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Socks for hiking/mountaineering

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Socks for hiking/mountaineering

Postby Malch » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:44 am

Yesterday I purchased a pair of Kayland Vertigo High boots, and I'm excited to take them out asap. But being 16, I bought them a half size larger for fear that I would grow out of a $200 pair of boots in less than a year. Now I have to layer on socks in order to make them fit properly, which isn't exactly a problem; I'd just like to know what you people would recommend for a system of socks that is thick but still keeps my feet dry.

I've heard the norm is to use a pair of liner socks followed by a pair of thicker hiking socks... Are liner socks simply any old pair of synthetic socks or is there a specific type of socks used as liners? I own a few pairs of Injinji toe socks and I know some people use those as liners; the only gripe I might have is that they prevent your toes from sharing heat so they might be too cold. I've also heard great things about Drymax socks; does anybody use these as liners?

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your feedback. :)
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socks

Postby Snowy » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:00 am

I don't personally use liners anymore, but I have at times. If I needed them to keep things in order down there I would, but I can do well without them so I do. My absolute favorite socks are the Icebreaker mid and heavy weight options.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:28 am

I wear the Injinji liners and haven't had a problem with them wrt cold toes. I pair these up with Smartwool light hikers or their mountaineering socks.
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Postby Snowslogger » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:35 am

I like the Fox River x-static liner socks and either Smartwool (Mountaineer I think) or Bridgedale socks.
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Postby MScholes » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:57 am

I'm a huge fan of smartwool liners and heavy and mid weight hikers, great socks.
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Postby Brad F » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:59 am

I wear the Wigwam Gobi liners along with a heavier sock depending on the weather. The Patagonia heavyweight mountaineering socks have been good to me so far.
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Postby Mountaindude25 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:33 am

Patagonia mountaineering socks are the best, I picked mind up at Winners for 15 CAD.
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Postby highlandvillager » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:31 am

I typically wear Smartwool mountaineering socks with no liners and they work great, especially on the descent. I have no blister or toe problems. I used to wear Smartwool mid weight hikers with Wintersilks liners, but like the single layer system better. I would add the liners back in with the mountaineering socks if I was going somewhere really cold.
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Postby Genesis » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:19 am

I work in the outdoor industry and have tried every sock and liner there is. I use Smartwool socks for almost everything I do, including basketball. Smartwool all the way.
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Postby Malch » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:33 am

Genesis wrote:I work in the outdoor industry and have tried every sock and liner there is. I use Smartwool socks for almost everything I do, including basketball. Smartwool all the way.

If you've tried them, could you list some of the reasons SmartWool socks are better than Drymax, Injinji, Icebreaker, Fox River, Wigwam, and Patagonia?
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Postby Genesis » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:38 am

Drymax, Icebreaker, Fox River, Wigwam, Patagonia. All Yes for Smartwool. Can't say about Injinji though. Never tried those.
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Another vote for Patagonia socks

Postby climbxclimb » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:58 am

I have used the Smartwool mountaineering socks for a while, but now I switched to the Patagonia expedition weight socks which I paired with a capilene liner, and it feels much better.
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Postby Hotoven » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:37 am

I use only the best.

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Postby Autoxfil » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:59 pm

Malch wrote:
Genesis wrote:I work in the outdoor industry and have tried every sock and liner there is. I use Smartwool socks for almost everything I do, including basketball. Smartwool all the way.

If you've tried them, could you list some of the reasons SmartWool socks are better than Drymax, Injinji, Icebreaker, Fox River, Wigwam, and Patagonia?


I have used many of those, and SW feel better when I sweat up. They are also light for how warm they are - Patagonia socks (my next favorite) are softer, but heavier and no more comfortable when I'm actually on the mountain. But, if you're looking at paying normal retail where SW might be 50-100% more than others, I'd pass. All the merino-based socks from the big names seem to work pretty much the same, and others may certainly prefer another brand if their feet sweat more or less than mine, or if they're pickier about the feel, etc.

My current setup is a whole ton of Smartwool light hikers that I wear for everything. When it gets cold enough for plastics, I add Bridgedale Summit socks, which I got very cheap and haven't let me down. I would prefer SW Mountaineering socks, and if I find them cheap enough I'll switch. This layering approach adds about half a size over thin socks, and something like that is probably the hot ticket for making your boots work.
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Postby bird » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:06 pm

Snowslogger wrote:I like the Fox River x-static liner socks and either Smartwool (Mountaineer I think) or Bridgedale socks.

+1 on the x-static, especially for longer trips. Keeps the funk way down.
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