Loc: Low Country of SC
Its time to replace my old socks, and I have been wearing Smartwool crew socks without liners for a long time. When I got them they were the best for me and I guess I could say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", but I thought I would ask you folks for your favorites. Heavy or light weight, but I am not doing long, deep cold, heavy load trips.
I've been thinking about posting a question like this myself, as I'm curious what others are using, especially with trail runners. I'm a tentative convert to trail runners, but not yet in the "true believer" category.
With lightweight boots (Keen Targhees), I've always liked the Thorlo Light Hikers, which are synthetic, and wear like iron, but I haven't seen them in stores lately. The Smartwool light hikers are good, too, but maybe a bit less durable and require more care in washing. I've tried the Darn Tough, both wool (1466) and synthetic (1931) and like them, although they seem a bit snugger than I'd like.
I've used all of these with trail runners (Altra Lone Peak 3.5), but lately have been experimenting with lighter synthetic socks, including some liner socks, and find that I like them just as well, although I've only used them for dayhiking in warm conditions.
For backpacking, assuming you carry, say, two spare pairs, you can save a little weight with the Darn Toughs, and a little more by just using the liners.
Given the differences between people's feet, trial and error is probably the only solution.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead
Loc: Portland, OR
I currently wear trail runners for all my hiking. The drawback is that trail dust filters through the mesh tops and my feet get filthy. But blisters are now a thing of the past!
On backpacks, I wear ankle-high merino wool socks in a lighter weight. They happen to be REI brand, but that seems unimportant, since they fit a fairly generic type made by most makers. A major consideration for me is how quickly they dry, because I wash my socks daily on longer backpacks and they need to dry easily. Merino wool dries well. The other consideration is just to provide a bit of cushion, which merino wool does well. They wick and breathe well, too.
In addition, I use cheap thin nylon 'dress' socks as liners. They seem to last forever. They dry very fast, too.
Loc: Low Country of SC
Thank you guys. Doesn't sound like sock technology has made any huge leaps in the 18 years since I bought mine. Then again, there is nothing wrong with my Smartwools. Think I will buy a few more pair of them.
I use Smartwool medium hikers without a liner. I wear trail runners on all of my hiking and backpacking trips and also for schlepping around home. My feet do get pretty dirty but they stay comfortable. I don’t bother taking my shoes off when wading streams; the shoes and socks dry pretty quickly.
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