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Socks - loose or snug? Cushion or no cushion?
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Don C
(skiroc) - F - M
Socks - loose or snug? Cushion or no cushion? on 03/13/2012 20:24:45 MDT Print View

I always seem to be in-between M and L size in socks. I hike in trail runners and M socks seem to be a little snug, and L socks are a little loose. I've used both over the years, and both seem to work. As I continue to fine-tune and replace some of my equipment, I was just wondering which is theoretically better - a little loose, or a little snug?

How about cushion or no cushion?

Assume max 30 lbs pack when fully loaded, trail runners, 15 - 18 mi per day for several weeks, as a typical hike.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
snug on 03/13/2012 20:43:05 MDT Print View

and a little padding. Wool rather than synthetic. Wool that is slightly course rather than very smooth. Keeps your feet where they should be rather than slipping around in your shoe. Defeet Woolie Boolie or Smart Wool Phd.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Socks - loose or snug? Cushion or no cushion? on 03/14/2012 16:51:42 MDT Print View

“a little loose, or a little snug?”

I like them snug so they don’t slip off my foot.
I like thick to add cushioning and padding.
I like wool in the winter.
I stay away from wool (any type of wool) in the summer or I’ll have burning feet. I go for the thick coolmax in the summer.

The mountains were made for Teva’s

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Socks - loose or snug? Cushion or no cushion? on 03/15/2012 00:49:44 MDT Print View

I like my socks like I like my....guylines? Thin and tight. I use coolmax wrightsocks (ankle height) almost exclusively for above freezing and then use very thin neoprene socks for cold and wet. The tight fit keeps the socks in place and that should help prevent blisters.

For sleep I often use a dry/clean pair of the same type of sock just from practical purposes, however in cold weather or with dedicated sleep socks I prefer slightly larger socks to maximize circulation and hence warmth.

My neoprene socks do feel luxurious since they have more cushioning but I've never found cushioning to help one way or the other with foot fatigue. Regardless of sock thickness my feet will be the same level of tired/sore after 15+ miles. Usually my feet get sore around mile 10 (AZ has incredibly rocky and gnarly trails) with thin socks. Cushioned socks probably only push that limit to mile 12 and my feet are never sore enough to noticeably slow me down.

Edited by upalachango on 03/15/2012 00:53:05 MDT.

Mark Dijkstra
(Markacd) - F
Tight on 03/15/2012 06:13:27 MDT Print View

and thin is what I prefer. In my experience there is fairly little difference in how soft you can walk between thick and thin socks, but thick socks are usually too warm for me.