Socks - advice plz?

Old Apr 18th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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Socks - advice plz?

Lots of good info re: shoes here!
I recently got a pair of SAS walking shoes and so far so good - my trip will be the real test.
HOWEVER I need some sock advice - because I am currently NOT happy with any of the socks I own.

I have some specific problems:
I get achilles tendonitis AND the tendon always seems to swell and be very uncomfortable around my ankle - so I really cannot tolerate any socks that are elasticized or tight around the ankle area.

I can get blisters in odd places - last time I walked alot I ended up with blisters on the side of one toe and on top of my foot. I think I really need socks that don't rub much. However I really can't stand very tight socks.

My feet sweat a lot - so I hate thick socks - seems to heat them up more.

BTW - I am a middle-aged woman, no fashion plate when it comes to footwear, socks etc - I just want to be able to walk a lot and not in pain. So far I plan to bring my SAS shoes, my old New Balance white runners (I really don't care that they scream tourist) and my crocs (which saved me when my feet blistered - they were the only footwear I could tolerate).

Can anyone recommend socks that will not constrict my feet and especially my ankles and will let my feet breathe. Note I am allergic to wool!

Thanks a lot for any help!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 08:50 AM
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I have a couple of pair of 100% silk socks that I use them as liner socks when I wear my hiking/nordic ski boots to prevent blistering and they do a very good of that.

They breathe really well, are very lightweight and not tight at all. I suppose you could wear them by themselves, I just never have. I got them years ago at an outdoor equipment store.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:01 AM
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I don't have any particular feet problems, but in warmer weather, if I'm wearing shoes where I want socks, I often just wear thin cotton socks. They usually come mixed with a synthetic or a little lycra or something, but you can buy many varieties of socks at any basic dept. store, Target, Kmart, Kohls, etc. These are just cotton socks that come either to the ankle bone or just a bit above or even can be folded over a bit (formerly called "anklets"). They aren't constricting nor highly elasticized, just regular socks. They have lots of styles that are fairly thin in spring/summer. I would get some with a little nylon or lycra or they may wear out more, particularly in the toes where they touch the shoe.

I don't think the places you got blisters are odd at all, it's just where your shoes are rubbing and not fitting well.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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I can sympathise with you - I too have achilles tendonitis, and just finding shoes that don't irritate it is a major challenge.
I went to a local outdoors outfitters and explained my problem - the result - socks that aren't elasticized or tight but which do stay up. They are also cool (I hate hot feet)and quick drying. They are (I think) from Nomad but what they are called I don't know. Maybe you could try the same approach at an outfitters near you.
Cotton socks are not good for difficult feet and can cause blisters. better to go for modern high tech fabrics.
I also learned from my physiotherapist how to tape just the tendon (using tape called Cure Tape) which really helps when it flares up.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Thx for sock help. Tommorrow I am going out to see if I can find "Nomad" socks at any of the outdoor, sports or cycling stores near here. I am also looking into silk socks. If memory serves me, I had a pair of silk socks sometime ago that were pretty good.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:59 AM
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Semiramis, I can't offer any good sock help, just wanted to say I think you'll like the SAS shoes. I wear mine (Freetimes) more than any other shoe I take along; in fact I didn't even put on dress-up shoes to go to a restaurant in France. Comfort rules, at my age! For our next trip I'll add a pair of SAS loafers in case I need to put on a skirt.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Semiramis, I have some similar problems, and this is what I do.

NEVER take new socks/shoes on a trip. Always break them at home, try for longer walks on weekends, on shorter trips.

NEVER bring only 1 pair of shoes - change them every 2-3 days rotating at least 2 pairs of shoes.

Also, I think it helps putting dry skin or foot lotion on, twice a day, after each shower.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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If you don't want to spend a fortune. Costco has a wool blend sock that works great. It washes/dries quickly and will stand up to a lot of walking. It may be too tight. You can also try non-cotton cushion crew socks (acrylic, orlon, cool-max etc.). The non cotton ones are easier to wash/dry and seem to be less binding.

I had a bad ankle sprain in college and learned a stretch that really helped my Achilles: Stand with feet shoulder width, bend forward at the waist with your hands about 3 feet in front of your feet and head up. If you can reach the floor, great. If not put your hands on a chair or stairs but keep your legs and back straight. Stretch for about 30 seconds each time. I've never had a stretch that worked better on my Achilles.

For blisters - try an anti-perspirant. Usually your socks stop providing cushion when they get damp from sweat (another reason to avoid cotton socks), friction between your feet and shoes then causes blisters. You can keep your socks dry and cushiony by using anti-perspirant on your feet to stop the sweating before it starts. Spray, roll-on or stick doesn't matter, just make sure it's anti-perspirant not just deodorant. I learned this trick from the Cross-Country runners at my college.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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anti-perspirant! Good idea - I am going to try it!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 01:36 PM
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And do take your crocs along! Wonderful for comfort, regardless of how they look. Personally I don't think they scream tourist as much as white athletic shoes.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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1. Smartwool hiking socks - get them at REI.com and other vendors, about $10.

2. Cycling socks - sockguy.com, defeet.com or your friendly bike shop, about $10.

Cycling socks are thin, wick sweat, and stay up. Smartwool socks are warmer and bulkier, and will keep your feet warmer than cycling socks.

Both work very well for hiking.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 02:39 PM
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Oh and if you get blisters, get some good quality moleskin. rei.com or other *reputable* hiking store; don't buy discount moleskin - it won't stick if your feet sweat.

Apply moleskin at the first sign of a hotspot. Don't wait for blisters to form.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Great ideas on this thread. I have one question - how do you use the moleskin? I had a blister on my toe, I mistakenly taped a piece of moleskin right on top of the blister - when I removed the moleskin I also took away skin and opened the blister. So, I'm thinking you don't put the sticky side right on the blister so where does it go? I'm sure this is such a dumb question... but I'd love to know the answer!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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Get the thin moleskin, not the thick.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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apply a bandaid over the blister then the moleskin so it doesn't damage the skin.

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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Thanks, Cherrybomb! Not sure how I missed that method!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Apply moleskin at the first sign of a hotspot. Don't wait for blisters to form.

cheaper but just as efficient - - sports tape.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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Well, you're supposed to use the moleskin *before* you get a blister. Prevention is a lot less painful than the cure.

I use carry a sheet of pre-cut shapes. That way you can leave the backing paper on in the spot where the blister is forming, and tape right over it.
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Old Apr 27th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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Re: socks
I got a pair of "defeet" from a local cycling shop, tried them out and I like them - so I think I will pick up a few more pairs. They seem to keep your feet pretty cool and for some reason the ankle elastic does not seem as tight as on some other socks.

I will report back on socks and hoes etc when I return.
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Old Apr 27th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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Opps! or rather oops! I meant Socks and Shoes not socks and hoes!!!
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