Why Hikers Should Wear Sock Liners on the Trail

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If you’re an outdoor person then you must try hiking. That is if you haven’t already. It certainly is one of the most exciting activities you can do with your mates. You might wonder how your feet bear such long-distance walks. Well, enter the world of sock liners. This article is going to be all about what is the purpose of sock liners and how they prevent blisters.

Hikers choose to wear sock liners to prevent blisters as they move friction from your skin to the liner. The purpose of sock liners to prevent painful blisters happens in two ways, they reduce friction between your shoe and your skin which can cause blisters along with wicking away moisture. 

That is only however, the tip of the iceberg. Let me get into more details on how exactly sock liners work and why if you’re a hiker or thinking about picking it up, why you can’t ignore wearing them and also how do sock liners prevent blisters.

Why Wear Sock Liners for Hikes?

The concept of long-distance walking has been around for a long time. They were mostly for religious purposes. Walking for pure pleasure was started during the eighteenth century in Europe. 

Anyone who knows anything about hiking probably can tell that it is not an easy thing to do. Do not let that put you off though. Hiking is still a phenomenal sport and a really fun activity. But it doesn’t need someone with a 200 IQ to guess that it can take quite a toll on your feet. 

The long and vigorous hikes most hikers take on can really do a number. You need to traverse rough lands and also go uphill in not-so-ideal conditions.

We all know those horror stories of unfortunate hikers who have hurt themselves pretty badly because they weren’t careful or didn’t take the necessary precautionary measures. 

One of those precautionary measures happens to be preventing blisters. Since your feet will take most of the beating during a hike, wearing sock liners, for example, is a great way to prevent blisters. 

How Do Sock Liners Prevent Blisters 

Sock liners will help with blisters in two main ways. I have already mentioned these but let’s get into the details. This will give you a better idea and help you underhand why it’s so important that you also wear sock liners on your next hike.

Before we get started though, did you know that there are specific socks made for hiking? You pair sock liners underneath these types of socks to give yourself the best protection. Alright then, on to how sock liners help with blisters.

Sock Liners Reduce Friction Between Your Boots and Feet

This is hands down one of the primary ways they help you get rid of those pesky blisters. When you walk long distances, you might notice that your feet start to hurt. And I am talking about just taking a stroll around the block, not just hiking. 

That is because your shoes will constantly keep on rubbing against your feet and create friction. This will in turn then turn to blisters and you will be in for a painful experience. Now imagine this except you are walking for hours on end in heavy boots. Exactly! 

Your feet will start to create hotspots from the friction and you may end up with blisters. The most common areas are the heels and toe box. 

Sick liners will reduce the friction by giving the boots a smooth surface to glide over. This extra layer of cushioning helps absorb this friction and reduces the chances of hotspots. 

It Wicks Away Moisture and Prevents Weakening Your Skin 

Another way sock liner helps is by taking away the moisture. When you’re hiking in heavy boots and thick socks, it is no surprise your feet are bound to sweat and generate heat. Steamy and sweaty heat will make your feet wetter since they cannot breathe properly. 

And wet skin is softer which means they can easily blister. Having an extra layer of protection like sock liners helps wick away that excess moisture. It will wick it to your outer hiking socks instead of your feet. 

This leaves you with relatively dry feet and the less moisture there is, the lesser the chance of blisters. 

That is all there is to it, really. Sock liners help you in these two very effective ways. It is no surprise to see why hikers should and also do wear sock liners. 

How to Choose the Right Sock Liner?

Alright, you are convinced that sock liners aren’t optional. First of all, glad you realized this. Now the question is, you are not too experienced of a hiker and do not know what to look for when shopping for one. What do you do? 

Well, fortunately, this section will give you all the exact factors you need to consider before pulling the trigger on a sock liner. The last thing you want is to go out and buy one that does not perform well.

Sock Liner Material

The material of your sock liner is one of the most important things. This will essentially dictate how well it performs. And to be honest, picking a sock liner based on good materials is also sort of a no-brainer. 

Look for materials like nylon, silk, polyester or even wool. What you need to know is synthetic materials dry fast but wool on the other hand is a fantastic insulator.

Also, wool is much better at absorbing moisture from skin fast which makes it an ideal material for liners.  Avoid cotton by all means though. 

Length of Liners

Then you have the length. Longer sock liners that extend just a bit above your outer socks are a good starting point. They can be adjusted easily. Some also opt for low-cut sock liners. Personally, I am not a fan of them.

The main reason is they are impossible to adjust easily once you put your outer socks on. With longer liners, do make sure you put them on right.

That means you want to pull them snug so there are no lines or wrinkles. Otherwise, they can cause blisters too. 

Liner Thickness 

The general rule of thumb here is to keep sock liners as thin as possible. These will go under your hiking socks. And hiking socks are already quite thick.

So, you don’t want to add another thick layer because they might change your shoe size as well. Not to mention, the heat dissipation will be much harder if you have a thick layer of liner under your sock. 

If you are in freezing temperatures then the story is a bit different.  In that case, going with thicker liners is perfectly feasible. Frankly, you sort of need to unless you want your feet to freeze during a hike. Which will introduce a myriad of other problems you don’t want. 

By keeping these in mind you can pick the perfect sock liner for you based on your personal needs and weather. 

Final Thoughts on What is the Purpose of Sock Liners

I hope now you can see why hikers should wear sock liners on the trail. They have been proven to be an excellent aid in reducing blisters and allowing you to run more, run faster and run longer.

Going on a run once and then remaining bed ridden for days won’t be great for reaching your health goals. So, I highly recommend that you take my advice and wear sock liners on your jogs. 

I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Thanks for stopping by and best of luck on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

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