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thinner socks

I am going to be cruising the baltics and have been breaking in my shoes. I have been using wool socks as has been recommended, but would like some that are not padded. Do I really need the padding to prevent blisters or can someone recommend some wool socks that are thinner?

Posted by
21249 posts

Not sure what you mean by pad. I always a standard, medium weight wool sock. Your shoes should have been fitted with your socks. If you shift now to a thinner sock there is some possibility of setting up a blister situation. Any good outdoor shop will have a variety of wool socks. I get mine at Costco - lambs wool.

Posted by
5657 posts

Socks come in a range of heights and thicknesses. Just looking at the Smart Wool brand of women's merino wool travel socks in "crew" height, the Smart Wool webpage displays:
8 ultralight cushion socks
5 light cushion socks
5 medium cushion socks.

That said "break in" your shoes using the sock weight that you will use during your travel walking. Blisters or not are more a function of movement between foot and shoe. The starting point to blister prevention is proper boot fit. See: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/blister-prevention-care.html

And the time to find out if your boots fit or don't fit are before your travels.

Posted by
5657 posts

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/socks.html

Q: How thick should my socks be?

A: Proper sock thickness depends on the fit of your footwear. If
you have a low-volume foot, you'll probably want thicker socks;
high-volume feet usually require thinner socks. Always try on socks
with your shoes to make sure they fit comfortably.

Posted by
2780 posts

I am afraid the men do not understand the question.

Smartwool makes thin, non-cushioned merino socks in their PhD line. They come in low or quarter top heights, very smooth and lightweight (no terry cushioning). I love them for summer and they do not cause blisters! I wear them with sneakers and other low profile shoes.

Another one I like is Pearl Izumi cycling sox---they're synthetic and very thin and have not caused blisters for me.

Posted by
2164 posts

Smartwool does have several thickness options for women, and they are my first choice due to comfort, durability and great color choices. Then I discovered Wrightsocks, which are 2 layers, 1 that's very thin inside and then mid-weight wool outside--this removes the friction from your foot. They are not padded and not terribly thick. I got them from Amazon. The other thing to be cautious about is the toe area--no-seam is a big plus, for me, at least, because that area sometimes gets tender.

Posted by
1289 posts

Wright Socks make the best anti-blister socks. https://wrightsock.myshopify.com/
11 years ago I did the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk, 60 miles in 3 days, urban walking. Zero blisters in six months of training and during the walk.
I wear the lightweight Coolmesh II tab socks which don't slide into my shoes. Just bought a bunch more to wear on my upcoming tour.
People who wore heavier socks on the walk, especially Thorlo socks, got blisters.
If your shoes create any pressure points use Bandaid Blister bandages as a precaution. Much better than moleskin, better adhesion and can fit around toes. Just don't use on top of your big toenails unless you want to loose that nail.

Posted by
2780 posts

Wright socks (the two-layerones) gave me blisters, as did Thorlo. The only synthetic sox I can wear are the Pearl Izumi cycle sox. But I like the Smartwool PhD running sox more. Never had a blister with those.

Posted by
1289 posts

Thorlo socks are way too heavy, thus blisters. Walkers were given some by Thorlo one of the walk's sponsors. I use them inside my rubber muck boots in the winter to keep my feet warm and dry while cleaning horse stalls. Can't even fit them inside my walking shoes then or now.
Another trick to help prevent blisters is to use baby powder or foot powder inside your socks.

Posted by
607 posts

In my experience, wearing two thin socks is usually better for blister prevention than a single thick sock.

Thin socks are easier to wash and dry. Hang over night and use hair dryer in the morning for less than a minute and you will have toasty dry socks.

I would even recommend thin cotton dress socks as an option if you want to double up to prevent blisters on a long hike or walk. Personally i prefer cotton socks year round, even for skiing. The only time I use wool is if I am fishing and wading in a near freezing river.

Posted by
68 posts

Darn Tough socks are made in VT and come with a lifetime guarantee. Some of their socks are thinner and without padding, and you can choose crew or ankle length. My feet have been happy wearing them at home and while traveling :)

Posted by
11613 posts

H&M has a line called Thinner Socks. I bought a pack of five pair two weeks ago. Love them, the seam across the toes is barely there (that was my issue with other brands). They cost about $10 for five pair.

Posted by
308 posts

I just tried Bombas wool socks and they are much thinner than any Smartwool socks I have. Their cotton socks are really nice too.

Posted by
396 posts

Another trick if you get blisters on the sides of your heel from boots that are not a good fit at the heel, is to tape a band of duct tape around your heel before you put socks or shoes on. It pulls off easily without tearing the skin or leaving sticky patches. This might work as well on the sole of the foot at the heel or the ball of the foot if you tend to get blisters there, but I haven't needed to try that.

Posted by
2525 posts

Good wool lightweight socks, quality shoes and then walk, walk, walk well before your trip. I never get blisters.

Posted by
8427 posts

If I do have rubbing issues, I use paper tape instead of duct tape. Easier to tear and apply and I have used it across the forefoot with success. It will stay on thru a couple of showers.

I did get blisters with the Smartwool PhD light cushion socks last year. It was the heatwave in Paris in August and I wear Correct Toes toe spacers which rubbed on one of my toes. I had had no problem in many trips before with this combo but the heat, I think, made a difference. I have changed to Injinji toe socks which keep each toe separate and dry. I traveled in April/May with this combo which worked fine altho it was not hot weather.