Fashion & Style

How to choose socks

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Socks with wicking are the key to dry, comfortable, healthy feet
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How to choose socks involves selecting those that have wicking properties

Most consumers probably donít pay as much attention as they should when it comes to the socks they buy but they should. Everyone needs to be a little bit more knowledgeable about how to choose socks for men, women and kids. After all, we wear them for hours at a time and we stand in them (and run and jump and climb and turn somersaults.) Feet get a work out and so does anything that covers those feet.

Poorly constructed socks and those that provide no ventilation are not a good choice.

Feet sweat because feet work hard. Where does that sweat go? It goes into the shoes and socks, where it is trapped, which creates the ideal place for bacteria to gather and set up shop.

Buy a pair that helps remove moisture and you are less likely to get athleteís foot and less apt to develop blisters, which can be terribly painful and a nuisance.

When socks transport moisture this is called wicking. Moisture wicking keeps feet dry because it assists in the transfer of moisture from the foot to the outer layer of the sock, which keeps feet dry. Wicking material is the creation of DuPont.

In addition to keeping feet dry, wicking keeps a personís feet warm in the winter. No one wants to get frostbitten toes or feet and this is the perfect way to avoid that.

Spandex, polyester and nylon blends, which are synthetic microfibers, are used to make this type of sock. When wicking material is used it results in a positive and negative charge on the surface of the sock. This gets the attention of the water molecules. Capillary action results which forces the molecules through to the fabric to the other side. Sometimes a chemical process is used to make the process happen faster. When this process is used, the sock may require specific washing and drying techniques.

Another advantage of purchasing those with wicking is that this controls smelly feet. Wet shoes and socks can result in that gross foot odor that clears out a room in a heartbeat. Wicking reduces bacteria which is what causes the smell. Wicking material is equipped with copper fibers that have been woven into the material and this reduces odor because it eliminates the environment in which bacteria love to grow.

Consumers should be aware that cotton fiber retains moisture. Additionally, cotton tends to flatten out and stretch and it loses all pliability when it gets wet so the cotton sock isnít providing any cushion for the foot, which leads to blisters.

Instead of buying cotton, consider purchasing those made of a combination of acrylic, alpaca, wool, nylon, elastic, polypropylene, spandex and polyester.


Letís move on too color. Men, do not spoil your handsome business suit by wearing the wrong color or type of sock. Donít wear white unless you are playing a sport. Of course, the sock police are not going to arrest you if you choose otherwise.

Wear dark socks, preferably black, under your dress pants.

When men are in dress clothing, they should wear dressy socks with their dress shoes because the material is thin and not bulky. When wearing back pants, wear black socks. If wearing brown pants pair then with brown and so on. Darker colors are better than lighter colors. The goal is to match your footwear with the pants so that there is no visible line of demarcation, which differing colors can result in.


The feet of women are smaller than a man's and have narrower heels and a toe box that is more rounded. This is why a man's sock doesn't fit a woman's foot. Women should look for socks that are narrower and, of course, a pair that is going to be comfortable.

If wearing a pair that bunches up at the toe this can result in bunions and blisters as well as blisters on the heel if the heel of the sock slips.

Wool material is a good choice for both men and women because it is long lasting, resists abrasion, and is resistant to weather, perspiration and mildew. A good merino wool isnít going to pile and the color wonít fade. Merino wool is not itchy.

The same color advice goes for women. If you are wearing black slacks, your socks should be black (or dark) because this extends rather than breaks up the length of your leg.Visually you are going to look longer, leaner and well put together.

Women have far more feet problem than do men because of wearing shoes that donít fit properly and because of high heels. If you want to keep your feet healthy, wear shoes that fit and which provide support and are comfortable all of which leads to good foot health and wear good socks!

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