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Thread: Socks for your boots - layering?

  1. #1
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    Default Socks for your boots - layering?

    Hello all,

    I read or watched something a while back about the advantages of wearing 2 pairs of socks in your boots. Mainly to help stop blisters if I recall correctly.

    So now am trying to find more info but am finding quite a lot of conflicting info. Only 1 pair for warmth, 2 pairs = bigger boots etc etc.

    What is the general consensus here? But also the info I was looking for was which type of socks to use if you go for 2 pairs? I have mountains of thick army surplus socks but not sure what smaller inner sock is suitable to purchase?

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Two pairs unless you get specific socks...

    I teach and assess D of E groups and my advice is to wear two pairs - not your "common or garden", "run-of-the-mill" "five pairs for a fiver off the market" stuff either. There are a few manufacturers who make two layer socks or have "liner socks" as part of their product line. From personal experience, I know that boot comfort can be transformed when wearing good quality socks - my preference is for Bridgedale or 1000 mile brands but others will be comparable.

    I will agree that boots have to be sized to allow for both pairs and that summer boots will be different from winter ones, but if you want the comfort and blister-free experience - it is worth the investment.

    ATB

    Ogri the trog
    Improvise, Adapt & Overcome
    www.Reddragonbushcraft.com

  3. #3
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    Winter = 1 pair of good G.I. cold weather wool socks (need a slightly bigger boot to accomadate them) or 1 good pair of hunting socks.

    Summer = 1 pair of cotton gym socks or sometimes no socks at all.

  4. #4
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    I tend to just wear Army issue arctic wool socks nowadays all year round.
    May your knees never fold the same way as an ostriches ankles.

  5. #5
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    * Double post
    Last edited by MartinK9; 09-05-2017 at 16:49.
    May your knees never fold the same way as an ostriches ankles.

  6. #6
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    I wear issue wool socks with 1000 mile socks or occasionally
    Bridgedale and 1000 mile socks

    but always 2 pairs

  7. #7
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    Two pairs of socks for me: a regular pair I'd wear in shoes, favouring merino more these days, plus a pair of thicker hiking socks, wool or wool mix. Has worked well for me for decades from minus-something icky to 35-40+. Whenever I need a new pair of boots I always take my sock setup along with me to ensure the boots are sized accordingly, as mentioned a couple of times above.

    And again, as mentioned above, decent socks (and gear) tends to be worth the dollar.

  8. #8
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    I used to wear silk liner socks under ragwool socks - now I just wear Smartwool... but I no longer do up to 30 miles in a day - my wrecked knees do not allow more than 3 miles a day at best
    Love makes the World go round......Lust makes it all go pear-shaped...

  9. #9
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    The main thing is to make sure that both pairs are not the same. The outer pair should be of a thicker structure than the inner ones. This means that they do not cling together. Any slipping that takes place, does so between the socks and not against your feet. The outer pair will tend to stick with the boot and the inner will stick with your foot.
    As mentioned above, it is a good idea to take both pairs with you when trying on new boots, so that you get a good fit.
    It is also a good idea to do your shopping for boots later in the day, when you feet have spread a bit, rather than when
    You and your feet are fresh in the early part of the day. Wear them about the house for a week or so to make sure that
    They are comfortable, and if not you can take them back to the shop and get them replaced by a better fitting pair.

    Once you have worn them out of doors, you are stuck with them. Cheers Stuart.

  10. #10
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    For a long time I was playing mix-an-match with thick woolly and thinner sports ones then the wife had me try some of F&F 'Active' socks from Tesco. Complete and utter PITA to dry when away camping but otherwise perform pretty well, now have a drawer full of them in rotation. Quality wool socks of course would be better yet these are only part of the blister free equation with things like cushion insoles and even how you lace your boots all playing their part.
    It may seem like a good idea at the time but never open a tin of beans with an axe

  11. #11
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    Army surplus wool Arctic socks for winter

    Commando socks all other times


    One pair at a time....

  12. #12

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    i wear two pairs tabbing, thin inner and thicker outer.

    These ones are what i use, good and cheapish;

    http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/bridgeda...-socks-p100530

    If you suffer badly from blisters then tinc benz and zinc oxide also help, as well as makeing sure your boots fit properly.

    Powder your feet often and keep them dry.

    Tonyuk
    "I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."


    Alexander the Great

  13. #13

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    My winter boots are always one size bigger than my summer shoes, to allow two pair of socks. I never have blisters, even when the boots are new. I also use wool inner soles.
    Of course, the boot needs to fit the shape of the feet, but with two layers of socks (wool in my case, since I'm a wool junkie) one can make up for minor fit issues.
    That's my experience anyway
    "Always hike in bear country with someone you can out run" - Unknown.

  14. #14

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    Here's my take. Boots one size bigger. Two pairs of socks one thin one thick in winter. Summer two thin. Only socks with a majority wool mix with the least amount of cotton possible. Alpaca, I find the best. If synthetic is mixed in for wear no more than 10%. Hope this helps.

  15. #15

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    How tight should you lace your boots ?

  16. #16
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    Ogri really nailed this in post #2. I swear by the Brigdale socks. Usually coolmax thin socks against my skin with their hiking socks outside.
    Then you wear whatever you settle on and try on boots to suit.
    If you do distance, and realistically if you are doing less than 10 miles a day none of this really matters, then on the second day you will want to loosen your laces or you will have inexplicable foot cramp.
    I made a girl in my party cry once as about 15 miles into day two I released her laces allowing her feet to spread and proper circulation to return.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikehill View Post
    How tight should you lace your boots ?
    Just until its snug all round, and your heel is clamped to the bottom.

    Powder them at lunch, you'll probably feel you don't need to lace up as tight since your feet would of swollen a bit.

    Tonyuk
    "I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."


    Alexander the Great

  18. #18

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    I have Scarpa M4's and one always squeaks .. any idea's how to cure that ?

  19. #19
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    I use Injini merino liner socks under a decent pair of woollen socks. In summer I swap out the heavier wool sock for a thin pair and change boots from my Altberg Defenders to my Vivobarefoot trackers
    "Honey, could you look after the kids a minute? I've just axed myself."

  20. #20
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    I only ever wear double socks in wellies and then usually two similar ones. I can't stand liner socks, as they always end up pulling on my 2nd toe (which is longer) and it becomes painful. Instead I wear one pair of well-fitting and not too short hiking socks (e.g. Bridgedale) or wool socks. In summer I go for light to medium ones and in winter I go for medium ones. If walking my feet get too hot for wearing thich ones and then I get blisters. If it's really cold (below -15 to -20*C) or if I'm going to stand around a lot at below -10*C, I might double up, but only if being out for a long time (also quite useful to get something to stand on at those temps). Since socks don't weight that much, why not just bring a few spares and see what works for you?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikehill View Post
    How tight should you lace your boots ?
    I have it easy across the ball of the foot gradually increasing in tension to tightest at the ankle and just above. That, with the two pairs of socks I mentioned earlier, has worked for me hiking for many many years on many terrains. Not had a blister from hiking now for over 40 years. (I'm sure that the venerable Sod's Law will now apply itself to my person later this week!)

  22. #22

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    I've never worn two pairs of socks and never had any issues.

  23. #23

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    Two pairs, everyday inner and woollen or "hiking" thick outer, never had many problems but rarely hike over 10 miles in one day. But two socks in boots is ingrained in my psyche now

  24. #24

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    I wear one pair, thick harkila expedition socks, but I always take spares in case they get wet with sweat or over the boots!
    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinK9 View Post
    I tend to just wear Army issue arctic wool socks nowadays all year round.
    Yep, can't fault issue arctic socks...been wearing them for donkey's years and never had a sniff of a problem with my feet.

    Thanks,
    Allan


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  26. Default

    Another for 2 socks: Thin liner + Darn Tough socks (splashed out!! - decided my feet were worth it).
    As to what inner:

    IsoCool Liner Socks
    Horizon Coolmax Liner
    Lorpen Coolmax Liner

    They're all pretty decent IMO.

    GW

  27. #27

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    I've been a fan of 2 pairs ever since I did my DofE :P
    Having never heard the things people say about cotton I wore one pair of regular cotton socks under a pair of cheap hiking socks and I was actually fine for almost all weathers.
    For winter I either put another (!) pair of thick thermal socks over the top or just wore the themal ones with the cotton.
    Saves your bulkier more expensive socks from getting sweaty as quickly and does wonders at stopping blisters.
    Currently reconsidering my materials though, I may invest in some proper liner socks as others have recommended, as well as some better (merino or maybe bamboo) outers, just to allow my feet to breathe a little better.
    as for tightness I say it depends on the boot but the most important thing for high-top boots is to ensure your ankle is well-supported, not only to prevent damage but also because rubbing around the top of the boot hurts like hell after a long day. and retie them at your first rest stop. I've never had too much of a problem with swelling, but actually I find my laces loosen and the padding gets compressed once you start walking so it's well worth readjusting as you go.

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