Why Good Socks Matter

sock-wallMost people don’t put a whole lot of thought into their socks. And why should you? Socks are pretty pointless, really. They’re just the useless buffer between your feet and your footwear that exist solely to keep your shoes from getting smelly. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth. Socks aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think of crucial or technical outdoor apparel, but socks are very important. If you spend time outdoors, you need a high quality pair of hiking socks. Here’s why good socks matter.


Those traditional cotton socks might as well be disposable compared to a good pair of wool socks. Wool socks literally last for years, and they are durable enough that if holes do form, they can be repaired rather than replaced. There’s a reason cotton socks come by the dozen. They simply don’t hold up as well as a quality pair of hiking socks.

Moisture management

Cotton fibers absorb and retain moisture. This is a good quality in a t-shirt on a hot summer day, but it’s bad news for socks. Feet sweat, and cotton socks get soggy. Not only is this uncomfortable, but wet cotton socks won’t be able to insulate, whereas wool socks insulate your foot even when wet.

Temperature regulation

Wool fibers, specifically merino wool, are great at regulating temperature. The hollow core structure of merino wool provides warmth in the winter and helps your feet stay cool during the summer.

Odor management

Another great benefit of merino wool is its ability to help eliminate odor. Merino wool has natural anti-microbial properties. Cotton, on the other hand, retains odor.

Helps prevent blisters

If you’ve ever hiked long distances in cotton socks, you probably suffered a blister or two. There’s a good reason hiking socks aren’t made out of cotton. Heat, friction, and moisture all lead to blisters, and hiking socks manage these elements much better than cotton socks.

Hiking socks aren’t just for hiking.

We call them hiking socks because that’s what most people know them as, and that’s what most people buy them for. However, they don’t have to be reserved for hiking. Some people wear hiking socks on a daily basis, opting for the comfort and quality of a good pair of socks over the shriveled and soggy, paper-thin socks of their childhood.

Why are hiking socks so expensive?

The price tag on a pair of merino wool socks has been known to drop jaws. “How could you spend $17 dollars on a pair of socks?!” Here’s why hiking socks are more expensive than plain cotton socks.

  • They’re made from higher quality materials
  • They’re more durable
  • Hiking socks manage moisture, odor, and temperature better than cotton socks
  • They are more comfortable
  • They protect your feet better than cotton socks

A good pair of socks is an investment. What it boils down to is whether or not you’re willing to pay for comfort and protection. The more time you spend outdoors, the more you need good socks.

At Uncle Sam’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas, we carry a great selection of wool and wool blend hiking socks, many of which are made in America. We stock WigWam, point6, and Smartwool socks. Stop by and check out our selection!

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