Fox River boot socks The inside of a boot is a hot, humid jungle perfect for breeding of bacteria and fungus.  The skin on your foot protects a intricate structure of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Your feet bear the weight of your entire body balancing it, and you wonder why they sweat?  It's this sweat that becomes trapped inside a boot when you work.  Your skin bears a great deal of this friction as you take each step and excessive moisture will lead to unessecary friction, and blisters.  It can also lead to fungal infections such as athletes foot and nail fungus which when left untreated can become dibilitating.

The majority of this foot sweat is wicked up by the socks. This article will help boot wearers, certainly some of the hardest working and playing individuals on this planet, choose the proper fibers for thier work and play.  If you are new to wearing boots, you will quickly learn that a quality sock is necessary for foot health.  There are many qualities one must consider when chosing a sock to wear with their boots, such as; Fiber, what activities will be performed while wearing the sock, the type of boot, our list could go on and on but this will suffice for this post.  I may have to delve deeper into this in the future.

Socks have been worn by humans for thousands of years and their general purpose has always been the same: To provide an extra layer of protection ot the foot. Protection from elements both inside our boots as well as the more widely considered outter elements like climate and terrain.  The first socks were nothing more than bits of fur and skin that lined crude animal skin boots, protecting man from frostbite and dampness caused by sweaty feet and frozen landscapes.  Did you know each foot can perspire up to a pint a day?

 The inside of a boot is a hot, humid jungle perfect for breeding of bacteria and fungus.  The skin on your foot protects a intricate structure of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Your feet bear the weight of your entire body balancing it, and you wonder why they sweat?  It's this sweat that becomes trapped inside a boot when you work.  Your skin bears a great deal of this friction as you take each step and excessive moisture will lead to unessecary friction, and blisters.  It can also lead to fungal infections such as athletes foot and nail fungus which when left untreated can become dibilitating.

The majority of this moisture is wichked up by the socks. This article will help boot wearers, certainly some of the hardest working and playing individuals on this planet, choose the proper fibers for thier work and play. 

Boot Sock Fibers

Natural:

  • Alpaca - Extraordinarily strong, much stronger than Merino wool (one of the softest wools available) this fur has a hollow core providing the best insulation from all the elements.  Its added strength provides a fiber that is compression resistant and a very low scale (see illustration below) makes them quite soft and smooth reducing friciton and the resulting blisters. 
  • Bamboo - can be converted into a very soft comfortable fiber, however the process is quite unfriendly to the environment.
  • Cashmere & Silk - Generally reserved by men for dress socks, a cashmere or silk sock makes an excellent sock liner for an extended excursion in our boots.  When hiking in colder climates mountainers will layer begining with a silk sock, then wool as the thin silk drys quickly with the wool to wick away the moisture, providing a thin dry layer against the skin to maintain warmth even in the toughest of climates without adding a great deal of bulk.
  • Cotton - by far the most common material for boot socks or socks period. Inexpensive, readily available, soft fibers are also durable and when combined with other man made made fibers such as nylon and lycra, can hold its shape and conform to any foot providing extra support.  This extra support is imperative for anyone who spends a great deal of their booted life on their feet.  Cotton fibers soak up moisture very well, but do NOT let it go, in fact, it can hold up to FOURTEEN TIMES the moisture of some modern acrylics. Blisters form when a cotton sock becomes moist, and compresses down, folding in the extra spaces causing uncesseary friction. However, due to the facts that it is inexpensive and can be washed repeatedly before beginning to really breakdown cotton remains the general choice for most sock wearers.
  • Wool - The earliest fibers known in modern sock production were wool yarn fibers. Today wool socks are difficult to find in most super-stores with prices that generally make them a luxury in such a recession.  Wool, like its less expensive cotton counter part is often blended with synthetics to increase its durability and support properties.  Wool is the choice of fiber for hikers for its ability to thoroughly wick moisture away from the foot, it also has unequaled insulation. Due to the larger overall fiber it is able to trap and retain more body heat than other fibers as illustrated below.

 

 Synthetics:

  • Acrylic - durable, soft and warm fiber that is also color fast.  Its water reslilant properties make it a great cushion fiber keeping the feet dry.  It's this quick drying nature that helps stay off odors often associated with some synthetics.
  • Nylon - very stron and durable, it is also a very diverse fiber and depending on the manufacturing process can be silky thin or quite bulky. Most often Nylon is combined with other materials to help strengthen them or providing stretch.  Nylon is in most modern socks.
  • Olefin/Polyropylene is a Hydrophobic (water repelling) fiber.  It is also lightweight and has some extraordinary strength when compared to comprable fibers. Often combined with an absorbent outter layer. Note: easily damaged by heat.

What fiber to choose?  What are you going to be doing? Do you have excessive foot odor? Are you going to be standing all day? Do you regularly get your feet wet when wearing boots?  All of these questions are important to consider when you are looking at socks.  If you have questions, please feel free to call 1-888-BOOTMAN and one of our friendly staff will be happy to assist you in selecting the right sock for your boots.