Can Socks Improve the Comfort and Enjoyment of Your Shoes? You Bet They Can!

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Whether it's talking to our customers in the store or when delivering a presentation outside our building, I always like to ask them; "what kind of socks are you wearing?" Most people have a hard time providing any kind of answer as they just didn't give it much thought when they put them on that morning.  Most people are happy just finding two socks the same colour and size and until they take their shoes off at the end of the day, may not even realize that one sock had a hole in it ;)  I would say that most people (when it comes to socks) look for the cheapest 6-pack they can find when they are in their local department store. While the price per pair can be quite low (2 or 3 dollars per pair) and seem like a great bargain,  you usually will get what you pay for. Many a time I have received these "great bargain" socks under the Christmas tree along with some equally "super deal" boxers and I can personally attest to their quality. While yes, the socks did match perfectly in colour, they did not fit particulary well and usually bunched up around my foot and/or ankle as the day went on. They had seams in uncomfortable places and after I washed them a couple times, they fit even worse. When I wore them for any kind of physical activity, they usually got damp (and smelly) pretty quickly and generally made my feet feel less than comfortable.  

So the next question I would ask is "why would you buy good quality footwear if you're not going to wear them with a good quality sock?" If you are going to spend a big chunk of your hard earned money on really good quality footwear, wouldn't you want to get the maximum comfort and enjoyment out of them? Wouldn't you rather maximize all of the great benefits of the footwear you have just bought versus feeling the adverse effects of wearing a poorly fitted low performance sock? You might ask whether a sock can really make a substantial difference and I would say loudly with conviction that "YES," you bet it can! Buying a great shoe and a poor quality sock is like buying a top end stereo with bottom end speakers... you will never hear the potential of that stereo without a good pair of speakers. The relationship between footwear and socks can be very similar. If you ask a marathon runner who will religiously wear the same style of running shoe from year to year they will tell you they are just as particular about their socks. If you ask a construction worker who is very loyal to their favourite brand of work boot, they will also tell you they have the same loyalty to a specific brand and model of work socks. People who depend on their footwear to help them perform at an optimum level will tell you to make the investment and buy a great quality sock to compliment the footwear. The benefits of the great pair of shoes can quickly be minimized by an inferior pair of socks. 

So what makes a great sock, a "great sock"? First and foremost the way a sock is constructed is key. Contrary to popular belief, our feet are not shaped like "tubes". To get a proper fit, socks must be constructed and contoured to fit around the numerous bumps and hollows of the foot. They need to be sewn in different directions in different locations to ensure proper fit and support in key areas as well as ensure no seam irritation. A properly fiited sock should fit snugly to the foot and arch and should not move around througout the day. A sock that moves around on the foot can lead to blisters and a generally hotter, more uncomfortable foot. Seems should be minimal and should not cause any irritation. The amount of padding/cushioning found in socks can vary and should be located in logical areas of the sock where the foot actually requires it. The amount of padding and the overall thickness of a sock is really a personal preference and preference usually varies based on the activity and type of shoe one is wearing. Material content and the numerous combinations of how those materials are used is also very important. The combination of moisture wicking materials like acrylics, merino wool and other smart fabrics like "Coolmax" that keep the foot dry are critical to the comfort of the foot. In general, a dry foot is a more comfortable foot. It will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. A damp foot and sock can lead to a host of potential problems. The amount of elasticity in the sock and the specific location and distribution of the elasticity is also important. A good sock will not be binding or cut off circulation but it will hold the sock securely on the leg and foot even adding additional support to the arch.

So what is my advice? Try a great pair of socks... You will not be disappointed. If it means spending $10 -$20 less on a shoe and $10 - $20 more on a pair of socks then do it. If you think about it, what is more important than the first layer against your skin?  If you are not sure what sock may be best for you we would be glad to help you find one.

CLICK HERE to see our great Sock selection.