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How to choose socks?
How to choose socks? Sounds like the answer to this question is obvious, isn’t it? Speaking of feet protection, people usually think of shoes first and socks being neglected. However, socks are actually having a more intimate relationship with people. Choosing the wrong pair of socks can do equally harm as choosing the wrong pair of shoes.
Common material of socks:
Cotton – Cotton is a natural material, it has been a common material in socks making for centuries. It provides good comfort and also able to absorb moist fast. But once cotton material absorbs too much water, it will take quite a while to try. So, it is not wise to wear a pair of socks with high percentage of cotton for sport activities. Socks with high concentration of cotton are not recommended for outdoor activities because it is not a fast drying material.
Wool – Same as cotton, people have been using wool for a long time in socks making. For socks making, socks makers do not use normal wool, they usually uses these kind of wool, such as: NEWWOOL, MERINOWOOL etc. These two kinds of wool are popular in underwear and socks making. When using wool as a material in garment fabrication, the wool must blend with other material and fiber. It is due to wool’s structure, if you use a microscope to see the surface of wool, you will discover that there are many sharp spikes pointing out from the surface of wool. That’s why people feel uncomfortable when wearing wool garment with high concentration of wool in it. So, special treatment will be needed when using wool in making underwear or other garment, because intimate garment do have direct contact to people’s skin.
Nylon and Spandex by DuPont. – These two material are known as their excellent stretchability and durability. Nylon and spandex are often used in making of sport socks.
Coolmax – There is an excellent material called Coolmax which often found in sports socks. Coolmax is also invented by DuPont. Under the microscope, you will see that Coolmax fibers are hollow with cross pattern arrangement. This kind of structure hugely increase surface area, letting the surface able to expose to air, which let Coolmax has excellent rapid-dry ability. Garment with Coolmax fiber provide excellent breathability. But Coolmax is the not the right kind of material to use along when making socks or garments that can keep people stay warm.
Thermolite – Thermolite is another patented material invented by DuPont. This type of material can provide excellent stay-warm function for garment. The microscopic structure of Thermolite is hollow with circle cross section which created fuzzed structure that can trap heat to the wearer’s body.
Socks for outdoor activities
So, how to choose socks for outdoor activities? Many people may tell you that you must wear a thick pair of socks for outdoor activities. It sounds making a lot of sense, because a thick pair of socks can help to decrease the frictional force between the feet and socks, also able to protect skin from rubbing off by the shoes. However, what most of the people do not know is that, during traveling, human feet will swell 7-8%, swelled feet with a thick pair of socks is a very bad combination, because this kind of tightness will affect blood circulation. When this happen in cold environment likes Snow Mountain, it can cause frostbite.
So, how to choose socks for outdoor?
A right pair of socks for sport activities should have the following characteristics:
- Goods elasticity and stretchability.
- Cushion padding at the bottom.
- Thicken material at toe and heel.
- In very cool environment, buy a pair of socks with Thermolite and Coolmax