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Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Really thin socks on 04/23/2012 14:59:39 MDT Print View

You all know that Mike C! is an advocate of "thinny-thin" socks. The new minimal shoes (not the toe-y ones) also do well with really thin socks. And if you're fording many streams, really thin socks help things dry quickly.

I haven't seen it posted anywhere, but cycling socks are great "thinny-thin" socks. Most are made of nylon, although wool is available (not quite as thin). The nylon ones come in a huge assortment of designs, colors and heights.

Just as an example of what's out there, here's a link to 8 pages of men's cycling socks:

http://www.sockguy.com/Category/9_1/Socks.aspx

(I have no connection with the company)

Cycling socks are widely available at cycling shops, and can often be found on sale on the web. And the nylon ones last forever!

Cheers!

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Why pay so much? on 04/23/2012 15:11:04 MDT Print View

The only socks I ever wear hiking are thin liner socks. You can usually get these for no more than $6-$7 a pair. For instance, the Wigwam Gobi liners that I prefer are $7 a pair at REI and $6 or less at several other stores. If you're okay with cheapo dress socks from Target or somewhere, you can probably pay even less.

The thing with thin socks is that they never last long anyway, so way pay more than you have to?

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: really thin socks on 04/23/2012 15:18:12 MDT Print View

I have some of these socks that are over 10 years old and still in good shape. My experience is that they last a long time!

But the real draw, of course, is the cool graphics! You'll never find liner socks with a beer mug on the ankle!!! ;)

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
cycling socks on 04/23/2012 17:38:57 MDT Print View

Stephen,
This is a very timely post, i also discovered cycling socks recently. $5 for Pearl Izumi socks at REI, super thin. They worked well for my Grand Canyon run recently. I've worn those "liners" before but they were always long, coming clear up onto the calf. I havent been wearing these long so its good to hear you say they are very durable. That makes them even better than I thought! For anything under 15 miles then I prefer no sock, but longer than that and these are my choice now. Those cheap dress socks worked fine too but they were not durable and not short enough. My two cents.

Adan

Edited by Lopez on 04/23/2012 17:41:49 MDT.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
thin socks on 04/23/2012 17:48:56 MDT Print View

I just buy the thinnest, lightest running socks I can find that still have a little cuff. Polyester dries MUCH quicker than wool. Although I think wool is slightly more comfortable. Defeet wool-e-ator cycling socks. I use both.

I have taken to wearing my wool hiking socks to the gym too. They get worn ~10 times (3 wks) between washing, and dont smell, break down, or lose sponginess (is that a word?). Although our little dog seems to search them out in my gym bag and I find her chewing on them occassionally. These socks are top notch.

Neil McGee
(thegreatclod) - F

Locale: Northeast, East Asia
Re: thin socks on 04/23/2012 19:59:10 MDT Print View

Darn Tough Merino Mesh do the trick for me. A blend of merino wool and polyester, I believe. Not your cheapest option, but they are super comfortable in my trail runners on long hikes.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Really thin socks" with anti merino rant added on 04/23/2012 20:13:52 MDT Print View

Timely post for me. I'm the opposite: I like well cushioned ("spongy") socks for backpacking but find merino wool blends too warm, causing sweat and probably blisters for my hydrophobic feet. This was proved once again last weekend when I tried the oh-so-comfy rei merino wool blend socks (they don't seem to sell non-wool hiking socks anymore!) and proceeded to sweat them out in a two hour hike. Bridgedale has been my go-to sock for years; I guess I'll go on-line now that rei doesn't stock them. They have no wool in them! Thank God! This is just a little anti-merino wool in action rant; I love the stuff when I'm sitting still but top or bottom I sweat way too much when I'm active with merino on.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: "Really thin socks" with anti merino rant added on 04/23/2012 20:17:31 MDT Print View

"I love the stuff when I'm sitting still but top or bottom I sweat way too much when I'm active with merino on."

You do know you're supposed to remove it from the sheep first, right?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: "Really thin socks" with anti merino rant added on 04/23/2012 20:26:40 MDT Print View

"You do know you're supposed to remove it from the sheep first, right?"

_Now_ you tell me. That could explain a few things.

--B.G.--

Patrick Matte
(JPMatte)

Locale: N. Georgia
socks on 04/23/2012 20:30:46 MDT Print View

Swiftwicks have impressed me. I used to be a big fan of the smartwool running socks but they were a gigantic dissapointment wearing thin sooooooo quickly.

Patrick Matte
(JPMatte)

Locale: N. Georgia
socks on 04/23/2012 20:30:53 MDT Print View

Swiftwicks have impressed me. I used to be a big fan of the smartwool running socks but they were a gigantic dissapointment wearing thin sooooooo quickly.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Really thin socks" on 04/23/2012 20:46:26 MDT Print View

Maybe I should re-phrase things a bit: whether I'm wearing a merino shirt or merino blend socks, I tend to sweat more than I'd like to when pursuing outdoor activities, none of which involve actual sheep.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
no sheep on 04/23/2012 21:01:49 MDT Print View

Good to know no sheep were involved in an any sweaty activities.

I personally dont find any relationship between moisture and blisters. But then again, I only use thin socks and trail runners.

Last trip we did 30 miles with feet wet the whole time for 17 hrs of hiking, 15 miles per day. Over several steep mountains. 30+ water crossings. Feet were happy feet, in loose trail runners, with light packs. Boooyah.

only time I had minor discomfort was when a small BB sized rock got in a shoe and under my foot during a water crossing

Edited by livingontheroad on 04/23/2012 21:03:29 MDT.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Really thin socks" on 04/23/2012 21:19:49 MDT Print View

Reading a book titled Fixing Your Feet confirmed for me that there's a huge variety of individual responses to factors that affect people's feet. The book contains a lot of interviews with ultra marathoners as well as long distance backpackers. Their responses about how to prevent blisters, for example, vary wildly. And so too their responses about most foot related issues. Bottom line: you have to find out what works for you for yourself; always listening to helpful input from others. Takes more time, but what else have I go to do with my life?

James Byrnes
(backfeets1) - M

Locale: Midwest.... Missouri
Re: thin socks on 04/23/2012 23:16:24 MDT Print View

Defeet wool-e-ator cycling socks. Anyone know the weight of these socks?

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: Re: thin socks on 04/24/2012 07:28:10 MDT Print View

DeFeet Wolleator socks, size L: 1.7 oz, 48 g

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
for the cheap on 04/24/2012 08:10:15 MDT Print View

If you are cheap (like me) you can buy nylon dress socks from Wal-Mart for $5.50 for 3 pairs. If you prefer polyester they have some Starter brand performance socks in various lengths (tab, low, ankle, crew) which I think run about $5 for 3. That is what I use and I really like them.

Edited by TylerD on 04/25/2012 07:03:48 MDT.

Patrick Kelley
(pwkelley)

Locale: Central Illinois
re: thin socks on 04/24/2012 08:59:23 MDT Print View

I have run and biked in DeFeet Aireator socks for years and have recently started hiking in them as well. They are a really thin polyester blend, dry quickly, look good (fun graphics) and wear like iron. If you like a thin sock you really can't do much better than these.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: re: thin socks on 04/24/2012 09:43:15 MDT Print View

Of all places to find hiking gear (re: socks) I have had great success with J. C. Penny's house brand.

They are low cut, tab style, hiking shoe sock liner style. These socks are completely synthetic. I have walked them dry and have hung them up to dry overnight without any problems.

The best feature of these socks is that you get 4 pair for $10.00 everyday at J. C. Penny's.

Party On,

Newton

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Hanes on 04/24/2012 16:36:27 MDT Print View

My local Walmart carried 3-packs of these about 2 years ago for about $6 or $7 (and they work great), but I couldn't find any cotton-free socks the last time that I looked:

Hanes
Casuals Stretch Better Fit
8 - 12 women's
98% polyester, 1% spandex, 1% natural latex rubber