Thursday, April 27, 2006

I said Choose Your Socks Wisely

In the last post I began to explain what to look for in your next pair of socks. We covered some important ground and hopefully imparted a bit of sock knowledge upon you. Let's continue where we left off and finish up this lesson.

It's worth noting that the guidelines you've been reading apply more to athletic and hiking socks than they do to dress socks. Did you note it? Excellent, let's continue.

In addition to the thickness of the toe of the sock (as mentioned in the previous post), you should check out the thickness of the sock in it's entirety. If you have smaller feet, a thicker sock may benefit you by filling the empty space between your foot and the containing shoe. This will result in less sliding around inside the shoe, possibly preventing blisters as well as more serious injuries. Also, the sock will be more comfortable as it will provide you with more cushioning. You may want to look into different socks for different pairs of shoes or boots, using thicker socks in conjunction with looser fitting footwear and vice versa.

The seams in your socks are also extremely important. Most people would never think to examine a sock's seams, and they end up paying the price as a result. The problem that arises is when socks have thick obtrusive seams. These will end up aggravating your feet as they constantly rub against them inside the shoe. The longer you wear the shoe, the more severe the discomfort. What you want to look for is a flat seam that doesn't appear to
protrude too much. This should ensure comfort even after many hours.

Make sure that your sock also has a decent amount of elastic. This is so that it will fit snugly and not become baggy after a relatively small amount of use.

We're almost done! Stop by soon and learn a few more tips to maintain your socks once you've bought them. Till next time.... .

Monday, April 17, 2006

Choose Your Sock Wisely

When looking to purchase socks there are a number of factors to consider. Most importantly there is the choice of material. Should it be cotton, wool, or some sort of synthetic material (e.g. Thermax, Coolmax, acrylic)? Conventional wisdom says that if you have sweaty feet you should go with a synthetic, as their superior wicking ability will keep your feet dryer. If on the other hand you have feet that easily get cold, you would do well to buy yourself some wool socks. Wool socks are better insulators yet still retain respectable wicking ability.

After choosing the kind of material for your socks, you should look at the quality of the item. What you should specifically be looking for is density as well as stitching. The higher the density of the toe the better. If you turn the socks inside out you will see the small loops of which it is comprised. Ideally these should be as small and tightly packed as possible. This ensures the sock's cushioning as well as its ability to retain its cushion over long term use.

Check in next time for the conclusion of what to look for in a sock.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So You Wanna Be a Pro?

You've seen all the commercials. Some guy who can't play a sport, puts on a pair of shoes and suddenly he's the man. He can dunk, bicycle kick, burn the defense and put all the others to shame. The shoes made him a superstar. While we might have become a bit jaded and view such advertisements with a chuckle, you shouldn't assume that the right gear wouldn't improve your game. As mentioned in past posts, the right kind of sock can make all the difference in the comfort of your feet and in turn be the competitive advantage you need to come out on top.

The American Podiatric Medical Association echoes this thought by stating that an individual's choice of athletic sock is an important one. Many sports podiatrists recommend acrylic socks as the fibers are excellent at wicking away moisture and keeping feet comfortable. The average foot has 250,000 sweat glands and they will do just that, sweat. While specialty socks generally cost a bit more than your average cotton socks, they also tend to last much longer. Their unique fibers give you the benefit of extreme foot comfort and coolness. So when its 4th and goal with ten seconds left (and with the way you throw it probably will be), you'll know that the one thing you can count on is your precious sock.