthwhile as a routine thing. But if so then nothing lost, the boots will just be used when conditions are expected to be dry, and I'd still want good socks as a contingency.

Kev06

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Re: Good socks etc for walking with wet feet?
« Reply #29 on: 22:23:03, 17/03/21 »
The socks arrived so, after a wash, thought I'd try them out today - in normal circumstances for now, to gain a fair comparison; dry feet in my usual boots. I had two pairs of socks to try, the main ones being the darn tough tactical full cushion sock and also a pair of smartwool hike liner socks.

Unfortunately within just six miles, the tops of some of my toes were being rubbed raw, which was unexpected. So I swapped the main sock to the inside and put the liner on the outside (unconventional obviously, but it maintained the same total thickness for testing purposes). After that things were considerably better, and a further 11miles caused no more damage to the tops of the toes, though I did develop a blister underneath one.

This is just a local ~17mile route that I've been doing around twice a week for the last year, and 'never' had any foot problems resulting from it whatsoever. So for my feet the merino liners worked far less well than my usual socks, and surprisingly also less well than the thicker merino socks (presumably due to the nice loop-pile against the foot), which rather defeats the purpose of using a liner.

The main socks were pretty comfortable and cosy, so I'm much happier with those. Though based on this I might want to team them with my usual synthetic (tactel) liners, which have never led to blisters. I'm not sure if that would make costly merino somewhat wasted, or if it might be a match made in heaven. Probably it depends on how well they deal with warm wetness in the summer.