So I got hotspots with my new heavy hiking boots, and I was advised to get NON-goretex trailrunners instead of hiking boots and - if heading into wet terrain, wearing Rocky Goretex socks.
So that is the plan. I'm looking at La Sportiva Wildcats or Ultra Raptors.
My question is, when using in wet or cold weather, would I be wearing some wool socks along with the Rocky Goretex socks? If so, what sort of wool socks (super thin or regular/thick) ? And would they go on first before the Rocky Goretex socks, or after?
I'm asking all this because I figure I should go shopping for my trailrunners wearing whatever sock configuration I'm going to use, to account for thickness.
On the other hand, since I'm in southern california and my backpacking trips will be dry most of the time, does that mean that the shoe will be too loose if I shop for them wearing the above socks?
I would wear thin socks so that the overall thickness of your socks doesn't change from configuration to configuration.
To be clear, I think the advice is (others can clarify) to wear waterproof socks when it is cold AND wet (not OR). If it is warm and wet you'll sweat so much in waterproof socks that your feet will be wet either way.
Your original post made me dig out my old Goretex (I guess) socks, which are the Sealskinz brand. I looked at their web site and now they have quite a variety of waterproof socks, some with Merino wool linings, which presumably wouldn't necessarily require a liner sock. Not cheap, but neither are regular hiking socks.
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
When it's not cold, I wear acrylic socks. They perform reasonably well and dry reasonably quickly. When it's cold, I wear wool socks over nylon everyday compression socks and try not to get my feet wet. The NRS Hydroskins appear to be good choices for chronically wet conditions, but I haven't used them. I wear the nylon compression socks partly because my toenails don't poke holes in them and they protect my wool socks. I have not had good life from wool or polypropylene liner socks. Nylon wears better and dries reasonably well. Wet socks and warm feet don't go together and foregoing socks altogether may be the best choice. My feet got wet Monday and never did warm up until I got out of the wet socks. As long as you are moving, thin socks are probably the best choice. Thick socks just compress more and don't give any more insulation in the shoe. When stationary, dry socks and some sort of thin camp shoe is probably best.
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I bought a couple pair of wool blend socks to use in cool and cold weather. However, my wife got a pair of all synthetic warm socks to wear around the house, and I've been eyeing them. They were less expensive, warmer, and are machine washable. I've been babying mine, since they cost about $10 a pair, and washing them by hand in the sink, but that gets really old. I really don't wear them much. Part of that is it's usually not that cold here, but the other part is not wanting to mess with the hand washing. I think next time, I'll get a pair like my wife's. After mine wear out. In 50 years.
"but the other part is not wanting to mess with the hand washing."
I generally buy the Darn Tough wool socks, which are a blend, not 100% wool, and wash them with the rest of my clothes in the washer, then hang to dry. Haven't had an issue doing this at all. My understanding is that you simply need to ensure your wash and rinse water are set to the same temp.
Personally, I've found that every wool or wool blend sock I've tried eventually shrinks, though careful hand washing helps. I haven't tried the Darn Tough socks, though. I've used Thorlo Light Hikers for years with satisfaction. All synthetic, just as expensive as wool, and wear like iron. I have a number of older pairs that I've relegated to everyday use that just won't wear out. And they don't shink in the dryer. They might, though, if dried on high heat.
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
My experience with wool socks has been that the cheaper ones work fine. I've got three pairs of Walmart Merino socks that I have worn through this winter. I believe that they are sold under the Realtree brand. When I wash them, I chuck them in the washing machines with the rest of the dirty clothes and detergent with color safe bleach. They go in the dryer on permanent press and back into the rotation. They don't feel any different now than they did at the beginning of winter. I've got higher quality, more expensive socks, but these are the ones that I wear. I think that the price runs between $6 and $9.00 per pair.