The Best Socks to Prevent Blisters
In general, the best socks to prevent blisters on any athlete’s foot are made without seams and use synthetic fabrics that keep feet cool and dry.
Toe Socks: Runners who frequently get blisters on feet and toes may want to try toe socks. These types of running socks have fabric that fits snugly to each toe keeping them separated, dry and cool. Injinji®, a popular brand of toe socks, likens the advantage of toe socks versus conventional tube socks to gloves versus mittens: “Mittens keep your fingers together to create a warmer, oven-like environment, while gloves offer less warmth but more dexterity.” Moisture and heat are causes of blisters. So, your best blister treatment for toe blisters may actually be socks – toe socks, that is.
Trail Running Socks: Socks for trail runners need to be able to withstand many different weather and running conditions, including snow, rain, mud, sand, and moving water. A Trails.com article on socks that prevent blisters, suggests socks by Feetures!® For trail runners. Feetures! website says the socks use a unique blend of SuperSoft Merino wool, rayon, and bamboo that breathes easily and wicks moisture away. Drymax® Sport Socks is another brand that claims to prevent blisters and chafing on feet by repelling water, keeping feet cool and dry.
Long-Distance Running Socks: The best running socks for marathoners should be made with synthetic moisture-wicking fabrics to keep feet cool and dry over long periods. Look for CoolMax® fabrics or socks made with Lycra. Some companies now carry dual-layered socks for long-distance running. Nike’s Anti-Blister socks features two layers of, what they call, friction-free fabric in the forefoot, sweat-wicking fabric and mesh panels.
Cyclists should look for socks in synthetic fabrics and non-slip cuffs to help their socks stay put. A sliding or bunching sock can cause serious foot blisters. The best socks for biking provide proper seasonal comfort as well as prevent foot blisters.
Cold-weather Cycling Socks: A bicyclist’s feet can get very cold in cool weather, and dangerously cold in cold or freezing weather. Look for cold-weather socks that wick sweat, but keep feet warm. An article on BicycleApparel.com reveals that many cyclists will wear two layers of socks: a thin sock liner underneath a thick insulating sock for cold-weather cycling. The liners should be made with synthetics like polypro or CoolMax® to keep skin dry and prevent blisters. The insulation sock can be made of wool or fleece, according to the article.
The best hiking socks to prevent blisters may depend on the level of hiking you plan to do, according to an article by REI Seattle footwear specialist, Pete Smith.
Short hikes: Lightweight hiking socks are usually made with synthetic, sweat-wicking fabrics, such as CoolMax®, that keep feet dry and help prevent blisters on the feet. Make sure the socks are snug and seam-free to reduce rubbing.
Long hikes: Hikers planning to be out on the trails for a long period of time should consider socks with a little more cushion, especially in high-impact areas of the foot. These thicker, warmer socks, however, can cause a warmer, wetter environment resulting in blisters. Thin, sweat-wicking liners can keep feet cool and dry, and are designed to be worn underneath these thicker socks. The liners help limit the friction between the outer sock and skin, which is what causes blisters.