A pair of socks is a pair of socks. Right? Not anymore. Even a pair of socks can have technology built in to it to improve athletic performance.
Have you ever noticed the fancy wall of socks whenever you step into a specialist sports store? Do you feel they are just a gimmicky add-on accessory? We think this response is understandable, especially when they are double the price of a conventional cotton sock but hear us out.
What defines a sport sock?
In a nutshell it is something that improves athletic performance by providing a protective layer to reduce friction, dissipate force and wick away moisture.
It’s all about the fibre
Let’s look at the materials. Generally you will find cotton, wool, acrylic and polypropylene fibres within most general and sport socks. The material chosen should fit with the type of sport being played, but in most cases you will want to stick with a synthetic material.
Don’t get sweaty feet
Cotton fibre retains three times the moisture of acrylic and fourteen times the moisture of CoolMax (used in most Thorlo socks). Reducing sweaty feet will dramatically reduce the likelihood of blistering, bacterial infections and other common foot problems.
Did you know sweat production around the feet can accumulate to one pint per foot during athletic activity! With that in mind you need a sock that will wick that away fast.
A sock is for life
When it comes to longevity cotton fibre socks stretch and lose their shape, when wet, so can wrinkle and bunch compared to acrylic fibre socks. Also after multiple wash-wear cycles, cotton fibre socks can become abrasive leading to potential skin irritation. Technical socks sometimes have compression regions to aid recovery and improve arch performance and these are well built into the sock so won’t fade after one use.
The bothersome blisters
Probably the most common issue we hear about most is blistering of the feet. The main factors that contribute to this include pressure, moisture levels and shearing forces. Acrylic fibres have been found to produce fewer blisters primarily due to their ability to keep the foot drier.
Athletic socks cushion feet, regulate moisture levels while also protecting them from irritation and blisters. For most athletes, acrylic or synthetic socks may be the way to go, since they’re lightweight, durable, and less likely to bunch up. Base the features of the sock on the sport you have chosen to provide the best performance possible. We have a strong selection of Thorlo, Balega and Hilly socks to choose from so pop in and let us help you find a sock that will treat your feet.