BikeCommuters.com

Hiking socks for biking?

We we’re all about multi-purpose and re-purposing things here at BikeCommuters.com. So when it comes to apparel, we wanted to make sure that things we wear while riding can double as apparel for other activities such as hiking, camping and etc. With that in mind we reached out to one of our favorite backpacker-world traveler Chasie D. She’s sharing with us some information about socks.

Are you planning on taking an outdoor excursion with a few friends? If so, biking/hiking socks are essential apparel to your adventure; especially if it’s going to be a long one. While there are numerous travel sites that offer great advice in terms of clothing and safety tips, very few actually address these foot-warming wonders. So what are some of the top tips that will enable you to choose the best pair for your next trip?

Thickness

What climate are you planning to be in? Will it be a temperate environment or are you planning a trek across the Scottish Highlands? In either scenario, temperature plays an important role. Thicker socks are obviously better for colder climates and they will provide an extra level of comfort for your feet while they are pressed against your shoes. Thinner models are essential to avoid excessive sweating in tropical locations. Excess sweat can easily lead to the development of fungus.
socks
Aeration

How easily can your feet breathe within the sock? This is critical for two reasons. First, the aforementioned sweating concern needs to be taken into account. Secondly, feet that are sweaty within a cold environment risk developing hypothermia. In cold areas, this can even lead to frostbite! On a final note, socks which are aerated also tend to dry quicker. This is the reason that cotton has always been a preferable material over wool or polyester.

Layering

Professional hikers will often layer their socks. This keeps the feet warmer and the outer pair helps to provide a dry barrier against elements such as snow and water. Also, materials which are layered will contain tiny pockets of air. Air is actually one of the best insulators against the cold. So, it only stands to reason that layering your socks is a great tip when it is frigid or wet.

Good socks are one of the most important concerns while planning an outdoor journey. Thankfully, there are countless manufacturers of quality materials and with these tips, you can be certain that you are completely prepared for your upcoming adventure!

4 Comments

  1. MLC40

    I’ve worn hiking socks for cycling for years with great results. I’ve tried cotton and poly-synthetic but nothing beats Marino wool. I’m partial to these from MEC http://www.mec.ca/product/5006-539/great-canadian-sox-company-super-wool-hiker-gx-socks-unisex/?Ns=p_min_sale_price&h=10+50089+50026+50443&f=10+50089+50443

  2. Adrian

    “On a final note, socks which are aerated also tend to dry quicker. This is the reason that cotton has always been a preferable material over wool or polyester.”

    Most of this article is spot on, but I couldn’t disagree more with this statement! Wet cotton socks are miserable; when they’re wet, they are very, very cold. Wool, which is designed to keep sheep warm when wet, is a much better choice for both sweat and rain.

  3. Atticus

    Breathing is really important when it comes to socks. There is nothing I hate more when they’re wet from sweating – they are impossible to take off. I typically tend to go with a light wool sock when I go biking.

  4. NHcycler

    The above comments are spot on — I can’t believe that you’d recommend cotton for anything bicycle or hiking related, period!

    I can’t believe that you recommend cotton over wool or poly. Cotton, when it gets wet, stays wet.

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