When you buy socks do you quickly pick up whatever brands are on sale or thoughtfully select colours and designs to reinforce your sense of fashion? Do you have a preferred material (i.e. cotton, polyester, acrylic, etc.) or do you simply purchase a few heavy, longer pairs for cold weather and some lighter, shorter pairs for warm days? There are many choices of socks available today, but beyond personal style, few people understand the importance of buying socks that are right for them.
In earlier blogs, my colleagues have discussed the importance of wearing supportive, properly-fitted shoes to prevent foot and lower limb injuries. But socks play an important role in injury prevention too. Socks provide a protective barrier between the skin of your feet and your shoes. The right pair of socks can prevent rubs, blisters and infections and the wrong ones can actually cause them.
As experts became more knowledgeable about our feet, significant changes have been made to sock design. New material blends have been introduced and new features added to increase foot protection. Today there are socks with extra padded sections, seamless socks, moisture wicking socks and more.
Here are a few tips to help you choose socks that will provide you with the protection you need:
• When It comes to socks one size does not fit all – make sure you buy the right size for your feet
• Check the thread count – socks with a higher thread count provide greater protection
• Whether you are a weekend warrior or a serious athlete buy sport specific socks. If you play multiple sports, purchase socks for each sport
• If you are living with diabetes look for seamless, moisture wicking socks. They will keep your feet dry and warm and reduce possible irritations
• If you have neuropathy, white plain socks are a good choice. You’ll quickly see any blood or fluid stains so you will know immediately if you have developed a sore even if you cannot feel it
Spending the time and the money to buy good quality, proper fitting socks with the features that are right for your needs is an important investment as reduced mobility and foot pain can be life changing.
By Mike Ennis C. Ped (C), Guelph, Ontario