Your hiking boots or work shoes may take the brunt of the blame when it comes to blisters, but they’re not always the biggest issue in the equation. And while you do of course want to make sure you're wearing the best boots and shoes for you and what you're doing, another detail to consider is the socks inside of them.
Socks aren't just for different styles but different essential functions too. Liner socks are thin, comfy and lightweight socks you can wear solo, but they’re more commonly worn under a thicker pair of socks and normally worn for hiking. They do a lot for you (including combating the blisters noted above), and we have some awesome options! First, though, it's important to learn more about what they are, what they do, how to pick the best pair for you and how to wear them the best way for you!
why wear liner socks?
If you weren’t sold already, liner socks boast a lot of benefits you may not be considering! Since they’re so thin, liner socks won’t bulk up, which means your best boots or special shoes are still going to fit. While they’re in there, as the first layer of defense for your feet, they will also work to wick away any sweat from your feet and transfer it to your outer sock where it will eventually evaporate, keeping your feet significantly more dry. Along with this, the lack of moisture will keep you warmer, and the added cushioning will act as an amazing preventive measure to getting blisters.
The main challenge here is being able to find the right thickness of sock and thinness of liner to work in combination. If done incorrectly, the end result is the feeling of having on one sock too many, causing a foot too fat for your boot and increased pressure and blisters. But don't be scared! The key to liner socks is choosing wisely, and that doesn't have to be hard with a little help from us!
how to find liner socks worth wearing
In order to avoid the increased pressure and blisters noted above, be sure to pick appropriate liners! Even if they’re not necessarily labelled as “liner” socks, simple finds (like our appropriately themed camp socks that are thin enough to do the trick) can be spotted when you're out and about shopping that will save you some serious dough normally spent on the cost of labels, you’ll just need to know what you're looking for. When it comes to the best liner socks, you’ll want to aim for snug wool, nylon or polyester based socks that are ultrathin, the same length or longer than your outer socks and boots, and you can even incorporate features like seamless toes. Not only will this ensure they fit comfortably under your socks and do their job but will help you ensure they don’t excessively rub or fall.
when to wear your liner socks
Traditionally and commonly worn for hiking, liner socks can be utilized for all sorts of activities from sleeping to snow sports.
You can use them for almost any activity, and they don’t have to be used in part with other socks to be beneficial. The reason people love liner socks is also the reason they’re so versatile which is their moisture-wicking qualities, their noninvasiveness and the fact that they can be washed and dried quickly. Because of this, you can wear them:
- As base layer for hiking, biking and backpacking excursions when the temperature drops or when it’s wet out.
- As a stand-alone sock with tight shoes, on hot days, for sweat inducing activities like exercising or if you simply prefer them as a daily sock. If you’re someone who finds yourself asking “is it bad to wear socks all the time?”, this sort of ultrathin option may be particularly beneficial for you when it comes to comfy sleeping!
- As your only socks for times when you need to, such as when you find yourself away from home for the weekend with no change of socks or when you're traveling and haven’t had a chance to do laundry, thanks to how quickly they can dry after a wash.
liner sock alternatives
As we mentioned above, these socks don't necessarily have to be labelled as “liner” socks. Sock styles similar to pantyhose, as well as no show socks, thin athletic socks and thin crew socks all exist and should be weighed as equal alternatives!
While specially designed liner socks offer the effect you need, options like fun athletic socks with aesthetic appeal and cute crew socks with sophisticated qualities are capable of offering you that PLUS the effect you want — internally and externally! This effect will be one that impacts your style, confidence, happiness and comfort.