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Socks 101

Winter is upon us, and it’s time to warm up your feet with a good pair of socks. Socks are a vital part of foot health. They absorb sweat to reduce foot odor, provide padding, and protect your feet from the friction created by your foot rubbing against the inside of your shoe.

Here are some guidelines to help you choose the perfect pair of socks.

  • Fit — Socks should fit perfectly — like a glove – and feel comfortable. The sock should not be too loose or large because socks that bunch can cause friction that bunch and lead to blisters. Socks shouldn’t be too small or tight either; small socks can decrease your circulation and comfort.
  • Fabric — Socks can be made of synthetic fibers, natural fibers, or a combination of the two. Socks made of synthetic fibers such as acrylic, nylon, and Lycra keep their shape, retain their resilience, and “wick” moisture away from the skin so feet stay dry. Socks mad of natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool are durable, strong, and soft. They also absorb foot moisture, helping to keep feet dry. Cotton, for example, is breathable but also heat-resistant and shock-absorbent. Wool socks offer extra warmth and extreme comfort for the feet.
  • Cushioning — Consider socks with a full cushion and padded sole support. These types of socks will provide your feet with added protection and cushioning, leaving your feet less tired at the end of the day. Also, look for socks with reinforced heels and toes, as these areas wear out the fastest.

APMA makes choosing socks a breeze. Simply look for those with the APMA Seal of Acceptance on their labels or packaging. Go to APMA.org and click on Footwear and Products to find hosiery and socks awarded the APMA Seal of Acceptance.

Source: Footprints Winter 2012/13