Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care …
Did you know when Clement Clarke Moore wrote this poem, people used to hang their socks by the fire to dry each night?
And speaking of socks – Are you wearing the right socks to keep your feet warm and dry when walking or running in winter weather?
The Purpose of Socks
Socks play an important role. They help to protect our feet from injury. They keep our feet warm in cold weather, and they absorb perspiration.
However, if you’re a walker or runner, the wrong sock choice can lead to:
- Ingrown toenails
- Black toenails
- Deformed toenails
- Friction blisters
- Corns and calluses
- Fungal infections
- Heel bursitis
- Fat pad atrophy
Most of these foot problems occur to shearing forces. These forces occur as the result of the forward or side-to-side motion of the foot within the shoe while walking, running, jumping or lunging. The type of socks, as well as the type of footwear or playing surface, can aggravate the shearing force on the skin of the foot. Additionally, sock fit and excess moisture can increase shearing forces, too.
Sock Materials for Winter Sports
The right type of socks can keep your feet warm and comfortable during winter sports. The worst material choice for socks is cotton. Cotton absorbs water, which doesn’t evaporate. Wet socks can actually make your feet feel colder, because moisture pulls heat away from your skin faster than air. Wet socks also make your feet susceptible to frostbite.
While wool socks are a better choice than cotton, wool also does not wick moisture away that well. A better choice of socks for winter sports is moisture-wicking socks. Moisture-wicking socks are made with polyester, acrylic, or wool-blend fibers. These socks actually remove the moisture from your skin. Your feet will feel warmer because less heat is conducted away from the skin. There are many different brands of moisture-absorbing socks; however, the WalkEzStore recommends the Thorlo brand. These socks are top of the line and will last for many years.
You may also choose to wear a double layer of socks for added cushioning and protection in the winter.
Fitting Your Socks
Like shoes, your socks should fit well. If your socks are too large, the heels of socks will sit above your actual heels. This can increase shear and cause more friction to occur. If your socks are too small, your toes will squeeze together. This will also increase friction and pressure between the toes.
When buying shoes, make sure you try on shoes with the socks you are planning to wear with them. Sock weight makes a difference in how your shoes fit and feel. Sometimes, you may have to wear a half-size larger shoe for proper fit with the socks.
When you notice your socks are thinning, especially in the heel area, it’s time to throw them away.
Wear ezWalker® Performance Insoles for Maximum Comfort
If you have any foot conditions, such as bunions, heel or arch pain, you should consider wearing a custom orthotic, like the ezWalker® Performance Insole, with your socks and shoes. The ezWalker® is custom made for each of your feet to guide them into a better biomechanical position – re-aligning your body from the feet up. You’ll have better balance, stability and posture with every step you take.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.