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Sock Research and Recommendations (summer)

2020 Camino Guides

PaulCat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
UPDATE: I am not asking for suggestions or recommendations. I am sharing info that I found and collected that others might find helpful.

Since socks and shoes are a huge decision for many on the Camino I have emailed many sock companies asking what sock they would recommend for walking the Camino during the summer months. I told them I would be wearing a pair of trail running shoes with great ventilation along with about a good thumb's width between big toe and front of shoe. I emphasized that I wanted dry feet becuase dry fee are fast feet.

I did this becuase the first time I walked the Camino I make a bad shoe and sock selection and walked with blisters the whole way... other pilgrims were taking pictures of my feet they were so bad.

I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of companies, but here are a few that have gotten back to me so far.

From DRYMAX
“I would likely recommend the running lite mesh as this will be a cooler sock for sure as it incorporates upper mesh venting to help with breathability. Based on the event you are participating in, I feel compelled to also recommend looking at our Sage sock. This sock is geared more toward these types of events (long hours, lots of miles, etc.). This particular sock incorporates and additional fiber (ePTFE), a Teflon like fiber that will greatly reduce the chances of getting blisters or hot spots. Many of our Elite Ultra Runners choose this sock for this very reason.”

From Balega
"the Blister Resist style"

From Feetures
“Feetures! Elite is our most technically advanced sock. Our Elite socks are anatomically constructed using our patent-pending Sock-Lock technology to provide targeted support where it’s needed most. As a result of this enhanced fit, the foot and sock become one.

· Our Elite Light Cushion sock features high-density cushioning that provides just the right amount of protection in the high-impact areas of the heel and toe. This is one sock that I would suggest.

· Thanks to the latest in spun fiber technology, Elite Max Cushion is the perfect blend of performance and comfort. Created for runners who prefer a technically advanced sock with extra cushioning, Elite Max Cushion is designed to cushion every stride. And, for runners, that’s like making the road a little softer. This would be my second suggestion, although maybe a little too cushioned."

From 1000 Miles
"In regards to dry feet you would benefit from one with a Tactel inner lining as this wicks moisture away from the skin. I think that our Fusion Sock or Fusion Anklet might suit you:

http://1000mile.co.uk/running/1000-mile-fusion-sport-sock
http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-fusion-anklet-sock-2025

The nylon content for the outer layer will make it quicker to dry than cotton or wool so you should be able to wash them over night and have them dry in the morning. I think they will give you enough bulk and the padding should also add to the comfort you will need whilst walking the Camino.

Alternatively you could try our Breeze Socks as this will be cooling to wear and also it is more breathable than the above options:

http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-breeze-sock-2014
http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-breeze-lite-sock-2010

As you are going to talking different terrains it is worth looking at your lacing technique on your shoes as well to ensure that the foot does not slip around inside the shoe as this will increase the chance of blisters. Even our double layer will struggle in these kind of circumstances!

I do recommend that whichever sock you do decide to wear, it is worth doing a training session or 2 with them before you leave the country to ensure that if you have an issues we can fix them before you go. We also usually recommend a product like Bodyglide to reduce friction on the skin when you are walking the Camino, due to the heat it can cause all sorts of rubbing on the skin and the bodyglide type products are quite small and can make a huge difference."


WrightSocks
“Try our Double Layer Escape with the Camino logo. This sock is being worn by more and more pilgrims on the Camino every day.”


SmartWool
“I would recommend the PhD socks as they will have the best fit system and should fit well to your foot for the trek.”

[Author’s note: I own a pair of smartwool PhD running socks and they are very good socks.]


THOR-LO

"The KX has maximum padding under the ball/heel, whereas the LTH has moderate padding. Some hikers choose to begin the day with the KX and change out to the LTH as their feet begin to swell in the afternoon. Most hikers usually stay with one style."

Waiting to hear back from Kalenji: Never did hear back from this company.
 
Last edited:

Paddington Bear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
I wear smart wool medium hiking socks summer and winter. I pair no liners. I have hiking shoes - Salomon ellipse II LTR that breath and are not waterproof. I also use an inner sole with arch support.
My toes can move freely but my heel is fully supported by the shoes. No problem with blisters.

If you feel a hotspot stop immediately and take remedial action with compeed or body glide.

You will get 50 different opinions. You have to try different combinations to workout what works for you. If your shoes is tight now you won't be able to wear a thicker sock. Best to buy the sock you like then buy the shoe that fits with the sock.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
foot and sock become one
That scares me!

I wear Thorlos because wool makes me itchy. In hot weather I get blisters and in cool weather, I don't. Some things are not within the control of equipment choice.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Portuguese(2020)
Since socks and shoes are a huge decision for many on the Camino I have emailed many sock companies asking what sock they would recommend for walking the Camino during the summer months. I told them I would be wearing a pair of trail running shoes with great ventilation along with about a good thumb's width between big toe and front of shoe. I emphasized that I wanted dry feet becuase dry fee are fast feet.

I did this becuase the first time I walked the Camino I make a bad shoe and sock selection and walked with blisters the whole way... other pilgrims were taking pictures of my feet they were so bad.

I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of companies, but here are a few that have gotten back to me so far.

From DRYMAX
“I would likely recommend the running lite mesh as this will be a cooler sock for sure as it incorporates upper mesh venting to help with breathability. Based on the event you are participating in, I feel compelled to also recommend looking at our Sage sock. This sock is geared more toward these types of events (long hours, lots of miles, etc.). This particular sock incorporates and additional fiber (ePTFE), a Teflon like fiber that will greatly reduce the chances of getting blisters or hot spots. Many of our Elite Ultra Runners choose this sock for this very reason.”

From Balega
"the Blister Resist style"

From Feetures
“Feetures! Elite is our most technically advanced sock. Our Elite socks are anatomically constructed using our patent-pending Sock-Lock technology to provide targeted support where it’s needed most. As a result of this enhanced fit, the foot and sock become one.

· Our Elite Light Cushion sock features high-density cushioning that provides just the right amount of protection in the high-impact areas of the heel and toe. This is one sock that I would suggest.

· Thanks to the latest in spun fiber technology, Elite Max Cushion is the perfect blend of performance and comfort. Created for runners who prefer a technically advanced sock with extra cushioning, Elite Max Cushion is designed to cushion every stride. And, for runners, that’s like making the road a little softer. This would be my second suggestion, although maybe a little too cushioned."

From 1000 Miles
"In regards to dry feet you would benefit from one with a Tactel inner lining as this wicks moisture away from the skin. I think that our Fusion Sock or Fusion Anklet might suit you:

http://1000mile.co.uk/running/1000-mile-fusion-sport-sock
http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-fusion-anklet-sock-2025

The nylon content for the outer layer will make it quicker to dry than cotton or wool so you should be able to wash them over night and have them dry in the morning. I think they will give you enough bulk and the padding should also add to the comfort you will need whilst walking the Camino.

Alternatively you could try our Breeze Socks as this will be cooling to wear and also it is more breathable than the above options:

http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-breeze-sock-2014
http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-breeze-lite-sock-2010

As you are going to talking different terrains it is worth looking at your lacing technique on your shoes as well to ensure that the foot does not slip around inside the shoe as this will increase the chance of blisters. Even our double layer will struggle in these kind of circumstances!

I do recommend that whichever sock you do decide to wear, it is worth doing a training session or 2 with them before you leave the country to ensure that if you have an issues we can fix them before you go. We also usually recommend a product like Bodyglide to reduce friction on the skin when you are walking the Camino, due to the heat it can cause all sorts of rubbing on the skin and the bodyglide type products are quite small and can make a huge difference."

Waiting to hear back from THOR-LO and Kalenji
My most recent backpacking trip, a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, where my pack weight was far heavier than for the Camino, I used Smartwool Phd light cushion socks. No blisters, period.
https://www.rei.com/product/894205/smartwool-phd-outdoor-light-crew-socks

Also, while proper fitting shoes and good socks can help with blistering, they are not a complete panacea. There are many reasons why one person blisters but another person does not, even if they used the exact same pair of shoes and socks. It is important to learn how to prevent blisters, and how to catch and treat blisters before they form. Pre-taping areas prone to blistering. Become aware of recognizing irritations and the beginning of hot-spots as you walk so that you stop immediately, remove shoes and socks, air-dry your feet, and apply an effective tape (I really like Leukotape, sweat doesn't faze it a bit) or "moleskin" type of product to the early irritation so that it doesn't form a blister.

In my view, the least effective strategy is asking the manufacturers of socks for recommendations. It is unlikely that any of them will forgo recommending their product line in favor of a competitors. :)
 

PaulCat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
In my view, the least effective strategy is asking the manufacturers of socks for recommendations. It is unlikely that any of them will forgo recommending their product line in favor of a competitors. :)
That is why I contacted more than one sock company. I wanted to see what they thought their best sock for the trip would be then make a decision from there. I used the wool sock route last time along with waterproof shoes (stupid me, I didn't realize it was going to be nothing like the AT). Blisters never did heal till I got back home.
 

bmcbride

CVRambler
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014), Camino Inca (2015), Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre (2018)
Since socks and shoes are a huge decision for many on the Camino I have emailed many sock companies asking what sock they would recommend for walking the Camino during the summer months. I told them I would be wearing a pair of trail running shoes with great ventilation along with about a good thumb's width between big toe and front of shoe. I emphasized that I wanted dry feet becuase dry fee are fast feet.

I did this becuase the first time I walked the Camino I make a bad shoe and sock selection and walked with blisters the whole way... other pilgrims were taking pictures of my feet they were so bad.

I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of companies, but here are a few that have gotten back to me so far.

From DRYMAX
“I would likely recommend the running lite mesh as this will be a cooler sock for sure as it incorporates upper mesh venting to help with breathability. Based on the event you are participating in, I feel compelled to also recommend looking at our Sage sock. This sock is geared more toward these types of events (long hours, lots of miles, etc.). This particular sock incorporates and additional fiber (ePTFE), a Teflon like fiber that will greatly reduce the chances of getting blisters or hot spots. Many of our Elite Ultra Runners choose this sock for this very reason.”

From Balega
"the Blister Resist style"

From Feetures
“Feetures! Elite is our most technically advanced sock. Our Elite socks are anatomically constructed using our patent-pending Sock-Lock technology to provide targeted support where it’s needed most. As a result of this enhanced fit, the foot and sock become one.

· Our Elite Light Cushion sock features high-density cushioning that provides just the right amount of protection in the high-impact areas of the heel and toe. This is one sock that I would suggest.

· Thanks to the latest in spun fiber technology, Elite Max Cushion is the perfect blend of performance and comfort. Created for runners who prefer a technically advanced sock with extra cushioning, Elite Max Cushion is designed to cushion every stride. And, for runners, that’s like making the road a little softer. This would be my second suggestion, although maybe a little too cushioned."

From 1000 Miles
"In regards to dry feet you would benefit from one with a Tactel inner lining as this wicks moisture away from the skin. I think that our Fusion Sock or Fusion Anklet might suit you:

http://1000mile.co.uk/running/1000-mile-fusion-sport-sock
http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-fusion-anklet-sock-2025

The nylon content for the outer layer will make it quicker to dry than cotton or wool so you should be able to wash them over night and have them dry in the morning. I think they will give you enough bulk and the padding should also add to the comfort you will need whilst walking the Camino.

Alternatively you could try our Breeze Socks as this will be cooling to wear and also it is more breathable than the above options:

http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-breeze-sock-2014
http://1000mile.co.uk/1000-mile-breeze-lite-sock-2010

As you are going to talking different terrains it is worth looking at your lacing technique on your shoes as well to ensure that the foot does not slip around inside the shoe as this will increase the chance of blisters. Even our double layer will struggle in these kind of circumstances!

I do recommend that whichever sock you do decide to wear, it is worth doing a training session or 2 with them before you leave the country to ensure that if you have an issues we can fix them before you go. We also usually recommend a product like Bodyglide to reduce friction on the skin when you are walking the Camino, due to the heat it can cause all sorts of rubbing on the skin and the bodyglide type products are quite small and can make a huge difference."

Waiting to hear back from THOR-LO and Kalenji
On my first Camino in 2014, I brought Wright socks - light weight and double layered. I think that the packaging said that it guaranteed no blisters, and for me it was true. I loved them, and had no blisters (almost everyone else I met suffered from blisters, some terribly badly). I tried to always change my socks around the mid-point of my walk each day. My second favourite sock is Balega, but they are not double layered. I have several pairs of Smartwool socks, but find them too heavy for summer. They are the socks I use for winter. They don't dry as quickly as the Wright and Balega socks. I leave in a month to do the Primitivo, and I have 3 pairs of Wright socks that I will be bringing and 1 pair of Balega. Again, I will be taking off my boots and changing socks during the day.
 

zimmecp

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Summer 2017
So...I ADORE my smart wool hiking socks...but I've been doing some city walking (in regular running shoes) with a new balance sock that wicks REALLY well...and have been pretty happy! Kind of interesting to see that there is a "blister-resist"style!!!! Interested to hear more about those!
 
S

SilverAvenger

Guest
Maxmeia Hicking Socks. Sold on Chinese stores all over Spain and Portugal for about 1.50€. Back in 2015 I took a pair of these and a pair of Decathlon's Trekking Socks with ankle support. Swore I'd never use anything else for walking since the Trekking socks cut into my feet XD

Those hiking socks are made of cotton and they have patterned turkish-like weave on the sole of the foot that wicks great and keeps from blisters. Light, warm when needed and cold when need it with great ventilation. I paired thise with mesh-top trail sneakers. Next time, I'll just take those and drop the Decathlon socks at home XD
 

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